Flight Centre Managing director Graham Turner poses for photos at the conclusion of the company's annual general meeting in Brisbane.
Flight Centre Managing director Graham Turner poses for photos at the conclusion of the company's annual general meeting in Brisbane. AAP Image - Dan Peled

Queensland's most generous philanthropists of 2017

FLIGHT Centre founder Graham "Skroo" Turner and wife Jude head a list of Queensland's most generous philanthropists of 2017.

The couple donated or pledged more than $20 million last year, including $18.5 million from their Turner Family Foundation, for a joint venture with the University of Queensland to open a conservation centre to breed, rehabilitate and release local rare and endangered native wildlife in the Scenic Rim.

UQ Vice-Chancellor Peter Hoj described the gift as "astounding".

"We want to raise awareness of the pretty dire straits that wildlife is in," said Mr Turner, who completed a veterinary science degree at UQ before becoming one of the country's top entrepreneurs. "It's one of the things we think is really important."

The project will be based at a 3100-hectare nature refuge near the couple's Spicers Hidden Vale retreat. Mr Turner said that by involving neighbouring properties and national parks, they hoped to establish wildlife corridors of hundreds of kilometres.

Other causes regularly supported by the Turners include Bush Heritage Australia, which buys land with high natural value, and the Sustainable Australia movement, which wants to cut migration.

"One of our biggest problems is a population explosion. It's doubling every 30 to 40 years," Mr Turner said.

The 20 biggest gifts or pledges identified by The Sunday Mail during 2017 or the 2016-17 financial year totalled more than $113 million.

Toowoomba Developer Clive Berghofer was another one of the state’s most generous philanthropists last year. Picture: David Martinelli
Toowoomba Developer Clive Berghofer was another one of the state’s most generous philanthropists last year. Picture: David Martinelli

Toowoomba Developer Clive Berghofer donated just under $14 million last year, including his latest $2 million gift to the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

There was also a $3 million pledge towards the Brisbane Broncos' new training centre, and $2 million to CareFlight, among others.

Following the death of husband John 20 years ago from brain cancer, Brisbane woman Beverley Trivett established a foundation bearing his name with the money they had made from a national car dealership chain.

"At that time, there was no research anywhere in Australia really," she said.

Last year the John Trivett and Cure Brain Cancer foundations jointly donated $20 million to UQ's Brain Institute as part of a $100 million initiative that also attracted Federal Government funding.

It aims to double the survival rates of patients within a decade.

Lyn and Bobbie Brazil at their Millmerran property.
Lyn and Bobbie Brazil at their Millmerran property.

Millmerran couple Lyn and Bobbie Brazil, who were among the founding investors in online booking company Wotif.com, also gave $5 million to the Queensland Brain Institute for work on stroke recovery.

 

"As we've got a bit older, we've come to the conclusion that it's a good idea to help out where we can," said Mr Brazil, who gave another $1 million to regular causes such as the Salvation Army.

Sunshine Coast couple Roy and Nola Thompson gave $3.6 million to the local university.

Roy and Nola Thompson have extended their support to the University of the Sunshine Coast. Picture: Patrick Woods
Roy and Nola Thompson have extended their support to the University of the Sunshine Coast. Picture: Patrick Woods

BIGGEST GIVERS IN 2017

1. Graham & Jude Turner - $20.5 million

2. Win Schubert - $20 million

3. Clive Berghofer - $13.8 million

4. Beverley Trivett* - $10 million

5. Sylvia & Charles Viertel Foundation - $8.5 million

6. The late Paula Kinnane - $8 million

7. Lyn and Bobbie Brazil - $6 million

8. Tim & Gina Fairfax - $4.2 million*

9. David Thomas - $4.2 million

10. Roy & Nola Thompson - $3.6 million

11. English Family - $2.5 million

12. Gordon Merchant - $2.2 million

13. Bob Bryan - $2 million

14. Gary & Margaret Pemberton - $1.8 million

15. Mason Foundation - $1.6 million

16. Clem Jones Foundation - $1.3 million

17. Colin & Margaret Roderick Trust - $1.2 million

18. Stan & Maureen Duke Foundation - $638,000

19. John & Beryl Neilsen Winchester Foundation - $564,000

20. Chris Wallin (QCoal Foundation) - $551,000

Donations and commitments made in 2017 or 2016-17 financial year

*In conjunction with Cure Brain Cancer

News Corp Australia


Local Partners