Clem Jones’ Legacy & Medical Innovation with Peter Johnstone

Posted on March 15, 2023 in Not for Profit

In Episode 021 of REDD’s Business and Technology Podcast, our hosts Jackson Barnes (Head of Business Development – REDD) and Nigel Heyn (Founder – REDD) interview Peter Johnstone who is the CEO of Clem Jones Foundation (Clem Jones Group). 

We typically cover business, technology and cyber security problems. In this episode, we go one step deeper. We discuss Clem Jones’s important story, from his roots as a surveyor, right through to his impact on forming Brisbane into what we know it as today. We also discuss his significant funding of medical research tackling dementia, Stem cell research and how Peter Johnstone is seeing through Clem’s legacy today and into the future.  

If your business is looking to go through a rapid digital transformation project or wants to use your data better, contact REDD here! 

Recorded Wednesday 1st of March 2023.


00:00 – Start 

00:36 – Peter’s professional background 

02:27 – What does Leukaemia Foundation do? 

03:11 – Providing psychosocial support to families and carers 

05:20 – Who is Clem Jones? 

07:42 – Clem Jones’ background history 

10:19 – Clem Jones and Foodbank in Australia 

11:47 – Peter’s history with Clem Jones Group 

15:48 – Working as the CEO of Clem Jones Group 

16:44 – Stem Cells Adoption 

18:10 – Achievements as the CEO of Clem Jones 

19:12 – Stem Cell Project 

20:13 – Dementia Project 

22:00 – Philanthropy models 

22:49 – Promoting philanthropy in Queensland 

24:09 – Chuck Feeney’s contribution to Queensland 

25:22 – How important is technology to medical innovation? 

25:39 – Technology in ultrasound 

26:20 – Technology in Stem Cells 

29:25 – What’s next for Clem Jones Foundation? 

29:52 – Beef Bank 

30:32 – Brisbane Portrait Prize 

30:53 – National Parks Association 

33:55 – Philanthropy for Peter 

35:24 – End 


If you would like to discuss any of the topics discussed in this episode further with a REDD expert or if you would like to be a guest on the show, please get in touch either via our website, [email protected] or through any of the links below.  


Thanks for watching!  

If you would like to discuss any of the topics discussed in this episode further with a REDD expert or if you would like to be a guest on the show, please get in touch either via our website, [email protected] or through any of the links below.


Thanks for watching!  


About REDD

REDD is a Technology Success Partner business headquartered in Brisbane, Australia. The Business and Technology podcast focuses on the commercial application of digital technologies in business. Guests will include industry experts, vendors, customers, business owners and anyone with unique insight to share. We discuss and explore current events, issues and stories relevant to business leaders, entrepreneurs, technologists and everyone in between.  

REDD is a leading provider of the following services: 

  1. Digital Advisory Consulting 
  2. Managed Technology 
  3. Cloud Computing 
  4. Cyber Security 
  5. Connectivity 
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We believe, in the not so distant future, that people will not only deserve, but demand greater access to frictionless tools and systems that enhance and uplift their lives. Technology can create a truly blended lifestyle between work and play that prioritises mental health and wellbeing for our people, while increasing efficiencies and the effectiveness of emerging technologies in the workplace. We believe the future of work is built on perfectly balanced and curated tech stacks that seamlessly interface with the people they are built for. And it’s that future we’re building toward. 


You can read the full transcript below:

Hello and welcome to Red’s Business and Technology Podcast. I’m your host, Jackson Barnes,


And I’m your co-host Nigel Heyn.


Today we’re sitting down with a very exciting guest, Peter Johnstone from the Clem Jones Group. Peter, thanks for joining us today. Look, thank you. Let’s start back with your professional career where you first started.


