From the VC's desk
March 2017 will be remembered for a joyful ten days of birthday celebrations for La Trobe’s 50th. It was wonderful to see current students and staff coming together, and heart-warming to see how enthusiastic our alumni were to reconnect with the University and to catch up with old friends and colleagues. Read more.
As you are all no doubt aware, it is exactly 50 years to the day since La Trobe began teaching its first cohort of students.
Whether you have been here for four months, four years or forty, all of us can be very proud to call ourselves part of the La Trobe community today. We have achieved something incredible over the last fifty years – bringing the opportunity to be part of a world class University to communities that would otherwise be denied it.
Hello and welcome back to the start of another year. I hope you all had a great break and have returned to work refreshed and renewed.
It is still early in the year, but we're already preparing ourselves for an exciting 2017 as we look forward to celebrating our 50th Anniversary - but a bit more about that later.
The year certainly got off to a soggy start, with a number of buildings on our Melbourne Campus suffering significant flood damage during a major storm in late December and needing a major clean up in January. If rain is a sign of good luck, as suggested by some commentators at the recent US Presidential Inauguration, then we must be off to a good start.
Hello and welcome to the final instalment for the year.
What a busy 12 months it has been for everyone at La Trobe! This has been a year in which we have done well in traditional areas of university activity like teaching and research, but have also taken significant strides in emergent areas such as industry partnerships and collaboration.
This is the last edition of my monthly blog for the year, so it seems fitting to reflect on the year that was. While it is not possible to list every achievement of the last twelve months, I would like to share with you a summary of some of the activity across the University during 2016.
November already, our students are in the midst of exams and the horses are on the track at Flemington. In the meantime, here’s a taste of what’s been coming across my desk.
October already: the AFL season has been and gone, and the Spring Racing Carnival is just around the corner. As usual, there has been plenty going on here at La Trobe University….
It’s been another busy month at La Trobe, with very successful open days at all of our campuses and some great news on the rankings front.
I hope you have all been able to get some down time over the mid-year break, and that things are running smoothly for semester 2.
Even in this increasingly digital world, Open Days remain our most important recruitment events across all of our campuses. Students and their families still like to come and see for themselves what life on campus might be like, and to talk to the people who might be teaching them.
First of all, a big thank you to everyone for working so hard to complete the marking, entering and uploading of results for semester 1 exams. I know that this has been a huge team effort from everyone. I hope you have had a chance to take a bit of a breather at this midpoint of the year.
Hello and welcome to the June edition of From the VC’s Desk. It’s difficult to believe that we are almost halfway through the calendar year!
As Semester One draws to a close, it’s a busy time for staff and students as they prepare for exams and finalise assessments. Meanwhile, there is an election campaign underway which, we hope, will provide some much-needed certainty for the sector on future funding arrangements, and a Senate willing to make sensible changes. Sadly, higher education has scarcely featured as an election theme, but whoever wins will still claim a mandate to implement their policies for the sector; but more on that later.
Hello, and welcome to the latest of my monthly instalments from the VC’s desk. Last month, I travelled with a number of colleagues to China to strengthen ties with some of our key partner Universities, and to take part in Austrade’s Australia week in China (AWIC).
I trust you all had a relaxing and restful Easter with your friends and family.
The Prime Minister's announcement that the budget is to be brought forward, and Parliament reconvened early, has raised speculation about an early double dissolution election. While the Labor Party has released a clear set of policies for Higher Education, the government has not brought back any revised proposals since the Pyne reform package failed to make it through the Senate last year. This means that, technically, those proposals remain government policy.
It's wonderful to have our students back on campus, clearly enjoying themselves as they explore the opportunities available to them at La Trobe. Simpson Lawn was a hive of activity in O week, with our student Clubs and Societies working hard to recruit new members. From Pipe Bands to Quidditch, the choice on offer was extraordinary, and reminds us that student clubs and societies contribute so much to the vibrancy of life on campus.
Welcome to the first edition of 'From the VC's Desk' for 2016. Read about VTAC offers, the new Bendigo Art Gallery Director and more.
The year has certainly ended with a bang for La Trobe, with the recent release of 2015 Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) results which show an astonishing improvement in our research performance compared to the last assessment in 2012.
Exams get under way this week and our libraries and learning spaces are full of students preparing for their end of year assessments.
For staff, it's been a busy, productive and sometimes stressful year, but one that has seen great progress and success on many fronts. One thing that remains uncertain, however, is the long term policy setting for the higher education sector.
Welcome to the October edition, which is accompanied by a foretaste of the ferocious summer that forecasters have been predicting. For those of you who live in areas prone to bushfire, please make sure that you heed the advice of the authorities to have effective plans in place.
