I'm sorry to report that there have been some incidents this week of derogatory and inappropriate material being circulated on campus and online. Posting photos of fellow students without consent is completely unacceptable, as is participating in inappropriate commentary on fellow students.
Openness to new ideas and tolerance of difference is part of our culture and material that seeks to denigrate other people because of their religion, ethnicity, sexuality, religion or gender is not welcome on this campus. I encourage anyone affected by these issues to report it and take up the counselling and support services offered by the University.
ANU is a campus that is welcoming and respectful of people from all different backgrounds, religions, sexualities and genders. I want everyone to feel safe here and look back at their time at ANU as some of the best of their lives.
I am always so impressed by the number of awards members of our community receive. Last night I had the pleasure of celebrating some of those achievements at the annual Alumni Recognition Reception. The reception was an opportunity to honour the accomplishments of some of our students and alumni, whose personal efforts have represented the University with such distinction.
ANU is in no shortage of brilliant alumni, so I was pleased last night to launch the 2017 ANU Alumni Awards. These Awards recognise the contributions our graduates have made in fields such as leadership, philanthropy, innovation and the arts. I am delighted that in 2017 we have added two new categories, Indigenous Alumni of the Year and Young Indigenous Alumni of the Year. I encourage you to nominate an alumni or student who inspires you for one of these awards.
Earlier in the week, ANU hosted the launch of a major new study examining the relationship between Australia and China. The Australia-China Joint Economic Report is a great collaboration between the East Asia Forum, in the Crawford School, and the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges. It outlines a new vision for bilateral ties and points to significant economic and social benefits through stronger engagement and cooperation. One recommendation is for a new Australia-China Commission, similar to the Australian-American Fulbright Commission, to promote academic, cultural, policy, government, business and community exchanges. ANU would be a natural partner for this Commission and I look forward to providing full institutional support to this exciting endeavour.
This week we held a memorial for a dear friend of the University, Emeritus Professor John Love. John was an outstanding scholar, a gentleman, a friend to many and a person who loved to help others - we were so lucky to have him in our midst.
Our crisis response skills were put to the test this week as members of the University participated in an emergency simulation exercise. This is a good time to remind you all of the importance of ensuring you have nominated an emergency mobile number in your HORUS/ISIS. We will be sending out a test emergency SMS next week. In a time of real crisis ensuring we can contact you with up-to-date information is vital.
Have a great and safe weekend,