Perhaps its greatest legacy is the Archibald Scholarship, founded in 1911 with a gift from the estate of the late Honourable John Archibald MLC – a prominent business leader and supporter of the establishment of UQ.
The Archibald Scholarship is one of the oldest and most prestigious academic scholarships in Australia.
At $10,000 per year, it supports UQ’s most outstanding students to pursue their passion and studies in economics at one of Australia's leading hubs for teaching and research in the field.
So when five former Economics Heads of School heard the scholarship endowment was close to its goal of $200,000 in donations over 10 years, they teamed up to give back and meet the milestone.
Emeritus Professor Clem Tisdell, Emeritus Professor John Foster, Professor Flavio Menezes, Professor Rodney Strachan and Professor Phil Bodman count more than 100 years of service to the School between them, including 30 years of headship.
Thanks in part to their gift, as well as the generosity of donors including several former Archibald Scholars, the scholarship can now be awarded in perpetuity and empower student success for generations to come.
A School community built on generosity
Professor Bodman (Head of School 2018), who spearheaded the Heads’ giving initiative, said the idea came to him while reflecting on his time at the School.
“I’ve formed a deep connection with the School, my colleagues and our students and alumni during my 26 years here,” Professor Bodman said.
“You can think about it as just a place of work, but to me it means a great deal more.
“In particular, it’s a privilege to interact with our Archibald Scholars who have gone on to do remarkable, globally impactful things that drive Queensland and Australia forward.
“Many are now working in major policy institutions and think tanks, and serving as diplomats and chief economists to governments around the world.
“Given our shared history at the School, I thought my colleagues and I should do our part to see this legacy continue.”
The Archibald Scholarship fundraising campaign dates back to 2009 when the $200,000 funding goal was first set.
Head of School at the time was Professor Menezes (2009–15), who led the way as a champion of the cause – and as a donor.
“I’m proud of being able to help rebuild the endowment of such an important, emblematic scholarship,” Professor Menezes said.
“The Archibald demonstrates our commitment to two core values inherent in great universities: academic excellence and equality of opportunity.”
For former Head Emeritus Professor Foster (1999–2008), being a part of such a close-knit community made giving back an obvious choice.
“It’s quite rare to have a continuous line of former Heads who are all still around and actively involved with their school,” he said.
“It speaks volumes about our culture of collaboration and continuity in leadership.”
Current Head of School Professor Daniel Zizzo agreed, saying he was delighted to lead a team of staff who embodied the University’s vision, mission and values.
“I would like to thank our former Heads for their generous contributions, and for consistently demonstrating their collegiality and loyalty to the School and UQ,” he said.
Changing lives, one student at a time
For almost 110 years, the Archibald Scholarship has had a positive impact on the lives of its student recipients.
The scholarship has helped launch the careers of many of Australia’s top economists, including:
- Karen Chester, Deputy Chair of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission
- Vanessa Rayner, Head of Financial Markets at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand
- Andrea Brischetto, Deputy Secretary of the Reserve Bank of Australia
- Dr Vince FitzGerald AO, a respected private consultant and former senior Australian Government official.
“Many of the former Archibald Scholars have told us that having access to this scholarship encouraged them to excel,” Emeritus Professor Tisdell (Head of School 1989–99) said.
That is certainly the case for current Archibald Scholar and Bachelor of Advanced Finance and Economics (Honours) student Josephine Auer, who said the scholarship inspired her to strive for excellence as an aspiring economist.
“The Archibald Scholarship has been a wonderful recognition of my hard work over the past three years of my degree, and a source of motivation for the challenges ahead,” she said.
“I feel very honoured to sit alongside such an outstanding and accomplished list of recipients.
“The financial generosity of the award has meant I have been able to fully focus and engage in my studies, as well as maintain extra-curricular interests.”
Professor Strachan (Head of School 2015–18) said the scholarship was highly respected by employers in industry and government.
“The greatest value of the scholarship is the name,” he said.
“It’s important for the recipients, not just as students but later in life, to say ‘I was an Archibald Scholar’. It carries a lot of weight.”
Invaluable support from alumni
Although he and his colleagues led the latest push to meet the fundraising goal, Professor Bodman said such scholarships relied heavily on the generosity of donors from the alumni community, including previous recipients.
He said former Archibald Scholars – such as Dr Vince FitzGerald, Karen Chester, Professor Ian Harper, Daryl Dixon, Dr Don Markwell, Bill Shields and Professor Richard Leftwich – had been instrumental in the School’s efforts to grow the Archibald endowment.
“For example, Vince contributed more than $80,000 to the endowment in 2017,” Professor Bodman said.
“Vince’s involvement with the Archibald also encouraged him to establish the FitzGerald Scholarship for honours studies in applied economics or econometrics, to allow more students to benefit as he did.”
Professor Zizzo said this continued support from the alumni community was “invaluable”.
“We are very grateful to Vince and his fellow donors for giving our Archibald Scholars the opportunity to excel in their studies and careers,” he said.
Giving back to move forward
Professor Menezes said he would strongly encourage others within the UQ community to give back and support future generations of knowledge leaders to create positive change.
“Addressing truly wicked problems such as climate change, water accessibility and improving health outcomes will require science that studies the allocation of scarce goods and services – otherwise known as economics,” Professor Menezes said.
“By donating to the Archibald Scholarship, we are doing our part to ensure that UQ will continue to attract and produce outstanding students, who in turn will play a role in improving people’s lives.”
Head of School timeline
Emeritus Professor Clem Tisdell
HoS 1989–99 | 30 years of service to the School – since 1989
Emeritus Professor John Foster
HoS 1999–2008 | 28 years of service to the School – since 1991
Professor Flavio Menezes
HoS 2009–15 | 13 years of service to the School – since 2006
Professor Rodney Strachan
HoS 2015–18 | 9.5 years of service to the School – since 2006
Professor Phil Bodman
HoS 2018 | 26 years of service to the School – since 1993
Professor Daniel Zizzo
HoS 2018–present | 1 year of service to the School – since 2018