From Weddings to Wills – how a QUT graduate is helping students succeed

First published 30 April 2020

Leanne met her now husband, Paul, at QUT’s predecessor institution, Queensland Institute of Technology (QIT), in the 1980s. At their wedding in 2015, the couple generously asked guests to forgo presents and instead make a gift to help financially struggling students at QUT. They raised just shy of $2000 – and their support didn’t end there.  

Leanne has been supporting various philanthropic causes and alumni programs across the university for more than 20 years. Her time as a QUT staff member working on the Law Founders Scholarship opened her eyes to the hardship students experience and inspired her to leave a gift to the Learning Potential Fund in her Will. 

“I want my contribution to be the enrichment of the lives of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, so that they can rise above, have better lives and careers, and pay it forward,” said Leanne. 

“For a while, I too was from a disadvantaged background and I experienced a boost through moral and financial support from my local community.” 

Leanne and her husband, Paul Goethel

Now running her own integrated marketing consultancy including a PR service that distributes hair fashion photography around the world, Leanne credits her Bachelor of Business Communication from QIT as formative to a satisfying and exciting career in media and PR. She looks fondly on memories of student and staff life at QUT. 

“I started my degree at the age of 16 and graduated just before my 20th birthday,” said Leanne. 

“The 80s were, socially, a magical time on campus with all of the best bands playing at the campus club. I am still really close with about ten of my QIT friends – friends for life.” 

Leanne went on to complete a Graduate Certificate in Writing and has since worked in the Creative Industries and Law faculties.   

“As an employee, the part I loved most was seeing students succeed – especially scholarship recipients and those connected to the Oodgeroo Unit.” 

Looking back, Leanne is grateful to QUT for her training, which has lasted the better part of forty years (digital marketing has her on her study toes again!), and as an employer for equal opportunity and professional development. 

“I strongly believe that education makes lives and saves lives. And I hope that my gift will help students worry less, focus on their studies, and access the same opportunities that I had.” 

Remember QUT in your Will

Including a gift in your will is an extraordinary way of creating a life-changing legacy.

In a world that faces increasing challenges, it is a means of making a genuine, lasting difference by helping to build the future.

For more information, see how to remember QUT in your Will or contact Heath Mackay, Gifts in Wills Manager, on +61 7 3138 7525 or at