RMIT INTERIM VC DIONNE HIGGINS – SEPTEMBER 2021
[START OF TRANSCRIPT]
VISUAL: RMIT Interim Vice-Chancellor and President Dionne Higgins addresses the camera.
DIONNE HIGGINS SPEAKS:
Hi everyone, from my home office to yours.
Gosh i’s hard to believe that we’re moving into the final quarter of the year at the end of this week.
It’s not quite the year we’d all imagined or hoped for, but I am incredibly proud of the resilience of our community.
Your ability to adapt, to collaborate, to share the load together and care for each other during the most challenging of circumstances is what defines our RMIT community.
What we have learned over the last few months is that vaccination is an essential part of our way out of sustained and disruptive lockdowns both here in Victoria and across the globe.
We’re now working through the Victorian Government’s roadmap to eased restrictions.
It is clear that high vaccination rates are essential to getting back to campus. I strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as you can.
While the clarity of the roadmap is great, the road still feels pretty long. Personally, it’s great to have the opportunity for even a little more connection with friends and family.
But I still miss the connection of campus, the random encounters and the hallway conversations.
And more than anything, I miss seeing our students smiling and soaking in the buzz of our University life.
That’s when I remind myself that we will return, we will be back. All the vibrancy we hope for and all that energy we want to feel again – it’s there on the other side of our community stepping up and getting vaccinated.
There’s a huge amount we can do using digital technologies, we’ve certainly taught ourselves that, but our places and spaces come to life when they’re filled with live conversation, innovation and collaboration.
So, to the extent the government allows at every step, we will open our doors and welcome back our community for all the face-to-face activity we can. We are absolutely committed to this.
But in the meantime let’s not forget what we are achieving despite the obstacles.
Because of your determination our students continue to progress, our rankings continue to rise, we’re creating a positive impact where it counts and laying foundations for what comes next.
I’m also proud that we were able to offer wellbeing leave and I know that, coupled with the slowdown week, it really helped.
Remember you still have time to take it and let’s be sure to respect the slowdown week in Vietnam next week.
So there’s plenty of good news but I also want to be honest that it’s a hard time for a great many of us.
That’s why we’re opening up a short pulse survey so we can get a sense of how you’re feeling, what kind of support you need the most, and your views on vaccination too because in the longer term, vaccination is absolutely critical to our return to campus.
Please take the time to complete it using your personal link. It won’t take long.
Of course a survey can’t replace a conversation.
So if you need support, make sure you ask for it because there’s a lot we can do together to bridge the space between now and the easier days ahead.
None of us have lived through anything like this. It’s been a long journey already and we should expect to need some extra support more than once.
I appreciate all that you are doing so very much.
Thank you, and please keep looking out for each other.
[END OF TRANSCRIPT]
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