It's great to be back on campus. Last month I represented ANU at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. I was asked by a few colleagues why ANU attends the forum. If we want our University to have impact and change the world we live in, we need to take our knowledge to the people who run the world. It was an interesting week to meet with leaders across government, industry and the university sector and discuss what issues are facing the world today - chief among them, global sustainability.
And so as part of my trip, I co-signed an agreement with seven other leading institutions to establish the Global Alliance of Universities on Climate (GAUC). There is nothing more important than addressing climate change. Combining our research, resources and scientific findings, we will work alongside other leading institutions to address climate change, and find new ways to implement lasting action. Action is important. My concern, having been at Davos a number of years, is that while the talk is good, the outcomes have not yet materialised.
With a busy January over, it's great to see campus starting to buzz with students. As you have seen over the last 12 months, the new Bruce and Wright Halls have been built on Daley Road. This has been a work of passion from many people across our campus and of course would not have been possible without the generous support of Graham and Louise Tuckwell. The opening of the Bruce and Wright Halls by the Governor General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove, was a momentous occasion.
At the opening, I was most moved by Callum Dargavel and Jade Lin, the new Bruce and Wright Presidents, who embody the youth and passion of our students. Callum reflected on the significance of redeveloping Bruce Hall for the next generation of 'Brucies', and the responsibility of the new 'Brucies' to carry on former traditions moulded by alumni.
Jade's speech was a powerful example of why ANU students are among the best in the world. Reflecting on the former cultures of some residential halls, Jade talked about the new generation of students moving onto campus who represent internationality, diversity and community which make ANU unique. And so, with this outlook, I am very proud that we are handing the keys to these students to create a home and a lifetime of memories on our campus.
The opening of Bruce and Wright Halls this week is just the beginning of a new chapter for our community. On Monday, the new precinct will be opened with a free public concert from 12-2pm which I invite you to attend. I'm looking forward to hearing The Tipsy Scholars, whom I suspect may have enjoyed a bottle or two of Maipenrai wine.
Although we are launching the precinct on Monday, there is still some construction work happening. I believe it's important to open the spaces over the next few weeks when they are properly finished so our students and staff have the best areas to work and study with minimal disruption. I know there are some things that aren't quite finished, but I would rather do it right than rush the final stages. So make sure you continue to explore Kambri over the coming weeks and keep an eye on the website for announcements.
Within Kambri, I am most excited to see the new Teaching and Learning Building open. Teaching is core to what we do best at ANU, and this new building will allow greater flexibility for both our staff and students. I love teaching and I'm looking forward to getting into Kambri this year to try out some of the new facilities.
Speaking of great teaching, Dr Alexandra Webb has been appointed as a Distinguished Educator, recognising her excellence in teaching and learning. Alex has already made a lasting contribution over the last 20 years, and has pioneered many innovations for her courses, including more than 70 media resources for students. Alex will join our other seven Distinguished Educators who make an incredible contribution to the student experience at ANU.
Finally, it has been a fortnight of exciting announcements for our community. On Australia Day, we celebrated 10 members of our staff who were recognised for their contributions to research and the national community. I was very proud to see Dr Suzanne Packer from the Medical School named 2019 Senior Australian of the Year for her work to prevent child abuse. Sue is an inspirational researcher and I am proud an ANU researcher has once again been recognised with this national honour. Also among the awardees were: Anne Martin, Emeritus Professor Brian Kennett, Professor Frank Bongiorno, Dr Wilfred L. F. Armarego, Dr Alison Broinowski, Dr Peter McCawley, Professor Paul Pavli and Associate Professor Andrew Miller. The late Professor Patrick Troy was also recognised. Congratulations to all of the awardees.
I look forward to seeing you around campus.