From the VC's desk

June 2022

After a long lead-in to the 2022 Federal Election, Australians cast their ballots on 21 May and elected a new Labor Government, with Anthony Albanese as Australia’s 31st Prime Minister. This week the Hon Jason Clare has been appointed as Minister for Education in the new Albanese Government’s Ministry.

May 2022

Welcome to this special edition of the Vice-Chancellor’s monthly blog. I am Acting VC this week while Professor Dewar is having a well-deserved break from work, so I thought I’d share some of our recent achievements this month.

April 2022

I hope you enjoyed the new ‘In Conversation’ format of our first All Staff webinar of the year. We have had an overwhelmingly positive response from staff through comments and feedback. My warmest thanks to Professor Clare Wright, who was our fantastic host, and to the other guests who appeared with Clare on camera or on video.

March 2022

It’s not often that I feel joy – it’s an emotion usually in very short supply for a Vice-Chancellor – but I’ll confess to several joyful moments over the last week: seeing so many excited students at our Sports Stadium at Bundoora for Welcome Fest, and the sight of the Agora once again bustling with students and staff. I’ve heard reports of similar joyful scenes at our other campuses (more below). I’m especially pleased for our vendors and small traders on campus who have had a tough time over the last two years – so if you can afford to buy a salad or coffee when you’re at work, please show your support for them.

February 2022

Welcome to 2022. Let’s hope it’s an improvement on the two years that preceded it. The early signs are good, with a real prospect of being able to get back onto campus safely for some teaching and other activities in Semester 1, and international students returning in significant numbers. Your safety will be our paramount concern, as always.

December 2021

I think we’d all agree that the last two years have been incredibly difficult. COVID-19 has not only had a deep impact on the University; it has also had a profound effect on all of us, on our friends and families, and on the community. As 2021 draws to a close, we can nevertheless look back with great pride at the way we responded to the pandemic. We all demonstrated fantastic commitment to our students, to supporting our communities and to sustaining our research as best we can. I’d like, once again, to thank you all for your extraordinary efforts. I think we’ve all learned a lot – about ourselves, our motivations, and about those around us; and the multiple factors at work in people’s lives affecting their response to lockdowns.

November 2021

It’s exam time again, which is a reminder that we have almost made it to the end of another year. And what an extraordinary year it’s been. 2021, the year that was meant to be a big improvement on 2020, turned out to be just as challenging, perhaps more so. Everyone can take great pride in the way we have kept our teaching, research and student support activities going during a period of such upheaval and uncertainty inside and outside the University. My thanks to everyone for an extraordinary effort once again this year.

October 2021

Moving our clocks forward for Daylight Saving Time was a reminder that we’re in the final quarter of another year. Like 2020, it’s been a year of extraordinary challenges as we’ve navigated multiple COVID-19 lockdowns and juggled the demands of home schooling and domestic life while continuing with our work for the University. I’m happy to work from home occasionally, but I really miss life on campus, which is why I’m very pleased that there was such a positive response to my announcement of the roadmap for reopening campuses.

September 2021

I hope you could take a break over the long weekend and make the most of the wellness day on Friday. You all deserve it. While the torrential rain on Friday made it a day for reading a good book or watching a film or series on Netflix, the signs of approaching spring over the last couple of weeks – the lengthening days, wattle in flower, birds nesting, footy finals – have nevertheless helped to lift my spirits a little.

August 2021

I hope you made the most of the winter sunshine we enjoyed last weekend following the lifting of restrictions. It certainly was nice to get out of the house and get some vitamin D.

July 2021

Although the winter solstice has passed and the days are theoretically getting longer, I’m still not used to leaving home in the morning when it’s pitch black and returning at night under the cover of darkness.

June 2021

As I write, the snap ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown that began last Friday has been extended to support management of the COVID outbreak in Melbourne. I hope you and your loved ones have managed to stay safe and keep your spirits up over the first week of the lockdown.

May 2021

I hope you’ve been enjoying the magnificent Autumn weather we’ve been having across Victoria. Last week’s graduations in Wodonga – our first at-scale graduations since December 2019 – were held on a magnificently sunny day of perfect temperatures. It made for a joy-filled occasion – not just in celebration of our students’ achievements, but also of the fact that we are able once again to come together in public for large-scale events.

April 2021

The start of the men’s footy season (not as good as normal footy, and takes much longer, but still quite good to watch) means that it’s also the beginning of Autumn. There have been some great projects around the University since my last blog, and I’d like to share a few of our achievements with you.