Message from the Vice Chancellor

Serving in the role of Vice Chancellor at Griffith University offers a privileged and sometimes humbling insight into an institution defined by its deeply-held values. These include respect for our First Peoples, environmental sustainability, social justice, and the ability to apply disciplinary knowledge with an understanding of the human impacts.

These values were well on display at the 2019 Outstanding Alumni Awards held earlier this month on the Gold Coast. Take the moving story of Dr Barry Kirby AO, our Outstanding Alumnus for 2019, who became a doctor at the age of 52, driven by a desire to improve maternal health outcomes in Papua New Guinea. Dr Kirby’s commitment, and above all his compassion, to improving the lives of women in remote regions in desperate need of better healthcare provided one of several moving moments on the evening. Everybody in the room would have felt pride in what Griffith stands for as Barry discussed his gratitude to Griffith for giving him the break to pursue his second career.

Equally inspiring were our other three major winners including our Outstanding International Alumnus, Dr Hum Gurung, who has dedicated his professional life to promoting environmental conservation in Nepal and Australia. Dr Kerry Bodle, as our Outstanding First People’s Alumnus, spoke of the way that she acts as a disruptor to the traditional way of teaching university accounting and business through ‘indigenising’ the curriculum. Outstanding Young Alumnus, Dr Beth Hamilton, is looking to expand her efforts in global health, stemming from her experience as a Director of Ubuntu through Health, through her study for a Master of Science in Global Health Science and Epidemiology as the 2018 Queensland Rhodes Scholar.

I want to congratulate winners of the four major awards and indeed all of the nominees for making the Griffith University Alumni Awards such a success.
The University achieved yet another spectacular rankings outcome in mid-September, breaking into the Top 201-250 band for the first time on the influential Times HE World University Rankings 2020. This result is special for several reasons, including that the University improved its scores on all five main indicators – teaching, research, citations, industry and international. Moreover, 2019 stands as the first year in which Griffith has improved its position on the four major world rankings – the Times HE rankings, the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the Leiden Ranking, and the QS World University Rankings.

Rankings outcomes such as this are more than just a number and reflect across-the-board improvement by Griffith and further recognition of its standing as a major global university. A Top 250 world ranking strengthens Griffith’s ability to attract outstanding staff and students who will in turn do their part to raise academic standards further.  Importantly for our alumni community it makes your qualification from Griffith University more valuable and sought-after by employers throughout the world.

As I sign off on this month’s welcome, the University’s draft Strategic Plan 2020-2025 is undergoing final changes before consideration by the University Council in mid-October. I want to sincerely thank the many alumni who have expressed views to me during consultations at various domestic and international alumni events, and through participation in focus groups and surveys.

Carolyn Evans

Vice Chancellor and President

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