Originally published on The Queensland Times

Springfield City Group today celebrated its 28th birthday by gifting $6.5 million to the Mater Foundation for medical research and health service innovation – the largest single donation ever received by the not-for-profit organisation.

Springfield City Group Chairman Maha Sinnathamby and Deputy Chairman Bob Sharpless announced the donation at a special birthday celebration at Springfield Tower on Wednesday.

Mr Sinnathamby said the donation 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 the 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.”

Springfield is home to the first stage of the Mater Private Hospital Springfield, which is planned to eventually expand to 1200-beds, and Springfield City Group is also pushing for the development of public hospital in the area.

Mater Foundation Executive Director Andrew Thomas welcomed Springfield City Group’s ‘extremely generous’ donation.

“Every day, 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 the 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 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.”

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