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Celebration of Queensland’s diverse year of giving

June 10th, 2022

A long-standing philanthropist, a West African refugee and the powerful environmental legacy of a national figure have all been recognised in the annual Queensland Community Foundation’s philanthropy awards.

Image: The winner of QFC Photo Challenge – Kindness in Action Photography award was Patrick Hamilton, for the BestLife Foundation.

At a celebratory lunch in the Brisbane City Hall today, Gina Fairfax was named Community Philanthropist of the Year. Sheriff Jalloh, a refugee from West Africa who arrived in Queensland in 2001, was named Emerging Philanthropist for his work in establishing two charities in his adopted home. And the late Steve Irwin was recognised for his range of environmental work, with wildlife conservation and the establishment of the Wildlife Warriors 20 years ago.

The awards, which are the culmination of Philanthropy Week in Queensland, highlighted the diversity of the sector in the state while celebrating some individuals who have made on-going contributions.

It included Carla Haddan, of Place Real Estate Agents, who received the SME Philanthropist of the Year, recognising her efforts in raising nearly $1 million for Queensland charities over the past 15 years. In just one example of her commitment – and motivated by a desire to promote early detection after losing her best friend to breast cancer - Carla raised $550,000 for the installation of two digital mammography machines at the Wesley Breast Clinic.

The Corporate Philanthropy Award went to Domino’s Pizza Enterprises for their support of its registered charity Give for Good through its Round Up for Charity initiative, workplace giving and additional donations. Give for Good provides donations and funding to 12 charities nationally.

The philanthropic partner of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital – the RBWH Foundation – received the Philanthropy Foundation award. Since the RBWHF was established, it has distributed $74.8 million, supporting early career research projects that have helped develop world-class researchers and changed healthcare practices around the world. The Foundation also established a Coronavirus Action Fund which raised more than $10 million and funded 10 research projects into COVID-19 treatments.

Brad Clair, who co-founded social enterprise PowerWells, received the Innovation award for an initiative aimed at providing affordable and reliable power to millions of people around the globe. PowerWells uses electronic waste and recycled lithium-ion batteries to provide a cheaper alternative source of energy. In addition, Brad works with disengaged students to help create these new products and provide the students with greater purpose in their learning.

Sheriff Jalloh established his first charity in 2008 when he opened The House of Prayer, a place for Africans and migrants new to Queensland, to get support, advice and referrals for services they may need. Four years ago, Sheriff opened his second charity - Open Hands Community Care - which serves as a social services ministry, supporting those who are marginalised in the community.

Gina Fairfax is well-known in Queensland: for more than 20 years, she has given extensively to support charitable causes, volunteered on for-purpose boards, and delivered Meals on Wheels. In partnership with her husband Tim, their year-on-year contributions to Brisbane Festival has totalled almost $900,000 since 2018 and has directly supported the commissioning of new contemporary works and enabled artists to live and thrive in Queensland. As a Trustee of the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation (TFFF), Gina has overseen the distribution of $54 million (since 2008), including substantial contributions to Queensland arts initiatives. Gina and Tim Fairfax AC were last year made Life Members of Philanthropy Australia. Tim was also named the 2021 Philanthropist of The Year.

The Environmental Philanthropist award to the late Steve Irwin recognised the enduring contribution his commitment has made across Queensland, the nation and internationally. There are now nine global conservation projects including the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, three conservation properties spanning more than 450,000 acres in Queensland, and an extensive network of loyal global donors and supporters.

Another of Queensland’s philanthropic stalwarts, Betty Byrne Henderson AM, was also recognised with the QCF 2022 Board of Governors Award for Outstanding Achievement. Betty started her philanthropy in 1987 with a major gift to QUT to establish a Fundraising course, and she has also donated to QUT medical research, the restoration of Old Government House and UQ’s Customs House, student scholarships, the Opera School at the Queensland Conservatorium, Glycomics research and a Multi-Faith Centre.

Full list of Queensland Community Foundation’s 2022 Philanthropy Awards

  • Gina Fairfax QCF 2022 Community Philanthropist of the Year sponsored by Anglo American
  • Sheriff Jalloh QCF 2022 Emerging Philanthropist of the Year sponsored by QIC
  • Domino’s Pizza QCF 2022 Corporate Philanthropist of the Year sponsored by The Public Trustee of Queensland
  • Carla Haddan, Place QCF 2022 SME Philanthropist of the Year sponsored by Deloitte
  • Brad Clair QCF 2022 Philanthropy Innovation Award sponsored by QUT
  • RBWH Foundation QCF 2022 Philanthropic Foundation of the Year sponsored by The Public Trustee of Queensland
  • Steve Irwin and the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors QCF 2022 Environmental Philanthropist of the Year sponsored by Goodman Private Wealth
  • Betty Byrne Henderson AM QCF 2022 Board of Governors Award for Outstanding Achievement
  • The winner of QFC Photo Challenge – Kindness in Action Photography award was Patrick Hamilton, for the BestLife Foundation.

From the citation: Patrick Hamilton has captured the strong connection and compassion between these two young women who share in their loss of a sister (for Sophia) and a support worker and friend (for Lara). Sophia and Lara hold each other in kindness as they share the make-up ritual bestowed upon each of them by their beloved Heléna. The lipstick is a special gift for Lara on her 21st Birthday from Sophia in memory of her darling sister, Heléna. A unique and loving friendship. “BestLife is fundraising to build a house in Heléna’s name, where young adults with a disability, can stay with friends and learn life skills for independent living. This was Heléna’s passion. Heléna passed away at only 19 years of age, leaving behind her little sister, devoted parents, extended families and a whole community she was so passionate in helping. She was an incredible young woman.” Patrick won $500 prize money and QIC will donate $2,000 on his behalf to BestLife Foundation as part of his prize. “

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