From the Vice Chancellor

Professor David Lloyd, Vice Chancellor and President

I might start with a little poetic license, with apologies to Dickens: these are indeed the worst of times, and the best of times.

The daily changes to our living and working conditions seem both slow and breakneck – it feels suspended and surreal, and at the same time we have to keep moving and planning furiously, not only for the complexities we face now, but also for a time when we will emerge from the terrible pandemic that has gripped and utterly changed the world.

Hopefully we will all emerge stronger, more resilient and with greater knowledge of ourselves and our systems and relationships.

In the meantime, wisdom tells us we need to stay the course and keep true to our mission. If ever there was a test of our “unstoppable” character and our commitment to the importance of education and research, this is it.

We are still teaching and that is our mission. We are still doing the kind of research that saves lives and solves big social and industry problems, and despite the restrictions in place, we are still doing that research in partnerships with local and international industries and businesses. That is our mission too.

We are still open for business. We’ve just totally changed how we deliver that business.

This is something of which we can be immensely proud, and I am grateful every day, to lead a workforce that is so dedicated and innovative that we can continue to meet these challenges head on, and together.

I know also that the pandemic is obviously impacting on us all personally. This is a time when the divide between our work life and our private life is much closer. We all have people we worry about – children, partners, parents and friends to care for – and that does not even go to our concern for ourselves. Every one of us will meet the challenges that isolation, dislocation and stress will bring over the next few months.

Amid all the difficulties we are powerless to control, what we do know is that the impact of all this disruption is coming down especially hard on our most vulnerable students, many of whom were already struggling to make ends meet – balancing work and study – before the health crisis, and find themselves in dire circumstances now.

They’ve lost their part-time work, some are cut off from family nationally and internationally, they’re having to adapt to online delivery and many other dislocations.

As well as making every effort to provide flexible education solutions for these students, this week the University of South Australia created a $10 million Student Hardship Fund.

Often, with appeals, we would pledge to match others’ donations. This time, we are asking donors to match ours with any help they can offer for our future alumni.

The funds we raise together will support UniSA onshore students through direct grants at all levels of study be they domestic or international, from our Foundation course, through to undergraduate and postgraduate levels and our research students.

We have more than 35,000 students at UniSA and about one-third are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Globally, ours is a community of more than 215,000 alumni and we are calling on their support.

Large or small, every donation will make a difference. Donations can be made online by clicking here. You might like to share this link with others.

UniSA, its staff, students, alumni and friends are part of an extraordinary global community of which I am exceptionally proud.

We have a shared instinct towards building and strengthening our community and that’s what continues to define us in these testing times.

Unstoppable, regardless of the challenge.

Professor David Lloyd
Vice Chancellor and President