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We have been busy preparing for our students to return to campus next week for Orientation. I am particularly excited as this will be my first session as Vice-Chancellor with students on campus.  I hear there has been excellent collaboration between the academic, student and event teams to bring Orientation to life and I am looking forward to visiting Orientation events in person.

Many of you will also be returning to working on campus from this Friday. While for many it has been a long time away from campus, I know we are all keen to see colleagues in person and enjoy the spirit of our university.


Have your say

The Staff Pulse Survey was introduced late last year to seek more regular feedback and it represents a snapshot of all staff sentiment.
At the mid-point of the pilot, the initial results show some favourable areas and other areas we must work on.
Areas rated positively by staff include colleagues, flexibility, benefits/salary, team leaders and health and safety. Staff also indicate that they believe in our university values and purpose.
But I have taken note of the low levels of staff satisfaction across a range of areas. Key areas for our attention are the need for greater two-way communication, transparency and staff involvement.  These issues are important for our success.  I am working with leaders across the university to identify more ways in which we can work with staff, to harness your insights and involve your input and ideas.  The upcoming town hall will be one opportunity to hear from you, but I also want to see more active co-design across all our transformation initiatives.  The Polaris team for example are demonstrating this approach with the involvement of the future users of our technology in the re-design of the technology platforms.

Staff also want to see a better leadership culture, and I am personally very committed to ensuring we are demonstrating an open, collaborative, and positive culture in leadership at all levels.  Toxic behaviour has no place in our university.  I expect our leaders to be displaying high standards of ethics and integrity, providing positive and inspiring role models, and engaging with staff in a way that is respectful and enables people to contribute their best to our shared goals.  These are all matters that have the attention and commitment of the executive leadership team and I look forward to your support in ensuring we create a positive culture for our people.
There are two more staff pulse surveys to be conducted in February and April 2022.  If you have been sent an email link, please complete the survey. The executive leadership team will review the results after the surveys and will take action on the key areas identified for improvement. This will enable us to continue to work towards an inclusive and healthy culture and ensure Charles Sturt is a great place to work.  

3 Rivers

Three Rivers Department of Rural Health (DRH) is a multidisciplinary academic and research unit embedded within Charles Sturt University in rural NSW. It aims to improve the recruitment and retention of nursing, dental and allied health professionals in rural and remote Australia.
The DRH has successfully secured a grant of $1.8 million to expand allied health student training and placements across the Forbes and Parkes LGAs.

The funding supports the DRH to work with local community partners and the Country University Centre to grow placement and clinical training opportunities. There will be a significant First Nations focus within the program of work, with expanded co-designed cultural experiences to be embedded within the training.

This project will enhance the delivery of training to students, to assist in excellence in teaching and graduate employment outcomes, and the provision of medical services to local communities. It will ultimately improve the health and wellbeing of Australians living in rural and remote areas. 

Mardi Gras Film Festival

Charles Sturt University is proud to be an inclusive environment for staff, students, and our communities. Our commitment to equity, diversity and LGBTIQA+ inclusion is highlighted in our sponsorship of the upcoming Queer Screen Mardi Gras Film Festival in Sydney, where we are also proud to be the regional partner. We will be bringing the Mardi Gras Film Festival to our regional campus communities throughout the year, beginning in March at Wagga Wagga. More information on this event will be provided closer to the date.

Charles Sturt is also returning as a major sponsor of the 2022 Wagga Wagga Mardi Gras. I encourage all Wagga Wagga staff, students and other members of the Charles Sturt community to attend the Wagga Wagga Mardi Gras in March as either a participant on our float or an observer. 

2022 Community University Partnership Grants Program

We are connected to our local communities in many ways, and offering small grants is a popular program across our broad footprint. If you are involved with a community group, I would encourage you to let them know that our 2022 Community University Partnership (CUP) Grants Program is now open.

The program is an opportunity to apply for a grant of up to $1,000 for community groups, schools and individuals located across our six campus locations.
Funding opportunities are available in the categories of Arts and Culture, Education Development, Health and Wellbeing, Sport Development and Environmental Sustainability and online applications close March 2022.
It is programs such as these that highlight the commitment we have to our community as we continue to work together with our students, our people, industry partners, government and communities for the public good.

Supporting staff | new Employee Assistance Program

Supporting staff with the right tools and services to help manage work and life is important.  In regional Australia we can be hampered by availability of services and this is why we have a new Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider - Converge International.

We initiated the change after feedback highlighted the need for more services in regional and rural areas. As Australia's largest provider of mental health and wellbeing solutions, Converge is well placed to ensure our staff have access to the support and services they need in their community to further assist in maintaining a healthy culture.

Celebrating Student Olympians

One current and two former Charles Sturt students have competed at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Phil Bellingham graduated in 2017 and Laura Peel in 2019, with current student Casey Wright studying online for a Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary) via Charles Sturt in Bathurst.
I am proud to note that all athletes were members of Charles Sturt’s Elite Athlete and Performer Program showing that Charles Sturt is committed to supporting elite athletes and performers in their sporting and performing endeavours while they achieve their higher education goals. This support program makes a difference to athletes and assists them to be successful in their studies as they compete at an elite level.

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