Look, I, I’ve had a bit of a hybrid sort of career, a very proud of where I’ve come from and two, and certainly all the people that I’ve dealt with. But I first came into working for the Showman’s Guild of Australasia, which is the outdoor entertainment industry and people involved in the shows and carnivals and festivals, and a wonderful group of people. I learned a lot off them, probably some of which I wish I hadn’t. But on the whole, it was a wonderful experience and great, wonderful group of people, which then led me on to working in government with firstly the former deputy premier of Queensland, Tom Burns and on his personal staff. And then I was the CEO of the Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland at Toowoomba, the Tomba Royal Show. And that was a wonderful experience again, and some sensational people. And working with people in the bush and rural and regional Queensland taught me a lot about people living under tough and difficult conditions in drought and flood and fires and so forth. Then I was CEO of the Leukemia Foundation, and that was just with all due respect to the job I have today, which is a sensational role, but the job as the CEO of the Leukemia Foundation, it’ll take a lot to ever beat that, and it was a very hard decision for me to move on from that role. Well,


Let’s unpack that one a little bit from your time at Leukemia Foundation. I was wondering what did you want to know about that time? Yeah,


Well, Peter, it was 18 years ago when I met you. Obviously I lost my father from multiple myeloma and reached out to you saying, want to give back and help. Yeah. So share with us your time with the Leukemia Foundation. I’m sure you so many achievements and it was a great organization for us to partner and meet you. So yeah, keen to hear more. Yeah,


No, it is Nigel and wonderful opportunity to meet you, and that 18 years has gone very fast. We’re both younger than what we were then. It’s look, the Leukemia Foundation, vision to Cure and a mission to care, and we lived that every day. I’d bounced out of bed every day knowing that whatever I did that day was going to benefit somebody or some family, some carer where a diagnosis with a blood cancer had been involved in Leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and the Leukemia Foundation provides of course, free accommodation to people who have to come from rural and regional Queensland to Brisbane for their treatment or to Townsville and anywhere in Australia now where they have to seek treatment. The Leukemia foundation’s there for them, not just to provide free accommodation, but also to provide psychosocial support to the families and carers as well as the patient.


Often in those situations, the families and carers get forgotten where they’re on the journey, obviously supporting somebody with a diagnosis, and I know that that’s very personal to you with your family in the past, and it’s certainly something that we were very proud of to provide that service. And of course, the other thing was that was for the people who had leukemia today, but there’s also those people who have no idea they’re going to have a blood cancer in the future. And the whole idea there was to provide medical research funding to some great and wonderful people who bounce out of bed every day to put on a lab coat and look down a microscope and find a cure for blood cancer. And in the 12 years that I haven’t been with the Leukemia Foundation, of course it’s advanced incredibly. And today we find that when I first started with the Leukemia Foundation, I remember I was told by the comms people that you couldn’t say anything.


More than 50% of kids that were diagnosed with leukemia survived. By the time I finished, I was able to say 75%, and look, today, I think it’ll be a sensational figure. And that’s not just because of any work that the Leukemia Foundation does. It’s not just any work that PE researchers over at Q IMR or any of those other research organizations do. It’s a full community commitment to giving and ensuring that the funds are there to find those cures, but a sensational role. And it was just a wonderful experience to be a part of that and to meet so many different people. Often when I think I’m doing it tough for some reason or has it been a bad day at work or something, I think of those people who I met who lost loved ones, and I went to sadly went to many funerals during that time. It was a very sad situation, particularly if it was kids involved, but it was just an incredible experience to see their resilience and their vibrancy and to celebrate with them at the appropriate times and to cry with them at the appropriate times too.


Fantastic. Peter. Now changing gears a little bit in terms of your time now at Clem Jones, can you share a bit about what, who Clem Jones was for those listeners and viewers actually don’t really know.


