It has been invigorating to have our new cohort of Graduates in their caps and gowns across campus this week. I have had the honour of playing the role of Chancellor today and conferring the degrees for College of Asia and the Pacific earlier this morning. Later I will confer the College of Engineering and Computer Science graduates. It's the first time I have done this role, so I was a bit nervous - but the joy of graduation made it all worthwhile. Our graduates have had an especially brutal last few years, and let's hope the important milestone of this week's graduation is the start of a long-lived celebration of an easier and more prosperous future.
We're working on a major evolution of the graduation experience for our December events. The whole of our university community will be invited to participate, so everyone get ready.
On Saturday I attended the 30th anniversary of the ANU rugby team Uni-North Owls winning its first-grade rugby premiership. The anniversary was marked with a first-grade game against Royals and Uni-North Owls. Although it was fresh on North oval, the crowd was large and vocal - and it was all for a great cause. Uni-North Owls were fundraising to help build a community hall in a village in Tonga - the village was impacted by the tsunami earlier this year and almost wiped out entirely. A wonderful event, also attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Lātūfuipeka from Tonga who is an ANU alumna as well!
Last week ANU signed a MoU with Charles Darwin University (CDU) to work toward better outcomes for the Northern Territory with a focus on First Nations People. ANU has worked closely with CDU over the years and this renewed formal partnership will help us towards a shared goal. There will be opportunities for staff and students to undertake secondments and student exchanges. You can read more about the MoU on the ANU website.
I'd also like to congratulate Aunty Anne Martin on her new title as Professor in the Practice of Indigenous Advancement. Anne has created a 'home away from home' for Indigenous students on campus as Director of the Tjabal Indigenous Higher Education Centre, and had a career of impact across Australia. Since she started in 2012, she's transformed Indigenous education and has helped to ensure our students have a positive campus experience and get the most of out of their studies and time here.
From the news you will have seen that ANU will host Midnight Oil on Fellows Oval as part of their (allegedly) last-ever tour. Tickets will go on sale this Monday 18 July. Front man Peter Garrett is an ANU alumnus and received an honorary doctorate in 2019. It's special that ANU will host one of their last concerts having had them play in the refectory in what was Union Court in the early 70s... over 40 years later and ANU is still burning the midnight oil. I am hearing VIPs are lining up to be part of the event, so I'd get my tickets early.
Although I've 'recovered' from COVID a few weeks ago, I've still got a lingering cough and as we are in for a brutal COVID/flu season I encourage you all to get your flu shot and COVID boosters when you can. And please keep wearing your masks - they must still be worn indoors at ANU - they have meant that the amount of transmission on our campus has been very low. This enables vulnerable people to continue to participate on campus, and has also made it easier to keep operating with some sort of normality - because we have not had wide-spread outbreaks within University areas. Please keep an eye out for On Campus next week on Tuesday for details of our semester two COVID settings.
This weekend I am hoping we can pick up the final nets in the vineyard before the grass grows through them anymore. We are also nursing Sandy, the horse, who got kicked by his frenemy, Jester, in the leg. Injecting anti-biotics into a horse is not for the faint of heart, fortunately Jenny does that - I just have to hold him still. Enjoy the weekend!