9 April 2015
USC will honour local philanthropist David Kirk with an Honorary Senior Fellowship at its graduation ceremony on Friday 17 April.
Mr Kirk will be recognised for his significant contributions to the University over the past decade through the Kirk Foundation, which funded numerous student scholarships and contributed to the construction of USC’s Olympic-standard pool.
Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Birgit Lohmann said Mr Kirk’s generosity enabled PhD candidates and dozens of other students who were just starting out at USC to pursue their academic dreams.
“The Kirk Foundation established three PhD research scholarships in the areas of falls prevention for the elderly and aquatic therapies,” said Professor Lohmann. “Mr Kirk’s philanthropy meant these students could afford to undertake this important research which they may not have been able to do otherwise.
“Over the years the Kirk Foundation also assisted 60 local high school students to undertake university study while still at school through USC’s Headstart program.”
Mr Kirk of Twin Waters said he was both surprised and honoured to be awarded the Honorary Senior Fellowship.
“I am passionate about education, so funding scholarships for USC was an excellent fit, and I am doing something that is beneficial and in some cases life-altering for the recipients concerned which gives me great satisfaction,” said Mr Kirk.
“Philanthropy has been an important part of my life for over 10 years and I intend continuing this work, which I find completely fulfilling.”
The wider community has also benefited from Mr Kirk’s philanthropy through his Foundation’s support of organisations working with arthritis sufferers and people dealing with depression. He also supports the Mudjimba Surf Life Saving Club.
Following a distinguished career in law publishing in the UK, Mr Kirk moved to Australia in 1991 and established the highly successful Park Avenue thoroughbred racing stud in Victoria. In 1995 he moved part of his commercial operations to the Sunshine Coast.
Mr Kirk has been a member of the Institute of Directors in London for more than 50 years and was made a Life Fellow in 1984.
— Jane Cameron