Dean's Report

The news this week of the extension of Victoria’s lockdown until at least 2 September was disappointing although not unexpected. From my conversations with colleagues over the past week it is clear that this particular lockdown has been especially challenging. I expect this is partly due to the realisation that these disruptions will continue for some time. The concerning news from the IPCC Climate Change Report and the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban have also, I suspect, contributed to our lassitude. Despite the multiple challenges, I continue to be impressed by the professionalism, collegiality and camaraderie I see in our MGSE staff, including the great concern displayed and support given to our students. Please remember to take time for yourselves during this stressful period and make use of the University’s support services if needed.

Digital Strategy

The new MGSE Digital Strategy is launched today, and I strongly encourage you all to engage with it. The Digital Strategy is the work of the Digital Taskforce, established last year to assist MGSE in transitioning to high quality remote and online teaching. My thanks to the Taskforce members, particularly Dr Nicky Dulfer, who led the Taskforce, and to Dr Mark Selkrig, our new Director of Digital Engagement. The Digital Strategy coalesces around three individual strategies focusing on building good practice, strengthening supportive environments and actions, and developing digital capabilities and capacities. This strategy is a fine example of the innovation, adaptability and sheer hard work undertaken by MGSE staff throughout the pandemic.

MGSE Advisory Board

The new MGSE Advisory Board met last week for the first time, and it was terrific to be together and to have the opportunity to gain the insights of these sector leaders. Our discussion largely concentrated on the development and re-accreditation of our new Master of Teaching 2022. It is always stimulating to hear the industry perspective on what a university education should provide and the outcomes they wish for our students and those they teach. Thanks to Suzanne Rice and Emily Mackay for their commitment and hard work in preparing for the relaunch of the Board.

Congratulations, Dr Sarah Truman

My warmest congratulations to Dr Sarah Truman on receiving a DECRA in the latest Australian Research Council (ARC) announcements. Sarah was awarded a DECRA for her project ‘Technology, sustainability, and social equity through Science Fiction’, which aims to investigate how young people create science fictions in order to think critically and innovatively about issues related to sustainability, technology, and social equity. The project expects to foster the youth voice in mining communities and metropolitan communities in three commonwealth countries (Australia, Canada, and Wales) in collaboration with teachers and experts in the fields of English, Arts, and STEM.

HR Change Plan

The final HR change plan, organisational charts and updated position descriptions have been released. The implementation process begins from today with the new HR structure operational from 25 October. This process directly affects our valued HR staff Paula McAllister, Terri Hanlon and Lisle Williams and I trust that you will all display sensitivity and extend your support to these colleagues who have provided exceptional service to MGSE. A staff forum will be held next Tuesday 24 August at 3 pm which will explain the new structure with time for questions after the presentations.

Lastly, I will be taking medical leave next week as I am undergoing a shoulder operation - my thanks to Janet Clinton who will be acting as Dean while I am away.