Generous Pensioner Leaves $4.5 Million Home to Charity to Feed the Homeless in Clovelly

Clovelly, Malcolm Mawhinney
Photo Credit: Google Maps

The late Malcolm Mawhinney, an unassuming pensioner, has left a lasting legacy by bequeathing his multi-million dollar Clovelly home to charity, a generous act that will help feed the homeless.



The property sold for a remarkable $4.55 million in August 2023, exceeding the suburb’s median house price.

A former public servant who lived a modest life, Mr Mawhinney often appeared as though he was struggling financially. Thus, charity founder Reverend Bill Crews, known for his work in homelessness outreach, was astounded when he discovered that Mr Mawhinney had left his entire home, a two-bedroom property located at 23 Northumberland Avenue, to the reverend’s homelessness foundation.

Rev Crews only learned about the remarkable bequest when he fulfilled Mr Mawhinney’s last wishes by scattering his ashes on the Sydney Cricket Ground, where he had a dedicated annual seat for the Sydney test match.

A Simple Life and Hidden Generosity

Despite appearances, Mr Mawhinney maintained a simple life. He was known to live frugally, often having baked beans for dinner and enjoying a few schooners at the local bowling club in the afternoons. 

Rev Crews described him as “a lovely gentleman, always kind and gentle, but he looked like one of our [homeless] guests” and “as poor as a church mouse.”

Unbeknownst to many, he volunteered with the Exodus Foundation, even showing movies to homeless individuals in the foundation’s hangout hall, ranging from action films like “Rambo” to classics like “The Sound of Music.”

Clovelly, Malcolm Mawhinney
Photo Credit: Google Maps

An Unassuming Cricket Fan

Malcolm Mawhinney was not just a generous benefactor but also a dedicated cricket, AFL, and rugby league enthusiast. He supported teams like the Sydney Swans and Wests Magpies. 

Mr Mawhinney’s memorial service was held at the iconic Clovelly Bowling Club, a place he frequented for an afternoon beer, located just 250 meters from his home.

His impact on the community and the homeless population will be felt for the next six months, thanks to his remarkable act of generosity. The pensioner’s legacy serves as a testament to the hidden kindness that can exist within the unassuming residents of even the most affluent neighbourhoods.

A Lifeline for the Homeless

The substantial windfall from the sale of Mr Mawhinney’s Clovelly home will greatly aid the mission of the Bill Crews Foundation, renowned for its work in feeding Sydney’s homeless population, and providing essential support to those in need. 

The foundation offers food services through its food vans and the Loaves & Fishes restaurant in Ashfield, in addition to free dental clinics, legal assistance, laundry services, food parcels, clothing, and financial aid to struggling individuals.



Homelessness has become a growing concern in Australia, with an increasing number of “working homeless” people living on the streets and in makeshift tent villages due to soaring rents and low vacancy rates. According to Mission Australia, over 122,000 Australians are homeless on any given night, with another 1,660 joining their ranks monthly.

Published 8-Nov-2023