The big move

Other Deans have advised me that the two things you should never do is change parking requirements or ask academics to move offices. Happily, I cannot see any future decision-making regards to the former but the latter was decided and advised by EBE after so many skytrust reports were submitted by staff concerned about the conditions in their workplace. As I am writing I can hear the moving van outside my window letting down the ramp to unload items brought over to E11 offices from Milton.

The move is going well, aided by EBE project management over the past several months, with exceptional skills brought to oversight, advice and problem-solving by Eilish, ably supported by many but especially Shirley and Anne. Thank you! A warm welcome to everyone who has moved to join us in E11.

October weather

October weather in Armidale can be changeable with the 14th of October 2021 ever etched on our memories. Keep an eye out for fellow staff caught out by too-hot or too-cold weather. Please pop home to get a jumper, or move into air conditioning as needed.

Voice to Parliament

Personally, I was hopeful then disappointed at the outcome of the recent referendum but not surprised given that without by-partisan support of the Parliament it was a challenging prospect. I hope for good things as next steps are negotiated. Government decisions about Indigenous futures needs to be informed by advice and evidence from those best placed to perceive the value and impact of decisions on their community.

The Australia Universities Accord

In her October update the Accord Chair Professor Mary O’Kane advised that she met with Emeritus Professor Deborah Brennan AM and Dr Lisa O’Brien AM who are the Chairs of two current reviews: Inquiry into Australia’s Early Childhood Education and Care System and Review to Inform a Better and Fairer Education System. It is perceived there are multiple opportunities across these parallel education reviews. It will be interesting to observe and to act upon outcomes if they leverage these synergistic opportunities well.

One of the opportunities for the Accord is to unpick the Jobs Ready Graduates scheme which has made a cruel impost on many of our HASSE commencing students since the start of 2022 by requiring them to pay $16,323 per unit, while HASSE Education and Language units, including English, the per unit cost is $4,445. One of the perverse effects for Master of Teaching students is they study some 50% of their units outside of Education. In spite of the JRG intent to make becoming a teacher attractive, Master students are charged $16K per unit to be able, in future, to teach subjects such as Geography and History.

…and finally to the poetic

The Australian Prime Minister’s insertion of lines from William Butler Yeats poems into his recent toast at the White House dinner was intended to link his Irish ancestry with that of the American President. With the work of so many incredible Indigenous poets to draw on I wonder he might in future consider some lines from this closer heritage such as Oodgeroo’s memorable words from A Song of Hope (1964)

Night’s nearly over

And though long the climb

New rights will greet us

New mateship meet us

And joy complete us

In our new Dream Time.

Walker, K. Oodgeroo (1964). We are going: Poems. Brisbane: Jacaranda Press