Campus community

Photo of Dr John Ballard.

A message from the Associate Vice-Chancellor (Victoria) Dr John Ballard: Each month I send out an email to all of the St. Patrick’s Campus people titled ‘Bridging the Silos’.

It is an invitation to join me on the last Thursday of each month between 4pm and 6pm at Paddy’s for snacks, light refreshments, conviviality and collegiality.Paddy’s is our small staff lounge, located conveniently below my office at 32 Brunswick Street, accessible via Graham Street through St. Albert’s Garden.

Each month there is an ebb and flow of regulars and first time attendees spanning all schools, faculties, institutes and directorates.The recurring comments I receive are that "we met people we haven’t seen for ages or didn’t know they were still here, people who we have only interacted with through email or seen a name on a list; people who have just joined the University…”

It is an opportunity to enjoy a lighter moment in our otherwise hectic schedules and remember that we are part of a local campus community.Last month, in the lead up to Melbourne’s week of racing, people attended in their Spring Carnival hats and were entertained by our own Tony Rebeiro with the best of 1950s Las Vegas-cool.

We ask a donation of a gold coin per beverage to be given to a charitable group serving our local community. This year we chose to support the wonderful work of St. Mary’s House of Welcome and have raised $1000 to date.St Mary’s House of Welcome, inspired by the Daughters of Charity, is located a short distance from the campus on Brunswick Street.

It opens six days a week to offer support and meals to people who are homeless or living in poverty in Melbourne. The centre provides emergency relief, showers and meals for people in need as well as information and referrals. Longer-term programs and activities assist people to develop work, life and social skills and enable them to participate more positively in community. $1000 will provide about 170 meals.

Should you be visiting the Melbourne Campus on the last Thursday of the month, you are most welcome to join me and colleagues to lighten the spirits and support a good cause along the way.

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