APS client Scott Williams AM awarded prestigious Queensland philanthropic award

Australian Philanthropic Services (APS) client Scott Williams AM has been awarded the Queensland Community Foundation (QCF) Higher Education Philanthropist of the Year Award.

This prestigious award recognises an outstanding individual, family or family foundation with a proven record of exceptional financial generosity and volunteer leadership to one or more Queensland-based tertiary education institutions.

Scott is a successful Noosa-based serial business operator. He gives back some of his businesses’ profits to the Australian community through the Scott Williams Foundation, a private ancillary fund (PAF) established and managed by APS to maximise the impact of supported initiatives.

“A PAF is a purpose-built structure for donating that suits me now and is already in place when I kick the bucket, so there is seamless continuity,” said Scott.

“I like the fact that I can reclaim franking credits which boosts my donations considerably given the amounts I have accumulated over the years.  I can donate into the PAF at whatever pace I want and then allocate from the PAF at whatever pace I like (more or less).  That is a very useful circuit breaker compared to straight donations where I don’t have that timing control.”

Scott has funded bursaries totalling $375,000 to CQUniversity and University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) supporting students in financial need. The Foundation has also funded 40 students in the Noosa Shire undertaking an undergraduate business degree. These scholarships have been transformative in allowing disadvantaged students to access and succeed at university, which had a huge impact on their families and communities.

Scott joined the USC Council in late 2012 and has been its Deputy Chancellor since 2017. Before relocating to the Sunshine Coast Scott served 15 years on the University of New England Council, including as its Deputy Chancellor, where he donated 69 scholarships for a total value of $330,000.

Scott was nominated for the award by CQUniversity, who Scott has supported since 2018 by donating funds to establish the Scott Williams Foundation Scholarships and supporting the 2018 CQUniCares Annual Appeal.

“Scott has supported universities across Australia for more than 20 years. His advocacy and leadership are truly inspiring,” said CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp.

“His generosity provides disadvantaged students access to university, and the opportunity to succeed at a tertiary level.”

In an interview with CQUniversity, Scott said it was a great honour and privilege to be recognised for his work.

“Education is key. However, I also understand that not everyone has access to schooling due to their own challenges. So, I set-up the Scott Williams Foundation in 2017 as a vehicle to maximise the impact of supported education initiatives,” he said.

“For many years directly, and now through the Foundation, we have supported tertiary education from the ground up. We have been able to sponsor around 700 school-aged children, creating a pipeline of talent for tertiary institutions like CQUniversity.

“I have been very fortunate to work with some very supportive and talented people, who have helped the Scott Williams Foundation make a national impact.”

APS allows Scott to focus on giving, rather than governance and compliance.

“I chose APS to help me establish the Foundation as I was impressed with the credentials of the Board and the fact that it was an NFP itself and its fees were very reasonable, meaning more of my donations went to charities,” said Scott.

“It has been a pleasure working with APS. The service is extraordinary and especially considering the small amount I pay them as managers.  The fact I don’t have to worry about the legal and accounting side is marvellous.  I have no hesitation in recommending APS to donors like myself.”

Pictured above (L-R): CQUniversity Bachelor of Nursing student and Scott Williams Foundation Scholar Ms Shekina Plowman, Scott Williams AM and CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp.

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