The Celtic Studies Foundation, University of Sydney

30 years old this year!

The Celtic Studies Foundation of the University of Sydney was founded in 1986 for the purpose of supporting programmes of teaching and research in the Celtic languages, history and archaeology at the University of Sydney. The present Chair of the Foundation is author and broadcaster Claire Dunne, OAM.

Individual units on Celtic topics had been taught at the University of Sydney since at least the 1970s academics based in the departments of Archaeology, English and History. In 1985 a formal programme in Celtic Studies was launched under the direction of Dr Aedeen Cremin. 2008 saw Professor Anders Ahlqvist appointed as the first Sir Warwick Fairfax Professor of Celtic Studies. The chair was created with the help of a generous endowment by Lady Mary Fairfax, in honour of her late husband Sir Warwick Fairfax (1901-87).

In 2014 Professor Jonathan Wooding, a graduate of the University, was appointed as the second, and present, Sir Warwick Fairfax Professor of Celtic Studies.

What does the Foundation Do?

The work of the Foundation encompasses a range of activities. Central to its activities is fund-raising to support the on-going provision of Celtic Studies at the University. In the 2015 the programme benefited from generous endowments from the Scottish and Welsh communities, to make possible teaching in Scottish Gaelic and Modern Welsh, respectively.

A very exciting recent initiative is a very generous endowment from Mrs Rosemary Samios, which will make it possible for students in the field of Scottish Gaelic to undertake periods of advanced study in Scotland. The gift reflects Mrs Samios’s lifetime commitment to Gaelic language and culture.

The Foundation also supports a range of other academic activities, including visiting lectures, a triennial Conference (since 1992) and a range of Publications arising from conferences and other projects.