Daniel Petre AO

Founder and Chair

Daniel is a leading player and investor in the technology industry and has been for more than 35 years, including time working for Bill Gates at Microsoft’s headquarters in the US. He co-founded AirTree Ventures, Ecorp and Netus, producing outstanding returns and establishing many (now) mainstream technology and media companies.

StartGiving was founded in 2022 by Daniel, and is focused on inspiring tech founders and executives to start their philanthropic journey now by establishing their own foundations. The goal of StartGiving is to establish a culture of giving in the innovation community so that giving becomes the norm in Australia, not the exception.

In addition to fully funding StartGiving, Daniel and his wife Carolyn established the Petre Foundation which has donated more than $25m to a range of charities over the years.

Daniel has served on a range of corporate and not-for-profit boards. Currently Daniel is Chairperson of the Board for Vera Living, and is an Advisory Committee Member for the Community Capital Credit Fund. He is also a Board Member of the National Reconstruction Fund, the biggest investment in Australian manufacturing capacity in living memory. Daniel is the author of a number of books across a range of topics.

Our Founder Daniel Petre
Antonia Ruffell, CEO of Start Giving

Antonia Ruffell


Antonia is a philanthropy and charitable giving expert, with over two decades of experience in the sector. As the CEO of StartGiving she plays a pivotal role in inspiring and supporting successful tech founders with their philanthropy.

During her nine-year tenure as CEO of Australian Philanthropic Services (APS), Antonia guided the organisation from being a small start-up to the leading provider of philanthropy services in Australia. By 2021, APS served more than six hundred clients, with $2 billion in assets committed to the community and over $100 million gifted to charity each year.

She is a UNICEF Australia board member and a director of several charitable foundations. Past roles include serving on the board of The Social Outfit, an ethical fashion company that provides employment to refugees and positions with Perpetual Trustees, Mission Australia, the Royal Agricultural Society Foundation, ING Australia and The Prince’s Trust in the UK.

Antonia is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Social Impact Leadership Australia program.



Bill Gates


Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As co-chair, he shapes and approves foundation strategies, advocates for the foundation’s issues, and sets the organization’s overall direction. He works with grantees and partners to further the foundation’s goal of improving equity in the United States and around the world.

Bill co-founded Microsoft in 1975 with Paul Allen and led the company to become the worldwide leader in business and personal software and services. In 2008, Bill transitioned to focus full-time on his foundation’s work. Through his private office, Gates Ventures, he pursues his work in climate change and clean energy innovation, Alzheimer’s research and other healthcare issues, interdisciplinary education, and technology. He is also the founder of Breakthrough Energy, which works to address climate change by supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs, big thinkers, and clean technologies.

In 2010, Bill, Melinda French Gates, and Warren Buffett founded the Giving Pledge, an effort to encourage the wealthiest families and individuals to publicly commit more than half of their wealth to philanthropic causes and charitable organizations during their lifetime or in their will.

Bill Gates
Peter Singer
Photo by Alletta Vaandering

Peter Singer AC


Peter Singer is a world-renowned philosopher and bioethicist whose writings have been foundational to both the effective altruism movement and the modern animal rights movement. Singer has authored and edited more than 50 books, including his seminal works on effective giving, The Life You Can Save: How to Do Your Part to End World Poverty (2009, 2019) and The Most Good You Can Do (2015), and his writings have appeared in more than 25 languages.

In 2013, Singer founded the nonprofit The Life You Can Save to help spread his ideas about effective giving and generate more support for effective charities. He has delivered a TED talk on the subject. The Life You Can Save’s website offers a curated list of highly effective charities, provides free tools and resources to help people give more effectively and processes millions of dollars for effective charities annually at no charge to donors or charities.

In 2021, Singer was awarded the Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture in recognition of his “widely influential and intellectually rigorous work in reinvigorating utilitarianism as part of academic philosophy and as a force for change in the world.” In accordance with his ethical views, Singer donated the entire US$1 million prize to effective organizations working to assist people in extreme poverty and to reduce the suffering of animals in factory farms.

Singer was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1946, and educated at the University of Melbourne and the University of Oxford. Singer currently teaches at Princeton University, where he is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at the University Center for Human Values. When he’s not writing or conducting research, Singer enjoys hiking, surfing, and spending time with his wife Renata, three daughters and four grandchildren.