Continuing success at UQ for Young Achievers

The UQ Young Achievers Program offers a valuable support framework, designed to enable participants to reach their tertiary goals.




Heidi Lithgow

Accommodating new program for young achievers

The University of Queensland’s Young Achievers Program has joined forces with Atira student accommodation to help students achieve their education dreams.

UQ Office of Domestic Student Recruitment Director Steve Forster said six fully-funded residential accommodation scholarships were created as part of a partnership signed in December 2017.

“The partnership between UQ and Atira is providing great opportunities for deserving Young Achievers students during their first year of study,” Mr Forster said. Read More

LEAD Scholarship applications now open for 2018 entry

For students dreaming of a career in law, studying at Queensland’s premier law school may be more accessible than they think. The TC Beirne School of Law recognises that many of the best and brightest have overcome significant hurdles, and believes that they should be given the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Read More…

$2 million donation to create opportunities for law students

A $2 million donation from the University of Queensland Endowment Fund (UQef) will create opportunities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds to study at UQ’s prestigious TC Beirne School of Law.

Fund chair Mr David Goffage said up to 15 students would receive the Leadership, Excellence and Diversity (LEAD) Scholarship from 2017.

Each recipient would be granted $7000 a year for up to five years, conditional upon them being granted a place in the program through the normal QTAC application process.

“It will be aimed at students from non-selective Australian state schools, rural and remote areas, low income, Indigenous or refugee families or those who are the first in their family to attend university,” Mr Goffage said.

School head and Dean of Law Professor Sarah Derrington said she hoped the vision and support of the endowment fund and business community donors would inspire further philanthropic contributions to ensure the program’s longevity.

“We are striving to position TC Beirne School of Law as Australia’s leading law school, and we will not achieve this without ensuring our student population includes those from educationally disadvantaged and culturally diverse backgrounds,” Professor Derrington said.

“One of the major hurdles for financially disadvantaged students is the cost of living while undertaking a full-time degree.

“The LEAD Scholarship will provide successful applicants with $7000 each year for up to five years, to assist towards the cost of undertaking a Bachelor of Laws (Hons), alleviating to some extent the imperative to work to survive.

“Recipients will receive priority access to valuable internship opportunities and access to academic and tutorial assistance offered through the UQ residential colleges, and professional networking opportunities.”

Professor Derrington said a reduced annual student intake and increased cut-off score requirements for undergraduate admission was part of a significant refocusing for the school to ensure a more personalised, innovative and world-leading experience for students.

A $33 million refurbishment of the school’s historic Forgan Smith building premises will create a state-of-the art teaching and research facility and is due for completion early next year.

The UQef is a private fund that was established in 2008 by founders Andrew Brice and Graeme Wood.

Further information about the LEAD scholarship program is here.
Media: Alysha Hilevuo,, +61 7 3346 9349, + 61 428 884 097




UQef Helps Fund World Class Synthetic Fields


Athletes across Brisbane will now have access to two state-of-the-art synthetic fields with the opening of The University of Queensland’s new sporting precinct.

The world-class sports facility, located next to the UQ Centre, is part of a $24 million development funded by the University, in collaboration with UQ Sport and UQ Endowment Fund.

The precinct includes two multi-use synthetic fields which feature player dugouts, digital scoreboards and LED lighting.

The south field is an International Hockey Federation (FIH)-accredited hockey pitch and the north field is both a FIFA 1 Star-approved soccer field and FIH-certified hockey pitch.

The fields can be used for an array of sports, including hockey, soccer, touch football, lacrosse, and ultimate disc, as well as athletics sprint training.

UQ Sport chief executive Bryan Pryde said the new facilities, which have been in development since mid-2014, will alleviate congestion across UQ’s playing fields, and significantly boost athlete participation numbers.

“These two first-rate fields will not only benefit the UQ community and UQ sporting clubs, but also sporting groups throughout Brisbane and South East Queensland,” Mr Pryde said.

