5 October 2012

Canberra project update and an invitation

Preliminary work has commenced on the Canberra project, with a considerable amount of research and analysis underway. In addition, I have had the chance to meet with many Canberra staff; initial meetings of the Consultation Group have taken place; and meetings with key external stakeholders will continue over the coming months.

I have had some feedback regarding the composition of the Consultation Committee and accordingly I will take this opportunity to clarify. The Canberra Campus Consultation Committee consists of key representatives from across the Campus. The role of the Group is to represent all staff across Signadou and provide feedback and input in to the Campus plan as it moves forward. Their role is not to represent their specific faculties/schools/units, they are instead tasked with representing the Canberra Campus as a whole and the input and knowledge they will provide in developing a new vision and direction for Signadou is vital.

The Consultation Group consists of Ms Rachael Bahl, Dr Alan Cadwallader, Mrs Jane Douglas, Ms Petra Hastings, Ms Maria Hegerty, Ms Susan Love, Associate Professor Patrick McArdle, Ms Dimity May and Professor Morag McArthur.

I have also had some feedback from staff concerned about where this project is heading. In our Vice-Chancellor’s words:

“We need a new model for the Canberra Campus. A model that will ensure it can continue to contribute to, and support, the Canberra and broader community for many years to come.

“This will require more than a tweak to academic programs: it will require a complete rethink about how the Campus currently operates.”

A number of potential plans are being researched and explored for Signadou and there are no plans to close the Campus.

It is too early to tell exactly how the new vision for Canberra will impact upon current programs, operations, students and/or staff. The aim of this project is to develop a vision and plan that enables Signadou to become a sustainable campus in its own right. I have been excited by some of the ideas and concepts that have surfaced so far. These ideas are an important part of the gathering phase that the project is currently in and will be tested, fleshed out and refined over the coming weeks.

Face-to-face consultations will continue throughout the development and implementation of the plan; the Canberra project website will be updated regularly; email updates will be sent to all staff; and you are invited to contact the Canberra project team at any time at CanberraProject@acu.edu.au.

If you are interested in discussing the future of Signadou, or just wish to get together socially, you are warmly invited to afternoon drinks in the Signadou Garden on Wednesday 10th October from 4pm. This is an opportunity for you to discuss your ideas for an exciting new direction for Canberra Campus and to ask me any questions that you may have surrounding the project.