One of Australia’s fastest growing developments today (Wednesday) marked its 28th birthday by gifting $6.5 million to Mater Foundation for medical research and health service innovation—the largest single donation ever received by the not-for-profit organisation.
Springfield City Group (SCG) Chairman Maha Sinnathamby and Bob Sharpless (Deputy Chairman) announced the donation at a special birthday celebration attended by a restricted number of guests (due to the need for social distancing) in Springfield Tower this morning.
Mr Sinnathamby said the donation—at a time when medical research was at the forefront of the global fight to combat the COVID-19 pandemic—would help develop the next generation of highly-skilled medical leaders.
“Health is one of the cornerstones of Springfield City and any upskilling of a human being is what I value most,” Mr Sinnathamby said.
“Medical research will help improve the health of all Australians, not just people living in Springfield City, by potentially developing new medicines, treatments and devices.
“Through this investment in the work of Mater, we want to not only ensure the next generation of highly-qualified medical staff are trained, but perhaps we can reverse the brain-drain and attract back home some of the senior scientists who’ve left Australia.
“In addition, we want to attract the best international researchers to be part of Australia’s research activities.”
Developed on Brisbane’s doorstep in 1992, Springfield City is home to the first stage of Mater Private Hospital Springfield, which is planned to eventually expand to 1200-beds. SCG is excited about the growing presence of Mater in Springfield’s 52ha Health City and the opportunity to establish further healthcare services for the fast-growing population in the Western Corridor.
Founded in 1989, Mater Foundation is a community-based fundraising organisation that supports work in health, education and research.
Mater Foundation Executive Director Andrew Thomas welcomed SCG’s “extremely generous” donation, which he said aligned with Springfield City Group’s “vision”.
“Every day (during this pandemic), we are reminded of the importance of medical research and frontline health workers providing the best possible care to patients,” Mr Thomas said.
“Springfield City Group’s long-term vision for health is really enforced through this funding, which is the largest single donation to Mater Foundation.
“While the funding has yet to be allocated to specific programs, it will help ensure world-class medical research and the best possible care continues to be delivered to as many people as possible.”
Springfield City Group (SCG) Deputy Chairman Bob Sharpless—a recovered coronavirus patient—said the donation was the culmination of a 10-year relationship with Mater.
“Having beaten the virus earlier this year, I know first-hand the vital role being played by our frontline healthcare workers—and medical research—in the fight against COVID-19,” Mr Sharpless said.
“We have been working for some time towards making this donation, because we want to show the rest of the nation how committed we are to helping extend the boundaries of all the important research being carried out by Mater.
“We are a city that prides itself on our generosity and investing in healthcare, education and research—like those programs being supported by Mater.”
Today’s announcement also coincided with the 95th birthday of Sister Angela Mary, an award-winning humanitarian and member of the Order of the Sisters of Mercy, who is a close friend of Mr Sinnathamby and attended this morning’s ceremony.
“Sister Angela has dedicated her entire life to the work of Mater, and health care as a whole, for no reward - just to uplift society,” Mr Sinnathamby said.
“I admire her tenacity and her never-give-up attitude,” he said. “It’s a wonderful legacy we can all learn from.”