“The high-quality synthetic turf is laid over shock pads to help reduce injury, and field quality will always be consistent.

“The fields are more durable than grass ones, so there are no capacity issues.

“This means we can use the artificial fields more, and reduce the impact on our grass fields, improving sporting facilities across campus.”

A total of 12 sprinklers will water and cool the playing fields, ensuring faster ball movement and reduced friction for players.

The facility also features a central hub that caters to athletes, supporters and function guests.

The three-storey building includes eight changing rooms, first aid and site offices, and a canteen area.

The building’s top floor, known as ViewPoint, is a social space for up to 120 guests that has views of the playing fields.

Completing the precinct is an eco-friendly undercover carpark with more than 500 car spaces, 350 bike racks and electric car-charging facilities.

The precinct was opened at an official ceremony on Thursday 22 September.

Philanthropist’s $15M UQ gift has global impact

Philanthropist’s $15M UQ gift has global impact

Philanthropist’s $15M UQ gift has global impactA visionary philanthropist will donate $15 million to a new University of Queensland institute that will target solutions for problems linked to global-scale change.

Her Excellency Dr Penelope Wensley AO, Governor of Queensland, announced the donation by Graeme Wood, a founder of, when she launched the Global Change Institute (GCI) in Brisbane tonight.

Mr Wood immediately called on other successful Australians to join him in supporting the GCI, which will pit leading researchers against the most complex global problems.

“If we want to make a genuine impact on global issues concerning the environment and the effects of rapid population growth, the investment has to be substantial,” he said.

“Every gift counts but in order to make a difference, substantial support is necessary.”

UQ Vice-Chancellor and GCI Board Chair Professor Paul Greenfield thanked Mr Wood and endorsed his call to action. He warmly thanked Dr Wensley, a UQ alumna who launched the GCI as part the first of UQ’s 2010 Centenary Orations.

“Graeme Wood’s exceptional gift is a huge boost to the researchers associated with the new GCI. It is the largest gift by a UQ alumnus to their alma mater,” Professor Greenfield said.

“It will help take discovery to a new level in terms of industry and community partnerships that aim to improve responses to global change.”

Mr Wood said that universities were the logical places to find solutions to the world’s problems and therefore places in which businesses should invest on behalf of future generations.

“I call upon the business community, government and individuals to assist the University in bringing together the best national and international thinkers and practices towards solving these complex and pressing global issues.

“Education is the key to engendering tolerance and overcoming ignorance,” Mr Wood said.

“Our generation can and must make a mark in history by espousing altruism and responsible business practices to leave the world a better place for our children and grandchildren.”

GCI Director Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg said Mr Wood was “an inspiring person who has thought outside the box and created opportunities where there were none before.”

“He has proven that innovation is everything in achieving business success and it is marvellous that he is here to act as a role model for our young innovators at the University of Queensland.”

Mr Wood’s contribution will seed a $40 million building at UQ’s St Lucia Campus that will employ sustainable design, construction and operating practices, including a central control, monitoring and display facility, directly linked to UQ’s renewable energy systems and the proposed 1.2MW solar array, Australia’s largest solar photo-voltaic grid electricity generator.”

The PV solar array will reduce the St Lucia Campus’s peak electricity consumption by 6 percent and carbon emissions by 1.14 kt CO2e per annum.”

The GCI’s focus will not be limited to first-order environmental problems, but include a multidisciplinary approach to interconnected issues such as population shifts, energy innovation, and water and food security.

UQ now wants to identify and work with partners to create three endowed professorial chairs in the Global Change Institute.

Anyone wishing to support the Global Change Institute in its endeavours can contact the UQ Advancement Office T + 61 7 3346 3900, E or .

Background on Graeme Wood

Rockhampton-born Mr Wood, a UQ Bachelor of Economics and Master of Information Systems graduate, co-founded the online accommodation booking company, in 2000.

