Shane Warne Foundation Closes amidst Consumer Affairs Investigation
Shane Warne’s controversial charity the self-dubbed “Shane Warne Foundation” has issued a shock announcement that it will close down.
The surprise announcement comes as a Victorian consumer watchdog is mid-way through an investigation into the charity following claims of financial impropriety.
The charity, started by former Australian cricketer Shane Warne, is facing allegations that hundreds of thousands of dollars in public donations had been squandered on lavish cocktail parties and functions instead of being allocated to helping children in need.
Consumer Affairs Victoria ordered an audit into the organisation, which claims its aim its aim is to help ill and underprivileged children.
The consumer watchdog requested the audit after the foundation failed to lodge key financial documents by a deadline towards the end of 2015.
“CAV subsequently made a number of requests for the required financial information however what was provided was not sufficient,” a spokesman said.
“Because of this on 24 December 2015 the director of CAV … issued a formal request with TSWF for an independent auditor’s report on its fundraising activities for the past three-and-a-half years.”
The charity issued a cryptic statement today announcing that it will be shut down without offering any reason for the decision.
FULL STATEMENT FROM THE FOUNDATION:
In response to recent, unwarranted speculation about The Shane Warne Foundation and its distribution of funds, we confirm we have distributed $3.67M to date with an additional and final substantial cheque to be distributed on March 18, 2016. At that time, we hope to have distributed over $4M dollars. All accounts have been fully audited by KPMG, and our final accounts will also be audited for the March 18th cheque presentation.
When The Shane Warne Foundation (TSWF) officially launched back in 2004, it had one very clear vision: to give back, make a difference and to enrich the lives of seriously ill , underprivileged children and teenagers in Australia.
As TSWF grew, everyone involved was proud to see that dream become reality.
Our founding board members – Lloyd Williams, James Packer, the late John Ilhan and the late David Coe, along with our Chairman Shane Warne – were passionate about the cause and worked hard to do their best to highlight the plight of so many children and teenagers in need.
In 2016, that passion to improve the lives of children, teenagers and their families, who need emotional support, medical intervention and hope for a healthier, happier future, remains.
The Shane Warne Foundation would like to say a public ‘thank you’ to Shane Warne, James Packer, Lloyd Williams, David Coe and John Ilhan for launching the dream, and later, Lee Amaitis – and to our most recent Board of Directors, including Glenn Robbins, Andrew Bassat, Ann Peacock, David Evans and Eddie McGuire, for helping that dream live on with commitment, dedication, passion, pride and also their donation of time.
That core dream continues in the hearts and minds of everyone involved – something that will never die.
Today, as The Shane Warne Foundation officially announces it is ceasing operations and has begun the process of closing the Foundation, we will celebrate so many incredible achievements.
To all our ambassadors – Campbell Brown, Aaron Hamill, Stephen Curry, Anthony Lehmann, John Worsfold, Brendon Goddard, Yasmin Kassim, Brodie Harper, Lance Franklin, Fifi Box, Dermott Brereton, Michael Clarke, Nick Riewoldt and Karl Stefanovic – patrons, event partners, supporters and past board members, including Rob Sitch, Garry Lyon and Ray Martin, we say ‘thank you’. We could not have done it without you – all of you.
By working diligently and tirelessly to raise much-needed funds, we are proud to have actively supported more than 125 deserving charities and individuals. From money raised to build special wheelchairs, to providing funds for training guide dogs, sending sick Australian children overseas for specialist medical treatment, funding skin treatments for children with horrific burns and helping children find the medical support they need to walk again – TSWF has left an amazing legacy, and one which we are all very proud of.
To our beneficiaries – another heartfelt ‘thank you’. You are the reason we were driven to achieve so much. We will donate our final cheque on March 18, which will mean we have donated over $4 million much-needed dollars – and knowing we have helped so many young lives change for the better is an amazing reward that will never be forgotten.
In finishing, it has been an absolute honour and privilege to be able to give back to children, and make a difference to their lives. Yes, the Foundation is closing, but all of us will continue to make a difference to children in need.
There will be no further comment from TSWF Board Members or Chairman.