From the Vice-Chancellor September 2021

Alumni news

27 September 2021

Welcome to the September edition of dKin Times.

Dear Deakin community,

Lately I’ve been thinking about the famous opening scene of Alice in Wonderland. The last two years have been much like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole – the sensation of endless falling: “Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end?”

However, we are now standing in front of the doorway – as small as it seems – that leads to a strange but livelier world. The accelerating rollout of highly effective vaccines means we are able to consider a very different year for 2022. This is not just wishful thinking but is the experience being lived now in countries like Denmark where almost 75 percent of the population is vaccinated.

Like many of you, I eagerly anticipated the announcement of the roadmap for Victoria’s reopening. Unfortunately, based on the current plan, the rest of this year will see continued limitations on the range of activities we can undertake. We are working with the Government to seek far greater clarity ahead of announcing our settings for T3.

COVID-19 has been difficult, and there will be ongoing challenges, but we are right to expect more opportunities next year, including live entertainment and interstate and international travel, and the chance to experience higher education with the best of what it can offer of campus life.

Informed and guided by our staff and community, we have been reimagining what a university can be, building on our pioneering work over the last decade. The staff consultation period of three weeks ended on 23 September, and we are now going through all of the feedback to determine the best way forward for Deakin.

I have been vocal on the importance of vaccinations to our future and I can only reiterate those sentiments. We have also recently sought staff attitudes to mandatory vaccinations, and we will communicate further updates on this soon.

Through all this, the Deakin community continues to plan and put on virtual events, mark milestones, innovate in research and teaching, and support each other.

On September 28 we held the annual Deakin Residential Services Awards. While our campuses have been more subdued than usual in recent times, it has been so heartening to see the contributions our student leaders have been making across our residences. Over and over again, what I hear from our students living on-campus is how peer support and friendship has, if anything, grown stronger over the last 12 months. Congratulations to those residential students who received awards for outstanding community leadership and academic achievement.

A reminder that on October 28 we are holding the annual (virtual) Alumni Awards, which will recognise our highest achieving and most community-minded alumni. Register now.

We are excited about next year. It is time for renewed hope and yes, more than a little bravery. We must extend our minds to what that new normal can look like.

Best wishes,

Deakin University

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