Australia Day

26 January 2015

87 days to go

Clive Berghofer AM

Clive Berghofer


Hardworking, self-made, down to earth and generous philanthropist

Clive Berghofer was born and bred in the Toowoomba area, and his principals and integrity have seen him rise from leaving school at 13 years of age to being listed in the richest 200 individuals in Australia.

After working in a sawmill, then with a building gang, he taught himself ways to do the work quicker and more efficiently. Clive worked weekends and took jobs that others wouldn't and put his heart and soul into whatever task he took on.

In 1964, Clive purchased his first block of land for subdivision along with the equipment necessary to be able to develop it, again ensuring efficiency in construction. Since then Clive has gone on to develop over 10,000 blocks of land contributing greatly to Toowoomba's growth over the years.

In 1972, Clive built the Wilsonton Hotel in Toowoomba within six weeks. The hotel went on to have the largest licence fee of any hotel in Australia. Clive added a shopping centre to the surrounds of the hotel in 1976, and another new section in 1996.

Clive has also had interests over time in a CBD shopping centre, and he designed and built a retirement village which was completed and fully occupied within 12 months.

Despite the enormous demands on Clive's time looking after his business interests, he still found time to give back to Toowoomba by being elected a City Councillor in 1973 and later Mayor of the City from 1982 until 1992. Clive was also State Member for Toowoomba South in the Queensland Parliament from 1986 to 1990. He was awarded an OAM in 1994 and an AM in 2006 for his service to the community through philanthropic support of medical research, sporting and educational organisations in Queensland. In 2009 Clive was recognised nationally as the recipient of the Great Australian Philanthropy Award.

Clive has also been very generous to schools, sporting clubs, hospitals and charitable organisations throughout Toowoomba and the surrounding areas.  He has also made sizeable contributions to Careflight, Red Cross, St Vincent's Hospital, Toowoomba Hospice and the University of Southern Queensland.  Recently Clive’s donations to Careflight Helicopter Rescue in Toowoomba surpassed $1 million. In August 2013, Clive donated $50.1 million to the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in addition to $10 million he had previously donated.

Clive, now 78, still enjoys working on his developments every day and is on the job at 6.30am every morning.