2021 QCF Emerging Philanthropist of the Year

Having survived a bone marrow transplant, graft-versus-host-disease and a double lung transplant, founder of Chimera Legacy Foundation, Damien Thompson has a new accolade – Emerging Philanthropist of the Year.


QIMR Berghofer is delighted to share that Damien, now 34, was awarded this prestigious honour in front of an audience of 450 guests drawn from all sectors of Queensland philanthropy at the QCF Philanthropy Awards Gala Lunch at Brisbane City Hall in September.

The judging panel assembled by Queensland Community Foundation hailed Damien as ‘an innovative, emerging philanthropist, whose significant early achievements embody the qualities that define philanthropic excellence, including outstanding generosity and creativity’.

QIMR Berghofer CEO and Director, Professor Fabienne Mackay who nominated Damien, said his personal story lies at the heart of his leadership and community engagement. ‘Damien is a selfless supporter of the transplant community and lifesaving medical research. His own lived experience as a cancer survivor informs his advocacy, fund raising and entrepreneurial approaches to get better outcomes for patients living with chronic disease.’

From left to right Clive Berghofer AM with QCF Award recipient Damien Thompson 

Damien’s support of QIMR Berghofer’s research has helped advance lifesaving treatments particularly by Dr Siok Tey who has progressed a T cell engineering method to improve safety of bone marrow transplantation, with potential to develop new therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and immune complications arising from bone marrow transplantation.

Damien, with his father, Bob Thompson travelled from Townsville to accept his award, and was delighted to meet other generous QIMR Berghofer supporters and Benefactor, Clive Berghofer AM, joined by Council members, senior leadership and researchers over lunch.

The QCF Philanthropy Awards is an initiative of Queensland Community Foundation whose aim is to inspire Queenslanders to give through philanthropy. QIMR Berghofer proudly celebrates and recognises the role of emerging philanthropists like Damien Thompson, established philanthropists and Foundations, and all avenues of community support which is helping to transform medical care and save lives.

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