VC’s Update – Safety on campus and news highlights of the week

7 November 2016

Like me, I'm sure many of you were shocked to find out that students had been assaulted and robbed on campus over the past week or so. ANU is a small and close community and attacks like these are so rare that when they happen they hit the community hard.

As Vice-Chancellor it's my job to ensure the safety of the ANU Community. There is no higher priority. And, while I was relieved to learn that people had been arrested in relation to the assaults, I want to once again remind staff, students and visitors to be mindful of their safety whilst moving around the campus, particularly at night.

Please, like me, download the ANUOK app to have a way to report issues, but also to keep up to date with security matters. Please stick to lit pathways, call ANU Security on 6125 2249 if you need an escort to your vehicle after dark. Everyone can take small measures to protect their own safety.

To happier news, it was fantastic to see that ANU won $43 million in new ARC funding, in addition to five academics being awarded NHMRC fellowships. On behalf of the ANU community I offer my highest congratulations to all of the winners. They are highly competitive and receiving these honours further goes to show how well the work of ANU is regarded. I would also like to recognise the efforts of the people who were unsuccessful on this occasion. I know from personal experience how much it hurts not to get your grant up. Unfortunately, the nature of the grant process means there will always be more applicants than grants - but I urge you to persist for the next round.

On Monday I addressed the 15th National Conference of Emerging Researchers in Ageing (ERA), which was held at ANU for the first time. Ageing is an extremely important issue in Australia and ANU has a strong commitment to contributing to the best outcomes for older people. I would like to congratulate Professor Kaarin Anstey and the team at ANU and Monash University for bringing the Conference together and I thank the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research for supporting the ERA initiative.

At the beginning of this year I made a promise to this community that I will do my best to see sexual assault, rape, sexual abuse and unwanted sexual attention stamped out at ANU. This is why ANU along with all the other Australian universities agreed to support the Human Rights Commission's national survey on sexual assault and harassment. This survey will provide the nation with a clear picture of what is going on at our campuses.

Currently we do not have nearly enough responses from male and international students. If you are in this group and you have received an invitation to complete the Human Rights Commission survey please complete the survey. If we do not get enough responses, then we will be unable to report our results. 

Good luck to all students who are undertaking exams. I know it is a very stressful part of your university life but I can assure you that it will all be worth it when you graduate.

This week, I'll be at Indiana University talking about boosting the collaboration between our two universities and celebrating my Father's 70th Birthday.

Have a good week.



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Comment by Christine Colson
4.15pm 21 Nov 2016

Hi Brian
Do you know that the ANU Health Service has been serving the ANU community for over half a century? I'm sure few in the ANU community would be aware of this as there has been no mention of it as far as I can see.

I cannot describe in this brief message the commitment and dedication of the current team of admin, nurses and doctors who do not hesitate to go that extra mile for the patients. 

I hope you will be able to find a way to acknowledge the immense contribution that various health centre teams have made over the decades to improving (and saving)the lives of thousands of staff and students in the ANU community.

Thank you