For many donors, bequests are a mirror of the passions they held close throughout their lives – this was certainly true for Paula and Tony Kinnane, whose lifelong dedication to the arts will continue in perpetuity through endowments in their name at UQ.
The extraordinary $8 million bequest in 2016 from Paula and her late husband Tony established two endowment funds at the School of Music and UQ Art Museum supporting teaching, learning and research in the arts.
UQ Art Museum Director Dr Campbell Gray says the gift has created transformative opportunities for students outside their usual curriculum.
“The Kinnane UQ Art Endowment Fund provides the most substantial foundation for student development in the UQ Art Museum,” Dr Gray said.
“The fund’s annual distributions support two internships at UQAM, as well as three full undergraduate scholarships in Art History, an innovative program for students and professionals in regional Queensland galleries, and – for the first time in 2021 – a highly attractive PhD scholarship in Art History.
“It is rare to find such a rich learning environment for Art History and Museum Studies students anywhere in the country.”
As Kinnane intern Amelia Brown transitions into a casual role at QAGOMA in February, she credits the achievement to the skills and experiences she gathered during her time interning at UQAM.
“The UQ Art Museum is one of the only places where I could learn and develop professional skills so thoroughly from the beginning of my placement,” Amelia said.
“The mentorship, guidance, and patience I received was unparalleled, and for that I am very grateful.
“Ultimately, throughout my internship, I have been able to merge an understanding of the physical work with its meaning and cultural value, and have learnt many skills that I can use for a career in the sector.”
At the School of Music, Paula and Tony’s gift also supports scholarships for talented young musicians to study at UQ, performance tours in north Queensland, and opportunities for students to undertake training, masterclasses and mentorship with musicians from the prestigious Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO).
The partnership with QSO is critical not only for students to develop professionally, but to form networks and working relationships with musicians from one of the leading music performance institutions in Australia. It has also exposed students to employment opportunities, including masters level violinist Ann Carew, who was placed on QSO’s casual employment list following the mentorship scheme.
The Kinnane bequest also funds an annual Scholar in Residence Program that brings a prominent music professional to UQ ever year. In 2019, this was world-renowned opera singer Deborah Cheetham AO, who delivered an eye-opening lecture on her work and led the UQ Symphony Orchestra in a breathtaking performance of her piece, Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace.
Head of the School of Music, Professor Liam Viney, reflects on the significance of the bequest for the music students and education at UQ.
“Just like the value created by musical art itself, the Kinnane Bequest creates value that is impossible to measure,” Professor Viney said.
“From life-changing scholarship support for regional and remote students to community-enriching outreach we couldn’t otherwise afford, the impact of this gift has been profound: it has allowed us to give students opportunities that will stay with them throughout their lives, at the same time strengthening social bonds in the broader community.
“It’s the “extra” creative element that is possible when you have philanthropic support that leads to something special and lasting.”
During the campaign, endowed gifts like Paula and Tony’s helped establish 136 new scholarships for students at UQ. With your help, we’ve created more opportunities for the people who need them most.
Because of you, the good doesn’t stop.