He has a keen interest in sustainability, is a GCI Board member, and is also the founder of Wild Mob, a not-for-profit organisation providing volunteers with the opportunity to assist with environmental conservation work in projects in remote and iconic locations across Australia. UQ is a partner in this enterprise.

Mr Wood supports philanthropic projects in the arts, education and the environment, and was announced the Suncorp Queenslander of the Year in June 2008. With co-founder Andrew Brice, he received the Business/Higher Education Round Table Award for Outstanding Philanthropic Support of Higher Education in 2008.

The two UQ alumni in 2008 pledged a mix of cash and shares valued at $18 million to establish The University of Queensland Endowment Fund (UQef), a new avenue for donors to support academic scholarships, named professorial chairs and specific research programs in areas of particular social need.

The University of Queensland is a partner with Wild Mob and some projects facilitate UQ fieldwork in science, conservation and environmental courses.

For example, last year a group of international UQ students attended a week-long Wild Mob camp on Brampton Island in the Great Barrier Reef, assisting with conservation work including marine surveys and health checks on the coral reef.


Jan King UQ Communications 0413 601 248;

Rob Mackay-Wood, GCI Communications Manager 0410 491 159.

UQ launches Global Change Institute to address rapid change

UQ launches Global Change Institute to address rapid change

UQ launches Global Change Institute to address rapid changeA major new international research institute that will address the problems of a rapidly changing world and develop innovative solutions was launched in Brisbane tonight.

Her Excellency Dr Penelope Wensley AO, Governor of Queensland, launched The University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute (GCI) while delivering the inaugural UQ Centenary Oration at Brisbane Customs House.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and GCI Board Chair, Professor Paul Greenfield, said that the new Institute represents a major commitment by the University and signals a new way of doing things.

It will focus on a world where the biggest challenges of the future are interconnected and of a global scale.

“To tackle these challenges effectively you need the best minds from different fields of research, all working together,” he said.

“UQ has many brilliant people across the spectrum of research who will investigate ways of anticipating and responding to global change.”

Three focus areas for research at the GCI will mirror some of the most urgent areas: water sensitive cities, climate change and food security.

Director of the Global Change Institute Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg said the GCI would harness the significant intellectual prowess of the University of Queensland to help solve some of the biggest challenges that face us as a global society.

“The GCI is about helping the communities of a changing world to find long-term sustainable solutions,” he said. “What is exciting about this challenge is that many of the technologies and approaches already exist. All we need to do is to work out how to implement them.”

“The new building to house the GCI will be an example of modern “green” technology in action. Made possible by a $15M gift by philanthropist Graeme Wood, it will employ sustainable design, construction and operating practices, including Australia’s largest solar photo-voltaic grid electricity generator. This alone will reduce the St Lucia Campus’s peak electricity consumption by 6 percent and carbon emissions by 1.14 kt CO2e per annum.”

The GCI aims to consolidate UQ as a leader in contributing to the analysis of contemporary complex issues and to developing appropriate solutions. It will provide both a platform for UQ researchers contributing to the development of solutions, and a distinct community access point.

Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said: “One of the big signatures of our time is the ever quickening pace and scale of change.”

“In terms of global population growth alone, the numbers are nothing short of breathtaking,” he said.

“In the space of just 30 years, 3 billion people have been added to the population of the earth. In the next 30 years we will add yet another 3 billion people.

“The problem comes down to the fact that the number and aspirations of people are increasing, while our ability to provide the essentials such as food, water and energy are decreasing. ‘In a nutshell’ increased population size and per capita consumption threaten to overrun resource demand at many scales. Some major new thinking is in order.”

Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said the current generation of young university graduates was keen to accept the challenges and to think outside the box. “Their passion about these global issues is not surprising”, he said.

“After all, the problems created by current and previous generations will soon mature, necessitating future generations to find the solutions.

