ANU Spaces – Kate Bond

Meet Kate Bond ... the Deputy Director of Alumni Relations & Philanthropy at ANU.

What do you do at ANU?

I started as Deputy Director in the Alumni Relations & Philanthropy team last October. My particular area of responsibility is building relationships with individuals with a view to growing philanthropic support for University projects. Essentially I work with people to explore their visions and interests, match these with University projects and ideas and see that these are brought to fruition. It's a fascinating job which is a privilege to do, especially at ANU which has amazing alumni doing incredibly diverse and interesting work around the world.

What is your favourite spot on campus?

Apart from the Gods@Hedley Bull (because it was while I was sitting outside there sipping a great cup of coffee that I decided I could definitely move to work at ANU), I love the Great Hall in University House.

You like it because...

It feels to me like a warm cocoon which has been enriched with the history of all of the occasions that have taken place in it over the years. And the artworks are stunning - I could look at them for ages.

If you were free for an afternoon you would...

Go to one of the galleries or museums in Canberra followed by coffee and cake in Silo Bakery.

As Deputy Director of AR&P and heading up individual giving, tell us about the importance of fundraising for ANU?

Building lifelong relationships with our supporters is of critical importance for ANU. The University - its students and staff - will benefit enormously from not just the financial support of donors but also from their contributions of wisdom and experience. A bedrock of philanthropic support will allow us not only to support areas of greatest need but also to innovate in ways which will ensure the University's place amongst the great educational institutions in the world.

Can you tell us about the priorities of AR&P, heading into the future?

Creating and facilitating opportunities for our alumni and other supporters to engage with the University in ways that are meaningful to them and us is our absolute priority. This means we are creating and growing a whole range of programs that people can and want to get involved in as volunteers and donors. We need to ensure our supporters feel valued and critically, understand the impact of their philanthropy and how it has helped to make ANU the university that it is. In short, we need to create more opportunities for people to give to ANU and ensure that they have a really good experience doing that.

What are the challenges that ANU and AR&P faces?

I tend to focus on the opportunities that I see in this area for ANU and AR&P - it was the recognition of these that made me move from the other side of the world. But seriously, ANU has so much to be proud of. It's a world class university with truly excellent research, teaching, alumni, students and staff. And importantly, it's very distinctive. It's a special place and I know from talking to alumni that they feel a very clear attachment to the experiences that they had here. All of these factors contribute to make a fertile ground for engaging people to give back either through financial gifts or in terms of their time and expertise. The challenges that I would identify are those related to any program in its infancy (which is the case with our alumni relations and philanthropy work) - building the understanding of this work, building the staff teams to ensure we can reach out to as many people as possible and not least, having patience. This work is all about people and lifelong relationships. So while there can be and often are some quick wins, this is work that has medium and long term results - but results that are fundamentally important to the future of ANU.

What are some of the ways the ANU community can get involved with what AR&P does?

There are many different ways - becoming a donor (by any number of means including through workplace giving) will ensure you are at the heart of a group of people that we collaborate with to develop ANU. We are always looking for volunteers to help with projects, advocates to help us spread the word about the University or you could get involved with one of our programs such as the ANU Alumni Awards which celebrates the achievements of our graduates and staff by nominating someone you know. The best thing to do if someone wants to get involved is to contact us and we will be delighted to talk to each person about how they want to and can best become part of ANU's community of supporters.

And lastly, we understand it's your first winter here in Canberra, having come from Northern Ireland. Can you tell us what is different between the two?

Two words - double glazing!