Message from the Vice-Chancellor - March 2021
Welcome to the March edition of dKin Times.
Dear Deakin community,
Walking around our campuses over the past few weeks, it has been so exciting to see them as they are meant to be: pulsing with energy and enthusiasm. Trimester 1 students are back and our staff have resumed many of their on-campus activities.
We continue to work towards the optimum blended experience – a mix of online and on-campus life that utilises the best of Deakin’s physical and virtual spaces and capability. This is an ongoing transition, and while Deakin could boast this as a strength even before the pandemic, we will continue to fine-tune with feedback from our students, staff and partners, so that we retain our reputation as one of the country’s most progressive and responsive universities.
We are continuing to innovate our events and offerings this year, with our graduations taking the form of ‘Grads on the Green’, special on-campus graduation events at each of our campuses; and our versatile new open days, the ‘Open All Year’ program, which will see prospective students and their families offered tailored campus tours of their study area of choice. This will complement our Virtual Open Day on August 15, which was hugely successful in its inaugural year in 2020.
Our engagement with new partners continues to increase, and I’d like to highlight two significant recent announcements.
On 11 March at our Waurn Ponds Campus, with Training, Skills and Higher Education Minister the Hon. Gayle Tierney MP, we announced a $20 million partnership with the Victorian Government to double the size of ManuFutures, our advanced manufacturing hub. This is an excellent example of a university working together with the government to create local jobs and deliver transformative outcomes for the community. The Geelong Future Economy Precinct is fast becoming Victoria’s epicentre of world-leading research and innovation in advanced manufacturing, materials, energy, sustainability, technology, health and higher-value agriculture, and the ManuFutures 2 expansion will help bring to life Deakin’s commitment to the economic and social development of regional Victoria.
No less transformative, Deakin’s Centre for Refugee Employment, Advocacy, Training and Education (CREATE) has partnered with Crescent Foundation to help remove barriers to employment for individuals from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds. Research shows that 18 months after arriving in Australia, only 17 per cent of people from a refugee background have secure paid employment, despite them volunteering at higher rates than Australian-born citizens and being highly active in other forms of civil and community engagement. This is a wonderful initiative that highlights the importance of our work with the not-for-profit sector and how philanthropy and advocacy enable such positive change in our community.
Finally, it’s that time of year again to nominate for Deakin’s Alumni Awards. Please consider nominating someone who has made a difference in any location in any field. It is such a powerful signal and inspiration for current and future students to see what our graduates have accomplished.