This September edition marks the official arrival of Spring and our emergence from what has been the coldest winter on record for 29 years. As we enter the final third of the year, and as thoughts turn to Grand Finals and Spring Racing, I'm pleased to report some good news stories from around our campuses.
Welcome to the August edition of 'from the VC's desk'.
And welcome back to the start of semester two. Whether you have been taking a break from the Melbourne winter, attending conferences, preparing teaching or pursuing research projects, or a combination of all of the above, it's great to have you back. Some new students who have started their degrees mid year also join us. The queues to get that morning coffee are now a little longer, but the buzz of activity and enthusiasm is also that little bit louder with everyone now back on deck.
Welcome to the July edition of 'from the VC's desk', the first since the Chancellor announced that I will serve a second term as Vice-Chancellor, until early 2021.
I am very honoured to have the opportunity to lead the university through our 50th anniversary celebrations in 2017 and beyond. While we have achieved a great deal, there remains much to be done to ensure that La Trobe realises its huge potential, and I'm looking forward to working with colleagues to bring this about.
It's only Round 9 and already a coach has lost a job. Our commiserations go to Mick Malthouse, whose departure from Carlton brings an incredibly distinguished coaching career to a close. Mick has been a valued member of the La Trobe community since 2012 as a Vice-Chancellor's Fellow, and we look forward to welcoming him back to our campuses to continue the excellent work he has done for us in school outreach and enlivening our classrooms.There's a lot to tell you about this month, and I want to start with some recent staff successes .
The arrival of cold mornings is a reminder of just how quickly the year is flying past. It seems hard to believe that it is already May, that we are two thirds of the way through first semester, and that the June exams are already looming on the horizon.
Read more our recent regional graduations, South American trip, new shuttle bus service and more.
In this month's edition read about our students who are participating in a new and exciting work placement program with the Indian Premiership League (IPL) cricket team Kings XI Punjab.
Read more about our Future Ready service improvements for students, taking La Trobe to Asia, a recognition of our staff and more.
The academic year is well and truly upon us and it is great to see so many students on campus as they prepare to begin, or continue, their studies in earnest. There is a real buzz in the air – a sense of excitement and anticipation for what the year will bring.
Read more about our upgrade of teaching, research and administrative facilities, digital learning strategy, SheppARTon Festival involvement, Future Ready refresh and more.
Welcome to my first 2015 edition of From the VC's Desk.
This issue welcomes new senior staff to La Trobe, congratulates staff for their hard work in student recruitment and finance and highlights the upcoming Ideas and Society event.
Welcome to my third and final 2014 edition of From the VC's Desk.
This issue contains a review of 2014, an update on public transport at the Melbourne Campus, congratulates three La Trobe alumni who have become Ministers in the new state government along with other stories.
Welcome to my second monthly newsletter capturing some of the highlights, success and events taking place at La Trobe.
Read more about this years Distinguished Alumni awards, our 20th anniversary celebration at the Shepparton campus, my thoughts on the Higher Education reform debate, the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria and much more.
With so much going on at the moment, both within the sector and at La Trobe University itself, I feel it is important to make the time to stop and reflect on some of the issues and challenges we face, as well as sharing and celebrating our successes.
Read more about the Government's Higher Education Reform package in the Senate, the new inaugural Pro Vice-Chancellor for the College of Science, Health and Engineering, the launch of La Trobe Asia and La Trobe's new cancer research partner.
Sophie Buckle's valedictory speech
Sophie Buckle, Student Services Officer in the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law at our Albury-Wodonga Campus gave a lovely valedictory speech at the campus graduation ceremony on in April.
First of all I would like to congratulate all the graduates on finishing your degrees. It is an amazing achievement and one that you and your families and friends should be very proud of. I have often said that university isn't about being the smartest person it's about having a drive, strong work ethic and dedication. Because to complete a degree because it requires hours upon hours of lectures, reading, textbooks, tutorials, assignments, hundreds of times saying 'sorry I can't come I have Uni work to do', 'sorry I have an assignment due tonight', 'argh this is just too hard' and 'I hate Uni' to get you to the point where you can say "My hard work has paid off and I am proud of my effort". Today is that day so enjoy it. The whole speech can be read online.
La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science (LIMS)
This year we opened our $100M LIMS building, a centre that will continue to grow the University's world-class research in molecular science, biotechnology and nanotechnology.
Two great videos show you what a spectacular facility this is. One was filmed on the day of the official opening and the other video is time-lapse taken over the two year construction period.
AgriBio: The centre for Agribioscience
These photos illustrate the research and support facilities the impressive building houses. More information on the building can be read online.