From the Vice-Chancellor October 2022
Welcome to the October edition of dKin Times.
Dear Deakin community,
October is Mental Health Month across Australia and today Deakin is proud to launch the Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy (2023-2025).
The launch is timely in more ways than one, with many of our students – indeed, university students around the world – having experienced more than two years of disrupted studies and navigating a teaching and learning environment that no-one could have anticipated.
The new strategy builds on the program of work undertaken since 2019 and is a crucial part of ensuring our students have a safe, supportive, and inclusive experience at Deakin. Importantly, the strategy is informed by feedback and input from staff and students as well as expert knowledge from partners including Orygen. I do hope that students and the wider Deakin community find it useful and empowering.
October also saw the long-awaited return of graduation ceremonies at Costa Hall after a two-year hiatus. It was a wonderful privilege to share in our students’ pride as they walked across the graduation stage. Graduation is such a special milestone and I know my colleagues very much enjoyed donning the academic regalia once more and celebrating with our newest alumni as they open exciting new chapters in their lives.
Our campuses continue to come alive, with the Diwali Festival returning to the Waurn Ponds campus on Friday 28 October for the first time since 2020. This annual festival is a highlight on the Deakin events calendar, with its traditional and modern Bollywood dance displays, DJs, food and market stalls, rangoli artwork display, henna art, and a spectacular fireworks display. You can still register your attendance for this free family-friendly community event via Eventbrite.
In research news, the $10.3 million Battery Research and Innovation Hub was officially opened at the Burwood campus on 18 October. This purpose-built facility will enable the delivery of next-generation solid-state lithium-ion cells, as well as alternative and upcoming technologies such as sodium batteries. The Hub will play a key role in supporting Victoria’s green economy through energy storage innovation and offers countless collaboration opportunities for researchers and industry.
Sadly, this week we learned of the recent passing of Sue Nattrass AO, who was a valued member of the Deakin family and wonderful supporter of the University through her tremendous contribution to the Arts and Cultural Management program, its staff and students. She was a brilliant leader in arts management – a trail-blazing woman in the arts, who was widely regarded as an influential mentor and an admired colleague. Sue was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2015.
Sue’s legacy will live on through the Sue Nattrass Arts Management Scholarships here at Deakin, supporting our next generation of arts academics, managers, and champions. On behalf of the Deakin community, I extend my deepest sympathy to Sue’s family and all those who knew and loved her.