Dean's Report

Return to Campus update

With Spring in the air, many restrictions lifted and the promise of a summer break not too far away there is a definite sense of anticipation in the air. In such an extraordinary year we can all be proud of the flexibility we have demonstrated and the quality outcomes that we have achieved. While we are cautiously tasting our new freedoms, the University has moved from the ‘heavily’ restricted category to a ‘restricted’ category, which means that we must continue to work from home and that MGSE will have very limited on-campus activity for the remainder of the year. Extensive planning is underway for a COVID-safe return to campus in 2021 and the University’s Return to Campus roadmap has been updated. We will continue to keep you informed as plans progress for 2021.

Pandemic Reset Program

The consultation period for the proposed Voluntary Redundancy program closes today and the Expression of Interest (EOI) for a voluntary redundancy will be open from tomorrow, closing on 13 November. EOIs will need to be submitted through a Service Now form which will ask for simple information, and applicants will not be required to outline a rationale for why they are seeking a voluntary redundancy. Those who have expressed interest will be notified of the outcome after their EOI has been assessed. Please contact our People and Culture team if you have any questions about the process.

2021 ARC DECRA Award

I am delighted to announce that Dr Sophie Rudolph has been awarded a 2021 Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) for her project Examining the social, historical and political effects of school discipline. The project aims to examine the history and socio-political context of the school element of the ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ in Victoria through an examination of school discipline. Sophie expects to build vital knowledge of the relationship between school discipline and racialised school exclusion. This is one of 24 DECRAs awarded across the University. My warmest congratulations to Sophie and I look forward to hearing about this work over the next few years.

2020 NAIDOC Week

Starting on Sunday is NAIDOC week and this year’s theme is Always Was, Always Will Be. This is a week to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. To start with, you can download a virtual background for your Zoom meetings next week and have a look at some resources we have assembled. The timing for NAIDOC week aligns well with MGSE’s Cultural Awareness training which I know staff have greatly benefited from and appreciated. I participated last week and found our expert presenter, Bernadette Atkinson, to be so warm and generous with her stories and so thoughtful and accommodating in her facilitation. It was informative and a privilege to have the time to listen and think about the past and the important future of reconciliation in this country.

Academic Work Strategy

Lastly, my thanks to all the academic staff who made the time to attend our webinar last Friday on the new Academic Work Strategy. Thanks also to the significant number of you who followed up with positive emails and phone calls of support for the process which has been heartening as we begin our transition to this policy implementation in 2021.

We have created a new intranet section, which provides comprehensive information for staff and includes a recording of the webinar for those who missed it, and we have also updated the FAQs to include your questions. We will be holding two information sessions for staff in the coming weeks to answer further questions you may have, on Friday 6 November from 2pm - 3pm and Tuesday 10 November from 3pm - 4pm. More information will be forthcoming and I encourage you to take the opportunity to join these sessions.