Drew Pavlou: The Timeline So Far

By May 27, 2020 No Comments

Drew Pavlou photographed by Pippa Haupt

Most people in the Queensland University circles know about Drew Pavlou. We know he goes to UQ (for now), we know UQ wants to get rid of him and we know he speaks out against the CCP. However, with a case that grows so exponentially, so rapidly, it’s easy to get lost in the thousands of articles, Facebook posts and rumours that have shrouded this UQ student so far in 2019 and 2020. Without further ado, here is a complete timeline of Drew Pavlou and his actions/antics across the past year.  

This is a rolling article and will refresh as more news comes in. The most recent update is 27/05/20.

Author’s Note: This is not about the politics of which side I am on. I am not taking sides by publishing this article, this is just to cover what happened and when. I’m just a woman that spend hours trawling through articles, Facebook posts and press releases, compiled them into a list and published them (I’m praying I haven’t taken a shitpost as real and written about it). I am not saying this is an exhaustive list of everything Drew has or hasn’t done between July 24, 2019 and now, however it is a piece of information that helps to provide context to what has become a firestorm of both university and mainstream politics and media. This is also not an account of his personal life, because I’m not going to write down every grievance Drew has against other people and other people have about Drew. Seek those opinions out in your own time. There’s something about Drew Pavlou that sparks ravenous debate, and I’m sure this post will be no exception. Whether you see him as an activist, a menace, a cigar-smoking anarchist or an absolute meme, this post is for you.  

Strap in, folks. 


July 24, 2019: Drew organises and participates in a protest on the UQ St Lucia Campus. This was a Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Protest in which Drew was assaulted when the protest turned violent. This event led to a court case against Chinese Consul-General in Brisbane Dr Xu Jie, who endorsed the attacks. 


August 8, 2019: Drew opens his Facebook Page, UQ Senator Drew Pavlou- Keep the Bastards Honest, previously entitled Drew Pavlou for UQ Senate. Drew announces he is running for UQ Undergraduate Senator and publishes his policies, as well as a pledge to donate his senate salary if elected.

August 9, 2019: Drew criticised Pro-CCP protesters defacing the UQ Lennon Wall for the third time in the middle of the night.


September 6, 2019: Drew criticises Deputy Vice-Chancellor Joanne Wright and Vice-ChancellorPeter Hoj for allegedly wasting University money and calling for their salaries to be slashed.

September 21, 2019: Drew addresses claims that he is bullying VC Peter Hoj. He argues that he has not, due to the vast power imbalance between himself and the Vice-Chancellor.

September 24, 2019: Drew criticises DVC Joanne Wright and VC Peter Hoj for their push to demolish the Schonell Theatre.

September 29, 2019: Drew speaks at a Pro-Hong Kong rally in the Brisbane CBD.


October 4, 2019: Drew criticises UQ officials for introducing fellow UQ Senator Candidate, Gabii Starr as a ‘mental health champion’ at a UQ Sponsored event. He criticised UQ for an apparent endorsement of a student for senate and allegedly intervening in the election proceedings. On this day, Drew also meets with the Returning Officer who denied his request to use nudity in his senate campaign.

October 9, 2019: Drew runs a kissing booth in UQ’s Great Court during the voting week of his senate campaign.

October 11, 2019: Drew Pavlou wins the UQ Senate race.

October 12, 2019: Drew begins referring to himself in Facebook Posts as an official representative of the UQ administration.

October 14, 2019: Drew criticises ECON3820, a subject designed by the UQ Confucius Institute and the way it characterises Uyghur Muslims.

October 16: 2019: Drew calls for the shutdown of the University of Queensland Chinese Students and Scholars Association.

October 22, 2019: Drew announces he has found a location for a UQ Lennon wall which he intends to expand when his terms as senator starts.

October 29, 2019: Drew criticises UQ’s current Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) allocations, says that UQ Life is out of touch and does not serve students


November 12, 2019: Drew criticises the UQ administration for allowing Queensland Police on campus to practise overnight training exercises near the UQ Student Hub. Drew alleges that these exercises are in anticipation for clearing out protesters.

