Clive Berghofer AM
Clive Berghofer was born and bred in the Toowoomba area and his rags to riches story epitomises what can be achieved by a lot of hard work. It is certainly an intriguing self-made success story that started when Clive left school at 13 years of age with little prospects for the future.
After working in a sawmill, then with a building gang, by watching and learning he taught himself ways to do the work quicker and more efficiently. Clive worked weekends and took jobs that others wouldn't and put his heart and soul into whatever task he took on. To this day Clive still approaches everything with the same vigour.
In 1964, Clive purchased his first block of land for subdivision along with the equipment necessary to be able to develop it, again ensuring efficiency in construction. Since then Clive has gone on to develop over 10,000 blocks of land contributing greatly to Toowoomba's growth over the years.
In 1972 Clive built the Wilsonton Hotel, Toowoomba, another success story. The hotel went on to have the largest licence fee of any hotel in Australia. Clive added a shopping centre to the surrounds of the hotel in 1976 and again added a new section to the centre in 1996. Having sold the hotel earlier the Wilsonton Shopping Centre has continued to be an extremely successful suburban shopping centre. In 2006 the centre was sold to Multiplex Property Service Pty Ltd.
Clive has also had interests over the time in a CBD shopping centre and designed and built a retirement village which was completed and fully occupied within 12 months.
Despite the enormous demands on Clive's time looking after his business interests, he still found time to give back to Toowoomba by being elected a City Councillor in 1973 and later Mayor of the City from 1982 until 1992. Clive was also State Member for Toowoomba South in the Queensland Parliament from 1986 to 1990. He was awarded an OAM in 1994 for service to the community, and an AM in 2006 for his service to the community through philanthropic support of medical research, sporting and educational organisations in Queensland. In 2009 Clive was recognised nationally as the recipient of the Great Australian Philanthropy Award.
Clive's principles and integrity have seen him rise from leaving school with little education to being listed in the richest 200 individuals in Australia. He still believes a handshake is his commitment that he will do what he says he can do. He has been very generous to schools, sporting clubs, hospitals and charitable organisations throughout Toowoomba and the surrounding areas. In particular, Clive has donated $10 million to Queensland Institute of Medical Research to assist in finding a cure for cancer. He has also made sizable contributions to Careflight, Red Cross, St Vincent's Hospital, Toowoomba Hospice and the University of Southern Queensland to name a few.
At 77 years of age, Clive still enjoys working on his developments every day and is on the job at 6.30 am every morning. Clive's heart and soul belongs to Toowoomba and his group of companies is 100 per cent locally owned, supporting local businesses and generously giving back to the community that has supported the Clive Berghofer Group over the years.