Inaugural Gender Equity Strategy, TRaCE gains pace, Sports Blues, an ethics proposal and more – 20 March 2024

20 Mar 2024
The annual Blues Awards, celebrating the achievements of UNSW’s star athletes

Dear colleagues

Greetings from London, where the Provost, Professor Vlado Perkovic, and I are meeting with key colleagues at other global top 20 universities to help lay the groundwork for UNSW’s next strategy, and to build education and research collaborations. We have already had many inspiring discussions with leaders of institutions that hold a similar societal impact ethos to UNSW. The process of designing our next strategy is really beginning to gain momentum. I look forward to the next stages of in-depth discussions with the UNSW community, students, staff and alumni as we build on our University’s distinctive strengths to develop a strategy that will enable us to increase our ability to benefit society.

Draft Code of Conduct and Values open for consultation

A new draft UNSW Code of Conduct and Values is currently open for consultation. The draft Code was created following input from students and staff across the University, with a focus on providing clear parameters for respectful conduct and support to help navigate complex experiences.

The draft Code, part of our Policy Transformation Program, consolidates four existing codes and principles from several policies and procedures into a single, easy-to-read document.

At UNSW, integrity and trust form a central tenet for the way we act and the decisions we make. Please take the time to read the new Code. It is a seminal resource that will guide the way we communicate and interact with each other. Feedback is welcome. Please email the Policy Team by COB Thursday 28 March 2024.

Middle East – supporting students and staff

I again acknowledge the significant impact the ongoing loss of life and human suffering in the Middle East is having on many colleagues and friends.

I would like to thank all in the UNSW community who continue to express empathy and kindness to those who are feeling the effects most keenly. Your characteristic respectfulness and consideration for others reflects the culture that we value so highly at UNSW.

I ask that everyone at our University continues to take personal responsibility for ensuring that students, staff and all who are part of our University community feel safe, supported, valued and respected. UNSW will not accept racism, hate speech or inciteful behaviour. Visit our SpeakUp website for more information.

If you need support at this time, please visit the following links to access services and resources that can assist you.

Support for students

Support for staff

UNSW joins call to establish a national Ethics Institute for Australia

UNSW has partnered with the Ethics Centre and the University of Sydney in proposing a new national Ethics Institute for Australia.

We are jointly calling on the federal government to make a one-off $33.3 million investment in the coming federal budget to establish an independent Australian Institute of Applied Ethics.

The Ethics Institute would be a national resource for advice on profound ethical questions facing our nation. It would bolster Australia’s ethical infrastructure and help advance a sustainable, just and prosperous future for all.

Ethics sits at the heart of good business practice, good governance, education and politics. Reinvigorating ethics is critical for restoring trust in institutions and decision-making, and to solving intractable problems of our time.

I have signed the online petition to support establishing the Ethics Institute. I encourage you to find out more about the proposal and consider pledging your support too.

Visit the Ethics Institute for more information. Improving ethics means a better Australia for all.

UNSW’s first Gender Equity Strategy launched

Congratulations to our colleagues in Access, Equity & Inclusion in the Division of Societal Impact, Equity & Engagement, and to all who have been involved in bringing UNSW’s inaugural Gender Equity Strategy to fruition.

The UNSW Gender Equity Strategy 2024–2028 is an important marker of our University’s progress. It promotes inclusive practice for people of all genders, building on commitments and programs already in place at UNSW for women and gender-diverse people, and setting new, measurable objectives for our continuing progress.

Equity, diversity and inclusion are fundamental values at UNSW. We value a diversity of experiences, perspectives and identities. These are all crucial parts of our collective knowledge and capability. Each is invaluable in our University culture as well as our ability to understand and achieve our vision for positive societal impact.

I ask that all colleagues familiarise themselves with the Gender Equity Strategy. It is everyone’s responsibility to foster an environment in which people of all genders can be their authentic selves and realise their full potential.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Tomorrow, 21 March, UNSW will mark International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD) by launching four Anti-Racism Grants and Cultural Inclusion training. These two initiatives are part of UNSW’s commitment to providing an environment that is free from racial discrimination, harassment and vilification.

Everyone at UNSW has a critical role in creating a community we can be proud of. This includes ensuring that we prevent and respond to racism in all its forms and create safe working and learning environments that support the diverse UNSW community.

Read more about UNSW’s IDERD activities how you can be involved.

Trailblazing recycling and clean energy solutions showcased

It was a pleasure to attend the inaugural Trailblazer for Recycling and Clean Energy (TRaCE) showcase earlier this month.

The project, officially launched by Senator the Hon. Anthony Chisholm Assistant Minister for Education and Assistant Minister for Regional Development, is a collaboration between UNSW, University of Newcastle, industry partners and government. It has an important aim – to maximise the potential of Australian Research and Development to help our community in Australia, and more broadly, transition to sustainable recycling and clean energy solutions.

This excellent showcase highlighted how the TRaCE scheme is fast-tracking energy transition, with $117 million in industry co-funded R&D projects in its first year. Read more about the TRaCE showcase on the Newsroom.

Blues Awards: celebrating sporting excellence

I had the great pleasure of attending the annual Blues Awards earlier this month to celebrate the incredible achievements of UNSW’s star athletes. The Blues Awards are steeped in tradition, recognising students who have excelled at both their chosen sport and in their studies. Congratulations to all student athletes who were recognised with a Blue! These individuals were inspirational. In listening to their acceptance speeches, the common threads were humility and generosity towards others, and that they are already using their talents to give to the community. Read the full wrap up of the event on the UNSW Sport website.

Pictured above: Back row (L to R): Tamsin Colley, Eleanor Pinkerton, Nathan Germech, Sophie Fawns, Vice-Chancellor & President Professor Attila Brungs, Ethan Jamieson, Declan White, Katherine Wang.

Front row (L to R): Dr Anthony Hughes, Ryan Lee, James Tirado, Felicity Chan, Sophia Cibei, Leonard King, Chloe Gentle.

Complete the Cyber Security Awareness training by 29 March

A friendly reminder to complete the mandatory Cyber Security Awareness training that was launched in November. Training must be completed by Friday 29 March 2024.

I’ve already done it and I must confess it did get me to think about a couple of my habits quite differently. It was certainly the most engaging cyber training I have done for many years. Cyber threats are ever evolving and as members of the UNSW community, we each play a role in keeping the University cyber secure. Thank you for your commitment to strengthening our cyber defence.

Profile: MasterChef Dan cooks through COVID

I’m very interested in reading about Ageing Futures Institute Project Officer Dan Dumbrell’s transformation from “dabbling cook” to MasterChef contestant during COVID lockdown – get to know Dan in this edition’s staff profile.

I know I have said it before, but it is awesome to see the campus so full and vibrant. I wish everyone all the best as we head rapidly through T1.

Best regards

Professor Attila Brungs
Vice-Chancellor and President