Robert Hill, GCI Board member and Adjunct Professor in Sustainability, United States Studies Centre, The University of Sydney, said :“Sustainability is a huge challenge that will require the development of new tools and new policies. It’s great to see The University of Queensland providing a lead.”

More information: Global Change Institute:

Media: Jan King UQ Communications 0413 601 248; Rob Mackay-Wood, GCI Communications Manager 0410 491 159.


Key personnel in UQ’s new Global Change Institute (GCI) include:

Director — Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg

Ove is the founding Director of UQ’s Centre for Marine Studies (CMS) and a trailblazer of scientific research on climate change, particularly relating to corals. The Director of the Australia Program at Stanford University since 2002, his awards include a Queensland 2008 Smart State Premier’s Fellowship (2008 – 2013);and the Eureka Prize for Scientific Research (1999). He is currently the third most cited author in the area of climate change, and has published over 170 peer-reviewed scientific articles. He has built a successful marine studies program at UQ, and has combined his academic and research activities with worldwide communication and engagement with industry, government, the non-government sector, research organisations, and communities.

Deputy Director — Barry Ball PSM

Barry was formerly the Manager, Strategic Planning Integration and Improvement at Brisbane City Council (BCC), and has held a series of BCC senior management positions over more than 18 years. Recent outcomes of his work include the Moreton Bay and Catchment Partnership, a drought strategy for Brisbane, and BCC’s first whole-of-cycle water strategy. He has many current and past positions in organisations devoted to issues of water, planning and natural disaster responses.

Associate Director Academic — Professor Andrew Griffiths

Andrew is Chair in Business Sustainability & Strategy, UQ Business School and Academic director of the School’s Corporate Sustainability Executive Program. An expert in business strategy and climate change, corporate sustainability strategy and change, he has published four books: The Sustainable Corporation (1998) and Sustainability (2000), Organisational Change for Sustainability (2006) (with Dexter Dunphy and Sue Benn) and Climate Change Strategy (forthcoming). His work has been published in leading international journals, and Andrew has worked with leading organisations to help them develop and implement climate change response and integrated sustainability strategies. He sits on the sustainability advisory panels of Aurecon, Laing O’Rourke and Blue Care.

Board Member Honourable Professor Robert Hill

Robert Hill was elected as a Liberal member of the Australian Senate from July 1981 to March 2006, representing South Australia. He was born in Adelaide, South Australia, and was educated at the University of Adelaide and the London School of Economics, where he gained a masters degree in law. His father, Murray Hill, was a prominent Liberal member of the South Australian Legislative Council. He was a barrister and solicitor before entering politics. Robert was elected to the senate in the 1980 federal election and took up his seat on 1st of July 1981. Professor Hill was Vice-President of the Liberal Party in South Australia 1977-79 and President 1985-87. He was a member of the Liberal Party’s Federal Executive 1985-87 and 1990-93. He was a member of the Opposition Shadow Ministry 1988-96, holding senior portfolios such as Foreign Affairs 1989-93, Defence 1993-94 and Education, Science and Technology 1994-96. He was Leader of the Opposition in the Senate 1990-96. Robert Hill was Leader of the Government in the Senate from March 1996 until his resignation in January 2006. He was Minister for the Environment 1996-98, Minister for the Environment and Heritage 1998-2001 and Minister for Defence from November 2001 to January 2006. Like many South Australian Liberals, Hill belonged to the liberal or moderate wing of the Liberal Party. On 15 March 2006 Professor Hill resigned from the Senate, and two days later was appointed Permanent Representative to the United Nations for Australia, replacing Caroline Millar. In July 2009, he was appointed to head the Australian Carbon Trust. He is an Adjunct Professor in Sustainability, United States Studies Centre, The University of Sydney.

UQ scholarship program to overcome disadvantage for deserving students

UQ scholarship program to overcome disadvantage for deserving students

UQ scholarship program to overcome disadvantage for deserving studentsThe University of Queensland has launched an exciting initiative that aims to address the financial and practical barriers preventing many school students from reaching university.

