Tim Fairfax was one of five Queenslanders honoured for their contribution to Queensland philanthropy at the QCF 2018 Philanthropist of the Year Awards.
Awards were presented in the categories of community, corporate, higher education, emerging, and small-medium enterprise (SME). The criteria for each award is philanthropy that is outstanding in its generosity, is effective and impactful, and exemplifies qualities such as commitment, inspiration, and leadership.
“Each of this year’s nominees and winners is inspirational. They show us how to create positive social change for the benefit of current and future generations. They demonstrate how creative generosity can help ensure our diverse and decentralised state remains a cohesive and compassionate society in fast changing times,” said Margaret McMurdo AC, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Queensland Community Foundation (QCF).
QCF Community Philanthropist of the Year: Tim Fairfax AC
A successful businessman, pastoralist and member of the Fairfax media family, Tim Fairfax has been a supporter and served on the governing bodies of the National Gallery of Australia, the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, the National Portrait Gallery, the Salvation Army and the University of Sunshine Coast Foundation. He is Chancellor of QUT and has been involved with the Board and Foundation of Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (QAGoMA) since 1996, becoming president of the Foundation in 2008. He was the 2016 Senior Australian of the Year (Queensland) and also director of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation.
Founded in 2008, Tim Fairfax Family Foundation (TFF) has distributed over $31 million in the areas of arts, community and education to build the capacity of rural, regional and remote communities in Queensland and the Northern Territory. TFF was ranked 35 on this year’s AFR Philanthropy 50, giving away $4.1 million in 2015-16.
QCF Corporate Philanthropist of the Year: QCoal Group
QCoal Group, an independent coal exploration and mining company, has supported a broad range of charities across Queensland for the past 12 years. The company’s recent philanthropic focus has been the QCoal Community Dental Service, now the Royal Flying Doctor Dental Service.
QCF Higher Education Philanthropist of the Year: Dr Soheil Abedian
Dr Abedian, founder of property development company Sunland Group, believes education creates opportunity. His philanthropic endeavours cover higher education, medical research and community services. His support for tertiary education on the Gold Coast has totalled $6.4 million since 2002.
QCF Emerging Philanthropist of the Year: Courtney Talbot
Courtney Talbot joined the Queensland Library Foundation in 2014 to carry on the legacy of her late father, mining executive Ken Talbot. She introduced an innovative crowd funding event which raised more than $20,000 in the past 18 months. She also established the Next Generation sub-committee to engage young people in giving. She launched the FLAME Network in 2015, which provides opportunities for young professionals to become involved in philanthropy. A significant SLQ (State Library of Queensland) financial supporter, she is also on fundraising committees for MS Queensland and the Brisbane Festival and regularly donates to local charities.
QCF SME Philanthropist of the Year: Thynne + Macartney
The legal firm is involved in a broad range of community interests, but their main contribution is in veteran’s support through the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation (GMRF). The relationship is grounded in history, with one of the firm’s founders involved in the recruiting of soldiers during World War I and the early organisation of Anzac Day commemorations. In 2016, the firm committed to donating $100,000 over four years, which is funding innovative medical research into the development of treatments for serious illnesses such as liver cancer. The firm also offers non-restricted pro bono support and advice to GMRF on legal matters. Thynne + Macartney embeds their philanthropic work within the organisation and encourages staff to become involved in all philanthropic activities.
Queensland Community Foundation is a leading state and national trust fund providing an enduring income stream to charities.