VC's Update - December 2016 Graduations, academic promotions and more

16 December 2016

Hello everyone,

One of the greatest privileges I have as Vice-Chancellor is the chance to attend graduations and celebrate with excited students as they receive their degree. This week ANU graduated close to 3,000 students and it was truly wonderful to see the many years of hard work and studies pay off.

ANU awarded Honorary Doctorates to four distinguished global leaders. Former Prime Minister The Hon Kevin Rudd and businesswoman Thérèse Rein, former military commander Sir Angus Houston, and Indonesia's former Foreign Minister Dr Marty Natalegawa, were all conferred with the University's highest honour in recognition of their outstanding contribution to Australia and the region. On behalf of ANU I would like to congratulate all graduands and honorary doctorate recipients.

Earlier today I attended a congratulatory pancake breakfast for our first round of graduating Tuckwell Scholars. The five Tuckwell Scholars receiving their degrees this week were part of the first scholarship cohort which started in 2014. All five graduates will remain at ANU for further postgraduate study and I congratulate them on their achievements.

In other news, I had the great pleasure of welcoming Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, back to campus on Monday to help launch the book The Arab World and Iran: A Turbulent Region in Transition written by Professor Amin Saikal, Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies. Minister Bishop has always been a great supporter of ANU research and activities and we appreciate her joining us for this occasion. I'd also like to congratulate Amin on his book and for his work in providing analysis and insight into this complex region.

On Wednesday I had an opportunity to get back to my old stomping grounds at Mount Stromlo Observatory to welcome 17 Indigenous students from across Australia to Stromlo as part of the National Science and Engineering Summer School for Indigenous students. ANU has an important role to play in improving access to higher education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and I am proud of the program that the colleges, with the Tjabal Centre, have put together. Well done everyone.

This will be my last blog post for the year. I hope you've enjoyed reading these posts as much as I've enjoyed sharing my weekly thoughts. I'd really like to thank everyone who has shared their comments on the blog - there's been some great feedback and suggestions.

I hope you all have a wonderful, safe and relaxing break. Enjoy the time off, recharge your batteries and I look forward to seeing you all in 2017.