November 13, 2019: Drew condemns the Hong Kong Police Force for their actions against university students on the CUHK protests on November 12. For context on the events of November 12, please read here.

November 15, 2019: Drew announces that UQ sent him a letter threatening disciplinary action, allegedly for his comments on the Hong Kong Police protests. He goes on that day to criticise UQ for not calling home their exchange students from Hong Kong and recommends for students not to travel to Hong Kong during the protests.

November 17, 2019: Drew announces he has been talking to Amnesty International, a charity he was considering donating his senate salary to. Drew also posts that if he is to be kicked off the University Senate during his term he will run for the Federal Senate.

November 18, 2019: Drew criticises UQ and the Ramsay Centre.

November 20, 2019: Drew praises whoever emblazoned the Extinction Rebellion logo into the Great Court’s Grass, calling it an “amazing statement,” accompanied by a picture of the grass being replaced. Drew criticises UQ Management for spending money on re-turfing the area.

November 22, 2019: Drew provides an update on the legal battle between himself and Xu Jie, announcing that, “the court instructed the PRC Consul General, the University of Queensland, the Confucius Institute at UQ and the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, to provide any communications about the July attacks on Hong Kong protestors at UQ.” Drew criticises UQ for keeping the Consul General as an Adjunct Professor. Information here. 

November 23, 2019: Drew condemns Bettina Arndt for her comments on a UQ sexual assault hearing. He also criticises UQ for their lack of action to better police sexual assault on campus.

November 23, 2019: UQ updates their website to announce that Drew Pavlou does not speak for the university.

November 24, 2019: Drew announces he will speak on behalf of UQ students, not UQ. He then calls for alleged disciplinary action proceedings against him to be halted.

November 28, 2019: Drew begins posting daily about Uyghur Muslims and their oppression. This continues for 46 days.

November 30, 2019: Drew criticises the Queensland Heritage Council for their decision not to protect the UQ Union Complex and Schonell Theatre, calling for UQ to protect the space due to its meaning for students.


December 1, 2019: Drew calls for Professor Ping Chen, the Director of the UQ Confucius Institute, to be fired for pressuring VC Peter Hoj into severing ties with the Taiwanese Film Festival. Drew then advises he is booking rooms in the UQ Confucius Institute in the Forgan Smith Building to host his own Taiwanese Independence Film Festival.

December 2, 2019: UQ Room Bookings confirms Drew can host the film festival with the proviso that noise levels remain low as there are scheduled classes in the surrounding rooms.

December 7, 2019: Drew criticises UQ Life and the amount of SSAF it receives. Drew accuses UQ Life of hollowing out the UQ Union and blames DVC Joanne Wright. Information here. 

December 13, 2019: Drew praises the USA Ambassador to Australia for his comments criticising CCP surveillance of Chinese citizens in Australia.

December 16, 2019: Drew announces he is organising a protest alongside Liam Blair and Johnny Valkyrie to protest the Religious Freedom Bill. This protest was originally scheduled for January 18.

December 18, 2019: Drew criticises UQ for not disciplining alleged Pro-CCP Students who were involved in assaults during the July protests, while disciplining two Hong Kong students on assault allegations without access to legal representation.

December 20, 2019: Drew publishes a text sent to him by Avi Yemeni, who accuses him of defamation.


January 8, 2020: Drew calls for UQ to divest from fossil fuels.

January 11, 2020: Drew participates in a rally in solidarity with the Uyghur people of East Turkistan outside of QLD State Parliament.

January 12, 2020: Drew publicly supports Johnny Valkryie and condemns the UQ Liberal National Club for their actions while interrupting a Drag Story Time at a Brisbane City Council library.

January 15, 2020: Drew posts a series of photographs of his friend Wilson Gavin in light of Wilson’s passing on the 13th of January.

January 20, 2020: Drew announces he has continued talks to waive his senate salary in return for donations to Amnesty International for the full amount of a UQ Senator salary.

