Sir Samuel Griffith

Sir Samuel Walker Griffith sitting at small table

Griffith University is named in honour of Sir Samuel Walker Griffith, one of Australia's great early achievers. Twice the premier of Queensland, that state's chief justice and author of its criminal code, he was a great, confident provincial who saw no reason why, as a Queenslander, he could not take a major role in the public life of the emerging nation.

Best known for his pivotal role in drafting agreements that led to Federation and the new nation's first chief justice, Griffith was also an important reformer and legislator, a practical and cautious man of words - a legal draftsman, a poet and translator of Dante. Griffith, who died in 1920, is now remembered in his namesakes - an electorate, a society, a suburb, and a university.

Sir Samuel made an outstanding contribution to law and government at an important time in Australian history. Griffith University's ethos reflects Sir Samuel's commitment to public debate and ideas, his delight in words and art, and his active citizenship.

A recipient of a university scholarship himself, Sir Samuel was a lifelong advocate of government support for education and scholarships, recognising the vital role early scholarships played in launching his distinguished career.