This year marks 55 years since what would become known as the University of Southern Queensland opened its doors to 140 students and 13 staff members.
In early 1967 the Queensland Institute of Technology (Darling Downs) officially commenced teaching and in 1970 held its first graduation ceremony.
Nearly five years later, the name was changed to The Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education – affectionately referred to as DDIAE – before becoming the University College of Southern Queensland in 1990.
Then, 30 years ago this year, the educational institution formally became the University of Southern Queensland in January 1992.
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southern Queensland, Professor Geraldine Mackenzie, said reaching 55 years as an educational institution and 30 years as a university was a milestone of significance for the University.
“It’s incredibly important to honour our history and in parallel to that, focus on the future, to continue to make a difference to the communities we live by solving the problems that matter,” Professor Mackenzie said.
Professor Mackenzie was appointed to the Vice-Chancellor position in 2017, the year the University marked its 50/25 milestone.
“Over these past five years we’ve made remarkable continued progress year on year in every facet of the University’s operation,” she said.
“From the opening of the $16-million Agricultural Science and Engineering Precinct, the discovery of exoplanets at our MINERVA-Australis facility of Mount Kent, to being chosen to lead one of eight national Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs or ranking in the Top 500 of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 – there is much to be proud of.
“The appointment late last year of our inaugural Pro Vice-Chancellor (First Nations Education and Research) Professor Tony Dreise to provide leadership in Australian Indigenous strategy, policy, community, culture, education and community, was also an exciting appointment for the University and a reflection of our commitment to equity, inclusion and excellence.”
Professor Mackenzie said the recent announcement of the University of Southern Queensland as the only university in Australia to be part of three Trailblazer Universities projects under the Australian Government’s $362 million initiative is another example of the modern, future-focused institution the University of Southern Queensland is today.
The Governor of Queensland, Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young PSM joined University of Southern Queensland Chancellor John Dornbusch and Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie for the official launch of the University’s 55/30 anniversary and unveiling of ‘John Dornbusch Drive’ yesterday.
The 55/30 milestone will be recognised and celebrated throughout the coming year.