Dear Students, I hope you’re having a positive and productive week, wherever you may be calling home at the moment – whether you’re currently in lockdown in the Greater Sydney area, living in one of our student residences, studying at one of our regional campuses or a UOW international student studying and living overseas. I am thinking of you all!
Lockdown is difficult. There are no two ways about it. I came from a 12-month hard lockdown in the US to Australia early this year, where I got a brief reprieve (and lapped up the beauty of our Wollongong campus) before going back into the current Greater Sydney lockdown. I often need to remind myself to take a break from zoom meetings and my computer screen and go for a walk, but it’s so critical. I hope you’re all finding the time to get fresh air and exercise when you can. I am also very aware that everyone’s lockdown experience is unique and presents its own set of challenges. No one has it easy at the moment, so please be kind to yourself and those around you.
And there is an end in sight.
Over 20% of the Illawarra is now fully vaccinated, and I was so pleased to see the Illawarra and Shoalhaven mass vaccination centre open in the Wollongong CBD this week. For more information on local options to receive the vaccine and how to make a booking, please visit our Vaccination Information Centre for UOW students.
You are studying with a remarkable institution, one of resilience and character and incredible work continues to take place across the UOW community, despite the challenges in front of us.
World-leading teaching and research continue to drive us forward. Did you know that just this week, a UOW Professor was appointed Chair of Australian Studies at Harvard University for the first time? Or that UOW researchers are leading ground-breaking research into the mass migration of tuna from the waters surrounding Pacific Island nations due to climate change? To stay up to date with all of the latest news and research coming out of UOW, make sure you check in regularly to the UOW media centre.
And speaking of climate change, it was impossible not to be alarmed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report (IPCC) released in the past 48 hours. I want to ensure students that UOW takes it commitment to achieving the milestones set out in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals very seriously. We are making significant progress in this area by contributing world-leading research, equipping our students with the skills to be leaders in this space, and of course, ensuring our campuses are environmentally sustainable. I look forward to working with the Student Advisory Council in the coming weeks to develop a UOW-endorsed statement and further commitments in this area ahead of the 16th UN Climate Change Conference of Youth to be held later in the year, as the pre-cursor to the vitally important UN Climate Change conference in Glasgow this October.
Stay safe and well.