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QUT’s new Chancellor Tim Fairfax a leader in many fields

27th August 2012

QUT is delighted to announce that Mr Tim Fairfax AM has been appointed as its new Chancellor.

Tim Fairfax is a leading advocate for philanthropy and the arts in Australia and a highly regarded figure in the business community for his pastoral, transport and communications enterprises.

Mr Fairfax will take up the office of QUT Chancellor after Major General (Ret'd) Peter Arnison AC, CVO concludes his eight years of outstanding leadership of the University's governing body on September 8.

QUT's Deputy Chancellor Ms Helen Gluer paid tribute to the distinguished contribution made by Major General Arnison, a former Governor of Queensland, as she welcomed the incoming Chancellor.

"Peter Arnison will be remembered with gratitude and affection for his great service to and support of QUT. For the last eight years, he has ably and effectively chaired the QUT Council, our governing body," Ms Gluer said.

"He has also presided with grace and natural ease at some 91 graduation ceremonies over that period, both in Brisbane and overseas."

QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Coaldrake acknowledged Peter Arnison's contribution to enhancing QUT's sense of community as a university.

"Peter Arnison likes people and they like him. And he also has deftly managed the relationship among the governing body, the senior management team, the QUT community and beyond," Professor Coaldrake said.

Deputy Chancellor Helen Gluer said QUT was now very honoured to have Tim Fairfax take up this important role.

"Mr Fairfax is a respected community leader who will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to QUT, reflected in the chair and directorships he holds in numerous and diverse organisations that underpin economic and cultural life in Australia," she said.

Mr Fairfax, a member of the Fairfax media family and former director of Rural Press Ltd, is a Philanthropy Australia Council member and chairman of the Salvation Army's Advisory Board. As chairman of two Fairfax family foundations, Mr Fairfax takes an active leadership role in promoting philanthropy in Australia. His work in this sphere has been recognised with the 2011 Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Leadership award.

A keen supporter of the arts, Mr Fairfax is interim chair of the National Gallery of Australia. He is a founding benefactor and former chair of the National Portrait Gallery and its single largest donor. He is also president of the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation and an honorary councillor of the Australian Business Arts Foundation.

His involvement with the higher education sector began as chairman of the University of the Sunshine Coast Foundation in 1997, a post he held for 12 years while serving as that university's Deputy Chancellor from 2002 to

Mr Fairfax, who resides in Brisbane, purchased his first cattle property at Monto in Queensland 40 years ago and has since acquired several others in Queensland and New South Wales.

He is a staunch advocate for the rural sector as chair of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal's Repair-Restore-Renew Advisory Committee and a member of its Finance and Audit Committee.

Professor Coaldrake said QUT looked forward to working with Mr Fairfax to realise the University's ambitious plans and consolidate its position as a leading university.

"His strong sense of community and philanthropy align with QUT's DNA," he said.

"Also, his deep understanding of and expertise in many cultural, social and business industries relate closely with our bold vision for QUT's future as a university that produces world-class researchers and graduates who are among the most highly sought after in Australia and internationally."

Mr Fairfax said he was extremely honoured to have been appointed Chancellor of QUT.

"I look forward to serving the QUT Community. I have always been a great admirer of QUT for its innovation, entrepreneurialism and its encouragement for people from low socio-economic backgrounds to participate in tertiary study," Mr Fairfax said.

"The engagement of alumni and philanthropy are very close to my ideals, as is the encouragement of Indigenous involvement as students and staff.

"High-impact research and strategic partnerships also play a pivotal role in the University life, of which I look forward to learning and having a better understanding."

Media contact: Niki Widdowson, QUT media officer, 07 3138 2999 or

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