Two Queensland philanthropists have committed more than $18.5 million to a south-east Queensland conservation project, the Brisbane Times reports.
Flight Centre founder Graham Turner and his wife, Jude Turner, launched the collaboration with the University of Queensland at their Spicers Hidden Vale retreat at Grandchester, west of Brisbane.
Mr Turner, who along with being the founder was also managing director of the Flight Centre Travel Group, is also a qualified vet and an environmentalist.
He said Turner Family Foundation’s aim with the Hidden Vale UQ Wildlife Centre was to conserve the Scenic Rim’s natural and cultural resources and values for future generations.
“The objective is to deliver resilient ecosystems with representative, self-sustaining populations of fauna and flora endemic to the Scenic Rim region, supported by applied scientific research,” Mr Turner said.
The family’s contribution included building costs and ongoing research funding over 30 years at the UQ-operated facility for breeding and rehabilitating wildlife and protecting endangered species.
Turner Family Foundation spokesman Andrew Tribe, a senior vet at the Melbourne Zoo, said the property was home to rare and threatened species such as the glossy black cockatoo, square tailed kite, eastern bristle bird, brush tailed rock wallaby, spotted tail quoll, koala, Stephen’s banded snake, three-toed snake-tooth skink.
UQ vice-chancellor Peter Høj said the project and donation were extraordinary.
“This astounding act of philanthropy will create change for conservation and also for UQ staff and students for generations to come,” Professor Høj said.
Flight Centre founders pour $18.5 million into conservation (Brisbane Times)