The Donation of Land

In 1923, James Mayne and Mary Emelia Mayne donated 693 acres of land at Pinjarra Hills to allow the University to expand its program of agricultural education. The University’s Veterinary School Farm is on this land and has been an important teaching tool for students of the Faculty of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Veterinary Science for over 80 years.*

A Move from Brisbane's CBD to Leafy St Lucia

In 1926, James and Mary Emelia donated 63,000 pounds to the Brisbane City Council to reclaim over 200 acres of land on the St Lucia bend of the Brisbane River. James became aware that the University would soon outgrow its location in various buildings along George Street in Brisbane’s CBD, and was spurred on by his personal memories of The University of Sydney. The first sandstone foundations were laid at St Lucia in 1937, with its doors finally opening to students after the Second World War, in 1949.

Their Support Lives on

In mirror wills, James and Mary Emelia bequeathed their entire estates to the University. The Mayne estate included the Brisbane Arcade, the Regent building in Brisbane CBD and their home known as 'Moorlands' in Auchenflower. The income from their invested estate, which in 2009 totaled $3 million, provides perpetual support for the Mayne School of Medicine, located at UQ’s Herston campus.

The donations and bequests of UQ's philanthropists, Dr James O’Neil Mayne and Miss Mary Emelia Mayne, were acts of extraordinary generosity and forethought. They have become foundational not only to UQ’s physical presence, but also in establishing UQ as a world-leader in tertiary education and research.

The Mayne siblings remain key figures at UQ, and are also remembered by the University through the James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre at St Lucia campus. Previously named Mayne Hall, the Centre now houses The University of Queensland Art Museum, a world-class cultural facility and creative resource, open to the UQ community and general public.

* The Faculty of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Veterinary Science is now integrated into the Faculty of Science


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Dr Freda Bage, Dr James Mayne and Miss Mary Emelia Mayne at the laying of the foundation stone for the Main Building, 6 Mar 1937