Brisbane woman gives $8 million to arts education

18 August 2016

An $8 million gift to The University of Queensland will benefit arts and music programs at the University and across the state.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the gift from the estate of the late Paula Kinnane (UQ Bachelor of Arts ’91) was “extraordinary”.

The $8 million bequest from Mrs Kinnane and her late husband Tony will establish endowment funds that benefit the UQ Art Museum, School of Music students and audiences across the state.

The Kinnanes had a long association with UQ as residents of St Lucia and were passionate about providing an outstanding education for future generations, with a focus on students from rural areas who they felt faced additional hurdles.

Professor Høj said the bequest was proof of the importance of the arts in the community.

“This extraordinarily generous gift is evidence that many of our donors and the broader community place the arts at the centre of their lives,” he said.

“A gift of this magnitude underlines UQ’s importance as a strong cultural steward, and will create genuine change for our students and further afield.”

The Kinnane bequest will enable the UQ Art Museum to establish internships to provide students with gallery and museum skills.

UQ Art Museum Director Dr Campbell Gray said the impact would be significant.

“This inspirational bequest will help undergraduate and PhD students gain important practical training and experiences within the UQ Art Museum,” Dr Gray said.

The bequest will deepen the School of Music’s long-standing partnership with the Queensland Music Festival, boosting music education and engagement in remote areas of Queensland.

School of Music Head Professor Margaret Barrett said the gift could make a huge impact on people’s lives.

“Engaging with music can transform people’s health and well-being throughout their lives,” she said.

“This gift has the power to change lives through the learning and research that will flow through to communities.

The Kinnanes’ love of music will be commemorated in an annual lecture that will bring a leading musical educator to the University.

Further information and media: Mark Schroder, Manager Marketing and Communications (Advancement),, 0403 481 758.