In the Shadforth family, philanthropy is a family affair. John Shadforth has been a USC Foundation Board member for 10 years. Not only has he personally supported scholarships, he has organised meetings on campus to encourage his peers to do the same. His efforts have resulted in many thousands of dollars going toward students who might not have otherwise gotten a break. He has seen first-hand the impact of student scholarships.
Thanks to these opportunities, students in financial hardship have been able to pursue a degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Their lives have been given a burst of hope.
John speaks a lot about hope. “I believe that education empowers people with skills and knowledge, and then eventually encourages them to give back to the community themselves,” he said. “Education creates a cycle of hope.” John and his wife Gail recently contributed an additional $15,000 towards the new Health and Sport Centre at USC.
“I have grandchildren who live on the Sunshine Coast. I feel that I’m helping to create opportunities for them as well as others—for learning and job creation. I believe our University will play an increasing role in bringing opportunity to our community in areas such as business, health, sport and art.” John is leading his family and community by example.
According to his brother Peter Shadforth, they were raised under a similar influence. “We were brought up in a small farming community,” Peter said. “Our parents were always active and involved in the community.”
Peter, the owner of Shadforth Civil Engineering Contractors, has also given to the USC Building Excellence campaign. His company has provided $10,000 for a new bike and pedestrian path connecting two sections of the campus. The new pathway, ‘alumni way’, is lined with native trees donated by USC graduates (see ‘Planting Roots’ below).
“The business has always said yes to help the community when we can,” Peter said. “My brother John was always encouraging me to support the University, so it was a natural partnership.” In coincidental symbolism, the two initiatives supported by the brothers—the pathway and the Health and Sport Centre—will physically link together and will serve the University community for decades to come.
Although they only finished university within the last eight years, proud graduates are already giving back to USC through the Alumni Native Tree Project. More than 40 alumni to date have donated $250 each to the Building Excellence campaign by funding new trees along alumni way—a pathway that will link the main campus with the new Health and Sports Precinct.
The trees and pathway are part of the Campus Enhancement initiative of the $5 million campaign.“This gift is just a small thank you for all the help and support I received when completing my degree. I never got lost in the crowd there,” said Grant Dewberry, who received his MBA in 2006 and is now a Relationship Manager in Property Finance at the Bank of Queensland. “USC gave me a strong foundation for my career.”
Tristan Kurz, class of 2004, was one of the first tree donors. He is assisting the campaign as the youngest member of the University Foundation Board. “The Building Excellence Campaign isn’t just about big corporate donors—it’s about all of us making what impact we can for our University.
All alumni and donors will be invited back to campus in December to see the new trees along alumni way, tour the new parts of campus, mingle, and celebrate the progress of the campaign.