Dean's Report

Flying to Sydney on my week’s recharge leave provoked that great sense of freedom a flight gives you, particularly so after the pandemic restrictions we have all lived through. I encourage you all to make use of this leave when you are able – it can make a substantial difference to your wellbeing and outlook.

Today the 2021 Jenny Leaper virtual lecture was presented by Dr Michael Ungar, the Director of the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. Dr Ungar, a renowned scholar on resilience, explored the nature of child resilience drawing on his clinical practice and research collaborations. He provided practical strategies to assist parents, educators and carers to help nurture a child’s resilience during and after COVID-19. Thank you to the Research in Effective Education in Early Childhood Hub (REEaCH) for organising this most timely lecture.

New early childhood study

REEaCH also had an important new project to announce today. The Paul Ramsay Foundation has committed $5.7 million to evaluate the impact of two years of kindergarten on children’s learning and development outcomes. Professor Tricia Eadie will lead the study for MGSE, and it will be delivered over five years in partnership with the Front Project, working closely with the Victorian Department of Education and Training. The study, to be called Education and Development Gains in Early Childhood (EDGE), aims to build rigorous evidence around the design, delivery, impact and return on investment of universal provision of early childhood education in the two years before school.  Congratulations to all those MGSE staff who worked diligently to bring this project to fruition.

Staff update

I’m delighted to announce that two of our colleagues will be joining the Professoriate as of January 2022. My warmest congratulations on this very well-deserved promotion to Associate Professor Chi Baik, from the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education and Associate Professor Kylie Smith from Early Childhood Education. I appreciate all the time and effort that goes into the promotion process and would like to acknowledge those who were not successful this year.

I’m delighted to announce that our new Professor in Global Studies and International education, Professor Marcia McKenzie has now joined us in person in Melbourne. Marcia has been with MGSE since July but has only recently been able to come to Australia. She has already spent a few weeks on campus and I’m sure you will all make her welcome when you have the chance to meet her.

End of year function

Lastly, plans are progressing well for our end of year event to be held at the Ernie Cropley Pavilion, which overlooks the oval on campus, and provides indoor and outdoor options to cater for our tempestuous Melbourne weather. The event will be held on 10 December from 2pm and please ensure you register. I’m greatly looking forward to catching up with you and sharing a drink and some food together after so long.