16 June 2016

The University of Queensland hosted its annual Celebration of Giving Ceremony at Customs House in Brisbane this week.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the night was set aside to salute philanthropy from alumni, community, staff and students and to acknowledge the innumerable lives that have been altered by this generosity.

“Philanthropic giving, broadly defined, amounted to a record of almost $66 million in 2015,” Professor Høj said.

“This is a wonderful investment in the development of future leaders, in teaching and research which promises to improve the lives of others, and in cultural enrichment.

“There are welcome signs of changing attitudes towards philanthropy, as more and more people think about their legacy to society.

“We need a critical mass of donors who make contributions of all sizes to engender cultural change, and I believe that UQ benefactors are making a significant contribution to that much-needed change.

“It’s wonderful to have an occasion to personally thank so many wonderful donors and supporters and to celebrate all that they do for UQ.”

Wotif.com co-founder Dr Andrew Brice and Jennifer Brice, renowned for their philanthropic support of higher education and Mr John Story AO, former Chancellor and philanthropist and Mrs Georgina Story, also attended.

Among the speakers was physiotherapist and fourth-year Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery student Mr Darren Vaotuua, who received the T.V. Stubbs-Brown Medical Student Scholarship.

Mr Vaotuua expressed his gratitude for his philanthropically-funded scholarship, which enabled him to pursue his dream of a medical career without financially disadvantaging his young family.

Second-year Bachelor of Education (Primary) student Ms Brianna Beckett-Casson also addressed the gathering, speaking about her involvement in the Young Achievers Program  which helped her to make the transition from high school in Laidley to university.

William Shi, third year Bachelor of Music (Honours) student, winner of the Donald Tugby Performance Prize and a Dean’s Scholar delighted the audience with his piano performance.

Media: Marketing and Communications (Advancement) Manager Mark Schroder, m.schroder@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 3921.