Building a revolution in education and innovation.
ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has thrown her government’s weight behind the development of Canberra as the capital of learning and enterprise, in a speech she delivered at ACU’s Signadou campus.
Delivering the Blackfriars Lecture on Tuesday, Ms Gallagher said tough decisions needed to be made in the face of political and economic pressure, but that the city deserved to retain its place as a model for learning and growth.
"This is a time for government, business and the education sector to hold our collective nerve. After more than a decade of solid growth and careful economic management, we have the fundamentals to maintain confidence and stability in our economy. I believe we have also passed a threshold as a city which gives us greater resilience than in previous decades."
The city punched above its weight on an international scale, Ms Gallagher said. "As a contrast to far bigger and more congested cities, I see the relative serenity of Canberra as one of our true advantages.
"What we are is a bold, progressive, high-achieving city with the confidence to think big and take on dangerous ideas. You see this in our academic and research communities, in thriving pockets of student culture and in our ambitious young arts community. There are few better cities in which to push the limits of one’s intellect. "Once we, as government, university and business leaders, reach absolute consensus on this point – once we fully believe in our self as a learning capital – we have the foundation on which to have others believe it. We also have the ability to create the brand and momentum which are so important in national and international student markets." ACU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Anne Cummins said the University welcomed Ms Gallagher’s initiatives for promoting education and innovation in the capital. "The Chief Minister outlined a collaborative program to facilitate the ACT as a centre for learning.
"Building partnerships between government, universities, schools and the community she noted the capacity of Canberrans to pull together and to achieve great things. ACU is pleased to be part of this collaboration."
The Blackfriars Lecture is a public speaker series held on the Signadou campus in Canberra several times a year.