Dean's Report

All staff forum

Earlier this week we held an all Staff Forum to provide an update on the Pandemic Reset Program Change Proposal recently released by the University. Thank you to all the staff who attended and for those who were unable to make it the video, PowerPoint and updated FAQs are available on the MGSE Intranet. I think we all understand what a difficult and uncertain time this is for many staff, coming on the end of a challenging year. With this in mind, I do want to mention again how much I appreciate the high level of collegiality at MGSE and the terrific work that continues unabated. As mentioned at the Staff Forum we have 10 MGSE staff who have decided to take voluntary redundancies with most of them leaving MGSE by the end of the year. It is always sad to say farewell to colleagues and is particularly challenging in the virtual world in which we currently work. I know you will all respect that these are private decisions and staff will depart on their own terms in their own way. I also announced at the Forum that the Enhanced Retirement Scheme for academics has now been approved by the ATO and there will be further details communicated to staff soon.

MGSE Micro-Certs

I’m delighted to announce some new MGSE micro-certs which were developed from the ARC Linkage project (ILECT) which also comes under the umbrella of the LEaRN research collaboration. Working closely with MSPACE, the first two subjects have been developed titled  Teaching in Innovative Spaces and Learning in Innovative Spaces and will run in February 2021. Congratulations to Associate Professor Wes Imms, Dr Marian Mahat and Associate Professor Josephine Lang for this impressive achievement. These micro-certs are one of the first in the University alongside ones in the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Business Studies, School of Agriculture and, of course, Dr Daniela Acquaro’s microcerts developed in conjunction with the Department of Education.

Living with COVID campaign

Another interdisciplinary project MGSE has been working on is the public health campaign Living with COVID which provides health information to teenagers. Dr Victoria Millar has worked alongside project lead, Professor Rachel Fensham from the Faculty of Arts, and the Victorian Student Representative Council and others, to create relatable and engaging COVID-19 content for young people. The campaign contains six 30 second videos, which aim to cut across the huge volume of social media information, and lead teenagers to accurate information from University of Melbourne experts to ensure that teenagers are well-informed and supported through the pandemic. So far, the campaign has generated thousands of views across various social media platforms since its launch last week.

MGSE Events

While we can all the see the finishing line in sight, and I think I’m safe to say we are all looking forward to a summer break, work is not yet slowing down. Just this week we have hosted two major external events with the David Clarke memorial lecture scheduled for next week. On Monday the annual Jenny Leaper lecture was held where Associate Professor Tricia Eadie and Dr Penny Levickis discussed the results of their study into the experiences and wellbeing of  early childhood educators and parents’ engagement during COVID-19. We also hosted the final University of Melbourne Network of Schools (UMNOS) Showcase, which in previous years was held at the Melbourne Convention Centre but this year, of course, was held virtually. Many thanks to Angela Pollock, Director of UMNOS, for putting this complex event together. Various UMNOS schools presented their work, which was then followed by a keynote address by author Rachael Robertson, who led the 58th Australian Antarctic Research expedition to Davis station in 2005.  Rachael's presentation focused on the challenges and successes of leading teams through unforeseen circumstances. Something we all know a bit about this year!