Ukraine President speaks to Australia

Volodymyr Zelenskyy talks live to ANU students on Wednesday from 4.50 (CMM Friday). The rest of us can listen at the university’s live-stream @ .

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Mahsood Shah (Swinburne U) points to the scale and speed of course innovation in the global market and warns local regulators and accreditors must help Australian institutions keep up. This week’s selection by Commissioning Editor Sally Kift for her celebrated series, Needed now in learning and teaching.

plus while universities work on grand-plans there are three big things you can do now, suggests Tim Winkler (Twig Marketing).

Now for the NHMRC hard part

The National Health and Medical Research Council commences consulting on gender equity in the Investigator Grant scheme

The first open forum, with NHMRC chair Anne Kelso presenting, is at Uni Queensland, 12.30 today, followed by ten more in-person and on-line around the country.

It follows three years of gender-imbalance in awards for the elite Investigator programme, generating vocal criticism, which the NHMRC acknowledges. “The gender disparities in funding outcomes in the Investigator Grant scheme reflect the systemic disadvantage faced by women in health and medical research, made visible by the attrition of female applicants at more senior levels of the scheme.”

The council has circulated four options to address the issue but warned, ““no model can achieve equal funded rates, equal numbers of grants and equal total funding for women and men at the same time,” (CMM July 18).

Canberra and Darwin VCs call for the Commonwealth to butt-out of local lawmaking

VCs of Uni Canberra and Charles Darwin U urge the Commonwealth Parliament to pass legislation which would allow the ACT and NT to have their own laws on euthanasia

Labor MPs for Northern Territory and ACT seats are expected to sponsor a bill.

The territories are subject to the Commonwealth and are prevented by a Howard Government law that overturned Northern Territory right to die legislation, in the 1990s.

In a joint statement Friday Uni Canberra VC Paddy Nixon and Scott Bowman, VC of Darwin based Charles Darwin U urge the Commonwealth Parliament to legislate to allow the territories to make their own laws,  calling the existing situation a “long standing blight on Australian democracy.”

The two universities are established under legislation of their respective territories.

“ It is not our usual practice to speak out on legislation before the Parliament, but this legislation is critical.” Professor Nixon says.

“Our inability to consider and pass legislation is out of line with the rights of all other Australians, and it is unconscionable that Territorians exist in a less democratic form of government, CDU’s Scott Bowman adds.

Australian Journal of Indigenous Education now open access

It was published, 2012-21 by Cambridge University Press and comes from the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at Uni Queensland.

Katelyn Barney (Uni Queensland), Bronwyn Fredericks (Uni Queensland) and Martin Nakata (James Cook U) are editors.

Back to the talking-board at Uni Tas

Expression of interest to join Uni Tasmania’s community panel close Sunday – it’s the latest move to keep on track the controversial campus to the Hobart CBD plan

The project is called the ShakeUp and “its aim is to ensure the community contributes to how the university’s campus in the CBD comes together”

“For this consolidation to be as successful as possible, input is needed from everyone it will affect. Only then will Hobart and the university be able to thrive together,” U Tas optimistically asserts.

Not that the university had much choice. Despite years of talking to Hobart city constituencies, vocal opposition continues to the city-switch and the concomitant exit from and property development of the existing Sandy Bay site.

Opposition runs the gamut of issues from parking and accessibility and impact on city businesses through to loss of amenity for Sandy Bay residents. Critics suggest that the university is behaving like a property developer and should stick to its educational knitting.

So vocal was the criticism at a public meeting in May, the city council told Uni Tas to consult some more (CMM July 15).

Research continues on disaster prep

National Hazards Research Australia announces what it is working on

Never heard of it? Perhaps that’s because the Commonwealth agency is brand new, announced in July 2021,  and just now underway, with $85m over ten years.

And if it looks like a cooperative research centre (albeit one with mainly public-sector partners) that’s because it is billed as a successor to the Bushfire CRC (2003-2014)and the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC (2013-2021), which in combination lasted way longer than the decade norm for the time-limited programme

The problem was the last drought and the cataclysmic fires accompanying it made closing down research on fire and related politically unsaleable and the previous government never intended to give it up (CMM March 5 2020)

And so there is a successor organisation – with an extended brief to cover all natural disasters.

Research already funded by the Commonwealth agency include,

* community experience of this year’s east coast floods

* predicting severe weather impact

* “robust” temporary building repairs

* Water sources for aerial fire-fighting

* improving fire prediction and fireground safety using observed/modelled fires

Appointments, achievement

Australia and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology announces more 2022 awards, (others in CMM July 28). Ivar Noordstra (Uni Queensland) and Lilian Schimmel (Uni Queensland) are the Early Career Researchers.

Saraid Billiards is new CEO of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes. She moves from the Commonwealth Department of Health.

Ellen Broad (associate professor in ANU’s School of Cybernetics) is joining Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic’s office as senior science advisor.

Bronwyn Everett joins Uni Wollongong as deputy head of the School of Nursing. She moves from Western Sydney University.

Maria Kavallaris (Children’s Cancer Institute and UNSW) receives the President of Cyprus Medal for contributions in cancer biology and therapeutics.

The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Alliance announces David Kok (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Monash campus) is the new chair of its Education and Training Advisory Committee.

Kate O’Shaughnessy becomes research director at the Perth-based USAsia Centre. She moves from DFAT.

Steward Riddle (Uni Southern Queensland) is incoming editor in chief of the Australian Educational Researcher (from the Australian Association for Research in Education).

Steve Robson (ANU) is the new federal president of the Australian Medical Association.

Kate Witenden will join ANU as Chief People Officer in October. She will move from HR deputy director at Uni Sydney.