Dean's Report

This week saw the launch of the Commonwealth Government’s first National Children's Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy as part of Mental Health Week. This important strategy provides the framework and foundations for lifelong mental health and wellbeing to be built during childhood, with a whole-of-community approach. With half of all mental illnesses beginning before the age of 14 there is an urgent need for a strategy to support children and their families to thrive.

The strategy focuses on four key areas: promoting mental health and wellbeing as a part of parenting including how to better connect with services; identifying gaps in our mental health services to make it easier for families to get help; the importance of educational settings for children’s mental health, and the need for evidence and evaluation in improving mental health services by listening to those who use them and increasing research into children’s mental health and wellbeing.

It has been a privilege to serve on the Expert Advisory Group for this Strategy and MGSE was also well represented by the presence of Associate Professor Erica Frydenberg on the Strategy Steering Committee. I encourage you all to read this Strategy, which is of great importance to our families, communities and, of course, to our work here at MGSE.

COVID-19 Update

An interim process has been announced for access to the University’s campuses from 15 October until 5 November 2021. Authorised workers who require access to campus during this time will need to provide evidence of their vaccination status in line with the mandatory vaccination directions set out by the Chief Health Officer. The requirement is a minimum of a first dose of COVID-19 vaccination by 22 October, which can include a booking to get vaccinated up to and including 22 October: there are some variations to the dates for childcare, health care and construction workers. A ServiceNow form will be available this week for staff (including graduate researchers) to upload evidence of their vaccination. We will continue to keep you informed as the University works through the development of its vaccination implementation plans.

Staffing Update

Congratulations to Professor Lindsay Oades who will become our new Associate Dean International from January 2022, building on Professor Lorraine Graham’s excellent work over the past few years. My congratulations also to Associate Professor Kylie Smith who is taking on the leadership position of Coordinator Graduate Research Advisory Committee Chair. Another available leadership role is the Director Professional Experience; the eligibility criteria have been extended to include Academic staff, Level B and above. Applications should be forwarded to by the close of business on Monday 18 October 2021. Do think about applying for this integral role at MGSE and contributing to the development of our professional experience activity.

The final Human Resources Change Plan will come into effect on 22 October as part of the University’s Professional Services Redesign. This means that our valued HR colleagues Paula McAllister, Terri Hanlon and Lisle Williams will be leaving their roles at MGSE shortly. I’m pleased that Paula will remain in a six month Deputy HR Director role supporting the FBE, MGSE and MLS cluster throughout this HR transition period, commencing in her new role on Monday 25th October. We have been fortunate to have had HR professionals of this calibre at MGSE and their support, wisdom and camaraderie will be greatly missed by us all. I’m sure you join me in wishing them all the best in their future endeavours. We are also saying farewell to another esteemed MGSE colleague Pina Failla who has been with the University for nearly 25 years – for many of us it will be difficult to imagine MGSE without Pina. We also wish Pina great success in her post-University life.

VC Roadshow

Lastly, a reminder to all staff that the Vice-Chancellor’s virtual roadshow will visit MGSE next Wednesday 20 October from 12.30 – 1.30 pm. Thirty minutes of the roadshow will be devoted to a Q & A session so please have a think about what you would like to ask the Vice-Chancellor. If you haven’t already, please register here.