Did you know that Griffith University was meant to be part of the University of Queensland (UQ)?  

Originally, Griffith University College was going to be opened as a campus of UQ. However, it was always intended that this new institution would eventually become independent of UQ as a fully autonomous organisation.  

Our university was established by an Act of parliament on 30 September 1971. This Act was 10 years in the making—government talks to create a second university institution for Brisbane had been circulating since 1961!   

A picture of a road on a sunny day with a dirt road branching off. There is bushland in the background and two vehicles parked on either side of the dirt road.

Cover Image of the legislation – ‘The Griffith University Act 1971’.

 As the 1960s progressed UQ was experiencing overcrowding in all its teaching areas. Humanities and Social Sciences spaces and resources in particular had become quite a problem for UQ management. A lack of federal and state government funding meant it would be 10 years before any serious effort was made to create a new Brisbane university.  

Things began to move more quickly in late 1970 when the Queensland Government appointed the Griffith University Interim Council, headed by our foundation Chancellor Sir Theodor Bray. After 10 years of government procrastination, our university went from being talk to being planned, built and opened for teaching in just five years.  

Official construction of Griffith University began on 3 October 1972 and we held our first lecture on 10 March 1975. 

For more on the establishment and planning of our university visit the Griffith Archive’s latest exhibition—A New University for Brisbane