VC's update - a new student partnership, celebrating staff achievements and more

24 November 2017

Hello everyone,

Last night I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family and some American friends - and plenty of turkey, stuffing, cranberries and pumpkin pie. My advice for the perfect turkey is to cook it low and slow and make sure you baste regularly with American-style streaky bacon - it keeps the meat nice and juicy. I also swear by a good whack of salt and baking powder 24 hours before it goes in the oven...

It's nice to be back in Canberra after a busy week of meetings and activity travelling from Japan to the UK and France last week.

While in France I had a beautiful dinner at The Élysée Palace with former Head of the ANU Mathematical Sciences Institute Professor Thierry Coulhon, who is now Higher Education Advisor to the President of France Emmanuel Macron. I also took the chance to meet the new President of our close university partner PSL, Alain Fuchs.

Back on campus - on Monday I attended the signing of a new partnership between the ANU Academic Board, and ANUSA and PARSA. This agreement is the first time an Australian university has entered into a formal partnership agreement with its student body, representing a commitment on the part of ANU to meaningfully engage with our students.

On Wednesday we celebrated the achievements of academic and professional staff at the Vice-Chancellor's Staff Excellence Awards. There were so many incredible contributions made by individuals and teams that truly reflect how the University works at a fundamental level. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees.

This week, after approval by the Respectful Relationship Steering Group, Working Group and the Student Working Group, the Rapid Context review of the University's sexual assault and sexual harassment policies and procedures was released. These groups have considered the recommendations of the report and have in turn prepared a response that has been endorsed by the ANU Senior Management Group. The actions the University will be undertaking include implementing a comprehensive framework and strategy for responding to sexual assault and harassment at ANU. This review was one of the key actions the University made in response to the Human Rights Commission report into sexual assault and harassment at Australian universities, but I know there is much more to do, and we will continue to do all that we can until this stops happening.


PS - Although the results of the Marriage Law Postal Survey were announced last week, I wanted to say how heartened I was by the outcome. It is great to see the nation shares the inclusive values that we value so highly here at ANU.