January 29, 2020: Drew criticises Adrian Schrinner and the Brisbane City Council for attempting to prevent the use of amplification in King George Square ahead of the Kill the Bill Protest on February 1st, which was postponed in light of the events of January 12 and 15.


February 1, 2020: The Kill the Bill rally is held with amplification.

February 2, 2020: Drew calls for suggestions for student issues to bring to the UQ Senate Meeting on February 25.

February 7, 2020: Drew publishes an email from UQ threatening disciplinary action, allegedly for his political belief.

February 9, 2020: Drew endorses Greens candidates Kath Angus and Trina Massey for the Mayoral and Central Ward Council elections, respectively, after they spoke at the Kill The Bill rally on the 1st.

February 10, 2020: Drew posts, alleging that UQ has threatened to cancel his enrolment on more than four occasions. Drew also criticises UQ Chancellor Peter Varghese for telling him that the only

senate committee position available was Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Drew advised his preferred committees were Finance, Campus Infrastructure or Governance.

February 12, 2020: Drew criticises the UQ Union executive for placing vinyl stickers of themselves over the Lennon wall at UQ. Drew tore these stickers down.

February 13, 2020: Drew criticises VC Peter Hoj for his video offering support to Chinese students unable to return to Australia due to COVID-19 and asks if this kind of support was offered to Hong Kong students during the 2019 protests in their country.

February 17, 2020: Drew is escorted off QUT property by QUT Security during O-Week. This was after wearing an LNP shirt and standing near the QUT YLNP club stall, ironically.

February 18, 2020: Drew attends Griffith University Market Day and posts about his plans to meet James McGrath. Senator McGrath allegedly left the campus when he was advised that Drew was present. On this day, Drew also posted explaining his recent vote not to remove Barclay McGain from UQU council, saying “I voted against removing Barclay McGain from Council because while I condemn his comments as racist I don’t believe democratically elected Council members should be removed without a vote by the student body – the most democratic option.” For information on why Barclay McGain was asked to be removed, see here.

February 19, 2020: Drew stages a protest in front of the LNP Market Day at UQ stall demanding that Mr. Krabs pay Squidward and Spongebob a living wage. AN: I’m not kidding, this actually happened.

Also on this day, Drew advises he successfully passed a motion at UQU Council to rename the UQU centre the Liu Xiaobo Centre.

February 24, 2020: Drew endorses Greens candidate Sally Dillon for the Coorparoo Council elections.

February 28, 2020: Drew announces that the UQ Senate has signed a long-term deal with the Confucius Institute, saying he was the sole senate member to oppose it.

On this day Drew also changed his name from UQ Senator Drew Pavlou on Facebook to Drew Pavlou, which he said was to avoid further discipline from the university.


March 5, 2020: Drew criticises James McGrath for his comments supporting Generation Liberty, a university group affiliated with the institute of public affairs.

March 8, 2020: Drew criticises Peter Hoj in light of the Australian Government launching an investigation into Confucius Institutes. Information here. 

March 10, 2020: Drew speaks outside the Chinese Consulate in Sydney, criticising the CCP. He returned to UQ in the evening for a candlelight vigil for to commemorate National Uprising Day in Tibet.

March 11, 2020: Drew announces that he believes that the campus is no longer safe from the threat of COVID-19 as UQ’s first Coronavirus case was confirmed.

March 13, 2020: Drew visits the Chancellery in a Hazmat Suit in an attempt to meet with VC Peter Hoj and encourage him to close the university.

March 15, 2020: Drew calls for students to ignore university advice and not attend classes due to the pandemic.

March 16, 2020: Drew speaks with 7 News about his declaration of a ‘Muck Up’ week, calling for UQ to cancel their classes in light of two students having confirmed COVID-19 cases.

March 19, 2020: Drew calls for the UQ Union Council meeting to not go ahead on March 20 due to coronavirus risk.

March 23, 2020: Drew vehemently criticises UQ Life for selling UQ Help Hampers (a bag of groceries) for those impacted by COVID-19 for $25, and only 40 per day, instead of giving them away for free.

