Posted by: jkirkby8712 | August 6, 2011

Saturday, 6th August 2011 – University remembers and harnesses it’s Graduates,

On this dull Saturday morning, the ‘Spring like’ weather has disappeared, but although it is much cooler than during the past week, not much rain has been seen around here – it is overcast, and remained that way when I went for an early walk this morning.   A little later, it was just 13 degrees, going up top a predicted maximum of 14 degrees, but I doubt it will climb any more from where it currently sits. Looking ahead for the coming week, we won’t be seeing any more runs of 20 degrees+ for the time being.  Our tease of Springtime warmth has moved on!!


Email news from my former university, the University of Melbourne, notes tomorrow holding a vote for the University’s new Alumni Council, for which nominations have been called for over recent weeks. I actually vaguely thought of putting  my hand up as a ‘self nomination ‘ but eventually thought the better of it. While I have kept in touch with the university publications and activities since finishing my degree in the 1970s, I certainly haven’t had any active involvement with the Alumni group, and while the role as a Council member could have some interesting aspects, I didn’t feel justified in expressing interest, and in any case, the time and commitment would probably be beyond me, especially with the university’s location in Carlton. I’m trying to get rid of unnecessary city traffic woes, that would only be adding another dimension!!


Anyway, I can still have a voice – for the first time all alumni will be able to vote via an online election and determine who will be the formal voice of the University’s alumni community. Nearly 40 candidates will vie for one of six elected seats on the new Council. This body will ultimately have 16 representatives and report to the University Council. In addition to the six elected by alumni, eight members will be appointed by the Vice-Chancellor and two non-voting staff representatives will take up the charge and form the Council.  Graduates, such as myself, have previously had representation through the Committee of Convocation, a longstanding group that dates back to the 1860s and that originally assisted in university governance.  However as the University’s governance arrangements strengthened, the role of the Convocation over time changed. In 2009, the state government initiated a review of the University Act.   ‘This prompted a reassessment of the best mechanism to represent all alumni, and in 2011, led to the creation of the Alumni Council’, which will be tasked with identifying key issues and providing constructive input to assist and address these.  Broadly, these could include enhancing the student experience, supporting career-focused initiatives to assist alumni and students, guiding alumni programming, promoting the University and helping raise philanthropic support. Ultimately, it’s hoped  that the Council will encourage greater two-way communication with the alumni community and strengthen connections between the University and alumni.  There are over 275,000 alumni worldwide and last year only 11,000 of this group were involved in alumni activities. The university wants to double this in the next three to four years. The aim is to encourage alumni to identify with the University and its mission, and be able to pinpoint areas that  are directly relevant to their lives. This may be through learning, networking, online content, access to leaders and innovators, career opportunities, discounted services and study, provision of targeted information, and some things that have yet to be created.  The new University Statute 3.1 is clear in articulating that the Alumni Council needs to represent the diversity of the alumni body.  It is hoped that members will represent both local and international interests, as well as representing all age groups and coming from diverse cultural and academic backgrounds.   ‘The alumni election may or may not achieve this, however the Vice-Chancellor’s appointed members will serve to assist in this regard’, says the university. The alumni body worldwide is made up of an enormous wealth of experience and talent. Having some of this expertise represented on the Alumni Council creates the potential to do things that have not been considered for many years.  This is a great chance, the first in over 150 years, for a small group of change leaders to really make a difference. Personally, I think it an impressive situation to have a university which is thinking well beyond the end of it’s graduate’s learning and qualifications, and attempting to get their ongoing input and participation beyond their physical association  with the institution.


Meanwhile, the Carlton  selection committee made one change for this afternoon’s game against Melbourne, the team, defeated by a mammoth total week which resulted in the sacking of their coach!  Dennis Armfield has recovered from the ankle injury that forced him to leave the ground during last Friday night’s victory over North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium. Aaron Joseph has been recalled to the team after missing two matches with a hamstring strain. Joseph injured his hamstring in the round 17 match against Collingwood and missed the victories against Essendon and North Melbourne.  Out of the side is my favourite,  Ryan Houlihan who celebrated his 200th AFL match in last Friday night’s victory, but didn’t do enough to earn a permanent place back in the team.. Houlihan has been named as an emergency, along with  the Irishman, Setanta O’hAilpin, and Kane Lucas.  Match TV coverage begins at around 3pm, so I guess that’s where I will be at that time. As the Club advised yesterday,   all roads lead to Jolimont this weekend, when the traditional Victorian counterparts Carlton and Melbourne meet in the equally traditional Saturday afternoon timeslot at the MCG. While the Demons have understandably been the focus of the media’s attentions since the Geelong contest, and will undoubtedly be fired for their new coach, nothing changes for the Blues in terms of their pre-match preparations.  For the Carlton players, it’s about bringing their A-game to the ground regardless.

Well I hoped that would happen, and the quarter by quarter scores below, indicate the outcome. Prior to the game, Houlihan got into the team, when Armfield’s injury didn’t improve enough for him to play.  A slow start to the Blues against a very aggressive Melbourne in the 1st quarter, followed by an avalanche of Blues’ goals in the second quarter set up the rest of a strong win to Carlton.


Carlton Blues:                  6.1.37        14. 2.86       18.7.115             FINAL:    21.8.134

Melbourne Demons:        3.7.25        3. 10. 28        6.12.48              Final:         7.16.58


Moving away from today’s football, as I try not to gloat over another great win by the Blues, I was reminded last night of next week’s Census, with the arrival in the mail of my Census forms.  I referred to this a few days ago, the fact that the 16th Census of Population and Housing will take place on the night of  9 August 2011 [next Tuesday]. The 2011Census also marks a significant milestone – 100 years of national Census taking in Australia. An email received today from Victorian Liberal Senator, Michael Ronaldson [had not even realised I was on his mailing list], also reminded us of the importance of these Census counts.  The Census underpins Australia’s democracy and is crucial to communities, private institutions and all levels of government when planning infrastructure, community services and facilities where you live. For example Census information helps to determine where schools, hospitals, and roads are needed. Federal funding arrangements to the states and territories, including allocation of GST [General Services Tax] revenue, are also based on Census information.  The Census of Population and Housing aims to accurately count the number of people in Australia, their key characteristics, and the dwellings in which they live. It is conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) once every fi ve years. During the Census every household and person in the country is required to answer specific questions on the paper form or through eCensus online. As a bit of a traditional guy, I will probably stick with the handwritten form. The Census is compulsory, and is authorised by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


A quiet Saturday night ahead of this writer. Susie has gone out somewhere, and I imagine it will be the early hours of the morning before she returns.  In the meantime, I received advice today of the death of one of the ‘girls’ from our days at Wesley Uniting Church, and the Young Adults Group [WYA] that I was a part of for a number of years.  Barbara M had been suffering from various cancer concerns for a couple of years now I believe, and our WYA contact had been keeping former members up to date for her progress.  She came to the ‘reunion’ dinner I attended early in the year, with husband Bruce, but was then only able to manage such an outing in a wheel chair. This was the second death of former members of that group from the late 1960s/early 70s this year!  A sobering thought to end my Saturday evening with…….




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