Dr Soheil Abedian is a pioneer and not just in the prestige property industry. The Iranian-born developer has now been recognised as a leader in philanthropy and higher education.
With wife Anne, Dr Abedian created the Abedian Foundation Griffith Futures Scholarship which supports 60 individual student scholarships a year. The six year commitment is at an investment of nearly one million dollars.
An unshakeable passion for helping students and improving opportunities for those in higher education has led to Dr Abedian being awarded the Queensland Community Foundation (QCF) Higher Education Philanthropist of the Year.
His nomination was put forward by Griffith University.
“To be nominated was an honour but to be recognised in this way with the award was a tremendous bounty and I hope I can inspire others to invest in our future through philanthropy”, Dr Abedian said
He is indeed a man of action and also his word.
“I say be remarkable in love, be remarkable in generosity and be remarkable in compassion.”
In October 2016, The Sunland Group founder was on hand at Griffith’s Gold Coast campus to launch the Abedian Foundation Griffith Futures Scholarships for students excelling in their studies despite personal or financial hardships.
As he sat and listened to the personal accounts of the students whose lives were irrevocably changed by the scholarships Dr Abedian was so moved that he not only increased the number of scholarships he would provide but would also personally pay for a medical procedure needed by one of the scholarship awardees and provide weekly rent support to another.
“I have been asked many times about what inspired me to dig deeper that particular day and the answer is simple. I saw first hand how much it means for students to be given an opportunity to get ahead in life.
“Children are our future and there is no greater investment we can make in giving them every chance to shine and realise their potential”, Dr Abedian said.
Griffith University Vice Chancellor and President Professor Ian O’Connor AC was at Brisbane City Hall for the ceremony along with Deputy Vice Chancellor (Engagement) Professor Martin Betts when Dr Abedian received his award
“We could not think of a more generous and charitable supporter to be nominated for this award than Dr Abedian and to be ultimately recognised by the philanthropic community is wonderful.”
Professor Betts said Dr Abedian’s spirit of giving is a great example of leadership highlighting the impact of philanthropy to our students as well as the transformative nature of education to change lives.
“Dr Abedian’s affirmation of what we do here at Griffith is inspiring to all of us from our our staff to our alumni and to our donor supporters.”
I will never forget Dr Abedian’s closing words at the launch of the Abedian Foundation Griffith Futures Scholarship when he reminded us to always be remarkable in love, be remarkable in generosity and be remarkable in compassion.”