March 24, 2020: Drew launches a GoFundMe to help raise money to create free hampers for students in opposition to UQ Life’s hampers. Drew went on to raise $5300.

March 25, 2020: Drew donates his first senate payment to Amnesty International, which amounted to $10,000.

March 27, 2020: UQ Life changes their UQ Help Hampers to UQ Hardship Hampers and makes them free, seemingly in response to Drew’s campaign. Drew publishes his account of the recent UQ Union Council Meeting, in which he filibusters the majority of the meeting.

March 30, 2020: Drew complains that he has been permanently banned from UQ Stalkerspace by the group admins.



April 1, 2020: Drew publishes an email conversation between himself and UQ Counselling, asking to confirm his safety. Drew responds with a meme.

April 7, 2020: Drew itemises expenses from the GoFundMe to show where donations are being sent. Drew and a group of volunteers package the hampers in a friend of Drew’s pasta restaurant. Pippa Haupt, who kindly leant her photograph to this article for Glass, posted a feature about the events.

April 8, 2020: Drew criticises UQ Chancellor Peter Varghese and VC Peter Hoj regarding their complaints that he is rude in senate meetings. Drew counters that they were rude to him when keeping the Chinese Consul General as an honorary professor after he issued death threats to Drew.

April 9, 2020: Drew began dropping off hampers to students.

April 14, 2020: Drew is served with a 186-page document containing misconduct allegations against the University. QUT Guild President Olivia Brumm called the dossier, “a personal vendetta by UQ against one of their students.”

April 15, 2020: Drew begins a fundraiser for Amnesty International’s Internationals and Communities at Risk Program.

April 16, 2020: Drew’s petition on calling for him not to be expelled reaches 10,000 signatures in two days. (At time of writing, the petition has 37,000 signatures).

Australian Liberal Senators James Patterson and Amanda Stoker and Liberal MP Tim Wilson speak out about their concerns regarding the expulsion in a Sydney Morning Herald Article.

Drew also appears on Sky News with Chris Smith to talk about the expulsion threats.

Drew advises that Pavlou v Xu Jie will be taking place via phone link on April 24.

April 17, 2020: Drew appears on Steve Austin’s ABC Brisbane Radio Show. Drew also condemns UQ’s plan to use ProctorU during exams under COVID-19.

April 18, 2020: In a tweet, Greens MP Cassidy O’Connor throws her support behind Drew.

April 20, 2020: Drew criticises UQ’s production of Koala AI, a company that provides surveillance technology to the Chinese Government.

April 22, 2020: Drew has an article written about him by Chinese State Media. Drew advises the UQ Misconduct Committee that he intends to bring Mr Tony Morris QC to his expulsion hearing.

April 24, 2020: The Australian Tibet Council calls for UQ to drop charges against Drew Pavlou.

April 27, 2020: Drew’s expulsion hearing was scheduled for this day but was postponed. Drew posted his frustrations at this change. Drew’s case is reported on in Taiwanese media.

April 28, 2020: Drew criticises UQ for not setting a new hearing date.

April 29, 2020: Drew features on the Unpacking Brisbane Podcast with Henry and Joe.

Drew begins positing allegations from the 186-page document to call for UQ to set a new hearing date. The first allegation is that Drew used a marker at the Second-Hand Bookshop to write on cardstock he bought, then left without paying for the pen.

April 30, 2020: Drew continues to post allegations from the 186-page document, sharing an allegation that he bullied Bachelor of Advanced Finance and Economics Students by referring to them as ‘BAFE C*NTs’ on his Facebook page.



May 1, 2020: Drew appears in the Australian. Link here.

May 2, 2020: Drew receives notice of the updated date for the Expulsion Hearing. Despite this, Drew continues to post allegations from the 186 pages of UQ allegations.

May 3, 2020: Drew criticises Gabii Starr, who placed second in the UQ senate race and voices concerns regarding her taking his place, should he be expelled in the hearing.

