I was very proud to launch MGSE Statement of Reconciliation: Working to Effect Change in late May. This statement recognises that reconciliation is a shared activity and one which benefits us all. Understanding and valuing the contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures is critical to the development of, and respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Our Statement outlines that we start from a position of understanding, and that our aspiration for change drives us to pursue transformation and justice in education and society. As NAIDOC week approaches I suggest we all make the time to re-read the statement and reflect on what these commitments mean for our work and more broadly for our lives.
Dean's Lecture: Prof Tracey Bunda
In celebration of NAIDOC week, I am delighted that Professor Tracey Bunda, Director of Academic Programs with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the University of Queensland, will join us to present a Dean’s Lecture on Monday 4 July. Her lecture will focus on the Indigenous Call for Change: The Higher Education Response. This will be an in-person event so I encourage you register to attend if you haven’t already.
It was wonderful to celebrate our staff and students at our recent MGSE Awards ceremony after two years without an in-person event. It was particularly joyful to see so many of our students accepting their well-deserved awards given they had spent so much of their degrees studying at home due to COVID-19. It was also terrific to see people reconnecting at the cocktail party before the ceremony. My thanks to the Strategic Communications team for their all hands-on deck approach and most especially to Yvette Macdermott who organised the Awards and oversaw the evening despite recovering from COVID.
Vale Dr Jane Bird
I was deeply saddened by the news that our colleague Dr Jane Bird had passed away. Jane was much loved by her students and the staff at MGSE, she was an inspirational teacher and her scholarship brought international recognition in the area of Research-based Theatre and Arts Based Research (ABR). She began working at MGSE in early 2002 specialising in drama education, having started her career as a drama, dance and English teacher in Victorian secondary schools. For several years, Jane was the Head of Drama Education in the MGSE Artistic and Creative Academic group and led the Drama Learning Area in the MTeach. In the late 1990s, she was also the Director of Education for Drama Victoria. Vale Jane.
Thank you to all staff who attended our Teaching Forum last week. It was a great opportunity to spend some time together to reflect on the challenges and innovations the pandemic exacerbated and how this affected us all. It was also a chance to focus on the future, to learn from what we have experienced and to understand what our students have told us about their experience. This session was just the first in our ongoing discussions and I look forward to keeping up the momentum in this important area.
My congratulations to these staff on their recent achievements:
- Professor Sophie Arkoudis has been appointed to the position of Centre Director, Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE)
- Professor Marcia McKenzie and Associate Professor Jessica Gerrard have been appointed as Co-leaders of the Social Transformation and Education (STE) Academic Group
- Dr Yvette Slaughter has been appointed to the position of Academic Group Lead within Language & Literacy Education (LALE)
- Confirmations have been approved for Dr Harry Galatis, Dr Yvette Slaughter, Dr Chris Corbel, Dr Victoria Millar and Dr Peter Woelert.