Clem Jones was a sensational Queensland. He was a great Queenslander, very passionate about Queensland, but he was even more passionate about Brisbane. And so Clem was born in Ipswich in 1918, so he’s 105. If he was alive today, his family had immigrated from England and Wales long time before he was born, and his grandfather was the first port master of Ipswich, which is a bit interesting to say when you consider where Iwi is today in terms of the bay and the ocean. But Clem was educated at churchy here in Brisbane. His father was a brilliant mathematician and teacher Edward Jones. And today we have a scholarship at the University of Queensland, which is the club in Ted Jones, scholarship in mathematics and in recognition of his father. But we Clem went on from churchy to UQ where he graduated in the sciences and then became a licensed surveyor.


Surveying was his profession and he never, never left surveying. It was always a part of the Clem Jones group, and it’s very much a part of our DNA today surveying as well. So Clem became a Fulbright scholar in the late 1950s and went to the United States and studied urban planning and urban design and urban growth. Got some wonderful ideas there. And it gave him a passion then for being involved in local government in particular because he saw local government as being the real area of government. The three tiers of government, local, state, and federal local government was the one where he believed that you could get the most done for each and every resident at grassroots level, roads, rates and rubbish. I think he coined the phrase, and of course when we think about it, a lot of the things like Gabba stadiums and all the other things that happen around the state and federal government do very important obviously in health and education and so forth.


But when you think about it every day, your daily life, roads, rates and rubbish are really what it’s all about. And if your rubbish is not collected, it’s really bad. And if the roads aren’t local, roads aren’t in good condition, it’s really bad. So Clem focused on local government and he became very successful. He was elected as the Lord mayor of Brisbane in 1961, and he stayed the Lord Mayor of Brisbane until 1975 when he retired of his own volition. He never drew a salary during that time. And of course, he’s a legendary for suing the city of Brisbane when he became Lord Mayor. Very few parts of Brisbane other than the more expensive parts of Brisbane at the time had sewage, and that just went straight into the Brisbane river today. Of course, the city sewered, the improved health conditions of Brisbane residents went through the roof.


Of course, you didn’t have the disease of the night carts going around the suburbs and the roads were sealed and there was curb channeling. Brisbane went from being a small country town in 1961 to being a vibrant livable city in 1975 that we could all be proud of. And of course, every Lord mere since has been able to build on that. And there’s been some sensational Lord Meres that have come along since and they’ve been able to build on the foundation that Clem put in place. If he hadn’t done what he did between 1961 and 1975 with the councils that he was the Lord Mayor of Brisbane would be a very, very, very different place today. I doubt we’d be sitting in this type of building today. There would be so many things where we would be that far behind in terms of infrastructure. We think infrastructure’s slow today.


Imagine trying to sewer the city in the 1960s. So when he retired, he was appointed as the chair of the Darwin Reconstruction Commission for the next four years. And so Darwin had suffered from Cyclone Tracy. Yep. In 1974, Christmas Day, 1974. And the Whitlam government appointed him as the chair of the Darwin Reconstruction Commission because he’d been the Lord mayor of Brisbane during the 1974 floods. And they’d seen what he’d been able to achieve during that time. And then 1975 was appointed to that role. And the Darwin you see today has got Clem Jones’ fingerprints all over it. The type of architecture in Darwin today is very much that cyclone proof housing and that type of thing. And Clem’s recognized as being not only the father of Brisbane, but the father of Darwin as well in that regard. So he then didn’t retire. He was a businessman and he had a vast array of interests that kept him busy, including the Clem Jones Center at Karina, which he was the chair of for many, many years. He was involved in the establishment of food bank here in Queensland and in Australia. He had relationships all over the world with many and varied people, in particular in the United States, in the town of the city of Brisbane, California, as they pronounce it. Bush is really the gateway to Silicon Valley, which would be of relevance to you. It’s halfway between San Francisco and city and the San Francisco International Airport.


