This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first operation of the University's Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility (HIAF) - one of the largest pieces of research infrastructure at ANU, the most powerful ion accelerator in Australia, and one of the three most powerful of its type in the world.
I had the pleasure of attending a gala dinner in honour of HIAF's 50-year milestone last night, which provided a unique opportunity to re-engage with the alumni and staff who have helped shape the facility. The evening truly shone a light on HIAF's contributions in service of the nation's science and education priorities, including climate and environmental science, fundamental nuclear physics, astrophysics, cancer therapies, radiobiology, science education and many other emerging areas of application. It was slightly disconcerting seeing my fellow physicists dressed up in formal wear, I almost didn't recognise them. The dinner was the last in a series of celebrations by HIAF this year, that have included everything from a public open day to the unveiling of a new space irradiation testing beam. I am looking forward to watching HIAFs next 50 years unfold.
I was pleased to hear that last Thursday, the proposed ANU Enterprise Agreement 2023 - 2026 received the endorsement of the NTEU and its members. This is a significant milestone for the University, reaching an agreement in-principle with the unions to make ANU one of the best places to work in the country and to be a leader in creating more secure employment conditions for our staff.
As the bargaining team continues to work to finalise the Agreement, we are optimistic about sharing the proposed Agreement with supporting resources with all staff by October.
Throughout this process, we listened to our staff and worked collaboratively with the bargaining team and bargaining representatives to deliver a strong agreement that I believe is not only fair, but also mutually beneficial in shaping the University's future in supporting our staff and in line with the University's strategic goals.
Spring is sort of here - with today's blustery day reminding us it is not just sunshine and light. While it is a bit quieter on campus due to the teaching break campus, there is still a lot on. Today I am attending the student's research conference, and there are a range of events from dance performances and music to workshops and seminars that are part of the ANU College of Asia & the Pacific's Immersia 2023 program.
Every year we celebrate Giving Day -- a day when every member of our ANU community can come together, give, and make a difference. This year, Giving Day is happening on the equinox, the 21st September. A key area of focus this year is on our student community - and I encourage those who are in a position to do so, to support the ANU Student Urgent Relief Fund. Each week, given the size of our community, we have students who find themselves in need of urgent support. I am proud our University community is prepared to lend a hand in these times of need, getting in at the critical time before normal public support mechanisms kick in. It makes a huge difference, and helps these students get through a time that can have a lifetime of consequences. We have a similar fund for staff. You can find information on how you can support these worthy causes on our website.
Finally, I want to encourage everyone to nominate someone or a team who deserves to be recognised for the Vice-Chancellor and Chancellor Awards. Sit down with some colleagues and figure out who you think should be nominated. Nominations are now open and close on Monday 9 October. We've made the nomination process quick and easy, and it is a great way to celebrate the great work being done in our community.
This weekend the family and I plan on wrestling a 50mx20m net to go over our orchard - to ensure we don't have to share too much of our fruit with avian friends. Based on past experience, I am hoping most people enjoy their weekend more than I am going to enjoy mine.