15 May 2008

On behalf of the UQ community, I offer deepest condolences to students, staff, alumni and their families affected by the Burma (Myanmar) cyclone and the earthquake in the People’s Republic of China.

These events have caused incalculable suffering to people who have lost loved ones, homes, infrastructure, communities and livelihoods.

Five of our current students are from the affected Burma area, and more than 50 students are from the affected regions of China.

However, we appreciate that many more staff and students may have family and friends who are living in these areas. We understand that some people may be experiencing considerable uncertainty and distress as a result of the cyclone and the earthquake, and their effects on both countries.

International students should be aware that UQ has counsellors and international student advisors who are ready to support and assist. Should you wish to talk to a counsellor or advisor, please contact our Counselling division on 3365 1704 (St Lucia campus), 3381 1011 reception (Ipswich campus) or 3365 0046 reception (Gatton campus).

The University Multifaith Chaplaincy Services also will be pleased to assist people having difficulties in their personal, family, religious or spiritual life, telephone 3365 6439.

Members of the UQ community are also encouraged to support the humanitarian work of international relief agencies. You can make donations directly to the agency of your choice, such as UNICEF, Australian Red Cross, World Vision Australia, Care Australia, Caritas Australia and Oxfam Australia, who will appreciate your help.

We hope that family and friends of the extended UQ community are safe and our thoughts are with you at this time, hoping for the best possible situation.

Paul Greenfield, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Queensland