For half a century, members of Alumni Friends of The University of Queensland Inc. (Alumni Friends) have been forging strong relationships between UQ alumni and the wider community, while supporting UQ students, educators and research through their fundraising and philanthropic activities.
As the first alumni association to be founded in Australia, the Alumni Friends Golden Jubilee is a major event. Celebrations in 2017 include events, exhibitions and initiatives which both showcase Alumni Friends and celebrate their continuing contribution to UQ.
One such program, the 50 Stories project, focuses on celebrating and sharing individual memories of UQ from students, alumni, community members, and University supporters. Alumni and members of the community are welcome to share their stories by visiting
fifty.alumnifriendsuq.com. Alumni Friends, with the help of student interns from the School of Communication and Arts, are also running a competition to encourage contributions from current students.
Members of Alumni Friends are also working hard to raise 50 $1000 bursaries this year for current students at UQ – the most recent in a long line of gifts to support current students in pursuing their studies.
The group is highly social, and arranges programs of talks and activities across the year. Several Alumni Friends-supported Golden Jubilee events have already taken place this year, including the Great Court Race and the UQ Alumni Book Fair. A UQ Art Museum exhibition, Philanthropists and Collections, highlighted the impact philanthropists – including Alumni Friends – have had on the UQ Art Collection.
Events still to take place in 2017 include a Gala Lunch, the Alumni Friends Golden Jubilee Concert at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in October, titled Ode to Joy, and special exhibitions and events at the Fryer Library, the RD Milns Antiquities Museum, the Social Sciences and Humanities Library, and the Marks-Hirschfeld Museum of Medical History.
Countless students, academics and researchers have benefited from Alumni Friends’ philanthropic support – with donations spread across every faculty and including major prizes such as UQ Alumnus of the Year, UQ Graduate of the Year, and the People’s Choice Prize for UQ’s popular Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition.
Alumni Friends member and volunteer Gary Lambrides said his year-round involvement with the organisation over the past three years – in particular the book fair – supported a personal desire to continue learning.
“I have never volunteered with an organisation quite like this before,” he said.
“The exposure to new avenues of learning and the sense of community and support that I get from Alumni Friends and from working at Book House is very fulfilling.”