ͼ

Three women standing in front of a screen displaying corporate logos
ͼ VC Deborah Terry, Paralympian and ͼ student Lakeisha Patterson, and Paralympics Australia CEO Catherine Clark
23 June 2023

Brisbane is set to become a hub for Paralympic sport with the announcement of a nationally-significant partnership between ͼ and Paralympics Australia.

The collaboration was unveiled as a delegation from , including CEO Catherine Clark, toured ͼ’s St Lucia campus.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said the partnership provided a unique opportunity for two world-leading organisations to merge resources and create positive change through the power of sport.

“With ͼ ranked second in the world for sports science, the 2032 Paralympics presents an extraordinary opportunity to apply our knowledge and expertise to encourage and support Para-athletes,” Professor Terry said.

“As the Official Higher Education Partner of Paralympics Australia, ͼ will build, innovate, research, educate and advocate for broad inclusion and diversity while also increasing the opportunities for people with disabilities to engage in regular sport and physical activity. 

“We know 3 out of 4 Australians with a disability want to participate in sport, but only one in 4 do.

“This partnership will allow us to change those statistics and assist para-athletes to engage in regular sport and physical activity, including training for and participation in sporting competition.”

The collaboration would also see ͼ students in a variety of professional programs completing industry placements with Paralympics Australia starting this year.

“Our highly sought-after graduates will be even better prepared for future success through enriching real-life educational experiences,” Professor Terry said.

“Consistent with ͼ’s Disability Action Plan we will also ensure our curricula and the experience of students in programs from across the University match our goal of providing positive social and physical benefits to people with disabilities, their families, carers and the broader community.”

Following last week’s announcement by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk that a new Paralympics Australia base will open in Brisbane, space will also be available at the University to enable closer planning and collaboration in the lead up to 2032.

Paralympics Australia Chief Executive Catherine Clark said the collaboration with ͼ was another step towards achieving PA's vision of a world-leading and equitable sport system.

This wonderful collaboration with ͼ will help deliver our stated ambition to lead, develop and leverage partnerships to build capability and enhance Paralympic sport equity and success towards and beyond 2032,” Ms Clark said.

“Following the establishment of in 2021 and our ongoing engagement with the National Institute of Network, PA continues to look for more ways to engage with partners – existing and new – to build the capacity and capability of the Paralympic movement.

“This potential of the collaboration is incredibly exciting, and I believe its positive and meaningful impact can stretch far beyond Para-sport.”

Media: ͼ Communications, communications@uq.edu.au, +61 429 056 139.