Dear Colleagues

I hope you have had a productive week and that you are looking after yourself in the fast-paced run-up to the end of the year.

In exciting news, you would have seen the new intranet “Universe” launched yesterday. The platform will aid better communication and collaboration across teams, and I am excited for all staff to be able to engage with this new interface as we move to a more connected workspace. Thank you again to the cross-organisational project team for your tireless work in getting the new intranet live; a wonderful achievement.

A quick reminder to submit your staff shout outs to recognise and celebrate colleagues. It’s been wonderful reading about our amazing staff here at UOW. If you think of someone who deserves a special mention, please submit this to the Universe inbox by Monday 29 November, and these work stars will be profiled in Universe next week.

As the state inches closer to 95% vaccination, I wanted to share the following video message as a chance to directly express my views on the importance of vaccination and how it impacts our return to our campuses. As you know, plans are already in place for a phased approach back, but we need everyone on board to make it work as well as possible.

It’s thanks to vaccines and the incredible sacrifices we’ve all made that Australia is officially opening! From 1 December 2021, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders, including international students, can arrive in Australia without a travel exemption. I am so excited about what this means for UOW students and staff everywhere. We can’t wait to welcome our international students back – our campuses will be alive with energy and activity in a big way in 2022.

In University news, UOW has partnered with Fulbright Australia to host a prestigious scholarship program that will see the American Fulbright Commission enable outstanding professionals and academics from the United States to undertake study or research in Wollongong. I was in Canberra this week to formally sign the partnership that will showcase the University’s research, teaching, and learning excellence to an international audience and strengthen ties between Australia and the United States. We are thrilled and honoured to be working alongside The Australian-American Fulbright Commission on this exciting initiative. We look forward to scholars from the US experiencing our exceptional capabilities and beautiful destination.

Congratulations for UOW researchers who have been named on the 2021 Clarivite Highly Cited Researchers list. Thank you for your quality contributions to global research – we are so proud. The list of recognised researchers were, UOW’s Distinguished Professor Shi Xue Dou, Distinguished Professor Zaiping Guo, Professor Shujun Zhang, Professor Jung Ho Kim, Professor Jun Chen, Distinguished Professor Yoshio Bando, Distinguished Professor Hua Kun Liu, and Senior Professor Anthony Okely.

A quick call out – UOW researcher Dr Chantel Carr, is looking for coal miners to participate in her study about the changing nature of industries. She hopes that in learning more about the experiences of coal workers in the Illawarra, she will be able to help governments and institutions understand how to better support regional workers as the resource industries evolve and transform.

A reminder that Goodwill Hunting collections are underway. As I mentioned previously, this is a staff-run initiative that gives UOW students a leg up as they start their new year of study. It offers them the opportunity to pick up free household items to set up their new lives. The initiative relies on the generous donations of UOW staff and the community, so get Spring cleaning and get on board! All the info you need for where, when, and how to donate can be found here.

Lastly, the Shoalhaven Medical School is looking for volunteers to help UOW medical students practise their skills and hone their techniques in communication and examination. By becoming a volunteer in the Graduate Medicine’s Simulated Patient Program, you will also be contributing to the overall health and wellbeing of the Shoalhaven community. Based at the University of Wollongong’s Shoalhaven Campus in Nowra, volunteers can be of all ages and genders but must be relatively healthy, active and engaged. UOW students are especially encouraged, with UOWx credit up for grabs! For further information, contact simulated-patients-shoalhaven@uow.edu.au.

Have a lovely relaxing weekend.

Trish