MGSE Staff Dialogues
The second round of 2019 MGSE Staff Dialogues was held last week, and I was impressed by the positive level of engagement of staff with a wide range of issues of interest to MGSE. Discussions revolved around our contribution to the Melbourne Declaration and the new University Strategy, the implications of emerging fields in education including new technology and life-long learning, the need for further training in ethics, the Leicester Street Accommodation Refurbishment, the Workplace Taskforce, the MGSE Budget and student voice amongst others. I greatly appreciate staff participating in these Dialogues and I hope it provides us all with the opportunity to open up conversations across MGSE.
As many of you are aware late last year the MGSE Executive commissioned a review to examine the state of play of MGSE research activities in order to improve our growth in research quality, output, income and impact. The review as a whole has provided guidance on re-aligning the activities and focus of research at MGSE. The recommendations of the review aim to better calibrate our research resourcing, performance and services to meet our strategic objective to provide research that contributes to innovation in education policy and practice. A number of key recommendations have already been initiated with others in development. A summary of the recommendations and initiatives is available for staff to read.
National Reconciliation Week
This week marks National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June) with the theme of Grounded in Truth, Walk Together with Courage. The dates of the week commemorate two significant milestones in reconciliation — the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision. The University is running a series of events over this week and I encourage all staff members to attend at least one of these events and exhibitions. Dr Margaret Williams-Weir, the first Aboriginal graduate of an Australian university, completed her Diploma of Physical Education at the University of Melbourne in 1959 and later completed a Bachelor of Education, an Honours Research Master’s degree and a Doctor of Philosophy. Our lounge, on the ground floor of the Kwong Lee Dow building, is dedicated to her and a display of information about the University’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a video presentation has been assembled to commemorate this week.
Last week saw the launch of our new series MGSE Talks, a forum which provides an opportunity for MGSE staff to learn more about each other’s work and to hear about important projects occurring at MGSE. The presentations were informative and enjoyable, and I was particularly impressed by Gemma Barry’s story of her experience in the Jawan program in South Australia. These presentations are available to view, and I’m looking forward to the next MGSE Talks on Tuesday 9 July at 12 noon.
Latest Talking Teaching episode
The latest episode of Talking Teaching examines international interest in the critical, creative and innovative approaches Australian teachers are using to engage students in complex problem solving. It also features an interview with Bruce Armstrong, former Deputy Secretary, Victorian Department of Education, who discusses the importance of leadership in schools and how socio-economic advantage or disadvantage are strong determinants of schooling. Worth a listen.
Lastly, Helen Cahill will be taking study leave in Semester Two and John Polesel will be acting as Deputy Dean during this time. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Helen for the great work she has achieved and the excellent support she has given me so far in her role as Deputy Dean, and I’m looking forward to working with John for the remainder of the year.