VC's Update - Crawford Australian Leadership Forum overview

22 June 2016

The initiative of the Crawford School in running Australia's leading public policy conference reflects the innovation, community-mindedness and multi-sector appeal that characterises ANU as Australia's leading University.

Hi everybody, it's been a busy couple of weeks at ANU.

The third annual Crawford Australian Leadership Forum wrapped up on Tuesday. The Crawford Forum brings together 150 of Australia's top leaders from business, the public sector and politics to address the major public policy issues confronting Australian policymakers today, and the practical responses needed from stakeholders. 

It was great to be with several leading academics from ANU for the conference. Among others, Emeritus Professor Peter Drysdale spoke on the geopolitics panel on potential economic reform in China, and Professor Amin Saikal was a panellist on threats and opportunities in the Middle East, while Associate Professor Sharon Bessel discussed social resilience and cohesion with the CEO of the Australian Council of Social Services, General Manager of Brotherhood of St Laurence, and the Group Managing Director and CEO of Australian Unity.

This is only a small taste of what ANU people have contributed at the conference. The initiative of the Crawford School in running Australia's leading public policy conference reflects the innovation, community-mindedness and multi-sector appeal that characterises ANU as Australia's leading University. One of the distinctive features of innovative nations is the embedding of research capacity in business. In my opening speech I talked about my ambition for ANU staff and graduates to move more freely between university, business and government, providing links and experience between sectors and building cooperation. You can read my speech in full below.

Along with many of you I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of our dear friend and colleague Professor John Love on Sunday. John was an extraordinary man who had a rich life and made many life-long friends around the world. He loved teaching, yearned to help others and he was a great inspiration to us all. I know he will be in the thoughts of those whose lives he touched for a long time.

On a cheerier note I am looking forward keenly to the 1st of August when we celebrate 70 years since the Bill establishing The Australian National University was passed by Federal Parliament in 1946, and arguably marks the beginning of modern Australia as we know it. We will be celebrating the birthday with a public event on campus, and I look forward to seeing as many of our community there as possible.

Both the Westpac Research Fellowship and Westpac Future Leaders Scholarships are now taking applications from students undertaking a Masters by coursework or research or PHD. Tessa Henwood-Mitchell was one of two ANU recipients of the inaugural scholarship in 2015 and has used the $120,000 over 2-3 years to study a Masters in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development. Applications for the 2017 Program are open until Wednesday 31 August and I strongly encourage any eligible students from our community to apply.

I am heading off to Tenerife for a Stephen Hawking celebration, then to Lindau Germany for the Annual Meeting of Nobel Laureates, before a brief visit to Berlin to promote our Research and Teaching.

with best wishes

Brian

View the Vice-Chancellor's Keynote Address