17 April 2024
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Son of James Packer shows enormous promise

Peter Switzer
20 February 2024

At the heart of inspirational leadership are exceptional core values that have the ability to attract followers and then, as a consequence, result in better actions from those people they influence and then better results. It applies in politics, business, sporting teams and every endeavour humans are involved in.
So, when we see the heir to one of the country’s greatest fortunes show admirable leadership and socially caring qualities, you have to conclude that while the younger generation can at times be challenging for parents, bosses, and other older generation leaders, they can be inspirationally positive.
Like all human beings, they can have conflicted characteristics, such as caring a lot about the world, climate change, recycling and working with businesses that have purpose. But they can be damn hard on their parents, who often end up being their bankers!
Toleration of older Australians learnt behaviour (which is often at odds with the younger generation’s important values, attitudes, and behaviour) isn’t one of their strongest suits, as age-discriminated locals might testify to. But I guess that’s life.
These reflections on leadership and the society we live and work in came to me as I saw the first public showing of James Packer’s son and apparent heir, Jackson Lloyd Packer.
A Current Affair introduced the 14-year old to his fellow country men and women after the journalist Tess McCracken told us that “Jackson is following in his mother’s footsteps, joining her on a trip to Moldova to witness the work of UNICEF Australia.”
And it looks like his mum Erica has the right kind of leadership qualities that could create a Packer that will see the family’s wealth do a power of good.
The pair travelled to the country neighbouring Ukraine to help children living in refugee camps and has spent time witnessing the work completed by the aid organisation in early learning centres in one of Europe’s poorest countries. “I definitely want to help out … I’ve had so much growing up and I’m so thankful for that,” Jackson told A Current Affair on Monday night. “These kids have been stripped to have nothing and it’s just better if we can, you know, all share what we have and make life easier for these kids going through an incredibly hard time.”
You have to hope that our next generation of billionaires will be better than the ones of the past. Interestingly, average Australians are pretty good givers as the following shows: “Early in 2022, the Charities Aid Foundation ranks Australia as the eighth highest of more than 140 countries over 10 years (2009 to 2018) of the World Giving Index, with 60% of all Australians making a financial donation to a charity.”
That’s not bad for the world’s 12th richest countries per head of population but on another measure, we don’t have much to crow about.
“Australia’s environment for philanthropy ranks 19th in the world. At 4.28 out of 5, our Global Philanthropy Environment Index score is reasonable, but in a bracket below a group of 12 advanced economies with scores in the 4.5–5.0 range,” a report from Philanthropy Australia tells us.
With kids like Jackson, who clearly has had some influence from others in his life, it looks likely this is a Packer who could do his family proud, as the following from him shows: “You see those camps and those children and they’re still smiling. They’re still playing. And it really shows how, not only is it the little things that count, but it shows how some things that we obsess over, that we shouldn’t really care about, aren’t that important.”
That’s a big realisation for a 14-year old who has lived a life most people only dream of. It suggests this kid could do us all proud.

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