I fondly see that sign whenever I’m traveling in San Fran. And yeah, think back


Home. Well, if you called into Brisbane City Hall, you’d find a small statue of Clem Jones, which is a replica of the statue of Clem Jones that stands in Adelaide Street in Brisbane adjacent to City Hall, which I was able to present them within 2018 during my visit there. And so Clem had the relationship there. He had a relationship in Lars in Scotland and larges in Scotland. You’d wonder why, but that was the birthplace of Governor Brisbane, who was the governor of New South Wales at the time, and he established the state of the colony of Queensland and sent people up here to colonize Brisbane, and the rest is history.


So before into what the Clem Jones Foundation, in doing an amazing medical research innovation space, how did you get involved with the Clem Jones Foundation or Clem Jones himself?


I had the privilege of working with Clem Jones back in the 1990s, mid 1990s when I worked in government and there was the Clem Jones Community Recreation Centers programs, a great innovation by the government at the time. They wanted to place 10 community recreation centers in 10 locations all around Queensland. And at the time you could build a community recreation center, which is what we would refer to today, more or less as a basketball stadium, that type of construction where you’ve got multiple sports being played, change rooms, that type of thing. But they also became community hubs and community centers. So during a disaster, there are places where people can go for safety and security. So for about six months, I traveled all over Queensland with Clem and usually just one-on-one with him looking at locations for these community recreation centers. And it was a sensational education traveling with him.


It didn’t matter where we went, wouldn’t matter if it was dga, Minda, Longreach, Mount Iser, Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, gold Coast. People would come up to him, get cle, how are you? It’s great to see you and all that type of thing. He was well known from his days as a surveyor. People knew him of all ages and all generations. And I was totally inspired by that, of course, and in awe of the fact that I was driving the car for this guy and more or less carrying his bags. But what I learned from him in that six months, no education at churchy or anything you could ever afford. And I watched him very close quarters, how he dealt with people, how he conducted himself, always professional, always respectful. He was a leader. He was visionary in many of the things. He could see an area and see what was going to happen, what was actually happening on it in the years to come.


That was his surveying mind. He was seeing parts of Queensland back in the 1940s and the 1950s that a lot of people had never seen before other than First Nations peoples. And he was at the forefront of First Nations recognition. He was at for forefront of women’s sport, is a big supporter of women’s sport. Long time before it became what it is today, back in the 1990s and 1980s, he was encouraging people to get involved in sport, young people to get involved in sport. He had a mantra of get them into sport and keep them out of court. He saw sport and that was the genesis of the Clem Jones Center at Corrina. Wow. He saw sport and that’s why he was dedicated to this community recreation centers program because he saw sport as being the avenue for which people could get themselves from the situation they’re in into a better situation.


Of course, we see that today, but idle hands make for the devil’s work was another one of his quips. And of course, sport was something that engaged young people, be they male or female, and he saw a real gap at the time that there was plenty of opportunities for boys to get involved in sport, but very limited opportunities at the time for girls. And I would like to think that the success of women’s sport today is in part due to his encouragement and investment in women’s sport over the years. But that was how I came to know Clem Jones and be inspired by him and that type of thing. And he and I maintained a friendship that transcended probably two generations really at the time. We were great mates and I never asked him for anything. He never asked me for anything. But when he died, the trustees came to me and said, look, we’d like you to be involved. You knew Clem, you knew the type of things that he’d liked and we’d like to involve you in the foundation. Right.


So when you say involving the foundation currently you’re CEO of the Clem Jones Group as a whole, that was essentially what he meant is that you need to steer this ship in the direction that I kind of set the many years that you’ve been working with him.


Absolutely. Well, I’ve been with, I’ve been CEO of the Clem Jones Group now for 12 years. We talked about 18 years being fast. I tell you what, it only seems like yesterday that I started. But the group consists of primarily the Phil Philanthropic wishes of Clem, and that’s the Clem Jones Foundation.


Yep. So do you want to break down the group? What’s in the group now? Obviously medical research being a big one of them, but what’s in the actual group?


