Simon and Michael O’Brien, QBI Development Board members, use their business strengths to help raise essential funds for research. 

QBI Development Board member Simon O'Brien

QBI Development Board members Simon and Michael O’Brien epitomise the meaning of giving back to the community. In the past four years, they have shared their knowledge and extensive corporate experience to help QBI attract philanthropic gifts and raise awareness of the vital research happening at QBI.

“My background is in wealth management and stockbroking so I felt that the skills, experience and networks I’ve built throughout my career may be of benefit in helping QBI increase its presence and continue its vital research into the brain and associated diseases,” Simon (pictured) said.

“I'm interested in brain research for a few reasons, primarily because it is one of the least explored frontiers. It’s also the most important part of the human body as not much else works without it, so the more we know about it the more we can do.

“I was drawn to QBI through the cutting-edge work that it’s carrying out and the quality of the team that Professor Perry Bartlett had put together, many of whom are being recognised on the world stage. I have also had a few friends struggle with depression, with one a tragic outcome, so experiencing that was a driver for becoming involved with QBI.“

Simon is also Chairman of the Sydney and Melbourne Young Philanthropists Chapters, which are working with QBI to raise funds for research into concussion and head injuries in sport.

Simon’s father, Michael O’Brien, joined the QBI Development Board after retiring from his role as CEO at his international logistics company.

“After retiring in 2011, I had more time on my hands and decided I was interested in giving something back, and keeping my mind ticking over, so QBI appeared as a perfect opportunity,” Mike said.

“I joined the QBI Development Board after a suggestion from Simon and a stimulating discussion I then had with QBI's founding Director Professor Perry Bartlett. Perry outlined the work he and the researchers at QBI were doing and the benefits that their discoveries would bring to the world. Basically I was hooked after the discussion with Perry.

“The core research is to provide answers to how the brain works and has the capacity to change the world. It's ground-breaking scientific research by seriously smart people delivering results that will benefit humanity. I couldn't think of a cause more worthy of support and feel privileged to have been a member of the Development Board since retiring in 2011.”

The Development Board works to strengthen QBI's ability to raise essential funds for research, to enable QBI’s valuable work to continue.