Dear Colleagues

It has been so inspiring to observe the continued resilience and strength of this institution and the people who make it. Throughout the challenges we have faced together, we have continued to stay focused on the needs of our students and the community, while also supporting each other. I hope you saw my email sent Wednesday night informing that the pause on salary increases would end. Although our financial situation remains uncertain, we are pleased to be able to offer this important and genuine show of goodwill in recognition of your effort, sacrifice, and commitment. This brings forward a 4.5% institution-wide pay increase, to be paid from 1 December 2021.

I’m pleased to advise that on Wednesday The Australian included 13 UOW researchers in their list of the 250 top researchers in Australia! UOW was also named ‘Top research institution’ in the fields of: Electrochemistry; Nanotechnology; Materials Engineering; Manufacturing and Machinery; and Humanities, Literature and Arts (general). The work of UOW researchers is truly outstanding. I am grateful their efforts continue to be recognised in these ways. Please join me in congratulating:

Associate Professor Shahriar Akter, Marketing, Strategic Management
Professor Shujun Zhang, Ceramic Engineering
Distinguished Professor Shi Xue Dou, Electrochemistry, Materials Engineering, Nanotechnology
Professor Huijun Li, Metallurgy
Associate Professor Wanqing Li, Multimedia
Senior Professor Anthony Okely, Public Health
Senior Professor Sharon Robinson, Biophysics (profiled in an article)
Senior Professor Guang Shi, Paleontology
Professor Aidan Sims, Algebra
Professor Paul Goldberg, Anthropology

You may remember last week I spoke about our important and transformative Jindaola program. Well, I’m pleased to report that just this morning UOW has been named first finalist in the Teaching and Learning Excellence category of the Australian Financial Review Higher Education Awards for our Jindaola Program, which embeds Aboriginal knowledges and perspectives into curriculums. Congratulations to all involved! UOW is proud to support the program through UOW grant funding, provision of staff and facilities and the support of its Academic Development and Recognition team. It is also a core element of UOW’s Reconciliation Action Plan. Please read more on the program and this award here.

There are more congratulations in order as two projects from colleagues at our business school were ‘highly commended’ in The Australian Business Deans Council Award for Innovation and Excellence in Professional Management. Meeting the criteria of impact, innovation and scalability, these projects were the Food with Care initiative and the R U OK? call campaign. I understand there were many strong submissions from business schools across Australia, so this is an impressive achievement. Well done to the team, including Erin Snape, Sue Mathews, Michael Grainger, Aleksandra Skibinska, Xinru Yu, and Jonas Ostersen and of course others in the faculty who contributed throughout the year!

I am delighted to let you know that Professor Ray Chambers FASSA, Honorary Professorial Fellow, from the School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics at UOW, has been elected as a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA). Fellows are elected by their peers based on a sustained and internationally distinguished contribution to their field. To learn more about Ray’s work and that of the 36 other elected fellows, register for the Academy’s online New Fellow Presentationsheld Wednesday 24 November. Well done on this great achievement Ray!

In other exciting news, UOW’s SMART Infrastructure Facility is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this week! A research hub and training facility, SMART Infrastructure forms partnerships with industry, governments, and government agencies, tailoring their cutting-edge academic research to solve real-world infrastructure issues. With an estimated $250 billion to be spent on infrastructure in Australia over the next four years, the coming decade is likely to be even busier for SMART than the last. Their success has so far been driven by a real focus on delivering outcomes for the community. With its recent announcement to form the Telstra-UOW Hub, this is an exciting space to watch.

Next week, the 2021 UOW Global Enterprises’ Global Collaborate Conference is happening 16 – 18 November. The virtual event is free for all Academic and Professional staff within the UOW global network, and offers a fantastic line-up of speakers across research, mobility, teaching and learning. You can view the schedule and get to know the speakers here. This year’s program and activities are being hosted live via Zoom and will be available on demand from 22 November until February next year. This is an exciting initiative that celebrates our collaboration across all of our global entities and I am very focused on further developing this collaboration in the months and years ahead.

It’s time to declutter like Marie Kondo! Our staff-run Goodwill Hunting initiative will be taking place on Friday 25 February 2022. Through the generous donations of staff, Goodwill Hunting offers our domestic and international students a chance to pick up free household items to help them navigate a move away from home and the start of a new academic year. The event attracts more than 1,000 eager students aiming to collect free household items ranging from crockery, cutlery, saucepans, bed linen and towels. The team will begin collecting donated household items through Dec, Jan and Feb. Why not embark on a big Spring clean and assist in a worthy cause at the same time? A huge thank you to Heidi De Coster and team who pull this together each year. As the name suggests, there’s a lot of goodwill involved and from what I hear, they manage to create a very warm and inviting opportunity for students. Watch here to get a glimpse of this wonderful initiative and watch this space for more detail on drop-off days and locations.

I’m also pleased to announce, following a highly successful series of trivia sessions, a special holiday themed ‘Trivia with Trish’ event. On 23 November, I will be coming to you with special guest, Australian cricketing legend host Adam Gilchrist. Be sure to register today so you don’t miss out on the fun and the chance to win a $100 e-gift card.

Lastly, the Unlocking Fortress Australia: Opportunities and Challenges panel that took place on Monday evening made for a very interesting discussion. If you missed it, I’d highly recommend watching the recording!

I hope you have a lovely and well-deserved break over the weekend. And if there is anything surplus in your house that might make one of our student’s day, please start a donation pile of goodwill hunting goods!