ANU Council News - 26 May 2017

26 June 2017

Farewell to Robin Hughes AO, Pro-Chancellor

After 13 years of service to the University as a member of Council, including the last three years as Pro-Chancellor, the Council has farewelled Ms Robin Hughes AO at her last meeting. Robin Hughes was appointed to the Council by the Minister for Education and Training in 2004.

Robin has been a highly respected and experienced Council member, her counsel enormously  valued by Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors and members of the Executive.  She has contributed much to key decision-making , over her time as both a Council member and, more recently,  Pro-Chancellor, bringing her own calm common sense, humour  and arts and humanities-focused  perspective, to many difficult issues.  She will be greatly missed by Council members and staff alike.

New Pro-Chancellor, New Council Member

Following the retirement of Robin Hughes from the Council, new appointments have been made. At its May meeting, the Council resolved to appoint Ms Naomi Flutter as the new Pro-Chancellor from 1 July, for a term of 3 years.  

Naomi is the head of Deutsche Bank's Global Transaction Banking division for Australia and New Zealand and the Head of the Issuer Services business for APAC. In this capacity she is responsible for the delivery of certain wholesale and corporate banking products and services to clients across Asia. With Deutsche Bank for 18 years, she previously worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees including in refugee camps in Kenya and Nepal. She holds a Masters degree in Public Policy from Harvard University, and Bachelor degrees in Law and Economics from ANU. In 1994 she was awarded the ANU Tillyard Prize for outstanding contributions to University life. Naomi has served on the Council since 2014, when she was appointed by the Minister for Education and Training.

Earlier this month, following a recommendation from the Nomination Committee of Council, the Minister announced the appointment of Ms Anne-Marie Schwirtlich AM, as a new member of the Council. Anne-Marie is the recently retired Director-General of the National Library of Australia, a role she was appointed to in 2011. She has previously held the senior roles of Chief Executive Officer and State Librarian at the State Library of Victoria (2003-2011) and Acting Director-General at the National Archives of Australia (2000-2003). She brings valued expertise and experience in the executive leadership of significant cultural organisations operating in the public sector in various jurisdictions, and a sound knowledge and understanding about the arts, culture and humanities in Australia. She will have particularly valuable insights into such matters as digital transformation and disruption and management of scholarly infrastructure. She will serve a term of four years from 1 July 2017.

Union Court Redevelopment

At its May meeting, the Council was pleased to give the final approval on the final design for the construction of the revitalised Union Court and University Avenue. The redevelopment will combine the best elements of existing campus life and bring a new learning, cultural, physical and social experience to us in a village setting.  The University has been working with the community on the revitalisation plan since 2014. During this time more than 1,400 students, academic and professional staff, and members of the community have shared their views and we have received more than 23,500 comments to develop a plan that includes:

  • One stop student services in the heart of the University
  • New pool and gym facilities plus an expanded range of health and wellbeing services
  • Cafes, bars, restaurants, shops and services
  • New accommodation for 750 students
  • New, flexible, technologically driven teaching and learning spaces
  • Underground parking for 400 cars
  • A new purpose built events, theatre and cinema building
  • Professional suites for services and businesses
  • All set in a beautiful new landscaped environment.

The project is expected to take 18 months to complete with construction beginning in July 2017.

Indigenous Engagement

A key initiative of the ANU Strategic Plan 2017-2021 is to ensure a cross-institutional effort to substantially increase the recruitment and success of Indigenous undergraduate and postgraduate students, and Indigenous academic staff. At the May meeting of Council, this was the focus of Council's strategic discussion topic. Through the University Experience Plan, the University is pursuing four key actions: developing comprehensive support systems for Indigenous students at all levels; developing comprehensive support for Indigenous staff, both academic and professional; revitalising Reconciliation at ANU by furthering research and public awareness of Indigenous issues and by ensuring that ANU is a place where Indigenous Australians can realise their potential and aspirations; and developing an integrated training and support program for Indigenous PhD students in partnership with the Tjabal Centre, National Centre for Indigenous Studies and our Indigenous collaborators and partners to improve graduate outcomes and student satisfaction.

Following their meeting, Council members were delighted to join with staff and students at the Tjabal Centre for lunch, and then attend the National Sorry Day address.

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC