From the VC's desk
One of the effects of the stage four COVID-19 lockdown in Melbourne, and the stage three restrictions in regional Victoria, is the way they seem to distort the passage of time. There are periods when it slows down to a crawl, and others when the weeks feel like they’ve flown by. It’s a bit like the AFL fixture list this year – a long-delayed season followed by weeks of frantic activity.
It is hard to believe July is over already and that we are now in the second half of the year. Aboriginal people call this time of year ‘early spring’ and it’s easy to see why – the wattle is in flower, and daffodils and blossom are starting to make an early appearance.
As we reach the mid-point of the year, I’m sure you’ll agree that 2020 so far has been one of the toughest six months any of us have experienced. It’s likely that many of you are feeling the strain of adjusting to new patterns of life, new ways of working and managing the stress of the uncertainty that affects us all. I hope that the next few weeks will give you an opportunity to take a break and that, if you need to, you make use of the support services available to staff.
It’s been another huge month at La Trobe. At the risk of repeating myself, the commitment, spirit and care I continue to see across the University in these challenging times is just wonderful. There is no doubt that we face significant challenges, and I will touch on some of those in this message, but I continue to be heartened by the commitment our staff have shown, and continue to show, to the learning and wellbeing of our students. Once again, thank you.
It’s May, it’s getting colder, but there’s no footy – so while some aspects of life feel familiar, others don’t. I hope you are all doing ok and that the first wave of stress and effort in moving to online delivery is starting to settle down, and that this ‘new normal’ is starting to feel more familiar. I’m sure that you all face challenges of different kinds – but what keeps my spirits up is the strong sense of community and common endeavour that we have created. Again, thank you.
No-one expected this. In January, which seems like a lifetime ago, we were concerned about bushfires and the impact of climate change. How the world has changed – again.
It’s been a difficult year so far – first the terrible bushfires, quickly followed by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China. I will return to both of these below. If you’re like me, then the memories of time off with family and friends are fading fast – 2020 has announced itself with, literally, a bang.
This is the last edition of my blog for 2019, so I’d like to share with you some highlights of the year. It is intended to be illustrative rather than exhaustive, and to give a flavour of the year across our core areas of activity.
It’s now halfway through November, which means that our students are well into their exams. It’s been an extraordinary month for investment in La Trobe – from Government, through philanthropy and by our own staff. This is a great endorsement for the University and will provide lasting benefit to our students, our research and to our communities.