VC's Update - Thanksgiving and our Grand Graduation

28 November 2019

Hi everyone,

I can feel the excitement around campus as we quickly approach the end of the year. It certainly is busy in the Chancelry, with everything seemingly in a race against the summer shutdown clock - but amongst the commotion is a sense of fun and excitement. 

Last week, about 20 members of our community, including students, staff, as well as several Deans and members of the Executive, travelled to Eden on the NSW south coast to meet some of the Yuin people on their Country.  This was a special experience for those of us lucky enough to come, and is an important step in expanding our relationship with this community in our region. There will be plenty of opportunities over the coming years to be part of our future activities.

Earlier this week, we held the inaugural Gareth Evans Oration, to acknowledge the long-term service of our Chancellor to ANU and beyond. Ambassador Samantha Power, UN Ambassador under the Obama Administration, was the inaugural speaker. In a powerful speech, Ambassador Power discussed the future of democracy, but she also spent time with our staff and students, sharing her experience of US Government policies in foreign affairs and national security concerns in the Asia Pacific. The oration is a wonderful legacy of Gareth and you can watch it here.

It is my pleasure to highlight our colleagues who were successful in their promotions applications during this year's round. Promotions allow the University to recognise, reward and retain the outstanding and dedicated staff whose successes allow the University to deliver on its unique national and international responsibilities. 

The School of Art and Design are holding their Annual Glass Sale tonight, where students sell their glassware to support projects and scholarships. It is always a great night, showcasing the work of our students to the community, and a great opportunity to buy some beautiful glassware that is truly one-of-a-kind. As a regular customer, get in early!

Today is also American Thanksgiving. A time when American families get together and give thanks for what we have. My family is going over to a friend's place where we will have turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin and pecan pie, along with a little Maipenrai to wash it all down.

Finally, on Tuesday 10 December, we will be holding our first Grand Graduation event on University Avenue. Many of you have asked why we are doing it, and the answer is simple - I want ANU to have a Graduation event that truly celebrates our graduates - and brings our entire community together, and is open to all of their family, friends and teachers. Our current Graduation ceremonies work well, but they split our students into more than 10 different events, which means, we have to limit seats for family and friends, and for those in flexible double degrees, they have to choose a single College to graduate with. This event will need everyone's involvement to make it a success - so please register and come along on the day.

Have a great weekend,

Brian