Generosity marks our community

By Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor

One of the highlight’s of the last month has been witnessing the generosity of those who support Griffith – and this was brought home to me in a number of ways.

On October 17, I attended the thanksgiving service dedicated to the remembrance of those who donate to the University’s body bequest program. The names of 38 donors were read out in a deeply moving ceremony attended by the families and friends of donors, and by the staff and students who benefit from this generous act of giving. Professors Allan Cripps, Mark Forwood, Belinda Beck, and their incredible team of support staff and students, are to be congratulated for organising a beautiful 2013 Thanksgiving Service. The ceremony concluded with an extraordinary reading of “The Valley of Dry Bones – Ezekiel 37: 1-10”, interspersed with a haunting rendition of ‘Dry Bones’ by the Gold Coast Sounds choir.


Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O'Connor on the Griffith red couch with cancer survivors Dr Robyn Cameron Lecturer, Griffith Business School, and student Bec Sproule, also one of the event organisers
Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor on the Griffith red couch with cancer survivors Dr Robyn Cameron Lecturer, Griffith Business School, and student Bec Sproule, also one of the event organisers

Relay For Life

Two days later on October 19, I had the privilege of opening the inaugural Griffith University Gold Coast Relay for Life at our Gold Coast campus. Organised by the Griffith University Student Guild, in collaboration with Cancer Council Queensland, the event saw 30 teams engage in 18 hours of constant motion in front of the library.

Dr Robyn Cameron, a survivor of cancer, delivered a wonderfully inspiring speech prior to the relay commencing. I was delighted to see so many students involved in this event – many in fantastically ‘themed’ attire.

Congratulations to all the students for their participation and a warm thanks to their sponsors for their great support. Also a special thanks to the Gold Coast Student Guild, especially Relay Chair Steve Harris, President Cameron Harrison and General Manager Wayne Watt, for organising a fabulous event. Developing a commitment to philanthropy and volunteerism is an expression of Griffith’s core values.

Vale John Kearney

October started with the very sad news that one of the Coast’s great philanthropists, and one of the champion supporters of Griffith and higher education in general – Mr John Kearney – passed away at the age of 90.

John’s close association with the University began with his appointment as one of the inaugural members of the Gold Coast College Advisory Council in the early 1990s. He served as Chairperson of the Gold Coast Advisory Council (1999 — 2003) and completed a three year term on the Griffith University Council (1999 — 2002). He played a leading role in raising the University’s fundraising profile through his activities as Deputy Chair of the Griffith University Fund Board and was a major donor to the Sir Zelman Cowen Law Library Collection.

In 2000, John was conferred Griffith’s honorary doctorate in recognition of his distinguished contributions to the University and to the community. He will be deeply missed by the Griffith community.

Top academics honoured

It is always welcome news when our outstanding scholars are elected to Academies, but I was not prepared for the advice from the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia informing me thatthreeGriffith staff had been elected in this year’s general ballot.

Professor Mark Finnane, ARC Australian Professorial Fellow in the School of Humanities and ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security.(This makes Mark a ‘double Fellow’ having been previously elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities).

Professor Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh, School of Government & International Relations, Griffith Business School

Professor David Peetz, Department of Employment Relations and Human Resource Management, Griffith Business School

Fellows are elected to the Academy by their peers on the basis of a distinguished contribution to one or more of the Social Sciences that has also been recognised internationally. Warm congratulations to Mark, Ciaran and David on this thoroughly deserved honour.