Toowoomba business icon earns Australian of the Year nod
TOOWOOMBA philanthropist and property tycoon Clive Berghofer is on track to being named the 2020 Australian of the Year.
Mr Berghofer is one of four finalists in the Queensland Australian of the Year awards.
He is up against neonatologist Dr David Cartwright, social entrepreneur Rachel Downie and writer Monty Boori Pryor.
If successful in the Queensland round Mr Berghofer will become the state entrant in the national awards, decided at the National Arboretum in Canberra on January 25, 2020.
Mr Berghofer had known for the past three weeks that he was state finalist but had to keep the news secret.
"It feels very good to be on the shortlist," he said.
Mr Berghofer has one of the most recognisable names in Toowoomba.
It adorns countless stadiums, halls and hospital wings thanks to his long record of charitable donations.
Health has always been a focus, with more than $60 million donated to the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.
He left school at the age of 13 and took a job in construction.
In 1964 Mr Berghofer bought his first block of land for subdivision along with the equipment to develop it.
Since then he has developed more than 10,000 blocks.
Toowoomba Base Services co-ordinator Tiffany Spary was also named a finalist in Queensland Local Hero category.