April Blog Post

Global Politics

In the last blog post I mentioned that I had been mulling over the implications of political events and an era which sometimes seems to be ‘post-truth’.  It seems (unsurprisingly) I was not the only one and I would recommend anyone to watch two speeches from the Universities Australia Conference, firstly former Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich’s keynote address:


and secondly UA Chair Barney Glover’s address to the National Press Club:


They said what I wanted to say, but much better.

Royal Far West Ride For Country Kids

It’s now three weeks since the Royal Far West Ride For Country Kids in which we had nine CSU staff riding.  This was definitely a challenge – I was relieved to see Daniel Gibson, from Channel 7 who looks supremely fit, describe the first day as one of the toughest rides he’d ever done.  We had temperatures in the high thirties and a strong headwind that was like riding into a hairdryer.  When you reached for a water bottle, it was hotter than you were.  Every peloton had someone who just couldn’t continue about 15kms outside of Cootamundra.  I’m pleased to say all the CSU riders made it in under their own steam (no pun intended).  The second day was wet and cold, and on the third day we hit strong and gusty headwinds about the same time we hit the big hills on the way in to Orange.  I think we earned the sponsorship money.  Having started at CSU Wagga, we finished at the CSU Orange Campus and our Physiotherapy students were on hand to deal with knotted and aching muscles.

Between the two CSU teams, we raised over $30,000 and the event raised over $600,000 in total, which is a great result.  A big thank you to all the riders, to everyone who provided sponsorship and to all those who attended the barbecue campus events at Port Macquarie, Bathurst and Wagga Wagga which raised more than $2000 out of the total.  Six out of the nine of us – before we started riding, but after Jonathan had had his head shaved – are in the picture below.


On the cycling theme, I also wanted to thank our Paramedics students for assisting in the Blayney to Bathurst Ride last Sunday – and in particular to Ash and Callum for helping my cycling buddy out with a cramp problem at the bottom of Rockley Mount – much appreciated!

Strategy Progress

Last week we had Vice-Chancellor’s Forum (VCF) in Bathurst which was the largest we have had (I’m tempted to say ‘period’) as we invited all the Heads of School.  At this, we worked through the first cut of the sub-plans for the 2017-22 Strategy document approved by University Council at the end of last year.  The aim was to expose the thinking about how to take the strategy forward, think about prioritisation as well as possible overlaps and conflicts.  My sense was that there was a really good spirit around this and we certainly got a lot of useful feedback from the participants.  Further information on this, included the documentation presented at VCF, will be posted on Yammer in the next week or so.  The aim of this is to expose it further and gather feedback from across the university – I encourage everyone to get involved in this process.  We want to be sure the strategy is as good as it can possibly be.

Support for Regional Innovation

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had launches of our support for entrepreneurship.  In Bathurst we launched CenWest Innovate which is a program led by Professor Mark Morrison to support innovation and entrepreneurship in Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by providing masterclasses and linkages to University staff.

Another arm of this is work led by Associate Professor Michelle Evans to support Indigenous entrepreneurship.  This is the Walan Mayinygu Program which is running ‘Pop Up’ events in various communities across our footprint and includes advice from successful Indigenous entrepreneurs.  We are also investing in The Agri Business Park in Wagga to encourage Agri Business start-ups and this is being led by Professor John Mawson.  Through all of these programs the aim is to support economic growth and jobs in regional NSW and this work has been supported through the NSW Dept of Industry Boosting Business Innovation Program.

Road Shows

My office is once again planning out Road Shows across the University starting this week through to the end of the year (it’s a big place!). I am trying to make the briefings at team level via campus – so please get in touch if you have a team session already planned for later in the year to see if we can combine the two. Email vc@csu.edu.au

Will sign off for now, more to come.