May 4, 2020: Drew criticises the CCP for their treatment of Uyghur Muslims.

May 5, 2020: Drew insinuates that the CCP may have placed a hit on him. National Union of Students publish a media release, criticising for their misconduct investigation into Drew Pavlou.

Drew’s story is covered in Hong Kong’s largest Pro-Democracy Media Outlet.

May 6, 2020: Drew appears on Sky News again.

May 7, 2020: Drew endorses the QUT Guild’s Petition demanding for concessions for students during the pandemic.

Drew calls for UQ Union to resume council meetings with an open letter signed by UQU Councillors Guohang Ding, William Kugelman, Justin Gane, Myah Davis, Priya De, Oula Shihan, Tom Heffernan, Tierna Parker and Ash Zeller.

May 8, 2020: Pauline Hanson supports Drew on his criticism of the CCP. Drew calls for Hanson to support all Muslims, not just the ones persecuted in China.

Drew receives a move on order and is threatened with a $1500 fine for peacefully protesting in Kangaroo Point, calling for refugees to be released from an apartment complex turned detention centre.

UQ Agrees to allow Tony Morris QC to attend his expulsion hearing.

May 9, 2020: Drew Pavlou appears in a two-page spread in the Courier Mail. Drew approves the coverage but calls for future reports to characterise him as anti-CCP rather than anti-China.

Drew is shadowed by a UQ security team when he enters the UQ campus to complete an interview with John Bryant Journalist.

May 11, 2020: Drew writes a Facebook post addressing his bullying allegations.

May 12, 2020: Drew criticises UQ Union President Ethan Van Roo Douglas for calling him “mentally unbalanced” and “schizophrenic” in an interview with John Bryant Journalist. Link here. 

May 13, 2020: Drew comments on whistle-blower documents that VC Peter Hoj received a $200,000 bonus last year based partly on his success in growing UQ’s relationship with China here.

May 14, 2020: Drew supports the NTEU fightback, in regard to working towards supporting university staff during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The National Union of Students post a press release announcing that they support Drew Pavlou in his fight against the university.

May 16, 2020: Drew criticises Queensland Police for their increased surveillance surrounding peaceful protests at the Kangaroo Point Central Hotel. Australian Director of Human Rights Watch, Elaine Pearson, volunteers her support for Drew on twitter. Drew appears in the Washington Post here.

May 17, 2020: Honi Soit, the University of Sydney Student Newspaper, publishes an article on Drew Pavlou. 

May 18, 2020: Drew alleges that UQ’s lawyers Clayton Utz accused him of contempt of court, in regards to his expulsion hearing. Drew holds an expulsion hearing outside of the Forgan Smith Building.

May 19, 2020: Drew appears on the front page of the Australian. UQ Disciplinary Board allegedly accepts a submission from Solicitor Tom Fletcher, advocating that Drew be expelled or suspended for five years. Drew appears on Sky News with Chris Kenny.

May 20, 2020: Drew holds a press conference prior to his expulsion hearing. Drew attends expulsion hearing with Tony Morris QC. Drew and Toni Morris QC walk out of expulsion hearing after one hour and hold a press conference at the front of the Brian Wilson Chancellery building.

May 21, 2020: Drew releases private email conversations between a senior UQ official and the chair of the board at the UQ Confucius Institute.

May 22, 2020: Drew’s case appears in the Wall Street Journal here.

May 23, 2020: Drew publishes some of the document sent to him by the UQ Disciplinary Board, showing that he was exonerated on the pen thievery charge and guilty on the other 10 allegations. It is unclear if Drew was expelled in this hearing.


And we’ll break there. Drew Pavlou’s future at UQ is in limbo, but one thing is clear: He won’t be backing down anytime soon. Even in the days following this article, more information has come to light, and I’ll be back for rolling coverage as events unfold. More to come.

Em Readman

Em Readman

Em Readman is a writer from Brisbane, Australia. She is an editor of GLASS Magazine, and is completing a Bachelor of Business and a Bachelor of Fine Art.

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