Welcome back to campus

A message from the Vice-Chancellor Professor Zlatko Skrbis.

Welcome back to everyone who returned to campus this week. Your return brings much-needed activity and vibrancy back to our university. As someone who has been working on a very quiet campus, I’ve enjoyed seeing the familiar and friendly faces of colleagues over the last week, as well as sharing an engaging lunchtime discussion with some of our new students.

I was buoyed by the enthusiasm and joy of these high-achieving students who were our first intake in the Academy of Global Impact and Leadership through Empathy (AGILE) – an on-campus networking event for some of our brightest scholars.

There was a strong sense of reunion in Brisbane for many colleagues who were able to attend the Installation Mass of our new Chancellor in Brisbane on Friday. After various periods of working remotely, it feels as if we are emerging from a chrysalis as we resume events and campus operations.

Universities have always been places for people to gather, to connect and to collaborate. While technology has allowed us all to keep in touch and work effectively over the past two years, it’s exciting to remind ourselves of the opportunities that await now we are working side-by-side again.

Our students are also due back in the coming weeks as Semester 1 approaches. Orientation Week next week is a timely reminder to all of us of the purpose of ACU and how our roles contribute to a vibrant university community. Each of us has a part to play in ensuring our students have the best possible university experience.

As Semester 1 begins it is also important for us to keep in mind our international students, many of whom have faced significant challenges over the last two years. Some have been stranded in Australia for the duration of the pandemic. Others are travelling to Australia after living through devastating outbreaks overseas. At the same time, some international students are still unable to return due to ongoing visa difficulties.

For our international students, ACU’s campuses really are a home away from home and often their first connection with the broader Australian community. Please keep these students in mind over the coming weeks and offer them as much support as you can.

There’s no doubt that a big part of our roles is ensuring an exciting on-campus experience for our students. However, the university and its campuses are here for all of us. I’m sure many of you have enjoyed catching up with colleagues this week and reacquainting yourself with your workspace.

There will be more and more opportunities in coming weeks to attend events scheduled on campus and reconnect with each other and our broader university community.

It’s wonderful to resume life on campus and together we can look forward to a positive and productive year ahead for ACU.

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