The Learning Potential Fund:  Coming to a young man’s aid

The Learning Potential Fund: Coming to a young man’s aid

Daniel worked hard at school to get into QUT. He’s in the second year of a pharmacy degree and doing well.

Daniel had to survive years of family turmoil to get here. At one point he, his mum and siblings found refuge in a garage after discovering a local domestic violence shelter was for females only. They lost all of their belongings in
this move.

Despite everything that occured at this time, Daniel continued to work hard to succeed in Year 12. He felt honoured to have been appointed school captain and managed to achieve high grades in Maths C, Maths B, physics, chemistry and graphics—all the while having no access to the internet at his North Queensland home.

LPF ambassadors
Daniel (right) with fellow Learning Potential Fund ambassadors (L-R), Tia, Christopher and Tamara.

“I admit, the stresses I faced were greater than those of the typical Year 12 student, but I didn’t want to let myself develop a victim mentality,” said Daniel.

“I remember only having a $50 budget for my Year 12 formal but when you don’t have a lot of money you have to get creative. I found myself a jacket and borrowed a supermarket trolley so my formal partner could arrive in style!”

At year’s end, Daniel won a place at QUT, but a lack of money meant he was on the verge of putting off his studies so he could work to support himself.

“After Mum had flown me down to Brisbane and I settled into a place to stay, I was left with $60 in my pocket,” he said.

“At just the right time the people from the Learning Potential Fund got in touch and told me I’d qualified for a Tim Fairfax Scholarship, which meant I gained the financial support I desperately needed.

“From waking up every day thinking ‘What next?’ and wondering how I’d buy food and pay rent, I was suddenly able to stop worrying. It was a sort of miracle,” Daniel said.

Daniel speaking
Daniel speaking at the QUT Staff Giving Morning Tea.

“I realised the funds were just a small part of what I was gaining. I actually received much-needed rehabilitation and healing.”

Daniel is thankful for the support he has received from kind strangers who donate to the QUT Learning Potential Fund (LPF).

LPF Committee Chair, Dr Hugh Nalder, recognises the inspiration the scholarship provides goes far beyond the financial support.

“What often drives someone to continue their education despite the huge challenges they face, is the knowledge that a stranger somewhere believes in them enough to put their money behind them,” said Dr Nalder.

Since it was launched in 1998, the LPF has awarded scholarships and bursaries to support more than 15 000 students. Every dollar donated by an individual or organisation is matched by QUT.

Each year, the LPF supports more than 2300 disadvantaged students. To continue providing opportunities to students to realise their potential, QUT is doubling its efforts to grow the fund from $50 million to $100 million in the next few years.

To offer your support, please make a gift to the LPF online or complete the donation form on the magazine coversheet.

Learning Potential Fund is award winning

The QUT Learning Potential Fund was recently recognised at the Universities Australia Marketing, Communications and Development Awards, receiving Best Fundraising Campaign or Initiative – Established.

The judging panel praised the fund, saying:

“It goes right to the heart of what QUT stands for—social justice, opportunity for non-traditional learners, and widening participation for under-represented groups … An inspiring example of great fundraising that powerfully projects the university’s values.”

The panel also recognised the wide impact of the program, which expands far beyond the benefits of scholarships for disadvantaged students by inviting them to take part in a student ambassador program. The fund is also the driving force behind what is the largest staff giving program in the sector.

If you’d like to find out more about the QUT Learning Potential Fund, please visit

You can also make a gift to the fund by visiting or completing the donation form on the magazine coversheet.