From the Vice Chancellor

Professor David Lloyd, Vice Chancellor and President

I’ve spent most of my life living in Ireland where the four seasons are totally distinct, arrive with dependable regularity and behave according to their purpose. You can set your wardrobe by them.

But in the Antipodes? Things are not quite as clear cut. Winter takes longer to get its act together, autumn has little to no impact on the fall of leaves, summer lasts for most of the year, and spring? Spring is when crops are sown, when animals shed their winter excess and begin new families, when even birds look to find warmer weather.

In Australia, spring begins with a stutter, rain, wind and cool temperatures.

You don’t really get that sense of renewal, that sense of hope and change. Hay fever is the first sign that spring has sprung. Blossoms appear on fruit trees and seconds later birds discover you have fruit, and then you have none. Despite the poets’ promise, spring is a kind of blink-and-you-miss-it event in Australia. In no time at all it’s replaced with summer which lasts for the next 18 months. Or so it seems.

Alan Gillis, who was an undergraduate at Trinity College Dublin before becoming an academic, wrote:

You might have butterflies
for no reason, all antsy
as if in anticipation
of the leaves’ first look-and-see-me.

That speaks of promise of new growth, of change and of possibilities.

If the weather here sometimes refuses to grant the full promise of spring before unleashing the fires and floods we’ve come to expect, we can at least make it our own time of renewal. Spring sees the launch of new professionals as our students attend their graduations; we start seeing the eager new faces of school leavers who’ve chosen to join the Unstoppable team to help guide their futures. And, after almost three years of an endless Covid winter where very little seemed possible, we are beginning to change ourselves.

We are not the University of Doing The Same Thing Over and Over and nor should we be – we wouldn’t see the new shoots of success if we did. We will perfect the art of being Australia’s University of Getting Stuff Done.

But first there’s summer and sun and sand, long balmy nights and a chance to catch up on all the good social activities that Covid has stolen from us. I’m still not going near the water though. I’ve seen Jaws.

Professor David Lloyd
Vice Chancellor and President