VC's Update - Foundation Day and more

3 August 2018

Hi everyone,

This week, we came together at the Inaugural Foundation Day Lecture to celebrate the University's birthday and the remarkable impact this great institution has made over the past seven decades. It was an honour to celebrate with some of the most esteemed members of our ANU family - the Chancellor, Professor Gareth Evans, our Alumna of the Year, Susan Ryan AO, former ANU Chancellor, Professor Peter Baume AC, Dr Matilda House and many other members of our community to mark the passing of another incredible year.

In my speech I reflected on what I think makes this university so special - our capacity to change the world for the better. I can proudly proclaim that our university puts its values front and centre - and lives by them, every day. Amongst those values is our integrity, where we have the confidence to pursue original ideas, but also listen to people who have ideas different to our own. We gain strength from being inclusive, open and respectful to the diversity of our nation and the world, and we are adapting so that our staff and students better reflect that diversity.

As part of the event I was delighted to announce that nominations are now open for a new university celebration the Vice-Chancellor's Annual Awards. These awards recognise staff for their research, teaching, community engagement, public policy, outreach and innovation. I encourage everyone to take a bit of time to reflect on our values and how you can champion them as part of the ANU community. One way is to nominate a team or person for one of these awards.  Recipients will be announced at the inaugural Gala Dinner on Monday 19 November 2018.

Another anniversary was marked this week with one year passing since the Australian Human Rights Commission released the results of the national survey into sexual assault and harassment on university campuses. Over the past year, the University has made significant changes to improve the way we respond to, and care for, survivors of sexual assault and harassment. We still have a way to go but we have made real progress. We have been fortunate to have strong and dedicated student leaders assisting us and helping us to focus our efforts as well as hard-working, deeply committed staff. If we work all together we will make the lasting changes required to eliminate sexual assault and sexual harassment on our campus. My commitment towards achieving deep cultural change is unwavering - please help by calling out any bad behaviour whenever you see it. One incident of assault or harassment will always be one too many.

As a reminder, if you need support or would like to talk to someone, there are many options available to help you at ANU. More information can be found through the safety and security page or the respectful relationships at ANU, both found on our website.