The UQ Young Achievers program kicks off today when 83 students converge on the University to accept their scholarship of ongoing support through secondary school and a guaranteed place at UQ.

The program provides support to deserving students from families experiencing financial hardship, rural isolation, Indigenous students and those who would be the first person in their immediate family to study at university.

The Director of UQ’s Office of Prospective Students and Scholarships Margaret Fairman said this program was the result of the business and academic worlds coming together to help change the demographic of students attending university.

“Education is the key to overcoming social and economic disadvantage. Programs such as this will help to raise the tertiary aspirations of school students who may not otherwise have considered university,” she said.

Students who transition to UQ will receive a scholarship valued at $6000 per year for up to four years.

In addition, the UQ Young Achievers will receive practical support including career planning, advice on study options, mentoring by UQ students and on-campus experiences to help overcome the real and perceived barriers they face.

In its inaugural year, the UQ Young Achievers Program will help more than 80 students, including 14 Indigenous students from schools in the Moreton, Darling Downs and South West regions, to complete Year 11 and 12.

Students from Ipswich, Toowoomba, Goondiwindi, Chinchilla, Roma and as far away as Charleville will travel to UQ this weekend to experience university life.

The UQ Young Achievers Program was made possible by a generous donation from Mr Andrew Brice, co-founder of online accommodation website, and is co-funded by The University of Queensland.

Mr Brice said his family wanted to take the opportunity to make a human connection through this program.

“It’s a chance to inspire and motivate young Australians to take every chance they can get in life to be their best,” he said.

As part of the program, the students will also benefit from industry mentoring.

“I am delighted that many of the staff at have agreed to become involved as industry mentors in the program,” he said.

This donation follows a universal trend of benefactors wishing to become more engaged with their contributions.

Mr Brice said he wished to throw down the gauntlet to other donors and members of the business community to get behind the program and make an investment in the next generation of Australian leaders.

“As a businessman, I know if you make a good investment it will pay dividends for the community. This program has the potential to reach a far great number of students if other donors wish to contribute,” he said.

One Young Achiever is 15-year-old Tayla Panting who dreams of one day helping others as a lawyer. Coming from a single parent family, Tayla faced a significant financial barrier to get to University.

“Tayla was always going to get there – but without this program I might have had to work to age 100 to make it happen,” her Mum Jen Petty said.

“I can’t thank the Brices and UQ enough. The program doesn’t just offer financial assistance, but ongoing mentoring and counselling which will be invaluable for Tayla,” she said.

People wishing to support the program can contact the Office of Prospective Students & Scholarships, telephone +61 7 3346 7704, email:

Media: Margaret Fairman, telephone 07 33467704 or Jan King 0413 601 248.

Schools participating in the program in 2010 are:

– Goondiwindi State High School

– Redbank Plains State High School

– Charleville State High School

– Chinchilla State High School

– Toowoomba State High School

– Pittsworth State High School

– Woodcrest State College

– Ipswich State High School

– Lowood State High School

– Forest Lake State High School

– Toogoolawah State High School

– Centenary State High School

– St George State High School

– Laidley State High School

– Dalby State High School

– Roma State College

– Miles State High School

– Oakey State High School

– Bremer State High School

– Bundamba State College

UQ applauds award-winning alumni

UQ applauds award-winning alumni

UQ applauds award-winning alumniUQ graduates and founders Graeme Wood and Andrew Brice have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to higher education.

Co-founders of accommodation website, the pair was presented with the Business/Higher Education Round Table Award for Outstanding Philanthropic Support of Higher Education, by the Honourable Julia Gillard, at a ceremony held in Melbourne on November 21.

Both men recently gave an $18 million kick-start to The University of Queensland Endowment Fund (UQef).

Founded in 2007, UQef is a new avenue for donors to support academic initiatives such as scholarships, named professorial chairs and specific research programs in areas of particular social need.

