Mr Maha Sinnathamby AM



Mr Maha Sinnathamby AM is a community leader, entrepreneur and philanthropist who has made an indelible impact in the field of urban development.

Rising from humble beginnings in a war-torn Malaysian village, Mr Sinnathamby originally moved to Australia to study in the early 1960s, completing a Bachelor of Engineering at the University of New South Wales.

He is best known as the visionary developer behind Greater Springfield, a thriving city that was named the World's Best Master Planned Community in 2010 by the International Real Estate Federation. Greater Springfield is the only master-planned city in Australia since Canberra, and it was described by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as a “nation-building project of national significance”.

The project began in 1992, when Mr Sinnathamby and his business partner, Bob Sharpless, purchased a 7000-acre parcel of land on the south-western edge of Brisbane. Mr Sinnathamby and his Springfield City Group went onto transform that land into a thriving city that is today home to over 50,000 people.

Reflecting Mr Sinnathamby’s passion for education, a defining feature of Greater Springfield’s growth over the past 30 years has been the development of high quality and accessible educational infrastructure, including 22 childcare centres, 12 schools, a TAFE college, and the Springfield campus of the University of Southern Queensland.

Mr Sinnathamby is also a committed philanthropist who has given generously to community health programs and in order to create educational opportunities for deserving students.

Under Mr Sinnathamby’s leadership, Springfield City Group commenced a partnership with UQ in 2018 to foster collaboration in the key areas of education, energy, health, and big data. This partnership has resulted in the establishment of two Chair positions at UQ that are responsible for leading important research in the areas of energy, and community health and wellbeing.

In addition to his entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavours, Mr Sinnathamby has worked for esteemed institutions such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. He is also the recipient of numerous accolades, including the Centenary Medal, the Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International, and the Medal for Management Innovation from the Australian Institute of Management

Mr Sinnathamby was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2019 for “his significant service to the building and construction industry, and to the community”.

Chancellor, I present to you Mr Maha Sinnathamby, Member of the Order of Australia, Bachelor of Engineering from the University of New South Wales and Doctor of the University honoris causa of University of Southern Queensland, for the award of Doctor of Business honoris causa, bestowed by the Senate of The University of Queensland.


Doctor of Business honoris causa