The late Dr Bill Siganto AM’s daughter Lisa, and wife Marie, accept his award for Community Philanthropist of the Year (left) and Kate Donnelly, Young Philanthropist of the Year (right).
The late Dr Bill Siganto AM’s daughter Lisa, and wife Marie, accept his award for Community Philanthropist of the Year (left) and Kate Donnelly, Young Philanthropist of the Year (right).

QUT donor and student named Philanthropists of the Year

The philanthropic leadership of QUT donor and former Deputy Chancellor, the late Dr Bill Siganto AM, and QUT Law student Kate Donnelly, were honoured at the Queensland Community Foundation’s (QCF) 2016 Philanthropist of the Year Awards in June.

Dr Signanto and Kate were recognised as the 2016 Community Philanthropist of the Year, and 2016 Young Philanthropist of the Year respectively.

QCF Acting Chair, Glenn Poole, said the Philanthropy Awards recognised outstanding individuals and organisations who assist community, voluntary and charity groups in Queensland, with the winners chosen from over 40 nominees.

QUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Development), Professor Scott Sheppard, said QUT was proud to nominate Dr Signanto and Kate as exceptional role models, philanthropic leaders and great friends of QUT.

“Their actions benefit all of us and inspire others to donate their time and money to improving lives and saving our planet,” he said.

“Philanthropy is a tremendous gift that unlocks knowledge and service that benefit our students, communities and nation.”

Dr Siganto, a QUT Honorary Doctorate, former QUT Council Member and Deputy Chancellor, was known for shaping vocational education in Queensland and Australia. In 2011 Dr Siganto and his wife, Dr Marie Siganto AM, collaborated with QUT to create the Siganto Foundation Medal as a major award for talented QUT Engineering PhD graduates.

QUT law student Kate Donnelly was recognised for her commitment to supporting others through philanthropy and volunteer leadership, and her passionate advocacy for climate change, community outreach and refugees.

In 2015 Kate co-founded the QUT campus advocacy for refugees, which supports existing action groups.

Kate also volunteers and serves as a Service Learning Coordinator for QUT’s Big Lift which fosters a culture of volunteering and support for regional Queensland and has volunteered with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, where she helped raise thousands of dollars to promote positive action on climate change.