So what we do today is Clem had three medical research projects that he wanted to see his foundation involved with very simple things. He just wanted to cure dementia. He wanted to cure macular degeneration. He had that himself and he found that a very debilitating disease and cause he was a voracious reader and really struggled with it. And then the use of stem cells. And he was an adopter of stem cells a long time before it became part of the common vernacular. In fact, I can remember him talking about it in the mid nineties about stem cells. And of course if you heard stem cells back in the mid nineties, oh, don’t talk about stem cells, but he realized that stem cells were going to be the basis upon which medical research would advance to the point of finding cures. And so we also are involved with the stem cell project at Griffith University nasal stem cells, just to be clear, at Griffith University, which is seeking to regenerate spinal cord injury for spinal cord in for spinal cord for injury patients in paraplegia and quadriplegia and very excitingly with the dementia project and which is not far from here at the University of Queensland, the Queensland Brain Institute is going into human safety trials.


That’s an ultrasound and technology’s played a huge role in that. And then at Griffith University is the stem cell, nasal stem cell project, which is seeking to find a cure for spinal cord injury. And then down at Bond University is the macular degeneration project.


Wow, that’s exciting. Obviously you’ve probably seen a lot in the last 12 years. What are you most proud of that you’ve seen happen in your to at Clem Jones Foundation?


Well, all of the three research projects that we fund philanthropically are that, that didn’t exist before Clem Jones funded them. They were all startups and that’s probably a very relevant word in this environment. And he was the original startup, I reckon. I think he was a great disruptor. He was one of the best disruptors of which is a common part of vernacular today. But he is also a great startup. But none of those research projects existed before we were involved. So they came from scratch. They started with one person as startups do. And of course now you’ve got in some cases over a hundred medical researchers involved in the research. Without a question of a doubt, both the University of Queensland Dementia Project at the Queensland Brain Institute, which is an ultrasound technique to remove plaque from the brain and the stem, nasal stem cell project at Griffith University where they’re using, they’re taking stem cells from the nose and they then put them into a 3D organic bridge in the spinal cord of spinal injury patients with the hope that those stem cells will be able to regenerate into spinal cord and reconnect the spinal cord for spinal cord injury patients.


Those two projects, I don’t care whatever it is that I do in the rest of my life, but having been involved with those from the start, now I’m not a researcher, I’m not a scientist. I don’t claim to be, but I’ve been very involved with those projects day in day out. And having seen them to where they are and having seen the collaborations of philanthropy and government and the corporates coming into that has just been sensational. And I know that irrespective of whether they find a cure for dementia, there’s no guarantee that they will. But irrespective of they find a cure for dementia or they find a cure for spinal cord injury, both of those projects have led on to other areas of interest. The dementia project, for example, with the ultrasound opens the blood-brain barrier, a very novel thing to happen in the first place.


There’s many people who would never have believed in their lifetime that they would be able to see that happen. But the ultrasound does that, and this is a very simple ultrasound. It’s not an invasive ultrasound, it’s just the ultrasound probes on the head no different to any ultrasound that you would have anywhere else on the body. And they are looking there to be able to remove the plaque without inva anything invasive. And the plaque is, dementia is Alzheimer’s. That forms in the brain, and of course it gets around the neurons and stops people from being able to access their memories and living the life that they once did. Very tragic to watch or got a personal experience of it at the moment. And it’s very personal to me in that regard that we find a cure for dementia like it is for lots and lots of other people. And it doesn’t matter who I talk to, everybody knows somebody that’s got a parent or a loved one with dementia.


My grandma right now is actually going through the exact same thing. Yeah, 94 and must be really reward rewarding what you do, some of the stuff you’ve seen. Oh, it’s those big, hairy audacious goals. We kind of talk the bhag, right? Making people walk again while speak, fixing spinal issues and then curing dementia. That’s some definitely big hairy or audacious goals. I do you want to take the conversation next? Yeah.


