Former Deputy PM supports Australian agriculture at its roots

24 February 2020

Former Deputy PM supports Australian agriculture at its roots

Former Deputy Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Doug Anthony, is continuing to champion Australian agriculture by gifting generously to The University of Queensland –  creating opportunities for future vocational agricultural students.

In establishing the Right Honourable Doug Anthony Gatton Scholarships Endowment Fund, its namesake hopes to support aspiring agriculture students at UQ’s Gatton campus.

Mr Anthony’s wife, Margot Anthony, said, on behalf of her husband, that many aspiring country students will now be able to afford to take advantage of Gatton’s programs.

Doug and Margot Anthony

 “My husband feels that, now more than ever, that those involved in agriculture, and its production and marketing, need to have the very best qualifications,” she said.

“He believes UQ’s Gatton campus is the place to do it.”

Before entering his political career, Mr Anthony graduated from the Queensland Agricultural College—a precursor to The University of Queensland Gatton— in 1948 with a Qld Diploma in Agriculture.

Mrs Anthony said he loved his years spent at Gatton.

“The freedom and the practical skills of learning to be a farmer were intoxicating to Doug,” she said.

“He believes the foundations for life that he gained at Gatton are immense—particularly from the combination of practical skills and theoretical knowledge.”

“Doug very much wants to encourage the breadth and quality of skills and research coming out of UQ Gatton.”

The impact of Mr Anthony’s scholarship will be felt at the grass-roots level.

It will be directed towards the UQ Skills Registered Training Organisation, which provides skills-focused education and training through innovative applied rural educational programs and courses.

The Faculty of Science Executive Dean, Professor Melissa Brown, said the scholarship is an important gift.

“The scholarship provided by Mr Anthony will be well-received by our young, rural Australians who are the future leaders of the industry.”

“In supporting these individuals to learn the practical skills required for sustainable practice and management, Mr Anthony supports the future of Australian agriculture.”

Mrs Anthony said the donorship comes at a time of need for the Australian agricultural industry.

“In donating, Doug’s hopes were that agriculture will survive and prosper in a fraught global environment, where Australia must compete with countries that continue to subsidise their agricultural production.”

“And of course, overriding everything are the challenges posed by what seems to be a rapidly changing climate.”

“Our future will depend on the ability of our very well educated, adaptable, intelligent young men and women who will grapple with these very uncertain times.”

“They will have a lot of vision, and we must raise up farm leaders who are good communicators able to formulate good policies for agriculture and inspire others to follow them.”

More information