The heat of Open Day weekend seems to have now receded. It was our biggest one yet and I've been told almost 5000 future students checked in on campus! Even though I was tired having just got off a red eye flight from Japan, it was great to able to join the Chancellor on campus and say hello to (hopefully) our new students for 2024 and 2025. This was the first time we've held Open Day in March (it's usually in August) and the team leading it did an excellent job to create an awesome user experience for parents and prospective students - with only a few months to plan. Kambri was buzzing with people and I even got to play with Lego in Marie Reay.
Well done to the Future Students Domestic team with support from the Future Students International team, and the Brand and Marketing teams (Brand, Planning, Creative, Web and Marketing Automation) who made it all come together - particularly Sarah Rickett, Sarah Parker, Jessica Butters, Kevin Chan, Karen Watts, Spencer Reynolds, Anil Thimmapuram, Lorren de Lucia and Sean Whitfield. I am looking forward to next year's!
I was in Tokyo last week for the annual Presidents' Summit of the U7+ alliance at Keio University. The U7+ alliance was established in 2019, as a university network to take action to address global challenges in support of G7 - and we are the only Australian university to be part of it. I participated in a series of conversations around the erosion of academic freedom in universities, how universities interact with the geopolitical world and maintain our values, and how the U7+ could, as the university group connected to the G7, add value to the G7 agenda. With a large diverse set of universities, it was really an interesting set of conversations.
ANU Alumni Week comes to a close this evening, and it's been a great week showcasing our campus to our strong alumni community and an opportunity to reconnect. I had the pleasure of running tours of the very nice new Physics building with the Director of the Research School of Physics Professor Tim Senden, and sharing some of the important work that we do here with our alumni.
Many of you would have seen the Prime Minister's announcement yesterday about the proposed questions Australians will be asked at the referendum and the draft constitutional amendment later this year that would enable an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. I was pleased to see the bipartisan support. This is a special time as the Australian people consider the referendum, and the University Leadership Group has asked Professor Peter Yu and I to create a pan-university group to look at how we can best help bring all aspects of the Uluru Statement of the Heart to fruition, as well as setting the stage for the empowerment of Australia's Indigenous people into the years ahead.
Lastly, please, please, pretty please do the staff engagement survey. This really is one of the most important tools I have to understand how to improve the University. The ANYOU Staff Engagement Survey closes midnight Tuesday 28 March. All staff should have received an email from Culture Amp - the platform hosting our survey - with a unique link. You can also access the survey directly from the ANU webpage (helpful tip, Kiosk Code means your Uni ID without the u).
Because a little healthy competition can sometimes be a good thing, I'd like to remind everyone that ANU Advancement are currently in the lead - you can check out the leader board to see how your area is tracking. My portfolio is coming second at the moment so I hope that changes before the survey ends! So please complete it if you haven't already done so, and encourage your team members to do the same.
I hope everyone has a great weekend. I will be getting ready for my 2023 vintage - it is looking like we will pick on 8 April, but I'll know better when I test the grapes on Sunday.