Message from the Vice Chancellor

This month Griffith launches its 2019 Annual Appeal in which members of the University community are invited to support the Students' Future Fund. By donating to the Fund you can help support talented but otherwise disadvantaged students through the award of a Griffith Futures Scholarship. These Scholarships provide access to the transformative education offered by Griffith University, impacting not only the lives of the recipients but also their families and future generations. As a donor to the Fund and having recently met several of the 2018 scholarship recipients, it is inspirational to hear their fascinating stories and to see their potential fast-tracked through the generosity of our alumni. Indeed some of these have gone on to achieve success with prestigious external scholarships, such as the New Colombo Plan scholarship received by 2018 Students' Future Fund recipient Millie Vernick enabling her to undertake an exchange at the University of Hong Kong.

One of the feature stories in this edition is the continued rise of Griffith University in world rankings. In May this happened to be the CWTS Leiden Rankings 2019 in which Griffith was ranked at 264th in the world (second in Queensland) for the volume of research counted in the world’s top 10 per cent for impact. Even more pleasing was the University’s ranking of 55th (6th in Australia) for Social Sciences and Humanities.

Of course, research rankings only tell part of the story of Griffith’s growing influence and as I write this introduction the Australian Federal election results are being finalised with nine Griffith graduates having been elected to the Australian Parliament – eight in the House of Representatives and another one in the Senate. We warmly congratulate the following elected Members of Parliament: Dr Jim Chalmers (Member for Rankin), Ross Vasta (Bonner), Angie Bell (Moncrieff), Anika Wells (Lilley), Julie Owens (Parramatta), Justine Elliot (Richmond), Chris Bowen (McMahon) and Zali Steggall (Warringah). We also congratulate Larissa Waters on her re-election to the Australian Senate.

Coinciding with the election weekend was the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in which Griffith alumnus Kate Miller-Heidke produced a top 10 performance with her anthem Zero Gravity. Co-written by fellow Queensland Conservatorium graduate Keir Nuttall it provided a showcase for Miller-Heidke’s soaring vocals – a legacy of her opera training at the Queensland Conservatorium. Miller-Heidke is the second Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University alumnus to represent Australia at Eurovision, after Dami Im was crowned runner-up at the 2016 Eurovision finals.

I appreciated the large number of alumni who attended recent gatherings in Melbourne and Sydney and want to thank them for making the effort. With more alumni events next week in San Francisco and Los Angeles, I will be taking every opportunity to share my thoughts and plans as we develop a new Strategic Plan through to 2025.

Carolyn Evans

Vice Chancellor and President

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