Joseph (Joe) Croft Indigenous Award

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
Benjamin Franklin


These powerful words, in part, encapsulate our motivation, as a Foundation, to support St John’s students to experience an academic journey that not only positively shapes the individual, but also benefits the broader community.

As our efforts continue, and as the end of financial year approaches, I encourage you to support this year’s Annual Giving Appeal by making a tax-deductible contribution to our Joseph (Joe) Croft Indigenous Award or our Scholarships and Bursaries Fund.


Joseph (Joe) Croft Indigenous Award

Originally established in 2015, the St John’s College Joseph (Joe) Croft Indigenous Award is named in honour of Old Johnian, Joseph Croft, 1926 – 1996, the first Aboriginal student to attend university in Australia.

A descendant of the Gurindji and Mudpurra people from the Northern Territory, Joe, a member of the Stolen Generations, was forcibly removed from his mother at just four years-of-age and spent his childhood in government institutions.

Joe studied Engineering at UQ while residing at St John’s.


The Middle YearsBrenda Croft Testimonial Image

1940 – 1943

  • Won a Northern Territory government scholarship to attend secondary school, which was transferred to All Souls’ School in Charters Towers.


  • Graduated after attaining School Captain, Prefect, Captain of the Cricket, Football and Swimming teams and Ramsay House Captain.


  • Awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to attend the University of Queensland (UQ) to study Engineering while residing at St John’s College.
  • Awarded blues in Cricket and Football.

1945 – 1971

  • Enlisted in the army for 12 months.
  • Returned to UQ in 1947 before leaving again in 1948.
  • For two years he worked various jobs before becoming a contracting surveyor on dam building and railway line rebuilding projects from 1950 until 1971.


In later life, Joe was appointed as a Cultural Adviser in the Federal Department of Aboriginal Affairs and also served on the Anti-Discrimination Board. He remained active in advocating Indigenous rights throughout his life.

To support this year’s Annual Giving Appeal, simply click ‘Donate Now’ or contact us direct via phone on (07) 3842 6600.


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