What the well-dressed will wear at Australian Catholic U

The university invites staff to a photo-shoot

And to help them pick what to wear, ACU provides what look like stock-shots of preppy people dressed for work at the Manhattan College of Lattes and Old Money.

“It’s 180 degrees from the right approach to getting better pics of academics. You have to catch them in the wild and then create a good pic, not ask them to play dress ups,” a learned reader wise in the ways of credible imaging-making says.

There’s more in the Mail

In Expert Opinion

Academic Integrity expert Cath Ellis (UNSW) on the brand new, GPT IV. “It’s a very compelling proposition on two extremes. On the one hand it is offering to assist us in terms of being teachers and/or students as learners. But at the other extreme it is presenting a very real and present threat to how we have done things for a very long time, not just in measuring learning outcomes, through our assessment, but also in terms of what we think our students need to know, to be able to do to be safe and productive practitioners and professionals.”

Strong start for a wide-ranging interview, HERE.

 and in Features this morning

Merlin Crossley (UNSW) on the pain and plight of early career academics and what can and can’t be done, HERE.

plus Open ed experts are talking about how to embrace AI for student and staff productivity. Michael Sankey reports the results from the Australasian Council on Open, Distance and eLearning, HERE

with Jaymee Beveridge and Kylie Austin (Uni Wollongong) on how their university reimagined graduations by connecting them to Indigenous history. Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s new selection for her series Needed now in learning and teaching, HERE

Subs workforce: how many and trained where

Ever since the Turnbull Government announced the then big-deal indeed naval shipbuilding programme CMM has been asking about skill requirements and workforce planning

The question has just got way bigger with the future need to maintain and then build RAN nuclear submarines.

So good for Troy Williams from private provider lobby Independent Tertiary Education Australia who sets out the three stages,

* building the construction yard – the 4000 worker project is “the easiest part”

* supporting the USN Virginia Class subs – which will require trainers and assessors, “with expertise that the skills training system currently does not have” to develop a maintenance workforce

* design and construction of the successor AUKUS submarines, requiring up to 5500 workers, with skills not now “found domestically”

So where will the workers come from

Last September SA premier, Peter Malinauskas proposed a defence workforce plan to meet skilled labour needs in the state, for the RAN’s construction programme – and that was before there was any public word of building nuclear submarines. The feds agreed (September 5) but not much has been said since.

Perhaps from a “dedicated skills academy”

Skills and Training Minister Brendan O’Connor told Adelaide Radio 5AA  HERE,we are looking at having a dedicated skills academy.”

“If you look at what happens in the United States and the United Kingdom, they have dedicated defence skills academies, where they can really ensure people are acquiring the skills that are necessary. Whether they’ve been re-skilled, upskilled, or provided new skills, and that’s really important to ensure that people understand that if they’re gaining those skills, they’ve got the prospects of good employment.”

Good- oh, as long as any academy does not end up like the previous government’s Naval Shipbuilding College, which did actually teach how to build ships (CMM March 2 2020).

Agreeathon on the high cost of HELP

Greens senator, Mehreen Faruqi (NSW) reports “overwhelming support” in submissions to the Senate committee inquiry into her bill to end CPI indexation of HELP student loans and lift the repayment threshold (CMM March 13)

The Education and Employment Legislation Committee may well hear a bunch more support at its hearing in Sydney today.

There are witnesses representing student groups, plus university lobbies, the National Tertiary Education Union and academics’ ginger group, Public Universities Australia.

Officers from the Department of Education and the Australian Taxation Office are also scheduled to appear – presumably they drew the short straws.

Federation U announces its National Centre for Reconciliation, Truth and Justice

“The centre’s work will include national and regional dialogues on the Uluru Statement from the Heart with its calls for voice, treaty and truth, and state approaches to truth-telling and treaties”

Centre head is Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Reconciliation, Andrew Gunstone, “an international expert in academic and industry understandings and engagements with reconciliation.”

He is joined at the centre by “Internationally renowned Indigenous academics”, Bindi Bennett, Dennis Foley, and Emma Lee,  who “work with several leading industry and academic adjunct researchers and Federation University researchers.”

They’ll take Manhattan: a presence in NYC for “world class” Aus research

The American Australian Association opens its Murdoch Centre, in New York. Yes, that Murdoch

The association was founded by Rupert Murdoch’s father, Keith and the centre, “was made possible by a very generous grant from News Corp and Fox Corporation,” with the “wonderful support” of the Pratt Foundation.

Among other activities there, the United States Studies Centre (at Uni Sydney) and the Perth USAsia Centre (at UWA) will bring their “world-class research” to the US.

US ambassador to Aus, Caroline Kennedy and Aus to US, Arthur Sinodinos were at the opening as were Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch.

Shame it happened before the in-coming Australian ambassador takes over – Kevin Rudd and Mr Murdoch the elder might have much to discuss.


Peter Eastwood is Murdoch U’s in-coming DVC R. He moves from Flinders U, where he is director of the Health and Medical Research Institute.

Leah Heiss (Monash U) becomes chair of the Victorian Premier’s Design Awards

Paula Kruger is the new MD of Sydney radio station 2SER, owned by Macquarie U and UTS. She moves from the ABC.

Louise Maple-Brown will start next month as deputy director for research at the Menzies School of Health Research. It is a joint appointment with Anna Ralph, who started in February. Both have built research programmes at the school and have senior clinical roles at Royal Darwin Hospital.