A story 40 years in the making

Seeing the thousands of students back on campus for 2015 is a reminder that this year we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the commencement of teaching.

At the time of the official opening ceremony on 5 March 1975 (attended by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and Queensland Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen), the first cohort of Griffith students was 451 strong.

The student body was divided evenly between males and females and included five international students (today we have more than 9000 international students from over 130 different countries).

The University started with a total of 87 staff of whom 42 were academics. One of these pioneering academics was David Pegg – now a Professor Emeritus of the University. David will tell you that things were very different back then although innovation in teaching has been a constant in the ensuing 40 years of the University’s history. I found the video below a fascinating insight into David’s teaching style in that history-making year of 1975 when he delivered Griffith’s first ever lecture. I hope you enjoy the clip as much as I did.

Rock art accolade

There were many significant achievements in 2014, and the year ended on a high note with the announcement that a Griffith rock art study had been named one of the top 10 scientific breakthroughs for 2014 by the journalScience. Griffith’s Dr Maxime Aubert and his Australian-Indonesian team originally published their paper in an October edition of theNaturejournal, which revealed that the world’s oldest hand stencil came, not from Europe, but in fact, from Indonesia. The implications of this research is that the practice of making rock art and other symbolic creations began in Africa rather than in Europe and that modern humans arriving in South East Asia over 50,000 years ago and in Europe about 40-45,000 years ago, brought the practice with them. Congratulations to Maxime and his team on their ground-breaking discovery.

World Press Photo winner

2015 has also started on a very positive note with QCA photography honours graduate – Raphaela Rosella – being named winner of the portrait category in the 2015 World Press Photo awards. Raphaela was the only Australian finalist selected from the 97,912 entries submitted by 5,692 photographers from 131 countries. Read more on Raphaela’s award-winning image,

TEDx Griffith University

Griffith’s first official TEDx event on 18 February was an unqualified success. A formidable line-up of speakers and performers from our researchers, to alumni, business and community members enthralled the audience gathered at the Griffith Business School on the Gold Coast, with hundreds more watching at satellite events live streamed to the other four campuses. The event was overseen by the Office of Marketing and Communications and embraced a diverse range of people across the University community from musical performances, to swimming with sharks, exploring space, fighting disease and illness and celebrating entrepreneurs. A recording of the event is availableat www.tedxgriffithuniversity.com

Margaret Mittelheuser honoured

On 24 February, the Griffith community celebrated the life of a remarkable woman with the opening of the Margaret Mittelheuser AM Trading Room in the new Griffith Business Building at the Gold Coast campus.

Margaret Mittelheuser, who passed away in 2013, entered the stockbroking profession in 1952, and in a fifty year career established herself as a leader in the finance industry. When she was admitted to partnership of the broking firm of King and Yuill in 1964, she became the first woman to be registered as a stockbroker in Australia and among the first in the world. In the years since then, Margaret and her sister Cathryn have made many significant contributions to the community. Both have been longtime benefactors of the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane Girls Grammar School, Griffith University and the University of Queensland. Griffith is also proud to claim them both as Honorary Doctors of the University. In commemorating Margaret’s distinguished contributions, Cathryn Mittelheuser AM joined former Governor General, the Honourable Quentin Bryce AD CVO, in officially opening the new trading room. The facility offers outstanding educational and research benefits with 15 Bloomberg Terminals connected to live data from the Australian stock exchange and other international Bloomberg financial data feeds.

Read more on the opening here.