The extraordinary legacy making ‘souls sing’

20 Sep 2016

An $8 million gift to The University of Queensland from the estate of the late Paula Kinnane (Bachelor of Arts, '91) and Tony Kinnane will have an immeasurable impact on the lives of UQ students through two endowment funds set to benefit the UQ Art Museum and the School of Music.

The late Paula and Tony Kinnane were passionate patrons of the arts. They believed art, music and culture made life worth living the things that could make your soul sing. It was this philosophy and a strong commitment to education that drove the couples decision to make the arts central to their estate plans. 

Paula and Tony had a long association with UQ having lived near the St Lucia campus for many years. They were committed to educating future generationsparticularly in the arts. Having lived in regional Australian mining towns for extended periods earlier in their lives, they knew firsthand that opportunities to participate in the arts were more limited in regional areas.

Their decision to make a bequest to The University of Queensland will benefit many generations of students through UQ Art Museum and the School of Music. A bequest can be a gift that includes property or money left in a will. Paula had ongoing discussions about her and Tony’s wishes for their bequest with the bequest manager and academic staff at the University. 

UQ Art Museum Director Dr Campbell Gray said the deliberate, forward-looking way Paula Kinnane went about planning her legacy allowed her to shape the impact of the gift. While Tony had passed away a few years earlier his wishes were also brought to lifein many ways it was as if he was part of the conversation. 

Education was at the heart of Paulas decisions and she was excited about the difference she knew her gift would make to studentslives through internships, undergraduate scholarships and PhD scholarships,Dr Gray said. 

She was also able to realise her desire to give back to regional areas through a program of student placements to regional galleries and professional development opportunities for gallery employees.

2015 Bursary Recipient, Sarah Bradley (Bachelor of Arts (Extended Art History) and Commerce (Accounting) '16), said the opportunities provided by arts scholarships and bursaries were irreplaceable.

"My bursary was invaluable, it helped with my practical education and career prospects; it allowed me to get real experience, advice and guidance in the arts. 

"I also think the bursaries enabled by bequests are important. I think they're important in the sense that it does help people who may not be able to afford time off work and having that little bit of support can be really valuable," said Ms Bradley.

Head of the School of Music Professor Margaret Barrett said the bequest would also deepen the Schools long-standing partnership with the Queensland Music Festival, boosting music education and engagement in remote areas of Queensland. 

We know that engaging with music can transform a persons health and well-being, so a bequest like this is significant as it will extend the reach of our music education program further than wed ever imagined possible,Professor Barrett said. 

The experiences, learning and research that will flow through to communities as a result of this wonderful gift have the power to change lives and we are humbled and very grateful for Paula and Tonys generosity.

The arts helped Paula and Tony to live a rich, rewarding life. As guardians of Paula and Tony Kinnanes legacy, the UQ Art Museum and School of Music will now honour their tremendous gift and legacy by ensuring the greatest possible impact is made.