Rockhampton engineer takes over as foundation chairman

FEBRUARY will mark three years since the Gladstone Foundation was formed to assess and recommend where $13.5 million in contributions from the three LNG proponents would be spent in the community.

Chairman Tim Griffin's big decisions for this year will include where the second round of grants will go.

Outgoing chairman Jim Petrie encouraged industry to embrace the foundation and get involved for the long term, as the foundation was now a perpetual trust that had the ability to be fully sustainable over a longer period of time.

Mr Griffin said the real challenge for the Gladstone Foundation was how it assessed not-for-profit in the community sector to commercial ventures.

He said they needed to ensure each project had "bang for its buck" but also that it would be sustainable and around for long-term residents.

The previous development of the foundation was working from a blank canvas, Mr Griffin said, but his stewardship was now based on a framework that was about giving to those that were most deserving.

"Everyone has the highest priority, but we are very methodical and transparent, so when people see the results they can know why (that choice was made)," he said.

"I've seen a lot of great volunteer organisations in my lifetime driven by a small select band of people, and for one reason or another, if that organisation folds, that's what we've got to try to manage - and assess the risk.

"We don't want to be putting onerous tasks on to people that add undue stress and worry."

He said the organisations that receive funding will also be reassessed, to see how the grants are progressing.

CRITICAL THINKER: Tim Griffin is the new chairman of the board of advice for the Gladstone Foundation.
CRITICAL THINKER: Tim Griffin is the new chairman of the board of advice for the Gladstone Foundation. Chris Ison

Seeking correct advice for region: Chairman started role in December

ROCKHAMPTON-based engineer Tim Griffin will be leading the Gladstone Foundation for the next two years as chairman of the board of advice.

Having lived the past 30 years of his life in Central Queensland, he believes social infrastructure issues around affordability and health services are important for the Capricorn-Gladstone area.

His official term started last month, on December 1, with duties including chairing quarterly meetings and telephone hook-ups with the board.

He brings critical thinking, a passion for the community, and formal company directorship expertise to his role.

Mr Griffin, who was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2007 for his service to engineering in regional Queensland and also ran for mayor in Rockhampton in 2012, said he was passionate about helping communities go forward.

"I've worked in the social infrastructure and not-for-profit side before," he said.

"We want to see these kind donations from the LNG industry; we want to ensure they're getting delivery for people that are long-term residents."

Gladstone Foundation

  • The three LNG proponents gave $13.5million in contributions to the Gladstone region.
  • The contributions are paid to a trust fund overseen by the Public Trustee of Queensland.
  • A board makes recommendations to the PTQ on the investment of funds.
  • The Gladstone Foundation board was established in February 2011.
  • It took three years to distribute the first $4.6million.
  • The first grants were announced in November 2013.
  • Submissions for the second round are still open

First grants

  • Anglicare Central Queensland secured $2.4million for its Stronger Futures Residential Care Program, which will build homes for teens who need extreme care due to health conditions, disability or challenging behaviour.
  • Medibank Health Solutions Telehealth secured $2.2million to grow its Online Allied Health Delivery program - adding psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists and diet experts to its existing online specialists.

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