It has been a great pleasure attending in person events at MGSE once again – in the last fortnight we held MGSE-Talks for the first time in over 12 months and it was wonderful that so many staff were there and stayed to enjoy lunch together. It was also great to hear from Dr Melitta Hogarth and Professor Lindsay Oades on the priority projects in their important areas of expertise. I also attended the MERI 2021 Graduate Research Orientation, which was a great opportunity to welcome our graduate researchers back to campus after a challenging year.
Our first Dean’s lecture since 2020 was also held last week delivered by Professor Emeritus Fazal Rizvi. His topic delved into how we create dynamic cultures in education and began with a discussion of the differences between settler and extractive colonialism and how the terms of intercultural exchange in different colonial formations varied and were contextually-specific.
He examined how particular events such as the 1967 referendum, the 1993 Mabo ruling and the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart can transform the social and political space and create new patterns of intercultural relations. The COVID-19 pandemic too, Fazal suggested, is one of those major historical junctures that has the potential to transform the conditions of interculturality. It was an engaging and enlightening lecture which was amply acknowledged by his appreciative audience. The lecture was also released to an online audience and you can watch it on our YouTube channel.
New Professor of Global Studies and International Education
I am delighted to announce that Professor Marcia McKenzie has been appointed as Professor of Global Studies and International Education at MGSE and will join us in July. Professor McKenzie comes to MGSE after 14 years at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, where she has been a Professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Director of the Sustainability Education Research Institute.
Revised international travel advice
The Government’s new designated “safe travel zone” with New Zealand, and potentially with other countries in the future, has led the University to review its position on international travel. Please take the time to read through the DFAT travel levels and the University’s position on approvals, keeping in mind that all staff travel bookings must be made via UniTravel. In exceptional circumstances where booking via UniTravel is not possible, travel must be recorded before departure via the Log My Trip function in the UniTravel portal. It is vital that staff use University travel systems to record and manage travel for both staff and students. This will ensure access to location information, emergency assistance services and any available insurance for members of the University community travelling should circumstances locally, nationally or internationally change in response to COVID-19 and/or other critical incidents.
Lastly, a reminder that MGSE online conference registration funding is now available to staff for academic level A – C for one conference in 2021 and the MGSE Development Researcher Development scheme is also now open. If you would like more details about these opportunities please get in touch with MERI.