VC's update – International Women's Day

5 March 2021

Hello everyone

Today we celebrated International Women's Day in Kambri with a panel discussion led by Honorary Associate Professor Sally Moyle along with three leading panellists who are advocates and champions for change. It was a great discussion and I encourage everyone to watch it on our ANU TV channel here. So while I am pleased with the progress being made across society, we still have so much to do.

As part of the event, I was pleased to announce that we will honour one of the University's greatest pioneers for equality - The Honourable Susan Ryan AO - by recognising our flagship International Women's Day event as The Annual Susan Ryan Oration from 2022. Susan spent her professional life campaigning for equality - she pioneered extensive legislations including the landmark Sex Discrimination Act 1984, she was the first female Senator for the ACT in 1975, the first woman to hold a Cabinet role in the Hawke Government, and she was Australia's first Age Discrimination Commissioner. Her contributions changed our world for the better and I am glad that ANU can honour her incredible legacy in this way.  It was great to have her family in attendance for the event.

Our goal is to be an institution that is one of the best places in the world to work. To do this we are committed to show leadership in our sector for gender equity policies - so things like including greater flexibility for parents - with 26 weeks of paid parental leave, and 26 weeks of employer superannuation contributions to parents who have to take unpaid parental leave. But also programs like our ANU Future program that supported 49 newly arrived Early Career Researchers to ANU, with more than ½ of the program dedicated to women.

Gender equality is never a 'tick-box' activity - we need your ideas of the big and little things we can do to make this the best place on the planet to work. Keep them coming.

Over the past several years we have been working to capture and better communicate what is distinctive about ANU. During this time we have had the chance to talk to literally thousands of members of our community to highlight what makes ANU unique. This work is encapsulated in a project called the ANU Identity and I hope everyone will take the time to read it. If we can better talk about ourselves and what we do with a coherent voice - we will be heard much more clearly, and this will enable us to cut through much more effectively with all the great ideas and activities we undertake.

ANU Alumni week starts next week on Thursday 11 March.  It is quite special as Vice-Chancellor to see so many alumni who are so excited to be back on campus. The stories I get to hear at the events are remarkable, and reminds me how the University really does change lives.  I'll also be hosting an evening with a few of my fellow ANU winemakers! Have a look at the great events we have on campus and online here

Lastly, our new cyber safety initiative Cyber Sense is now live. You will have seen how RMIT is still recovering from a cyber-attack based on phishing, and for many of our academics and students, being cyber-secure is essential to protect their academic freedom on our campus. Everyone needs to know all the tricks of the trade - so I encourage you to watch the Cyber Sense video - it's fun and features yours truly - and it will help you not get phished here at ANU, or at home. You can learn more about Cyber Sense here and training is now available on PULSE.

I hope everyone enjoys their long weekend. We are making a wedding cake for my nephew who is getting married up in Sydney.