VC's Update - visiting Asia and congratulations to Professor Rick Shine

21 October 2016

I met with some very impressive academic, business and political leaders who shared some great memories of their time at ANU.

Hi everyone,

It's great to be back after an incredible few weeks visiting Timor-Leste, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

In Dili, it was a great privilege to attend the 20th anniversary celebrations for the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to His Eminence the Bishop Dom Ximenes Belo and His Excellency Dr José Ramos-Horta. I also spoke at a conference at the National University of Timor-Leste about the Role of Science and Technology in Peace and National Development and was even invited to dinner in the Presidential Palace. The clear highpoint of the visit was riding around the streets of Dili in Dr Ramos-Horta's Mini Moke - I hope you enjoy the pic.

While in China, I joined Professor Peter Drysdale to launch the Australia China Joint Economic Report at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, and to take part in a roundtable event on the future of Australia-China ties. The event demonstrated the amazing depth of engagement and cooperation between ANU and leading scholars in China. I would once again like to congratulate Professor Drysdale and the team at the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research for their outstanding analysis of the Australia-China relationship and vision for strengthening bilateral ties between our two countries.

One thing that really struck me throughout the trip was just how many amazing alumni we have scattered throughout the Asia-Pacific region. I met with some very impressive academic, business and political leaders who shared some great memories of their time at ANU. I also met with many other alumni all doing great things in their respective fields. It gave me a great sense of pride to see so many ANU graduates doing such great things around the world - it is something we should all be very proud of.

On the topic of ANU alumni success, I'd like to congratulate ANU alumnus Professor Rick Shine, who won the Prime Minister's Prize for Science this week for his work to protect northern Australian predators from cane toads.

Finally, a few housekeeping reminders for staff. Please don't forget to complete the ANU Staff Survey. I am really depending on your input to improve the University. It is open until Friday 28 October. A reminder email from Ben Eastment was sent out this morning to people who are yet to complete it.

Also, the University is exploring changes to workers' compensation insurance arrangements. Executive Director (Administration & Planning) Chris Grange sent an email this afternoon to explain the proposal in greater detail. To provide your comments, ask questions or give feedback email the team or visit the website.

Enjoy the weekend.



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Comment by Jarrod Grabham
8.45am 24 Oct 2016

Great to see you enjoyed yourself abroad! I spent 3 months volunteering teaching English in Dili back in 2012, it is a great place with such open and kind folk. I feel that ANU should do more for Timor Leste, I did a little bit of research and as far as I'm aware we offer very few Timor-Leste specific scholarships. Couldn't we do more to assist this burgeoning democracy? Also, this is a separate issue: ANU has no mascot. Whilst abroad last semester in the United States, I learnt to appreciate how much a University Mascot can help to unite an institution. Harvard has John Pilgrim, Princeton has the Tiger, Uni of Chicago has the Phoenix, ANU could have the Gang Gang Cockatoo?!     

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Comment by Jim Pollard
10am 24 Oct 2016

If there is any country that needs help from its big brother Australia it would be Timor.  Wouldn't it be fantastic if the ANU could assist those young people in Timor.  For instance exchange students at high school level. Aussie ANU students going to Timor to assist in basic education.  Scholarships for young Timorese.

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Comment by Clarisse Trindade
10.15am 30 Nov 2016

I'm from Timor Leste and I was very happy to read your post about your trip to Timor. It's very inspiring to see someone as important as you to visit East Timor and give your inputs on how to better develop our education system.

Australia's help is very valuable for Timor's development and we hope to continue to maintain this relationship.