Award of Doctor of Economics honoris causa
Mr Graeme Wood
Graeme Wood is one of Queensland's most successful entrepreneurs and a national leader in philanthropy for education, arts, the environment and youth.
His visionary philanthropy is having a major impact in higher education through his strategic resourcing of cutting-edge research into global-scale changes and his support for talented students.
Mr Wood is co-founder and chairman of The University of Queensland Endowment Fund (UQef), Director of The Graeme Wood Foundation and Founder and Chief Executive of WildMob.
He worked in software development for IBM and NCR and founded a number of businesses before revolutionising the travel industry in Australia when he created the concept for, and co-founded, the online accommodation business Wotif.com in 1999 with fellow UQ alum Andrew Brice. Mr Wood retired from his role of CEO and Managing Director of Wotif.com in 2007 and is now a director of the company.
Mr Wood has received numerous awards including the 2008 Suncorp Queenslander of the Year, the 2008 Business/Higher Education Round Table Award for Outstanding Philanthropic Support of Higher Education, the 2005 national winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award – Technology, Communications, E-Commerce and Life Sciences category, and the 2004 Australian Institute of Management Medal for Management Innovation.
Mr Wood has used his entrepreneurial skills, his wealth and his position to give back to the community and raise the profile of philanthropy in Australia. He is the founder of the Graeme Wood Foundation, which supports youth, education, arts and the environment.
The Graeme Wood Foundation has supported the establishment of the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research. In 2007, Mr Wood and Mr Brice established The University of Queensland Endowment Fund (UQef). The UQef supports a number of programs at UQ including the Young Achievers Program, Wotif scholarships for disadvantaged students, research scholarships and the Frank Finn Scholarships for Commerce Honours students. Mr Wood is the founder and Chief Executive of WildMob, a not-for-profit, non-political organisation that coordinates volunteers for environmental projects in remote and iconic Australian destinations. In March 2010, he gifted $15 million towards a sustainable building to house a new University of Queensland institute that will target solutions for problems linked to global-scale change.
Mr Wood used his innovation and creativity to become one of Queensland's most successful entrepreneurs. He is now applying his success to bring about cultural change in Australian philanthropy, and is making a lasting impact through his commitment to education, the environment and young people.
Chancellor, in recognition of excellence in business and innovation in the travel and tourism industry and for his visionary philanthropy, I present to you Mr Graeme Wood, Bachelor of Economics and a Master of Information Systems from The University of Queensland, for the award of Doctor of Economics honoris causa bestowed by the Senate of The University of Queensland.