Dean's Report

Return to Campus

The encouraging news around the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines, and the effective management of new cases, means that we can all start to adjust to the new COVID normal. Life is beginning to return to the campus with a noticeable increase in students and staff, cafes re-opening, including Stovetop, and more of those incidental conversations occurring as you run into colleagues in the lifts or at the entrance to the building. With 75 per cent of staff now allowed in office buildings I look forward to seeing more of you back on campus. It is important that you book a workstation or your office as we need to ensure that we don’t exceed our density levels, and of course for contact tracing in the event of a case of COVD-19. All the information you may need is available on our intranet.

Academic meetings

As we enter the autumn months the rhythms of the academic year are firmly underway. In the last fortnight I was pleased to join the first Professoriate meeting for 2021 and the first monthly meeting of the Academic Leaders (formerly Cognate Leaders). These are both forums for bringing MGSE academic staff together to discuss and consider the research and teaching priorities for MGSE and, importantly, to share and collaborate around their work. The input from these forums will be crucial in the refresh of our Strategic Plan this year.

Retirement and farewells

As you may have seen in last week’s Office of the Dean email Associate Professor Neryl Jeanneret retired on Friday. In her 16 years at the University Neryl made a highly significant contribution to music education both nationally and internationally. She focused her research on artists working with children and young people, engagement in music classrooms and teacher education in the arts and creative education. She also held many leadership positions in peak music education organisations. While we will miss her joyful presence around MGSE I am delighted that she will stay connected to us in an honorary capacity.

We also farewelled Vicki Townsend and Deb Walton recently and on Friday we bid farewell to Stephen Goldstraw, Manager of Teaching Services. After 30 years of service to the University Stephen will embark on a new era in his life. A modest man his achievements were honoured at a small gathering on Friday where his immense contribution to coordinating MGSE’s teaching support function, managing of sessional requests and his leadership over the years were acknowledged by his colleagues.

Over the next few months, once the consultation about the Pandemic Reset Plan Phase 2 has concluded, there will be more changes at MGSE among the professional staff. I trust that all staff will display sensitivity and offer support to affected staff and understand that patience will be required as we transition to an extended shared services model.