Outstanding generosity celebrated at Queensland Philanthropy Awards 

Fri, 9 Jun 2023

The awards ceremony was the culmination of a series of events in Queensland Philanthropy Week celebrating the state’s most generous philanthropic givers. Finalists from the Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Hervey Bay and the Gold Coast were among those honoured this week by the Queensland Community Foundation. 

The awards held at Brisbane City Hall on 9 June 2023 came at the end of Queensland Philanthropy Week and culminated in a gala lunch celebrating the best of humanity in seven categories – corporate, community, small to medium enterprise, emerging, innovation, foundations and environment.   

The awards are hosted by the Queensland Community Fund, a charitable trust that will distribute more $4.6 million to Queensland charities in 2023, and highlighted the impactful work of philanthropists across the state. 

2023 Queensland Philanthropists of the Year winners are: 

  • Maureen Stevenson (Gold Coast) 2023 Queensland Community Philanthropist of the Year, sponsored by Anglo American. 
  • Famin Ahmed (Brisbane) 2023 Queensland Emerging Philanthropist of the Year, sponsored by Perpetual. 
  • RACQ 2023 Queensland Corporate Philanthropist of the Year, sponsored by QIC. 
  • Wippells Autos (Toowoomba) 2023 Queensland SME Philanthropist of the Year, sponsored by Deloitte. 
  • James Teh and Michael Curran (Brisbane) 2023 Philanthropy Innovation Award, sponsored by QUT. 
  • Bob McCosker 2023 Queensland Environmental Philanthropist of the Year, sponsored by Goodmans Private Wealth. 
  • QATSIF 2023 Queensland Philanthropic Foundation of the Year, sponsored by the Public Trustee of Queensland. 

The presentation also included a panel discussion with Jonathan Thurston AM, Terri Irwin AM and Don Meij, Domino’s Pizza CEO and 2022 Corporate Philanthropist of the Year about philanthropy in Queensland. 

The Philanthropy Awards acknowledge those who have made an outstanding contribution to a charity or community services. Support includes giving time, generating funds and offering support within the ever-changing landscape of giving. Recipients will exemplify commitment, inspiration and leadership. 

Queensland Philanthropy Week highlights 

Earlier in the week, an event was held to launch the program and celebrated all nominees in the 2023 Awards, announce the Photo Challenge winner, recognise the General Fund grant recipients and welcome QCF’s inaugural Ambassadors, Tim Fairfax AC and Gina Fairfax AC.

Tim Fairfax AC was awarded the QCF Community Philanthropist of the Year in 2018, and Gina Fairfax AC was awarded the QCF 2022 Community Philanthropist of the Year. Gina was a judge of the Queensland Philanthropy Awards this year.  Tim and Gina are both Life Members of Philanthropy Australia 

“Tim and Gina are top of mind when I think about philanthropy in Queensland,” said Tara Castle, CEO of the Queensland Community Foundation. 

“Their giving and impact is as far-reaching and diverse as our own fund. I know they do a tremendous job supporting so many causes and charities, often very quietly. I am so grateful to them for speaking about philanthropy in the hope to inspire others.” 

Highlights included: 

  • Launch event hosted by Acting Speaker of the House, Mr Joe Kelly MP at Parliament House, hosting 160 guests. 
  • A record number of events held in Brisbane hosted by Perpetual, Philanthropy Australia, QCoal Foundation, Australian Communities Foundation and Multicultural Australia that hosted over 1,200 people. 
  • The addition of Multicultural Australia’s LUMINOUS Light parade. 
  • Philanthropy Week is unique to Queensland with several philanthropists and organisations’ representatives travelling from other states to attend events. 

To read more about this year’s award finalists, view the 2023 QCF Awards Booklet. 

Discussion Panel L-R: Terri Irwin AM, Jonathan Thurston AM Don Meij and Rebecca Levingston.