Fifty years of friendship with Alumni Friends of UQ

Banner for the First Alumni Reunion and Commemoration, 19-21 May 1967, above the entrance to the J. D. Story Building
Banner for the First Alumni Reunion and Commemoration, 19-21 May 1967, above the entrance to the J. D. Story Building

In 2017, we celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Alumni Friends of The University of Queensland Inc and mark 50 years of friendship between the Library and Alumni Friends. Alumni Friends has been a wonderful supporter of, and advocate for the Library. For half a century it has helped to build our collections for the benefit of current and future students, researchers and interested members of the community. We are pleased to share some of their generous donations, stories and photos as we thank the members of Alumni Friends for their friendship and congratulate them on their first 50 years. 

Important additions to our collection

Alumni Friends has been crucial to developing the University of Queensland Library collection, including the special collections held in the Fryer Library. The Association was instrumental in the library acquistitions of the collections of Raphael Cilento, Dick Roughsey and Percy Trezise, David Malouf, Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker), Thea Astley, Janette Turner-Hospital and many more unique and rare resources. Alumni Friends members raise funds through the biennial UQ Alumni Book Fair® which are then invested to support UQ students, educators and researchers. The Book Fair team also donate rare books and items of interest to the Fryer Library. 

Raphael Cilento Collection, UQFL44

Personal and professional papers, manuscripts, public lectures, reports and photographs

Acquired 1976

This collection came to the Fryer Library through the efforts of Len Fisher, Alumni Friends' President from 1971-74, and his wife Fedora Fisher, who assisted the Cilentos with sorting and cleaning their books and papers after the 1974 Brisbane flood. View digitised photographs from Raphael Cilento's collection on UQ eSpace.

Dick Roughsey and Percy Trezise Collection, UQFL386

Correspondence, manuscripts and paintings

Acquired from1973 onwards

The unique artistic and intellectual partnership between artist Dick Roughsey (Goobalthaldin) and pilot Percy Trezise's produced a wonderful collection of children's books about traditional Aboriginal stories. Read the biography of Dick Roughsey here.

Image: Dick Goobalathaldin Roughsey Goorialla making Minalinka lagoon © Dick Goobalathaldin Roughsey/Licensed by Viscopy, 2017

David Malouf Collection, UQFL163


Acquired from 1984 onwards

One of our most prized manuscript collections began with a gift from Alumni Friends. Dr David Malouf AO wrote: "I wanted especially to say how pleased I am that two manuscripts of mine now find a place in the Fryer Library and to thank the Alumni...for making this possible." Read more about the David Malouf collection.

Oodgeroo Noonuccal Papers, UQFL84

Correspondence, literary manuscripts, photographs, speeches, reports, notes, and programmes

Acquired 1980

Read more about the life and works of writer, painter and political activist Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker).

Thea Astley Collection, UQFL97

Manuscripts, notebooks, correspondence, diaries and two typewriters

Acquired from 1983 to 2007

Read the story behind the Thea Astley collection.

Alumni Friends and Fryer Library: a personal reflection

Derek Fielding, University Librarian, receiving Dick Roughsey's papers from Len Fisher at opening of Central Library, University of Queensland, Brisbane

Simon Farley, Manager Fryer Library, reflects on the library’s valued relationship with Alumni Friends. From gifts of rare first editions, to financing the purchase of precious manuscripts and creating new purpose-built spaces for students to interact with unique and rare collections, members of Alumni Friends have continued to support the development of the Fryer Library. Read his thoughts.

Investing in education

Alumni Friends supports the development of staff and invests in the future of teaching and learning, as demonstrated through their support for the creation of bespoke student spaces.

The first dentistry librarian, Margaret Waugh, worked for the University of Queensland Library for 32 years. Margaret was an advocate for the training and development of Library staff.

Alumni Friends of The University of Queensland Inc. supported the launch of the Library's fundraising for the Fryer Library Collection Teaching Space with a gift of $50,000. This donation by Alumni Friends will help transform an area within the Fryer Library into a dedicated teaching space.

50 years of stories


Alumni Friends' Golden Jubilee celebrations include the sharing of stories and memories of connection with the University. Stories are welcome from Alumni Friends' members, as well as from students, staff, and the wider community.

      Fizzers made me do it

Hannah Towers recalls her experiences studying on campus and using 'Fizzer' lollies as her reward system to get her through her study.

     Nostalgia through the pages of a book

Read about Caitlin Storer's experience volunteering at the UQ Alumni Friends Bookhouse.

Library staff standing under a banner at UQ's Great Race

       Not an ordinary day at the office...

University of Queensland Library staff member Erin Pearl tells her story about running in UQ's Great Court Race.


People and events over the years

View a selection of photos of Library staff and Alumni Friends celebrating milestones, award winners, collection building and our talented alumni.

Alumni and Friends.

Thank you Alumni Friends

The Library collection would not be what it is today without the hard work of many individuals and organisations, especially the members and volunteers of Alumni Friends.

We are so grateful for the contributions they have made, and continue to make, to improving this University. The work undertaken by their association has touched all corners of UQ, from supporting the collections of the UQ Art Museum to providing sporting, engineering and travel scholarships. They are committed to improving the lives of our students and creating opportunities for them. 

Thank you, Alumni Friends, for the countless volunteer hours you spend running the association, in being a part of our community, and in collecting and sorting books so they can find a new home and enrich the lives and the education of more people. 

As we celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Alumni Friends throughout the year we look forward to a rich future of continued collaboration.

Bob Gerrity

University Librarian
(2012 - 2018)

Discover more about becoming a member of Alumni Friends and all of the wonderful initiatives happening this year to celebrate their Golden Jubilee.