Media: Key Information

Who we are: Alumni Friends is an independent, voluntary, not-for-profit association, founded in 1967 to promote and further the interests of The University of Queensland, and to foster mutually beneficial relations among alumni and those in the wider community with an interest in UQ. Connecting UQ’s alumni and supporters with the ‘future alumni’ of the University, Alumni Friends aims to supplement and support the endeavours of UQ educators, researchers and students (working to ensure Alumni Friends does not duplicate, contradict or undermine the work and direction of UQ). The completion of a degree at UQ is not a pre-requisite for membership. Graduating students are automatically alumni, but only a small proportion of graduates make a commitment to membership as a demonstration of their philanthropy, advocacy, and commitment to life-long learning, connection and engagement. Alumni Friends members enjoy not only ‘giving back’ to the university and wider community, but also enjoy the social aspects of mentoring, philanthropy, and fund-raising. Members are an eclectic group, sharing happy memories of our association with the University, a desire to ensure that socio-economic backgrounds are not a barrier to the best university education, and a determination to support the endeavours of UQ to be a world-class university.

Key Achievements/Intellectual Property: Alumni Friends is a UQ ‘institution,’ best known for its book fair, prizes, and donations to the University. Highlights include:

  • Donations & Funds Raised: Since 1967, Alumni Friends has donated approaching $9 million dollars to UQ (inflation-adjusted). Significant individual donations (a number of which have been in excess of $100,000) have included funding for: the Mayne Centre organ (and furnishings), student accommodation at ‘Alumni House Goondawindi,’ Customs House, Gardens (the Alumni Teaching Garden, Alumni Court landscaping, and Una Prentice Memorial Garden), the Small Animal Hospital (Margaret de Visme Howard Bequest), major purchases of medical equipment (including for the Centre for Microscopy & Microanalysis, and for Anatomical Sciences), and funding for the Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory. Over$1m funds are currently under management (to maintain on-going commitments, and meet the terms of bequests). In addition to funding the work of Alumni Friends, members make individual donations to the Association, and the work of bookhouse volunteers ensures that Book Fair raises c. $50k pa. Aside from the support of one part-time casual employee (and up to 5 hours a week for minute-taking/general support from Alumni Officer [Volunteer and Community Relations]), all of our personnel are voluntary, representing donations significantly in excess of 10,000 volunteer hours per annum to the university.
  • Major Prizes & Awards: Alumni Friends has presented over $650,000 to UQ students and staff in the form of prizes, scholarships, bursaries, and awards. AFUQ is responsible for the creation, administration, and funding of a number of major prizes/awards at UQ, including Graduate(s) of the Year, Alumnus of the Year, 3MT People’s Choice, and the Great Court Race Prizes. Alumni Friends Scholarships include the Betty Fletcher Memorial Travelling Scholarship(s), David Dunlop Memorial Dental Bursary, Elizabeth Usher Memorial Travelling Scholarship, Joan Wickham Engineering Scholarship, Margaret Waugh Memorial Bursary, Richard Spencer Hopkins Memorial Prize, Alumni Friends UQ Merit Scholarship(s), Alumni Friends UQ Link Scholarship(s), UQ Sports Scholarships, and the Veterinary Alumni Prize.
  • UQ ‘Institutions’: Alumni Friends is the ‘parent’/’promoter’ of Friends of Antiquity, the UQ Alumni Book Fair, and the Three Score Club. Alumni Friendsis a major supporter (through significant regular donations and/or gifts) of the UQ Art Museum, of the School of Music (including the QPAC October Concert series), of the UQ Library (in particular, of the Fryer library), of the Mayne Graduate School of Medicine Marks-Hirschfeld Museum, and (through FOA) of the D. Milns Antiquities Museum.

Independent, Volunteer-led: Alumni Friends is based at Alumni House (UQ’s St Lucia). Led by an Executive Committee (nine elected members, joined by representatives of special interest groups and associated organisations). Day-to-day management is undertaken by four elected Office Bearers (OBs), and through sub-committees (Benefactions, Communications, Membership, Alumni House, Bookhouse, and Website).

For more information, please contact us.