More Information

For interview: 

Sue Cunningham, Vice-Principal, Advancement (9035 4967).
* Please note Mr Humphries is NOT available for comment at this time.
Katherine Smith, University Communications (8344 7263 / 0402 460 147).

Entertainer, writer and broadcaster Barry Humphries has joined the University of Melbourne’s major fundraising initiative as a Campaign Patron, it was announced today.

Believe – The Campaign for the University of Melbourne is the most ambitious fundraising initiative undertaken in its 160 year history by University, with a target to raise $500m.  The Campaign seeks to secure vital investment for the University’s endowment to support student scholarship and experience, together with investment in the world leading research at the University – which seeks solutions to the world’s most significant challenges. Over 12,000 generous donors worldwide have already pledged $267m.

The University’s Vice-Principal (Advancement) Sue Cunningham described Mr Humphrey’s decision to join the Campaign as a Patron as a major honour for the University.
“It is magnificent to have international support for the Campaign and to have Barry, who is a graduate of the University, as our most recent Patron,” she said.

“Barry’s involvement will strengthen our ability to reach out to alumni and friends internationally and encourage others to become involved.” 
Click to enlargeFamed for his work as alter-egos Dame Edna Everage, Sir Les Patterson and Sandy Stone, Mr Humphries has been a household name in Australia since the 1950s. He is renowned for having made an immense contribution to Australian popular culture, with a particular focus on life in Melbourne.
During his career Mr Humphries has authored more than twenty books, written, directed and starred in films, appeared in numerous stage shows and been the host of television series in Australia, the UnitedKingdom and the United States.
Mr Humphries said he welcomed the opportunity to join the Campaign as a Patron, and recalled some happy memories of his time at the University, where he studied for the Bachelor of Arts.
“I find Melbourne University harbours many happy memories from my distant youth,” he said.
“It was an important place for me to learn, not so much what I wanted to do in adult life, but what I did not want to do.”
In 2003, Mr Humphries was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by the University, to acknowledge his contributions not only to the University, but also to the wider realm of Australian art, culture and politics.