From the Vice-Chancellor September 2022

Alumni news

29 September 2022

Welcome to the September edition of dKin Times.

Dear Deakin community,

This September, I’m sure those of you in Victoria joined me in happily saying goodbye to a long winter and welcomed a spring full of possibilities.

I write to you from India, where I’m attending a series of events that celebrate and strengthen our 28-year relationship with this beautiful country. In 1994, Deakin became the first university to open an office in India and since then, we have committed more than $50 million to research and scholarship initiatives and embarked on partnerships with dozens of India’s premier universities, research organisations and businesses.

These universities include Centurion University, which recently received our support to restore and upgrade equipment in its Waste to Wealth Labs and Chitkara University, where I will be launching a Deakin Hub and taking part in a town hall for students on the importance of being a global citizen.

At Deakin, we place our students front and centre in everything we do. That’s why we were thrilled to learn that our students have rated us as the best Victorian university for overall student experience for the sixth year in a row in the 2021 Student Experience Survey. Our University is also home to the state’s most satisfied graduates for the last 12 consecutive years.

These achievements are all the more extraordinary when you consider how the events of the past two years have tested us all. I remain very proud of the remarkable resilience and determination demonstrated by our staff and students as our study and work lives melded and gravitated online.

The fortitude of our HDR students was also on show during the recent Three Minute Thesis (3MT) final, which we were pleased to hold in person for the first time in two years. Congratulations to Sumudu Mallawaarachchi, who took out the title with a presentation summarising her research into understanding how and why children use mobile devices and any longer-term impacts on child development.

If you’re considering joining our HDR student ranks and boosting your qualifications with some further study, there are still a number of sessions remaining in our new Postgraduate Webinar series for 2022. Find out more about study areas including Engineering, Sustainability, Teaching and Architecture, with the full schedule available on the Events section of our website.

I would like to congratulate Associate Professor Jee Hyun Kim, Dr Tebeje Molla, Dr Phillip Baker, Dr Eben Kirksey and Dr Roey Elnathan on receiving more than $3.6 million in funding through the prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship scheme, announced this month. Their research encompasses topics ranging from benign coronaviruses to school disengagement among African students from refugee backgrounds, and I look forward to seeing its impact on our communities in years to come.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not congratulate the Geelong Cats on winning the club’s tenth premiership on Saturday! Finals fever certainly gripped Geelong this month, and Deakin was pleased to take part in a fun tradition as we worked with the City of Greater Geelong to don Cats jumpers on the iconic ‘Dad and Dave’ figures in the T&G Building bell tower. The only downside of my India trip is that I was unable to be at the MCG for the game.

Best wishes,

Deakin University

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