Achievers: L-N

Marcia Langton

The University of Melbourne made Professor Langton associate provost in April to, “provide leadership on relevant areas of engagement, cultural connections and other heritage issues and in the development of indigenous teaching and research activities.” It was another achievement for a great advocate for and scholar of Indigenous Australia.  Professor Langton goes where the evidence takes her.

Grahame McCulloch

The general secretary of the National Tertiary Education Union could have had a tough time this year. As enterprise bargaining began there was talk of universities stripping back employment conditions at campuses across the country. But excepting Murdoch U, where talks went from bitter to no-speaks and back to bitter, deals are done at universities in all states. The union has not pushed for big pay rises, made small concessions on conditions and management has responded in kind. Mr McCulloch is no friend to managements (or journalists) but he talks to whoever he has to and when it comes to negotiating his tactics always suit the times.

 Caroline McMillen

The University of Newcastle VC is standing down next year, leaving with the university transformed. Professor McMillen has expanded the university from its outer suburban base with a big push onto the central coast, including medical education and a flash new $95m city campus.

Jack Ma

There can’t be many reasons for the Alibaba entrepreneur to be here? Depends what you mean by ‘many’ but CMM sees 26 million of them. That’s the dollar sum Mr Ma donated this year for scholarships at the University of Newcastle. The programme results from his long friendship with the Novocastrian Morley family. The first Ma-Morley scholars are scheduled to start this year.

Tanya Monro

The photon scientist and DVC R at the University of South Australia isn’t on the list for the professional achievements, although she could be. She is here because in March she noted International Women’s Day by stumping up $80 000 over two years to assist young scientist mothers “manage their research commitments and the demands of a new baby.” That’s not money from her university budget, it’s a personal commitment. Professor Monro knows what it’s like – she had three children while building her own research career.

Peter Noonan

Peter Mitchell has spent decade studying VET and it shows in the policy papers he produces for Victoria’s University’s Mitchell Institute. With attention on VET FEE HELP the decline in trade numbers has been ignored by many commentators, but not by Professor Noonan who warns that without major investment and increased enrolments there will be big trades shortages over the next 20 years. And he warns that more public money is not the solution; it is the way it is spent. “If we have learned anything about the VET system in recent years it is that government incentives should only be provided where there is a demonstrable public benefit, not to create a fully funded market in government subsidies,” he and Sarah Pilcher wrote in August.


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