VC's Update- First Nations wrap-up and new hall announcement

6 July 2018

Hi everyone,

What a week! We've had a very busy fortnight with ANU hosting a number of key events across campus, including the Australian Crawford Leadership Program and the First Nations Governance Forum.

When I became Vice-Chancellor in 2016, I made a commitment to tackle the challenging questions facing the nation. Of the many issues that are preoccupying Australia's policymakers, few are more important than progressing the issue of reconciliation with Indigenous Australians. ANU played a leading role this week in hosting the First Nations Governance Forum at Old Parliament House where we heard from leading Australian and international experts on this issue. Our aim was to reignite the conversation about the place of Australia's First peoples in our governance structures and to inform and deepen the national discussion.

The speeches and discussions at the Forum were thought provoking, inspiring and stimulating. As the national university, we must champion this issue and bring together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians to plan a pathway forward. This is a responsibility for the whole Australian population, not just our First Nations peoples or our politicians. We will continue to facilitate discussions on this important issue. I encourage you to read the Forum highlights here.  

Our focus on drawing attention to Indigenous issues will continue into the future and next week, I'd like to encourage you to participate in NAIDOC celebrations. Across campus, representatives from the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) committees will be hosting events to raise awareness of the history and cultural heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. I will be leading a discussion at Chancelry on culture, identity and stereotypes - drawing on module 1 of the Core Cultural Learning course. This training is open to all ANU staff and students and is a great way to enhance your understanding of Indigenous Australia.

Finally, I was delighted to officially announce the name of our newest student residence, Wright Hall, which is being built along Daley Road. Wright Hall has been named for Louise Tuckwell's family and recognises the important contribution the Tuckwell's have made to our University. Their generous donation to ANU in 2013 has undoubtedly changed the landscape of philanthropy in higher education in Australia. The new Halls will become the home for more than 800 students in 2019, providing them with one of the world's best on-campus living experiences. On behalf of the entire ANU community, I would like to thank Graham and Louise for their extraordinary contributions to supporting students and their experience at ANU.

Have a good weekend,