The first philanthropic support to come out of the fund includes 10 scholarships totalling $500,000 for PhD and Honours level research in cultural history, new media studies, peace studies, conflict resolution and social aspects of natural resource management and sustainability.

Mr Wood has already specified that part of the fund would be used to establish a research and education centre targeting youth drug and alcohol abuse.

UQ Vice–Chancellor Professor Paul Greenfield praised Mr Wood and Mr Brice for their award and contribution to the University.

“This award goes to two individuals who have not only excelled in their chosen careers but who continue to nurture and support the careers of many UQ graduates,” Professor Greenfield said.

“Andrew and Graeme’s philanthropic support for The University of Queensland will not only provide students with the academic resources, but the opportunity to fulfil higher education goals.”

Mr Brice said the award was a real honour and hoped to encourage other entrepreneurs and business owners alike to connect and invest in research and education.

“As a graduate of UQ, the University is close to my heart and through the UQeF I am proud to be able to support dedicated students who share a common vision – that is to make significant strides forward in research areas,” Mr Brice said.

Mr Wood said it was important to address the root of negative cultural affects on the youth of today and to take on a hands-on approach to supporting and educating them on the dangers of youth substance abuse.

Mr Wood, a Bachelor of Economics and Master of Information Systems graduate and Mr Brice, a Bachelor of Commerce founded in 2000. has grown into Australia and New Zealand’s leading accommodation website that attracts 3.4 million visits and 205,000 bookings a month.

Media: Eliza Plant at UQ Communications (07 3365 2619, 0433 399 134)

UQef Launch

BRISBANE – Monday 25 February – The University of Queensland Endowment Fund (UQef) was launched in Brisbane today with an $18 million kick start from UQ graduates Graeme Wood and Andrew Brice.

In a ceremony held at UQ’s Customs House, Mr Wood and Mr Brice (co-founders of accommodation website committed $8 million worth of shares between them with Mr Brice pledging a further two million shares over the next two years and Mr Wood pledging a further $2 million over the next five years. According to’s share price in late February this equates to an overall total of approximately $18 million.

“UQef will provide opportunities for major benefactors to support academic initiatives that they feel need stronger emphasis or more rapid development, including named Chairs and research programs,” Mr Brice said.

Mr Brice and Mr Wood said the motivation to create the fund followed a universal trend of benefactors wishing to become more engaged with their contributions.

Discussing the ongoing trend, Mr Brice commented: “Engagement with the donation process is desirable because it offers accountability and motivation. Donors are interested in being actively involved in the process and seeing the positive impact that their support has on the individual, industry or the community.

Mr Wood said he and Mr Brice hoped the opportunity to personalise the process, would help spark an increase in the level of educational philanthropy throughout Australia.

“In the US it is a practice for major universities to have an independent body that philanthropists can direct their contributions through and retain a degree of control over how their money is spent,” Mr Wood said.

“We recognised the opportunity for a similar avenue for support at UQ.”

UQef will be overseen by a board consisting of UQ alumni and prominent business people including Mr Wood, John Wiley of Carnegie Wylie, Tim Crommelin of ABN AMRO Morgans and Darryl McDonough of Clayton Utz, who will ensure the expectations of benefactors are met.

UQef will work in partnership with UQ to provide the best possible outcomes for the students of UQ and the future of the University.

The University of the Queensland’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Paul Greenfield, said the UQef initiative showed tremendous foresight, and was an initiative that universities everywhere would welcome.

“It is rare for an Australian university to benefit from this scale of donation from alumni, yet graduate philanthropy is likely to be a hallmark of internationally competitive Australian universities in the not-too-distant future.

“We are delighted that Andrew and Graeme have chosen UQ as the target of their personal generosity and the prescribed private fund,” Professor Greenfield said.

For further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Sophie Mercer 0430 507 100

Fiona Kennedy (UQ) 07 3365 1088 or 0413 380 012