Message from the Vice Chancellor
Appeal campaign – scholarships for humanitarian leaders
The chronic insecurity confronting our world is driving increasing numbers of people to leave their homes every day in search of safety. The rise of Islamic State and the ongoing human tragedy in Syria and Iraq has already seen 15 million people seek safety abroad. While 80 per cent of today’s humanitarian budget goes on helping people displaced by ongoing conflict, climate change also contributes to the inexorable toll of humanitarian crises. While we used to have a significant natural disaster once a decade, we now experience such major events every two or three years.
Across the world, armed conflicts and natural disasters have forced over 60 million people from their homes – if they were a nation, the population of displaced and dispossessed people would be the 24th largest country in the world. We are witnessing unprecedented numbers of refugees, displaced people and asylum seekers, and unprecedented economic inequality, the like of which is destabilising economies and damaging societies globally. It is one of the world’s most wicked problems.
Deakin University holds a strong belief, and together with Save the Children, a shared wish, to help transform humanitarian responses globally, so as to enable more effective humanitarian action and delivery for those communities affected. We know that leadership and decision-making are critical factors in ensuring we have the global capacity to respond appropriately to humanitarian crises.
Deakin’s involvement in the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership aligns precisely with our Deakin values and the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership plays a critical role in meeting the ever growing needs of the humanitarian and development sector, a sector where knowledge, skills and values must align if we are to bring about the change the world needs.
When crisis strikes, it is our humanitarian leaders who are deployed to give emergency assistance to those in desperate need. Deakin is committed to ensuring they have the skills they need to stay safe and to save even more lives.
Our humanitarian aide workers regularly put themselves in harm’s way and are constantly seeking out the new skills that will help them do a better job for people in crisis throughout the world. Unfortunately, they can rarely afford this advanced leadership training without some sort of support funding.
I urge you to support the Virtue Fund, this is your opportunity to help ensure the humanitarian aide workers on the ground are well prepared, not only to provide a timely and life-saving response to the humanitarian crises confronting our world, but to help build a more resilient and secure world.
Jane den Hollander
President and Vice-Chancellor