18 October 2016

Workplace giving is a rewarding experience at the best of times; but for Leigh Briggs, her fortnightly gift through her pay at BDO takes on special meaning.

Leigh gives to the QUT Learning Potential Fund (LPF), a perpetual endowment which provides scholarships to students facing financial disadvantage – support Leigh herself was a recipient of just a few years ago.

Upon her graduation from a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) in 2017, Leigh will have achieved something she once questioned the possibility of, given she was facing the prospect of simultaneous study, work and raising her three children.

She began to see the results of her hard work earlier this year when she was hired by BDO to work as an analyst in their forensics team.

Having always aspired to one day become a donor to LPF herself, Leigh was thrilled to learn that BDO offers a workplace giving program in support of the Fund – giving her the opportunity to pay her own experience forward.

“I know how important this scholarship was to me. It really, really helped me. I had nothing and wasn’t sure how I was going to do it – then I received a letter saying I’d gotten the scholarship and I was so relieved I didn’t have to stop studying,” says Leigh.

“It can be only a small amount for someone to give, but it’s really huge to someone that needs it.”

BDO established the BDO Learning Potential Fund Scholarships in 2015 to provide support to disadvantaged students undertaking a Bachelor of Business (Accountancy) or Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Laws (Honours).

BDO Partner Bernard Curran (right) with LPF recipients Samantha and Josh at the launch of the BDO Learning Potential Fund Scholarships.

QUT Alumnus and BDO Partner Bernard Curran said Leigh’s presence in the BDO team brought home the positive impact of the LPF.

“Sometimes it is easy for people like me to forget how privileged we are and the benefits of our own education gifted to us by our parents and the communities around us,” says Bernard.

“Having Leigh join BDO has made the real world connection of the scholarship from QUT’s LPF to the workforce. She brings wonderful humility and empathy for others which fits into our firm’s values and culture. Not only has Leigh settled into her professional role in our forensics team extremely well but she volunteered to join our Workplace Giving Committee.”

With her graduation drawing ever-nearer, Leigh says she’s realised the true impact of LPF is not only the ability to reach educational goals, but the power that education has to change a life.

“You can change someone’s life through education. I’m changing my life through education – and I’m nearly there,” says Leigh.

“Intelligence does not discriminate. You shouldn’t be unable to go ahead with your dream because you can’t afford it.”