14 December 2020
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Colleagues, members and partners.
As we enter the last month of the year, I have shifted thought from reflection (as I wrote about last month), and propose we all end the year with a celebration to see out this 2020 year of madness that we have all collectively endured. Every single person reading this will have felt the prolonged impacts of Government induced restrictions across both the Tasman and Bass Strait, none more so than our Victorian colleagues. To have witnessed and heard their stories is testament to the character of the communities that we live in, the support networks that hold us up when times are bad, and the real advantages that our island countries have had in terms of health risk mitigation over our international friends. I am thankful that we appear to be largely exiting lockdowns in time for the annual summer break, with an opportunity to reconnect and celebrate the good things in life with friends, family and our sanity.
TEFMA continued with our international engagement throughout the last month, sharing and learning COVID practices and results with counterparts across the UK, USA and Southern Africa as well as in our own backyard. The willingness of our broad community of institutions, business partners and invested individuals is testament to our global commitment to return our places of work, study and play to a more normal operation.
We held our first Directors Forum online at the end of November, enabling direct leadership engagement with the Board, and including our broad business partner audience for the first time. We thank Stephen Parker, Kris Greenwood and Stuart McCutcheon for their thought provoking panel session on the future of Global Higher Education, our New Zealand and Australian campuses, and also the business partners that support our strategic institutional objectives. For members who missed the session, please check out our resources online. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and as we celebrate this success, we are working with GJK (our Education Partner) to create new hybrid events where we can host regional discussions on focus areas where we may further explore topical subjects and areas of strategic importance for our institutions.
We celebrated our 2020 Clever Campus awards and scholarship winners. Whilst we missed out on our Awards celebration this year, it certainly does not take away from the exemplar institution, team and individual performances that were nominated for appropriate recognition. We again received many more nominations than we have awards, and whilst I would like to take the time to recognise and congratulate the winners, it is important that we also recognise the stiff competition that they came up against this year. We look forward to seeing best practice next year, and continuing to celebrate the people that help our institutions excel. I also thank our sponsors AECOM (Innovation Award) and BlueStar Security (AUDE Summer School Scholarship) for their contributions for making these awards happen. Congratulations to the following 2020 winners:
Our TEFMA leadership is being recognised internationally, and we presented to Irish institutions on our strong benchmark product, and the benefit that these tools provide our members regarding sector analysis and institutional decision making. We have received support from AUDE to initiate alignment of international benchmarks, and we will continue to pursue our HEFMA and APPA strategic partners to ensure we collaborate to produce a truly global benchmark assessment providing value to our sector, our people and the stakeholders we all engage with. Further, our guidelines have been significantly progressed with a multitude of support from our dedicated special interest groups and supporting institutions – I thank you for your work and we will shortly celebrate the release of our Strategic Asset Management and Audit Guidelines as two updates to our suite of resources for members.
We recognise the researchers across many institutions who have been working hard not only to find a vaccine, and other staff who provide other community services to keep our communities safe – all from the built environments which we have designed, built and manage. I have heard many times before that our teams can and will change the world by providing environments conducive to leading research – a lofty ambition that we appear to recognise only in times of crises. Congratulations to each of you, and your teams for your part in making the world a better place.
We rejoiced at the recent arrival of new international students who are currently in quarantine in Darwin. This new arrival provides hope that we won’t have a repeat year in 2021, and we hope the uplift will seek to remind Governments as to the importance of and need to continue to support the Higher Education sector who contributes so much to our broader economies and the communities to whom we engage, live and serve.
Finally, we must celebrate our people, our support structures and our families. They provide the strength, the resilience, and the foundation for who we all are, and help lead success in the results and outputs we deliver. Take the time to reflect and reward yourselves on the achievements you have made this year, and to say thank you to those who have helped you achieve. The camaraderie, the mateship and the enjoyment we experience, doing what we love the most, is amplified by those that share our passions. Celebrate with them and reflect, recognise, enquire and inspire, ready for the year we are about to face. I wish you all the safest and happiest ends to the year possible, and I look forward to coming together again with you all early in 2021 to step forward from the solid platform we have built, ready for the opportunities that will present in the New Year.
Please direct all enquiries to the TEFMA Secretariat: firstname.lastname@example.org
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