So look, it’s interesting the model that Clem as a startup. So a lot of these things don’t happen without that philanthropy thought process. And we see that with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. So Peter, just talk us through, I guess philanthropy models. And I think something that the US do really well and we probably struggle with here, keen for your thoughts.


Philanthropy, government, business, corporate world. We often hear about government business working together. Philanthropy is a critical part of all of this because again, with these three projects now I’m just doing about three projects that the Clem Jones Foundation’s funded, but there’s a lot of sensational philanthropists in this state. We are blessed in Queensland with some very generous and wonderful people like Tim Fairfax, Bob Brian, and his family, Tim Fairfax and Tim and Gina Fairfax and their family, the English family. Philanthropy in Queensland punches well above its weight. I mean in Melbourne and Sydney you’ve got some pretty big hitters who are obviously involved in a lot of thing, different things. But here in Queensland you’ve got some really significant generosity coming from a very small group of people. We need to promote philanthropy in Queensland, but we also need to promote philanthropy, working with government. We need to promote philanthropy working with the corporate sector because we can get extra bang for the buck. Obviously philanthropy is not a never-ending highway.


The philanthropy is the genesis of a lot of the medical research that we’re seeing come to the fore now. Back in the early two thousands, the BD government started the line, the mantra about the smart state, and everybody laughed at us. Everyone said, ah, it’s just hilarious. Smart state Queensland. They’re not laughing now because the smart state is today paying a dividend to the people of Queensland and the people of Australia and the people of the world by having dementia projects like I’ve just talked about, having the stem cell projects that I’ve just talked about. But again, that’s only just a little splash in the ocean of the remedi medical research that’s happening within a stone throw from your headquarters here in Taang. And it’s important to me personally, but it’s also important to the better outcomes of everybody. That philanthropy is something that’s promoted very heavily in the United States.


As you say, you’ve got Warren Buffet, you’ve got Bill Gates. We were very lucky here in Queensland. Chuck Feeney came along as part of the spart state. And what Chuck Feeney hasn’t, in my opinion, been fully recognized for is he provided philanthropic funding for a lot of the buildings that where the research that Clem Jones Foundation today funds happens in. So for example, the Queensland Brain Institute, he funded that at the University of Queensland and there was an incredible, hundreds of millions of dollars were funded in Queensland to build medical research facilities and fit them out to allow the research to actually happen in it. If we hadn’t had that bricks and mortar phila philanthropy from the US through Chuck Feeney, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to fund these things in the first place. It’s as simple as that. So all credit to Chuck Feeney, all credit to Peter Beatie and the other people that have been involved in smart state because today that’s now paying the dividend that it should.


I think you’re right. The UQ in particular gets a lot of international people come over just to go to uq cause it’s got such a good name. And I’ve been to qbi, I did some work with the IT team there, Jake and Perenco, a macular facility of course, and some of the stuff they do. And I did want to tie this into, I guess what we do around technology as well, because I know the medical research, it’s very technology and data heavy in what we do. How important is technology to medical innovation?


Well, in the two scenarios that I’ve mentioned about dementia and stem cells, technology has been a crucial factor in providing to get to the human safety trials, to get to the human safety trials where we are today. The ultrasound, for example, is technology based. Without technology, without it, without all the componentry to go into that and the hardware and software, it wouldn’t exist. It wouldn’t happen because you’ve got scanning of the brain, you’ve got CAT scans, you’ve got all sorts of scanning going on, which allows for the ultrasound to be targeted at different parts of the brain. Just absolutely critical. There’s a whole idea of we’ll find a tablet or we’ll find a medicine that will clear the plaque and people are working on that. And I hope that there is success in that area. But that’s not technology based. In essence, it’s this ultrasound that’s technology based similarly with the stem cells.


