The Iwasaki Foundation was established in 1985, funded by a grant of capital from the estate of the late Mrs. Yoshie Iwasaki, wife of the late Mr. Yohachiro Iwasaki who built the Capricorn Resort.
An important wish of the Iwasaki family was to encourage a good relationship between the countries of Japan and Australia, and to foster goodwill between both nations. It was also important for them to repay the Queensland community for its support during the many years of negotiations that lead to the completion of the then, Iwasaki Resort.
From the original bequeathed capital, the Foundation’s Directors have successfully managed to invest and grow the Trust substantially, and its entire operations are now funded by the income generated from the increased capital.
The Foundation is established as a Charitable Trust in Australia and has obtained Deductible Gift Recipient status enabling it to accept tax deductible donations.
The Foundation is completely separate from the resort and is independent of the Iwasaki Sangyo Company Australian businesses, however, the Iwasaki family continue to be involved in the Foundation with some members of the family being appointed or elected as Directors.
In the early years of the Foundation, Directors were known as Governors, and some of the Australians to hold the position of Governor were Mr. Les Duthie (founding Chairman until 1998), Mr. Brian Baillie (Chairman from 1998 to 2009), Mr. Jack Cahill, Mr. Henry Beak, Mr. Neville Hewitt, Mr. B McCafferty, Mr. R Camm, Mr. Mervyn Prove and Mr. Hugh Grant (Chairman from 2009 to 2019).
The first women to become Governors/Directors were Mrs. Maureen Olive and Mrs. Barbara Wildin who were elected in 1999.
Some of the Japanese Governors/Directors in those founding years were Mr. Eiichi Motomura, Mr. Riichiro Yasuda, Mr. H Murayama, and the late Mr. Fukuzo Iwasaki (son of the late Mr. Yohachiro Iwasaki, father of Mr. Yoshitaro Iwasaki, and Grandfather to Mr. Takamitsu Iwasaki).
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 first charitable Program of the Foundation was the Subsidised Accommodation Program. It was extremely successful and continued for 20 years from 1992 until its cessation in 2012. This program offered a one-week subsidised holiday to eligible guests who met the criteria of the Foundations Charter.
In 1992 the Foundation leased the Melaleuca Motel in the grounds of the Iwasaki Resort for this purpose, and appointed managers to oversee the operation. Up to 1500 people per year were able to enjoy full access to the facilities of the resort whilst paying a fraction of the normal cost.
In 2008 the operation moved to the Bayview Towers Apartments in Yeppoon where it continued to thrive albeit under a slightly different operational structure.
As the number of guests gradually started to decline in the latter years of the program, it was decided in April 2012 to cease the program altogether.
This then gave the Directors the opportunity to look at expanding their other charitable programs of Grants and Bursaries.