Dean's Report

The Vice-Chancellor joined us last Wednesday for his annual Roadshow and I was pleased to see that more than 200 MGSE staff joined the webinar. Although Duncan would have much preferred to join us in person, I appreciated the time he took to give us an overview of the big issues the University has faced over the past year and his reflective responses to the questions asked. He covered a wide range of issues including the uncertainty and challenges that COVID-19 has presented to us all personally and professionally, and his firm commitment to a return to campus with vaccinated staff and students. He discussed the University’s financial position and the need to be prudent to ensure the perpetuity of this organisation. We must always remember the University’s history, he remarked, and remain true to its core principles of providing exemplary education and research and being of service to the world: something that MGSE is certainly doing.

STEM Centre of Excellence Program

I was delighted to speak at the STEM Centre of Excellence Program virtual launch last week. The Centre was established as a University of Melbourne partnership with the Victorian Government, bringing together innovative learning models where start up communities, higher education institutions such as the University, and industry partners provide real world learning experiences to young people. The STEM Centre of Excellence facilities and learning program will enable the creative industries, technologies, industry career pathways, and the multi-disciplinary skill set, that is now required in our global community. Twenty five partner schools in the local regions of Melbourne, Moreland, Moonee Valley and Yarra have joined the program and, along with other faculties, MGSE is already co-designing programs and developing resources.

MGSE Strategic Plan

We also recently held a virtual leadership workshop on the new MGSE Strategic Plan. My thanks to all who attended for their constructive and considered feedback as we move closer to publishing our new Strategic Plan. We are planning to hold a launch event in December now that we can be fairly certain that we can have it on campus. It is a perfect occasion for us to start the process of re-connecting and re-establishing ourselves as a campus-based organisation. The University continues to follow the Victorian Government’s Roadmap to deliver the national plan and our COVID-19 response website is continually updated with the latest information.

Congratulations to Dr Jenny Chesters and Dr Victoria Millar who successfully completed the Academic Women in Leadership program. Throughout the eight months of the program Jenny and Victoria covered a great deal of material through workshops, coaching, shadowing, action learning projects and they also had the benefit of hearing from guest speakers from across the University. The management of this program will move to the Strategic People Initiatives (SPI) team as a result of the Pandemic Reset program.

Lastly, I would like to wish Pian Zhang, our Business Analyst, all the very best as she goes on maternity leave this week and shortly will embark on the great adventure of parenthood. Fiona Bachmann will be replacing Pian during this time.