Open to Talent

Wind in our sails - Royal stamp on celebrations

No less an event than the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race will kick off the University of Tasmania’s 125th anniversary celebrations

Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of DenmarkCougar II
It’s a celebration: Honorary Patron Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark;
Chair of the 125th organising committee Professor David Rich,
Cougar II owner Dr Tony Lyall and Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen.

By Anna Osborne

The University of Tasmania will usher in its 125th anniversary celebrations in style this December.

The University’s red lion will feature on the main sail of ocean racing yacht Cougar II when it takes to the water for the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race on Boxing Day.

Participating in the iconic race will kick off the 2015 celebrations with University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Rathjen, officially launching the year-long event on New Year’s Day.

"This milestone allows all members of the University’s community to celebrate."

Special foundation dinners across the state; 125-inspired events in Tasmania, Australia and overseas; a short film and the commemorative 125 Stories project are just some of the highlights planned.

Not to mention having alumnus Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, as the Honorary Patron of the celebrations.

“We have had a lot of interest and support from across the University community and beyond,” 125th Anniversary Advisory Committee Chair Professor David Rich says.

“We have also received great support from the Tasmanian University Union (TUU) and from a range of external partners including state and local governments in Tasmania.

”To build on the momentum, dedicated committees have been formed in each of the state’s three regions to host a range of local activities.

“This milestone allows all members of the University’s community to celebrate our past, and build for our future,” Professor Rich says.

Many of the University’s faculties, institutes, schools and divisions are also planning to commemorate the historic year.

Along with the 125 Stories project, Professor Rich says there will also be a short film released to highlight the University’s people and achievements.

For more information on the 125 celebrations visit or email

Share your story

Chances are with more than 90,000 alumni around the world there are going to be some interesting tales to tell.

Achievements, challenges, milestones and reflections – the 125 Stories project is aiming to capture, preserve and share insights and observations which have helped shape the University of Tasmania.

Staff, students, alumni and friends of the University are being invited to be a part of the event by submitting their own stories or material.

The University was only the fourth to be established in Australia when it was founded in 1890.

The project is commemorating the University’s evolution over the centuries – reflecting the academic and research achievements and national and international impact over the past 125 years.

Submissions can include photographs, memorabilia, keepsakes and the like with material being presented online and potentially made available in other ways including hard copy, exhibitions and displays.

Stories should be 250 to 1250 words.

Key themes the stories could reflect include learning and teaching at the University; impact of research; the University and its migrant community; internationalisation; foundation and philanthropy; disciplines and distinguished alumni; University’s academic, political and economic impact; and university life such as societies, TUU and sporting clubs.

To participate in the project, or for more information, visit