Dear Colleagues,

Another busy week is behind us.

However, the challenges of the outbreak of COVID-19 in NSW are still very real and confronting, with record cases and the Greater Sydney lockdown extended for another four weeks through until 28 August.

Please remember to go easy on yourself at this challenging time. We’re all trying to do our best under difficult circumstances. Lockdowns are not easy, but unfortunately, they are a critical necessity. I refer you to an international review recently undertaken and led by UOW Researcher Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz on lockdowns and their impact.

Despite the lockdown, there is still much to be optimistic about here at UOW (and of course, in Tokyo!)

On a side note, isn’t it wonderful to see our country unite and the world come together for the Games? It’s a timely reminder that what unites us as human beings is far stronger than what divides us.

Returning to this week’s events at UOW, we’re incredibly pleased to have students return for Session 2. A big thank you must go to all professional staff and academic staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure our students have a seamless and enjoyable learning experience, despite the challenges of the current environment. The University owes you a great deal of thanks and gratitude for your monumental efforts.

This week I was thrilled to learn that Early Application numbers to study at UOW next year are currently up 31% on 2020 (which was a record year itself!). This highlights the fact that our University is still very much a place that school leavers want to be, which we should all be proud of. Please feel free to share our Early Admission application with school leavers in your circle of family and friends.

Another point of pride for our organisation should be our incredible Alumni network. Please take a moment to view the new UOW Alumni Anthology Webinar Series, which showcases our alumni community’s projects, skills, and expertise. Wherever I am in the world, I am always proud to say that I am an alumna of the University of Wollongong.

We also continue to work behind the scenes to develop and implement many of the action items that came out of our recent UOW Strategy Event and we will be sharing more with you on this shortly. However, I’m pleased to say we are well underway to provide a greater student voice in decision-making around the organisation, as the senior executive team and I are meeting weekly with the Student Advisory Council (SAC). This is a highly engaged group who do a fantastic job representing the broader student cohort and we are getting excellent value out of these weekly exchanges.

Next Thursday, 5 August, I will be speaking at a Global Health Roundtable event called ‘Emerging from the Pandemic’. It takes place via Zoom and will feature an impressive line-up of global health experts and economists discussing how the world can better prepare for future global health security. If anyone is interested in joining the discussion, RSVP’s close today at 5 pm. Please email to register your interest.

This week is also ‘DonateLife Week’ for 2021, which is a cause close to my heart. Please visit their website to learn more about how you can become an organ or tissue donor and help transform people’s lives.

And finally, for all the latest UOW news and stories, don’t forget to bookmark Universe and check-in regularly. My personal favourite this week is an article by our very own Photo-Journalist Paul Jones’ titled Beauty in the small things, which is a read I highly recommend as we enter the weekend and warmer weather.

Thank you for all your work this week, and I hope you have a restful and rejuvenating weekend. We all need it!