En route to China

This post is being written on a plane to China to visit our university partners there and attend the 110th anniversary of Yangzhou university.  I’m very pleased to be travelling on an Airbus 380 for the first time as my father was part of the design team for the wings on the very first Airbus at the beginning of the 1970s.  Yes, I do know they have cracks in these ones; I’m sure he would be mortified if he were still alive (and appreciate the irony of the last part of that sentence).

Highlights since the last blog post include:

  • A visit to Goulburn campus to visit the NSW Police Academy.  Fantastic facilities there and really interesting staff.  Rosemary Woolston asks me which is the best School in the University and I tell her I’m not going to argue with the one that has guns.
  • Hosting NSW Legislative Council Members Steve Whan and Mick Veitch at the Orange Campus – a great opportunity to show off the Dental and Physio labs and talk to them about our plans.
  • The opening of the Port Macquarie Campus by Senator the Hon Chris Evans. This was a fabulous event with tremendous support from the community and my congratulations to all those involved in organising it.  [A particular thank you to the St Columba School Band who introduced the notion of having the Academic Procession arrive to some excellently played tracks from Miles Davis’ ‘Kind of Blue’.  This is a tradition I think we should continue (although I wouldn’t want to displace Don Alexander’s bagpipes in Bathurst).  On checking the track listing I think it was ‘All Blues’ although it might have been ‘Freddie Freeloader’ in which case perhaps they were being more ironic than I thought.]
  • Travelling to Nyngan to present our case for a medical school to the Western NSW Local Health District.
  • A Bathurst Regional Council hosted welcome for me with members of the local community at the Somerville Collection.
  • Opening the Environmental Boardwalk at Albury, attending the Albury Regional Consultative Committee meeting and having dinner with community leaders from Albury, Wodonga and Wangaratta.
  • Interviewing for the DVC (Academic) to replace Ross Chambers.
  • Attending the Universities Australia Plenary Meeting of Vice-Chancellors and Chancellors in Adelaide.
  • Attending my first Academic Senate meeting.

This has been further very useful information gathering and in particular it was good to finally meet staff at Goulburn and Albury.

As I mentioned in the last post, I am now past the three months of familiarisation and intend to move into the next phase.  Part of that will be to transmit more of my thoughts on our strategic positioning, and our future, to the university community and stakeholders.  This blog is part of that communication process and we will be promoting this more widely through the university community. I would welcome comments on these blog posts as the conversation develops.