From the Vice-Chancellor June 2022

Alumni news

30 June 2022

Welcome to the June edition of dKin Times.

Dear Deakin community,

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Emeritus Professor Malcolm Preston Skilbeck AO on 17 June, the second Vice-Chancellor of Deakin University (1986-1991), who holds a significant place in the history of the University.

Professor Skilbeck led Deakin through considerable challenges and change, including expanding the University to a multi-campus institution and navigating through the Dawkins reforms. But perhaps his most visible legacy, and one that is appreciated every day by students and staff alike, was his transformation of the Waurn Ponds campus landscape.

Professor Skilbeck’s passing will be felt deeply across our community and the sector and we extend our best wishes and sympathies to his family and friends.

On 31 May at NIKERI on our Waurn Ponds campus, we held the inaugural Deakin Indigenous Oration, which aligned with the timing of National Reconciliation Week. This event has been established to promote and celebrate First Nations voices and further demonstrates our commitment to Reconciliation and Indigenous knowledges, and the central importance they have in Australian life and culture.

Our inaugural orator was Dr Miriam Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM, a Nauiyu elder and renowned artist, activist, writer and public speaker. Dr Miriam Rose is a Deakin alum (Bachelor and Master of Education) and was named 2021 Senior Australian of the Year. In conversation with Professor Mark Rose, she spoke on the theme, ‘Is the nation ready for deep listening?’ Free and open to the public, this was a moving and important event that I felt privileged to attend. I look forward to next year’s Oration.

Other events recently have included the launch of the Australian Guide to Implementing Food Traceability – one of Deakin’s many sustainability activities and part of our Future Food initiative; the School of Engineering’s Industry Workshop; and we hosted the Australian Historical Association’s Annual Conference – the peak organisation for historians in Australia. Academics from around the country discussed the theme ‘Urgent Histories’, which took on even greater significance given the new federal government’s declaration that it will implement the ‘Uluru Statement from the Heart’ in full.

During the last month, I was also delighted to name the 2022 Alfred Deakin Professors – 10 distinguished academics who have been recognised for their significant and sustained contribution to the University. You can read more about this announcement in the Deakin newsroom.

Finally, I’d like to thank all of you who have generously donated to Deakin’s Achieving Potential Fund. If you haven’t, there’s still time – Community Bank at Deakin University is matching donations of $100 or more until midnight tonight. You can donate via the dKin donate page.

Please enjoy this month’s edition of dKin Times.

Best wishes,

Deakin University

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