Dean's Report

All staff forum

You would have received an invitation to this Friday’s all staff forum and I’m looking forward to as many of us as possible gathering together for the first time in many months. The forum is simply designed to provide an update on relevant University and MGSE news and, most importantly, to give staff an opportunity to ask questions both before and during the forum. Follow this link to provide feedback or ask a question. I encourage you to join the forum if you are able to and I’m looking forward to us being together as a virtual community.

National Reconciliation Week 2020

Next week is the start of National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June), an important week in Australia’s calendar that this year marks the twentieth anniversary of the reconciliation walks when people came together to walk on bridges and roads across the nation to show their support for a more reconciled Australia. As Reconciliation Australia explains National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. The theme for 2020 is In This Together, and while chosen last year is particularly relevant in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. As Reconciliation Australia notes we are in this together whether it be in reconciliation or in crisis. There are some great online events being held around Australia and by the University community which will be promoted next week. It is also a pertinent time to revisit our Divisional Indigenous Development Plan (DIDP) to focus on the commitments MGSE has made to advancing Indigenous development and wellbeing and to strengthening our relationships.

Advancing Melbourne 2030

The new University of Melbourne strategy was released last week and signals the start of a new direction for the University. Advancing Melbourne 2030 covers five key focus areas – place, community, education, discovery and global – and was developed after extensive consultation with staff, students, alumni and key stakeholders. The Vice-Chancellor believes the strategy will help the University to deliver in the national interest and make vital contributions to Australia’s standing on the world stage, setting an agenda that is both relevant to our times and achievable. I encourage all staff to read this new 10 year strategy which will naturally affect and determine the direction of all of the University’s Schools and Faculties.

International Network of Education Institutes (INEI)

Recently, Professor Lorraine Graham and I attended a meeting of the International Network of Education Institutes (INEI) with an agenda understandably focused on the educational challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The INEI is an international education think tank with nine members from universities across the world. With colleagues joining from various time zones around the world our discussion examined what the post-pandemic educational landscape might be. According to UNESCO, more than one and half billion students have been affected by the school and university closures globally and the INEI group is committed to reflecting on the challenges we are facing, inspiring innovations in practices and policies, advocating for inclusive education, and collaborating and reiterating the importance of solidarity.

Finally, I was delighted to participate in some of the Level D and E academic triennial reviews this week. It was a privilege to hear about the work of these outstanding academic leaders and I was impressed by both the process and the commensurate recognition for the participants. We are fortunate indeed to have colleagues of this stature at MGSE with whom to collaborate and work.