Greater Springfield visionaries and founders Maha Sinnathamby AM and Bob Sharpless were last night inducted to the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame.
The prestigious accolade for the business partners of more than 35 years, honoured Mr Sinnathamby and Mr Sharpless for their visionary entrepreneurship in creating Australia’s first privately-constructed city.
Mr Sinnathamby and Mr Sharpless were recognised for their incredible achievement in front of 800 guests from Queensland’s business community at a gala dinner at Brisbane’s Convention Centre.
Now in its 11th year, the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame was established by the QUT Business School, State Library of Queensland and the Queensland Library Foundation to recognise the significant contributions made by businesses and their leaders to the state’s reputation, and economic and social development.
Mr Sinnathamby and Mr Sharpless have been the visionaries and drivers behind creating Greater Springfield – an undertaking which former Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, described as a “nation-building project of national significance.”
The city is now 27 years in the making, with a population of more than 41,000 and a predicted growth rate of seven percent per annum over the next two decades.
When Mr Sinnathamby first came across the parcel of land now known as Greater Springfield, it was a corridor deemed as economically and socially depressed, with only 10 percent of the land zoned for residential development.
Fast-forward to today, Australia’s newest emerging city is part of the fastest growing region in South-East Queensland and is home to 11 schools with 15,000 students, a TAFE, the University of Southern Queensland and Mater Springfield Private Hospital.
Mr Sinnathamby said while he was extremely proud to accept the award with Mr Sharpless, the success of Greater Springfield was the result of a collaborative effort of many individuals.
“While this is humbling recognition for my business partner and me, we must also pay tribute to the many hundreds of people who helped build this city and the 41,000 residents who now call Greater Springfield home,” Mr Sinnathamby said.
“Being inducted to the Hall of Fame is an acknowledgement and testimony that with passion and dedication and a never-give-up attitude, anyone can benefit from this great state.”
Mr Sharpless said he was incredibly proud to bring Greater Springfield to life.
“In building our community, we are very strongly committed to the enhancement of human and social capital,” he said “We believe education and training lay at the heart of uplifting people and, to achieve that, we have put an enormous amount of energy and resources behind education.”
Hall of Fame Chairman Ken MacDonald said the 11th year of the awards had highlighted the diversity of leadership in Queensland.
“At their core, this year’s inductees have succeeded because of the trust they have held in themselves and in others,” Mr MacDonald said.
“Many of them have weathered financial storms that have led them to redefine who they are. It is the kind of resilience for which our state is renowned and is on display each year at these awards.”
Last night six business leaders were inducted to the Hall of Fame for 2019.
Under the awards, inductees are assessed on five main criteria – sustained leadership, major financial contributions, pioneering, outstanding contribution and achievement of iconic status.