So where the stem cells are harvested, they then 3D printing creates the bridge for them. So again, technologies come into that. It’s an organic bridge that goes into the spine and the spinal cord where the stem cells are placed because you just can’t sort of throw stem cells in the body and hope that they’ll do their thing. They’ve got to be very selectively placed. And they’ve discovered that this 3D bridge, so without 3D printing, without it, without technology, we wouldn’t have that situation that exists. And so it’s just so vitally important that technology continues to grow and works in partnership with medical research. I think you’ve just talked about your involvement with the Queensland Brain Institute. Absolutely critical that there’s a partnership between technology and IT companies with universities with medical research, it’s all a apart. It’s all a hand in hand situation. And when I think of my first Commodore 64 that were no doubt we all had and to where we are today and our phones and all that type of stuff, I’m just in awe of where technology’s come.


I’m in awe of people like Nigel who’ve really taken a punt on themselves and believed in themselves to establish it startups. And that’s been a huge benefit, not just to us personally in our daily lives, but to being able to put our shopping list on an app or whatever it might be, put right through to incredible things like this. And of course we’re seeing it in operating theaters around Brisbane where it’s playing a crucial role in terms of heart transplants and whole range of things. So very, very exciting. And my daughter, Bella, who’s 16, she’s in year 12 this year. She is looking at doing vet tech and she’s telling me the other day about all the different technology and how it all works and all that type of thing. And then I think about that and how that works in large animals or small animals and humans. It’s by the time she’s graduated from whatever it is that she does, technology will have advanced another decade in terms of those couple of years. So


What she studies in year one isn’t going to be relevant when she graduates with different technology for you.


So now it’s looks, it’s just incredible. But again, like philanthropy, it’s important that philanthropy partners with medical research. It’s important technology. Technology companies are involved with medical research as well, because I think that scientists the great, the ones who throw on the white coat every day and look down the microscopes and they see all the DNA and the RNA and the this and that, all swing around. That’s all very much their specialty. But it’s where that partnership with technology and technology companies come, bring that all together.


What’s next for the Clem Jones Foundation? This might be some things you can’t share, but what you can share. What are you working on?


Oh, look, we’ve got a lot of things that we are doing. I mean, we’re continuing to partner with our medical research projects, but we support food bank in Queensland. We support beef bank, beef banks’s, a bit of a newer innovation, but food bank is critically important in terms of the staple food that people who need food can access very quickly and efficiently and effectively, obviously. But Beef Bank is a unique organization. What they do is they buy cattle red meat from the vegetarians listening, this probably won’t agree with me, but in terms of they buy red meat from cattle farmers in Queensland, obviously at a reduced rate to philanthropic rate. They then dress that cattle and they distribute that to people who need red meat with the iron and different aspects of coming through in their diet that they don’t otherwise get. So that’s a great organization.


We are very pleased to be involved with them. But we’re also involved with things like the Brisbane Portrait Prize, which is another great innovation of highlighting Brisbane artists. And we fund their a women’s prize, the Sylvia Jones Award, which recognizes the role that Clemmens late wife Sylvia played in not only his life of course, but also in terms of the arts community in Brisbane. We’ve funded the National Parks Association for getting families back into national parks, funded little literacy and numeracy organization spelled, which has been great to be involved with them and on on the list goes of different organizations, sporting wheelies, which we’re currently funding in preparation for 2032, and ensuring that the Paralympic Games outdo the Olympic Games in terms of medals and that type of thing. And we’ve got a great time ahead of us in that regard. So we’re very involved with the Brisbane community, obviously not just in terms of medical research, but other things.


We also fund programs in rural and regional Queensland such as Outback Futures, which is a mental health organization which goes into rural and regional communities, rural communities in particular, and ensures that people living in those communities have access to quality mental health counseling. So we are very diverse. Just a bit on Just a bit on, yeah, just a little bit on, but no, look, very exciting. And I think really the next decade in Brisbane, next decade in Queensland is going to be a very exciting place. I’m energized by the Olympics. Our office is over at East Brisbane, and we’re very close to the gaba, so I’ll be keeping a very close eye on how all that develops. But I think that if we recognize and accept that the Olympic Games will happen in Brisbane and we all get on board with that, there’s huge opportunities for all of us to grow personally out of that organizations, companies like Red Digital, albeit the forefront of all of that. I have no doubt, and I think there’s huge opportunities for sport and the development of sport in and around Brisbane. Clint would just love that. I mean, he would be just so excited and he’d be shaking if it’s with excitement.


