Don Argent is a highly respected finance professional with many years’ experience in pivotal finance and administration roles in Australia’s mining and construction industries. Though he retired from full-time work in 2011, Don continues to serve the industry as a non-executive director on the boards of global resources service companies, Ausdrill Ltd and Sedgman Ltd.

His most high profile role was as Chief Financial Officer of the Thiess Group through the eighties and until his retirement, where he was instrumental in turning the company’s fortunes around. The Thiess success story is now part of Australian mining and construction history–and Don has been hailed as one of the architects of the company’s phenomenal performance. 

An alumnus of the University of Queensland’s Business School, Don graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1976.

Don is emphatic about the value of education and its role in enabling an individual to control their own destiny.

“Study develops your capacity to learn, and then apply what you know in a meaningful and productive sense. I think the purpose of education is to encourage us to think wider. It’s the cornerstone of improving the world and finding a way out of poverty, “says Don.

So how did Don Argent become a donor to his old alma mater? What motivated him?

“I felt privileged to have had my education at UQ. And I was very proud of what Thiess was achieving–innovation in mining, engineering feats, building things high in the sky, under or over water, under the ground, and so on.

“From the early days of my 30-year career with Thiess, I just had this feeling, from within, that I should give something back. By donating to my old school, even a small amount, I can acknowledge what I received and hopefully repeat the process for someone else.”

Through the support of financial scholarships, Don makes a real, practical difference to individual students, who may struggle to afford the costs of studying at university.

For example, the prestigious Frank Finn Scholarship rewards hard work and supports continued academic excellence in the study of Commerce at The University of Queensland.

“People in Australia are affluent–we’re a very lucky, rich country. Construction and mining have to keep re-investing, not just in new technologies, but in people. Scholarships like the Frank Finn are a clear demonstration of young students using education to improve their future.

More recently, Don created a significant business scholarship for Indigenous students.

The Don Argent Indigenous Business Scholarship will provide substantial financial support to two excellent Indigenous students (one male and one female) enabling them to complete their UQ Business School Commerce degree with a stronger focus on their studies.

As a donor it’s great to be acknowledged and appreciated in a personal way, as I have been, and to know that the scholarship recipients are using this opportunity to improve their lives.”