Toowoomba property developer gifts $50m to medical research

Clive Berghofer gets ready to fly over Toowoomba with pilot Jan Steen as he celebrates $1 million in donations to RACQ CareFlight.
Clive Berghofer has donated $50m to medical research. Neville Madsen

TOOWOOMBA property developer and self-made millionaire Clive Berghofer has made the biggest single philanthropic donation by an Australian.

Mr Berghofer has announced a $50.1 million gift to the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.

He donated $10 million to the institute in 2001.

Mr Berghofer is a former mayor of Toowoomba and is one of Queensland's richest men with a $320 million fortune.

QIMR director Professor Frank Gannon said this new donation made Mr Berghofer one of Australia's biggest individual contributors to medical research.

"Simply put, Clive Berghofer is a truly great Australian. He has single-handedly transformed medical research in Australia and we will all benefit from his generosity," Professor Gannon said.

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"Clive Berghofer has recognised that QIMR is a world-leader across cancer, infectious diseases and mental health and complex disorders. Our research can only go from strength to strength with financial backing on this scale.

"This is a remarkable vote of confidence in our work, and a mark of the man."

As a sign of gratitude, and in recognition of Mr Berghofer's long history of support, QIMR will now be known as the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

"We don't change our name lightly, but cannot possibly continue our world-class research without recognising the important contribution of one man," Professor Gannon said.

"We hope Clive's actions inspire other Australians to follow, to invest in medical research which has the power to transform our lives for the better. "

Professor Gannon said the funds provided a great platform of security to support current and future research and invest in the latest technologies. 

Clive Berghofer is a Toowoomba based property developer and philanthropist. Despite leaving school at 13 with few prospects, he went on to be listed as one of the top 200 richest people in Australia.

In 2006 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service to the community through philanthropic support of medical research, sporting and educational organisations.

One of the QIMR Berghofer's Medical Research Institute's three buildings is the Clive Berghofer Cancer Research Centre, a state of the art research facility named in his honour in 2001.

Clive Berghofer has also made sizeable contributions to Careflight, Red Cross, St Vincent's Hospital, Toowoomba Hospice and the University of Southern Queensland.