Heritage Bank and USQ announce $300,000 endowment fund for new scholarship honouring former executive

11 December 2020

Heritage Bank will partner with the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) to honour the memory of much-loved former executive Peter Cleary through a new annual scholarship financed by a $300,000 endowment fund.  

Peter Cleary had a 24-year career at Heritage, including a significant period as the bank’s Chief Financial Officer, before sadly passing away in 2019 after a long illness. He was also very active within Toowoomba’s service groups and his church community. 

Heritage and USQ today announced the establishment of the Heritage Bank Peter Cleary Memorial Scholarship, which will assist a second-year student from rural or remote Queensland area doing a business or commerce degree at USQ.

Heritage will donate $100,000 to help establish the endowment fund over the next three years. USQ will donate $200,000 in that time, bringing the total in the endowment fund to $300,000.

That fund will finance the annual scholarship in perpetuity. 

Heritage Bank CEO Peter Lock said he was delighted to partner with USQ to honour the memory of Peter Cleary in a way that would help others, which was in keeping with his selfless nature.

“Peter’s business acumen and leadership made a massive contribution to the ongoing success of Heritage Bank. However it was the manner in which he worked that made an equally important contribution, exemplifying the Heritage culture and setting an example for others to follow,” Mr Lock said.

“Peter was passionate about his work, his family and life in general. The respect he commanded, and more importantly gave, was legendary – this was a man who would never put himself first. His integrity was without question and his courage and dignity were never more on display than the way he tackled, fought and dealt with his illness. 

“Peter was also very active and well known in the Toowoomba community outside Heritage, and this scholarship will ensure his legacy is remembered and celebrated.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie said the scholarship fund would help shepherd in a new generation of financial professionals.

“The University’s business and commerce degrees provide the knowledge and skills students need to be innovative, strategic and adaptable,” Professor Mackenzie said.

“This scholarship is a fitting legacy of ongoing commitment to the region and industry as it will empower rural and remote Queenslanders to seize the opportunities that education provide, and we are proud to partner with Heritage Bank.”

The first Heritage Bank Peter Cleary Memorial Scholarship will be awarded in 2021 Applications will open next January, and the scholarship recipient will be announced in February. 

The value of the scholarship will be $2000 in the first year, with the amount rising as the endowment fund grows.

Peter Cleary’s wife Marie joined Mr Lock and Professor Mackenzie this week to witness the signing of the agreement.

PHOTO: Signing the agreement this week to launch the Heritage Bank Peter Cleary Memorial Scholarship at USQ are (from left) witness Marie Cleary, USQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie and Heritage Bank CEO Peter Lock

2020 Peter Cleary scholarship signing