VC's update - a new Childcare opens on campus

16 March 2018

Hi everyone,

Last week was International Women's Day - and I have been delighted by the responses to our major expansion of parental leave entitlements for ANU staff. This is just one of our initiatives to recognise the importance of family, and of workplace flexibility, which I hope other organisations consider adopting.

The panel discussion I took part in on International Women's Day was especially thought provoking. We fielded a number of questions about recognising the value of women in the workplace, gender imbalance on panels, breast feeding facilities and childcare. I have responded to a number of questions asked of the panel here.  Thank you to everyone who came along to the discussion, and who contributed in other ways to a lively celebration of International Women's Day on campus.

This week our fifth childcare centre officially opened on campus. Run by the not-for-profit group Goodstart, the ANU Goodstart Childcare Centre will help us meet an ever-growing need to increase childcare places for our staff and students. The state-of-the-art facility is just the beginning of further improvements in this area, and comes just weeks before the upgrades to our existing centres is complete. My long-term goal is that we should be able to offer childcare places to any member of the University who needs them.

The Chifley Library still remains closed as we continue to work to recover from last month's flood damage. I understand this has been a very difficult time for staff, students and particularly our librarians. I would like to thank Roxanne Missingham and her team for the work they have been doing to bring library services back online, and minimise disruption. This has been hard work, but they have coped magnificently, as have the students and staff who have had to adapt to temporary arrangements. Thanks to you all. Please visit the website for updates on the library, loans and study spaces. And when you see one of our librarians, thank them!

Next week, Professor Mick Dodson will be delivering his Final Lecture as Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies (NCIS). Mick has been a powerful advocate for the advancement of Indigenous peoples around the world, and has built the NCIS into a highly renowned hub for Indigenous studies. I take this opportunity to thank Mick for his extraordinary service to ANU, his leadership and the great legacy he leaves. We plan to begin our discussion with the community about how to build on Mick's legacy soon. Mick will remain as part of the ANU community as Emeritus Professor in Law.

Finally, tonight is the last night of the University's Enlighten Festival. If you haven't already stopped by the campus after dark, please come along, enjoy some dinner and dessert, and check out the amazing projections on our buildings. Of course, my favourite has been the astronomy projection on University House - be sure to check it out while you have the chance.

Have a good weekend,