The Vice Chancellor Professor Chris Moran has asked that the senior leaders regularly consider and reflect on issues around safety. The Executive Team for HASSE now include it as a standing item in our fortnightly meetings. I can reflect with you that every one of us has responsibility for the safety of ourselves and others. If you see something that is unsafe and you consider could cause harm to you or someone else, please let me know, or report it to your Head of Department.

The state of things

Our commencing and continuing load has dropped in 2023, and our load also is declining – that is, the number of units a student enrols in per year. A sector-wide decline in EFTSL is reported in HASS and Education fields of study across Australia, no doubt in part to the Job Ready Graduates Scheme which makes HASS courses exceptionally expensive. While we have good insights into where the most significant decline in student interest is occurring at UNE this does not necessarily help us abate that decline. The most important work we can do is to create new programs of study, and to revise and invigorate our existing programs so they are more comprehensible to students, and fit better with student interest and societal need. We have zero resource to do this. No wait, we have a talented and expert staff cohort we can draw on to develop and deliver new ideas. All ideas welcome. Speak to your Head of School in the first instance.    

Report from the DASSH conference

I recently completed a few hectic days at the DASSH conference at Murdoch University held in the inspiring and award winning Boola Katijtin It was lovely to be back in Perth in glorious weather during the wildflower season.

Engagement was a buzz word throughout the presentations. The Honourable Dr Anne Aly presented a terrific keynote address with the take home that government and policy advisers need us. The ARC address on the final morning took a surprising turn with HASS leaders talking about the grants program in such a way that prompted Professor Christina Twomey to remind delegates that ARC grants operate within a peer review system. It is our peers who determine and advise the quality of our proposals, not the ARC. She also reminded us that only the best proposals should be submitted in order to reduce administrative burden for the ARC, but also the reviewers. The new two stage application process commencing in 2024 for Discovery 2025 allows an initial rapid assessment which will help reviewers not having to spend hours on full proposals that have little chance of success. 

Welcome to Associate Professor Nathan Wise as Associate Dean Teaching and Learning

I recently advised you all by email of my delight in welcoming Associate Professor Nathan Wise to the role of Associate Dean Teaching and Learning in HASSE. Nathan has exceptional leadership capacity and skill and is a highly regarded member of the HASSE Executive. Please make him welcome.

Short break

Thank you for reading the HASSE newsletter. I will be on a break for the week October 2nd– 6th inclusive. I leave you in Nathan’s capable hands as Acting Dean for the duration.