Message from the Vice-Chancellor - dKin Times January 2021

Alumni news
20 January 2021

Welcome to the January edition of dKin Times.

Dear Deakin community,

I hope you all had a relaxing holiday period and that 2021 has begun well for you and your families. I am thinking of everyone in our global Deakin network and extend my best wishes for a safe and successful year.

While there are still many unknowns in the months ahead, the new year brings a sense of optimism. COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out across the world, and in Australia, a range of activities are beginning to resume, such as sporting, art and music events, as well as a carefully staged return to workplaces. However, we know how fragile this state of ‘COVID-normal’ can be.

At Deakin we are looking forward to the resumption of campus life, especially for our new and second year students, who are no doubt greatly anticipating a more social and interactive, in-person experience.

All our planning has been based on bringing back as much campus life and teaching as the health regulations allow. As stated in our new strategic plan, Deakin 2030: Ideas to Impact, launched in December, we remain committed to leading in the delivery of outstanding online education and integrated courses that seamlessly blend modes of learning and experiences – on-campus, online and in workplaces – a truly hybrid approach.

In 2021 we will continue our strong focus on virtual initiatives and our leadership in the digital learning space. You may have seen that at the end of last year, we joined the Australian Technology Network (ATN), Australia’s most enterprising university grouping. Like Deakin, ATN advocates for innovative, practical and accessible education for the jobs of tomorrow, and partnerships with industry aimed at solving real-world problems. Deakin becomes the fifth university member of the network and we are excited to see what we can achieve together.

I would like to congratulate and welcome our new graduates to the Deakin alumni community. We couldn’t celebrate your graduations in the traditional way last year, but the Deakin alumni community is there for you whenever you need it; I encourage you to reach out early and often.

The Deakin community was well represented in the Australia Day Honours list this year and I reiterate my congratulations to those award recipients. In particular, Deakin would like to congratulate Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM of the Ngan'gityemerri language group, who was named the 2021 Senior Australian of the Year. She is an Aboriginal elder from Nauiyu and a renowned artist, activist, writer and public speaker. Through Deakin, Dr Ungunmerr Bauman attained a Bachelor of Arts, and both a Bachelor and Master of Education. A full list of recipients can be found in Deakin’s newsroom, which shows the diversity of talent and accomplishments.

Once more – because the generosity many of you have displayed should not be taken for granted – thank you for your contributions to the Deakin Student Emergency Assistance Fund; the support for students in need has been exceptional.

Our domestic student enrolment numbers have increased from last year, exceeding 6,000 in the first round of offers via the Victorian Tertiary Admission Centre (VTAC). I believe this shows that, more than ever, students and their families value the future opportunities higher education can create. While we cannot welcome further international students to our campuses yet, we are continuing to work closely with the State Government on establishing a safe pathway.

Best wishes,

Iain.

Vice-Chancellor
Deakin University

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