Queensland Community Foundation 2017 Philanthropy Week Launch and Grants Presentation
Minister Grace; our 22nd Governor of Queensland, Ms Leneen Forde; other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. Kaye and I are delighted to welcome you here this evening for the launch of Philanthropy Week twenty-seventeen, and to celebrate the many and varied successes of this year’s Queensland Community Foundation grant recipients.
And with this theme of mutual support especially, it is tonight appropriate that in acknowledging all Queenslanders, I single out, as it were, our Indigenous fellow Queenslanders, who have contributed so much to our rich culture – may I express my respect for them, and their Elders.
And so 158 years to the day since the colony of Queensland was ‘erected’ by Letters Patent issued by Queen Victoria – on advice!, I am sure our forebears would be proud of the warm and generous spirit which denotes contemporary Queenslanders, a spirit epitomised so magnificently by you all here tonight!
I particularly welcome our former Premier of Queensland, the Honourable Mike Ahern.
As founding chairman, Mike led the Foundation through its first nine years, and now, as Patron, he continues his commitment to this important public charitable trust, a trust which has made such an outstanding contribution to Queensland over the past two decades.
The Queensland Community Foundation has been wonderfully successful in attracting contributions, especially through bequests, and by its distributions, over those 20 years or so.
In my former role, I was most impressed by the Foundation’s capacity to harness bequests, which might otherwise have been rather sporadically distributed, towards indisputably beneficial ends.
The QCF has been a great success story! And a success, I emphasise, through its assistance to our less-advantaged fellow Queenslanders. Its success was no doubt sealed by the model, but the administration has been critical, and I congratulate all involved.
All within this distinguished group of Queenslanders present tonight thoroughly understand the importance of philanthropy.
Many represent sponsoring organisations which have made significant contributions to the Foundation; others have made or pledged substantial personal gifts.
Some serve or have served the Foundation as volunteer Board directors or committee members; others have provided support through financial or legal services or partner organisations.
In whatever capacity you have supported the Foundation, you have helped make it one of Australia’s most successful and respected philanthropic institutions, and for that, on behalf of all Queenslanders, I thank you.
Everyone here, I suggest, will have applauded the announcement last month that Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest and Mrs Forrest had made the largest philanthropic donation by any living person in Australian history. I hope the Forrests have established a precedent, like the Gates family in the US…
The Forrest’s most recent gift helped bring valuable public attention to the importance of philanthropy, and here in Queensland served as a reminder of our own champions of generosity, from the Mayne family’s gift of land to The University of Queensland almost one hundred years ago, through many fine twentieth century role models, to contemporary philanthropists.
From Friday, when Philanthropy Week begins, we will all have the opportunity to celebrate that humanitarian legacy and ensure its future by encouraging support for the many charities and community organisations helping create a better life for all Queenslanders.
Among those many organisations are those receiving grants tonight – some of which I am Patron!
That number of organisations – as well as the breadth of community needs they cover – is further evidence, if we needed it, of the vital contribution to the advancement of our State of the Queensland Community Foundation.
Kaye and I thank the Foundation, congratulate each of you on your contributions to its success, and look forward to speaking to many of you during the course of this evening.