Yeah, that’s great. Really appreciate you sharing all the story on how you got to what you’re doing now and what you’ve achieved at Limy Foundation and the Clem Jones Foundation and what you’ve got going on next. It’s crazy to think that we actually had yesterday in here, Sarah Harra, the CEO of Food Bank Queensland, sitting in that chair on our episode for the listeners, that’ll be last week, last week’s episode. But I really appreciate you coming in. It’s really fascinating to see the crossover the technology has in the medical and what you do on a day-to-day basis. And listeners is a bit different to our usual episode. We talk about technology and cyber and business, but if anyone can reach you or wants to reach you, Peter, maybe they want to give back or find out more about some of the amazing initiatives you’ve got going on right now, how can they reach you,


Peter, at clem jones Do au. We’ll use the technology. Yeah, email peter clem jones today. You happy to talk to anybody about anything? Anytime provided it’s advancing the interest of Brisbane and Queensland and in keeping with the spirit and intent of the Clem Jones Foundation, very keen to talk to anybody about their ideas or help them in whatever way we can. It’s not always about philanthropy. I think sometimes, if I can say quickly, philanthropy’s not always about money, philanthropy’s about introducing people, philanthropy’s about obviously providing startup funding to projects that wouldn’t otherwise start up and giving them a chance, but also about networking and introducing people and giving ideas and sharing ideas or saying that idea’s not going to work, but this one might. Or if you’re amended, slightly adjusted slightly, this might work this way. So very happy to talk to anybody.


But no, thank you for having me on, and it was a great honor to be invited by Nigel to do so and appreciate deeply the friendship that I have with Nigel and over so many years and didn’t realize it was 18 until you pointed that out. Makes me feel a bit old. But even though we’re very young, but I think all hail to you, Jackson, and to you, Nigel, for what you do. And these podcasts are a great opportunity to educate and inform people from all over, and all your clients and all your network are so very important to do so. And having people a little bit different like me on is great to be able to give coverage to a topic that doesn’t always get a lot of discussion. That’s philanthropy. And as you can see, it’s very close to my heart. That’s the case. So I think that there’s some significant growth for your organization, for your company in the future. And as I say, the next 10 years, Brisbane’s the place to be.


Peter, thank you so much. You’ve been a huge inspiration. I know you’ve touched so many people, and that nearly two decades ago when we met, your vision was to make people’s lives better. Red took that even further. We want to make people’s lives better with technology and just what we can achieve in Queensland, Brisbane next decade. Really appreciate everything you’ve contributed in your time.


Thank you. Thanks Peter.

Posted By
Nigel Heyn
Nigel Heyn
Founder & Executive Director
Connect with Nigel on LinkedIn
Nigel Heyn is a passionate, business and technology centric entrepreneur. With a natural instinct drawn towards technology, Nigel, under the guidance of his father, successfully built his first desktop computer at the age of 8. This started a journey of research, innovation and technology exploration that continues today. Nigel has successfully built several companies, all underpinned by the desire to leverage technology smarts in order to positively influence business models and realise stakeholder dreams. Leveraging a vast network of global contacts established over many years, Nigel thrives on learning what best practices exist in order to provide digital excellence for his clients'​ successes. In order to achieve true success, Nigel understands the importance of building a team of the best talent available and thus welcomes the opportunity for those sharing similar dreams to reach out and be a part of the vision. In the words of Walt Disney, “If you can dream it, you can do it”!
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