In the previous edition, I looked forward to the imminent completion of the Arts West redevelopment. It was a great privilege to welcome many alumni and supporters to our formal launch event in August and to celebrate as our Bachelor of Arts students moved into their new home at the start of Semester Two. The building has lived up to our expectations as a vibrant and exciting space, a launch pad for new and innovative teaching, and a centre for engagement with the community. Arts West has already become a favoured venue for high profile events including a major international conference on Indonesia and the University’s Cultural Collisions program.
In this edition, Andrew Jamieson reports on the Object-based learning (OBL) labs and object displays in Arts West and you can enjoy a video depicting the Digital Studio located in the building. This significant addition to the Faculty leverages state-of-the-art technologies to transform the ways in which research and scholarship are performed. The Studio represents an important part of our research infrastructure and offers an opportunity to increase the visibility and reach of digital research and practice in the humanities and social sciences.
One of the key objectives for the Faculty in the coming year will be the deepening of relationships with other universities in our region, including strengthening our engagement with China and Indonesia and developing relationships in India and further afield. As we develop these partnerships, and expand opportunities for our students and academics at overseas institutions, the Faculty’s research interests will adopt an increasingly global perspective. In November, an example of such international engagement was our successful conference on the theme ‘Combatting Global Corruption’. We were fortunate in obtaining contributions from a superb group of Australian and international speakers to address this topic. Similarly, academics, Andrew Walter, Andrea Carson and Tim Lynch all provided expert commentary at various events centred on the recent United States election. For those of you who may be interested in attending one of the Faculty’s future events, please visit our News and Events page.
At the close of the year we will celebrate the enduring success of our alumni in various fields of public, academic and community life. This December, the University will award Honorary Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) degrees to Professor Shirley Lindenbaum for her pioneering work in social anthropology, and to Mr James McCaughey for his contribution to the Arts in Melbourne.
Our congratulations are also extended to current international student Sander Bredal, who won International Student of the Year – Higher Education, at the 2016 Victorian International Education Awards held at Government House.
Congratulations also go to two of our alumni. 2016 Arts Alumni Rising Star award winner, Jason Ball (B.A. 2010), has been named 2017 Victorian Young Australian of the Year for championing diversity and inclusion in sport. His work was the inspiration for the AFL's Pride Game between St Kilda and Sydney. Bede Jones (B.A.(Hons) 2015), a recipient of the Faculty of Arts 110 Scholarship, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in November. He is the first Indigenous Tasmanian (and second Indigenous Australian) to become a Rhodes Scholar.
I wish all our alumni in Australia and throughout the world our best wishes for happiness and success in 2017.
Professor Mark Considine
Dean of Arts