History of the Iwasaki Foundation

History of the Iwasaki Family's Activities in Australia

In the 1970’s, Mr.Yohachiro Iwasaki (deceased) established a substantial resort just north of Yeppoon, which is situated on the Capricorn Coast in Central Queensland. His son Mr. Fukuzo Iwasaki (deceased), then his grandson, Mr.Yoshitaro Iwasaki have continued this business. From its inception, and up to the present time, it has been entirely funded by the private family company. In the early years of its operations substantial financial support from the family companies was needed that was in addition to the capital required to build the resort. The family had a management agreement with the Rydges Hotel Group, then with the Accor Group, as a Mercure-branded resort. These companies managed the operation for some years, but the ownership of the resort has never changed. The Iwasaki Company has now assumed the management.

The resort is the largest tourist/accommodation operation in Central Queensland and is the largest employer in the industry in this area. It is about to embark on a major redevelopment of its operation.

History of the Charitable Trust

The Iwasaki Foundation (viz., the Foundation) was established in 1985, being funded by a grant of capital from the estate of Mrs.Yoshie Iwasaki (deceased), the wife of the resort founder Mr.Yohachiro Iwasaki (deceased). The Foundation’s directors managed to grow the initial capital substantially in the earlier years. Now, its entire operations are funded by the income generated from the increased capital.

Mr.Yoshitaro Iwasaki is the current director who heads the Iwasaki family’s representation, as he is the CEO of all the group’s companies in Australia and Japan and is also a Director of the Foundation. He was joined by his son, Mr. Takamitsu Iwasaki who became a director of the Foundation in October 2011. There are three other Japanese directors, one being the locally-based manager of Iwasaki Sangyo (Aust.) P/L Mr Shusaku Arikawa, the other two being Japan-based executives of the Iwasaki family’s companies Mr Tsukasa Kaieda and Mr Takeshi Mitani.

The Foundation is a completely separate body, and it is independent of the Iwasaki family’s Australian businesses. The Foundation has charitable trust status in Australia, and its operations are controlled by a majority of independent, Australian directors.

In its formative years, some of the Australian directors were Mr. BW Baillie, Mr. LG Duthie, who was the Founding Chairman until 1998, Mr. HR Beak who was the Chairman of Livingstone Shire, Mr. B. McCafferty and two Cabinet Ministers of the Queensland Government of the day, Mr. R. Camm and Mr. N. Hewitt. On the retirement of Mr. B. McCafferty in 1993, Mr. HC Grant was elected to the Board and is the current Chairman. Mr. Grant took over as Chairman from Mr. BW Baillie, who held that position for eleven years. The other Executive Directors are Mrs Desley Rial, Vice-Chairperson and Chair of the Grants Sub-committee, Mr Neil Craig, Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Sub-committee, Mr Chris Kennard, Company Secretary and Chair of the Bursary Sub-committee. The other Directors on the Board are, Mrs Lillian Lever, Mrs Vicki Bastin-Byrne, Mr Noel Rixon, Mr Scott McGregor.

The charter of the Foundation under its Trust Deed is to construct, establish, maintain, administer, manage and operate homes for aged, infirm disabled or needy persons; and to promote, foster, assist, encourage and sponsor the welfare of aged, infirm, disabled or needy persons. The income earned from the Foundation’s invested capital is used to meet these goals.

Subsidised Accommodation Program

In 1992, the Foundation leased the Melaleuca Motel in the grounds of the Capricorn Resort at Yeppoon and appointed managers to operate the facility. This provided a 50 unit motel, that enabled the Foundation to offer a one-week, subsidized holiday to eligible guests. Those persons were mainly older, disadvantaged members of the community, who met the qualifications of the Trust Deed. This operation continued until November 2007, providing about 1500 people per year with a heavily subsidized holiday. While staying at the motel, these special guests had full access to the facilities of the Capricorn Resort.

In 2008, the subsidized accommodation operation was moved to the Bay View Towers apartment motel in Yeppoon, where it continued to operate very successfully under a different operational structure, until its cessation on 30 April 2012.

The closure of this phase of the Foundation’s activities after 20 years has allowed the Directors’ to expand the existing programs, and to investigate the possibility of new activities. It must be remembered though that the subsidized accommodation program provided holidays for many thousands of deserving people from 1992 to 2012.

Charitable Grants Program

Since 2007 the Foundation’s surplus income has been used to make grants to many and varied charitable causes, especially those in the Central Queensland region.

From 2007 to 30 June 2016, grants exceeding $1.19 Million have been approved.

It is anticipated that the Foundation will maintain a high level of charitable grants in future years.

Tertiary Education Bursary Program

Beginning in October 2010, a further charitable function was added, and funding is now made available for Tertiary Education Bursaries to student children of financially disadvantaged families.

From 2010 to 30 June 2016, a total of 26 bursaries worth in excess of $832,000 have been awarded to students for university studies. These payments will continue for the duration of the students’ courses, subject to their meeting the required academic and needs-based standards. There are presently 16 Bursary recipients.

It is not the Foundation’s general intention that the bursary payments be used to pay the students’ HECS-Help fees. It is anticipated that the bursaries will be used for direct expenses such as accommodation, books, and equipment needed for the students’ courses. In those cases where students have no other anticipated expenses in any year of their course they may ask the Foundation in its discretion to use the unexpended part of their bursary towards payment of the HECS-Help fees.

The Directors trust that this provides sufficient information to assist in understanding and appreciating the range of activities of The Iwasaki Foundation and its founding family.