From the Vice-Chancellor - June 2021
Welcome to the June edition of dKin Times.
Dear Deakin community,
The announcement of the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours recipients was a welcome opportunity to marvel at some of the most impressive achievements of those within our community.
Deakin’s representation in the awards continues to grow each year, with more and more of our alumni, current and former staff, and close friends of the University being recognised for their remarkable bodies of work. We are all believers in the long-term benefits of our education and research – it is why we do what we do – but when reading through the citations for nationally and internationally significant awards such as these, we get the grand view of its scope and impact and the broader esteem by which it is regarded.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to look through the list of Deakin recipients in our media release – it is inspiring reading. Congratulations once more to our talented and dedicated recipients this year.
Indeed, the long-term impact of our research is featured in this month’s edition of dKin Times, alongside the philanthropy that enables us to continue this important work and to increase our output. To this end, we have just launched the Deakin Trailblazers Fund, which will help support more Early Career Researchers to establish their careers and pursue the kinds of innovative approaches that lead to pioneering work and future breakthroughs.
I know many of you have expressed concern about the future of research funding, given the current challenges to higher education funding more broadly, and the government policy settings we have seen taking shape.
Deakin continues to pursue a combination of discovery and applied research that aligns with our five Impact Themes, as expressed in our strategic plan, Ideas to Impact. These five themes help us focus our activities to where our ideas will make the most difference. Their relevance has been recognised in the recent announcements through the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund, such as the backing of ManuFutures 2 and the three water sustainability projects in the Geelong region, which will extend Deakin’s commitment to the preservation of natural environments. There have also been potentially game-changing research breakthroughs this year, such as in battery technology (Lithium Sulphur) by Deakin’s Nanotechnology team – this has taken fundamental discovery research and with a strong commercial partner created a very significant new technology.
Deakin continues to advocate for a robust and financially sustainable model for research funding, while pursuing exciting opportunities for commercialisation and innovation. A dynamic ecosystem that links discovery to application underpins much of what we are currently doing, with the Waurn Ponds Campus being recognised by the Victorian government as an innovation precinct. More than ever, Australia will rely on our research capacity in the years ahead. We are players in a hyper-competitive, global marketplace of ideas, and we need to be investing in our talent.
Currently, we are participating in Refugee Week: Australia’s annual acknowledgment of refugees and a celebration of their positive contributions to our society. Deakin’s work to promote diversity and inclusion is a cornerstone of our efforts to keep building a welcoming culture – not only within the immediate context of our University, but how this culture can be seen and felt in all the contexts in which we operate. In this edition you can read more about the achievements of our Centre for Refugee Employment, Advocacy, Training and Education (CREATE).