VC's Update - July graduations, extra support for survivors of sexual assault, the Pop-Up Village opens and more

14 July 2017

Hi everyone,

Lots of big news this week so I'll try to squeeze in as much as I can into the blog.

Firstly, congratulations to all of our students who graduated this week. I remember just what it felt like to finally finish my studies and graduate. It's a huge achievement - so well done to all. For those staying on with us, we can't wait to follow your progress as you continue into your postgraduate years or begin your career. For those who are moving elsewhere, we wish you all the very best for your future. While it is the end of your studies, we look forward to welcoming you back to campus as a member of our alumni community.

It was a proud week for the University as we awarded our first ever honorary doctorate to an Indigenous Australian - Ngambri-Ngunnawal Indigenous elder Matilda House.  Matilda's connection with ANU dates back several decades. She has been a tireless supporter of Indigenous students, helping and encouraging students from right across Australia with their studies while at ANU.

We also awarded an honorary doctorate to the Director of the Australian War Memorial and former Australian political leader Dr Brendan Nelson. Dr Nelson is a Distinguished Research Fellow with the ANU Centre for European Studies and has as made an exceptional contribution to the public service and the University.

JCSMR's Professor Carola Vinuesa has been awarded two prestigious awards NHMRC. Carola was part of a team who won NHRMC's top Project Grant application and she was also named as the NHMRC's top female researcher in biomedical science in 2016, winning a prized Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship for a second time. Carola, you continue to do the University proud!

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator The Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO was on campus this week, to first sign and MOU between the Commonwealth Government and with the European Southern Observatory. The agreement will help secure the future for optical astronomy in this Australia and will bring great benefit to researchers at ANU. He also visited Mount Stromlo to tour the new ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (or ASTRO 3D) led by Lisa Kewley.

The new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Trail was opened this week on campus. The creation of the trail has been a terrific collaboration with the local Indigenous community, including members from the Ngambri, Ngunnawal, Ngunawal and Ngarigu communities. It's a self-guided walk that anyone can do.

Finally, this week ANU in partnership with our student associations ANUSA and PARSA, announced a partnership with the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre to provide additional access to specialist counselling services for survivors of sexual assault. Under the new arrangements, counsellors from the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre will be based at ANU in a full-time equivalent position to help educate the community on respectful relationships and to help survivors of sexual assaults and harassment. The new agreement supplements existing counselling services at ANU and is part of our commitment to support all survivors of sexual assault and harassment. I want to thank our student leaders who have put so much effort over the past 18 months to see this to fruition.


P.S. If you haven't been to the Pop-Up Village yet you're really missing out. I'm so impressed with everything down there - great food, great atmosphere. Well done to everyone who worked so hard to make it a really great venue and give us a taste of what is to come. Check out the photos from the opening.