New Vice-Chancellor on her love of nursing, what drives her, and her ambitions for UOW

Kindness is not a word usually associated with leadership. Nor is empathy nor compassion.

But for Professor Patricia M. Davidson, they are qualities that are at the heart of who she is and how she sees her new role as the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) fifth Vice-Chancellor.

A few weeks into the position, Professor Davidson has immersed herself in the world of UOW and is relishing every moment. Much of her calendar has revealed the priorities she has brought to the job, and hopes to enact in the months and years to come.

Professor Davidson has attended several Reconciliation Week events, advocated for the Illawarra region during the taping of ABC’s Q+A in Wollongong, and met with academic and professional staff across campus. It is evident that equity, diversity, and social justice will provide the foundation of her approach, as will ensuring that staff and students feel connected to the University’s greater mission.

“Kindness is hugely underrated,” Professor Davidson says, during a rare quiet moment in her office. “Approachability and accessibility, too. I believe that if you have the discretion to help someone else, you should always use it.

“I believe in just being kind. It doesn’t mean I will always get it right, and that I don’t have those same emotions that everyone else has. But if you can help a student or a staff member by showing some compassion and understanding of circumstances, you’re always going to be better off.”

For the full media article from The Stand, please click here.