Message from the Vice-Chancellor - May 2020

Alumni news
25 May 2020

Dear Deakin alumni and friends,

The pandemic has brought into sharp focus the importance of medical research. On May 13, I opened the Barwon Health-Deakin University Research Seminar, which featured discussion on some of our most relevant responses to COVID-19:

  • through the Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases, we are providing scientific advice to Barwon Health clinicians and preparing to help with local sequencing through its state-of-the-art labs
  • the delivery of telehealth care for the Geelong community, thanks to the launch of a new facility at our Waterfront Campus
  • a Research Taskforce overseeing a cohort study investigating the risk factors and mechanisms of severe COVID-19 infections, and
  • the production of much-needed hand sanitiser by our Institute of Frontier Materials.

Our expertise and pioneering work in health has been rewarded again in the latest round of NHMRC and MRFF grant outcomes, announced by the Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP. Deakin was awarded seven grants totalling $8.9 million, which will provide funding over five years to support our innovative health and medical researchers. My congratulations to all the recipients.

I would like to reiterate my sincere thanks to those who have made contributions to Deakin’s Student Emergency Assistance Fund, which is providing essential support for many of our domestic and international students.

We were pleased to see the Victorian Government’s announcement in April, committing $45 million in financial aid. This builds on the $25 million Deakin has already provided, and the significant contributions you have made. I know, from many of the heartfelt messages I have read, that our students are extremely grateful, but there is still great need. Students have always been the heart of our University, and we want to ensure they are able to reach their potential and join the ranks of impressive Deakin alumni making a difference in the world.

On the subject of our talented alumni, this edition features the nomination process for the 2020 Deakin Alumni Awards, which will be run digitally this year. We are looking for exceptional alumni who have achieved success in their communities and in their professions, and those who have given outstanding service to Deakin. Please consider nominating one of our alumni who demonstrates Deakin’s values through their attitudes and accomplishments.

Finally, I would encourage you to join us in celebrating Reconciliation Week, running from May 27 until June 3. Deakin, under the leadership of Professor Mark Rose and NIKERI, has organised a week of Reconciliation conversations via webinar with special guests from the AFL, PWC and the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.

Best wishes,
Iain.

Vice-Chancellor
Deakin University

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