As GAF approaches its 40th Anniversary in 2012, along with the 10th Anniversary of the Scholarship Program, we celebrate the continued growth of GAF's philanthropic work. George would be proud that his foundation is supporting so many talented young people.
This year a further 44 GAF Scholars were welcomed to the GAF scholarship community, bringing the number of current GAF Scholars to 111. Added to the GAF graduate alumni, this amounts to 291 scholars, making GAF one of the largest private scholarship programs in Australia. The GAF Scholarship Program represents an important investment in these young Australians as talented individuals, but it is also an investment in their future contributions as leaders, thinkers and innovators in the community.
Once George Alexander retired to Queensland in the 1970s, he invested in a wide range of businesses and properties, most of which he left to the Foundation when he died in 2008. As he got older, George entrusted the day-to-day management of his wealth to William Owen-Jones, the son of one of his friends. William became one of George's most trusted friends, and until November 2011, continued to look after the property investments George left to his Foundation. A number of these properties have now been sold, and the associated bank loans repaid. We thank William for his dedicated management of these assets and wish him well in his future career.
We congratulate the 2011 GAF Scholars and bursary recipients and those who have received fellowships through the programs the Foundation operates with excellent institutions such as International Specialised Skills Institute and the Centre for Sustainability Leadership. We have an excellent group of scholarship recipients, and we wish them well in their studies and will follow their progress with interest.