CHASS Newsletter #18

In this issue:

  1. Annual General Meeting
  2. Attending and voting at the AGM
  3. Candidates for election to the Board
  4. Proxies
  5. Creative and Performing Arts Workshop
  6. Productivity Commission slammed
  7. MPs name CHASS as a top lobby group
  8. Next Parliamentary dinner
  9. My final newsletter

1. Annual General Meeting

The AGM is at the Darlington Centre at the University of Sydney on Tuesday 19 September. Registration opens at 4 pm; the meeting begins at 4.30 and concludes about 5.30. Drinks and light refreshments will be served at 6 pm. The Darlington Centre is close to the intersection of City Road and Darlington Rd.

2. Attending and voting at the AGM

Members and friends of CHASS are invited to attend the AGM. If you are attending as the nominated delegate of one of our Member Organisations, you need to fill in the form on our web site.

If you are attending as a friend of CHASS, you would be most welcome. Please complete the registration form on our web site so we can organise catering. Only Member Organisations which have paid their subscription for 2006-07 can vote at the AGM. A list of current financial Members is on our web site.

3. Candidates for election to the Board

After an intensive search, the CHASS search committee is recommending the following candidates for election to the Board from 2006-07:

  • Professor Stuart Cunningham as President
  • Professor Linda Rosenman as Vice-President
  • Mr Stuart Hamilton as Secretary
  • Ms Julie Dyson as Treasurer
  • Professor Greg Craven Board Member
  • Professor Elizabeth More Board Member
  • Professor Sue Willis Board Member
  • Professor Sharon Bell Board Member
  • Professor Sue Richardson Board Member
  • Professor Kim Walker Board Member
  • (Executive Director Mr Toss Gascoigne is a non-voting Board Member, ex officio.)

These candidates have been nominated and seconded by the Executive Directors of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

Although the Search Committee has recommended these candidates, this does not preclude the nomination of other candidates to the Board. Nominations can be made by any Member Organisation on the nomination form available on our website.

Closing date is 5 pm Tuesday 12 September.

A brief cv of all candidates will be placed on the CHASS web site in the next few days.

4. Proxies,/p>

If your Member Organisation is unable to attend the AGM, it can nominate another person to exercise its vote by completing the form on our web site.

5. Creative and Performing Arts Workshop

David Williams is organising a CHASS workshop on the Research Quality Framework and impact in the visual and performing arts.

It is at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne on Tuesday 26 September, and will enable people in the tertiary sector to discuss how the RQF process might affect their disciplines.

This practical one-day workshop will hear a national perspective on how “impact” might be applied in the arts, as well as reports from the trenches.

Registration, the program and further information on our web site.

6. Productivity Commission slammed

CHASS made a submission to the Productivity Commission inquiry into science and innovation in Australia.

It outlined a number of ways that innovation could be encouraged; but for us the central issue was to change a line of thinking that was dismissive of the contribution of the humanities, arts and social sciences. The CHASS media release read in part:

“‘Australia is clinging to an out-dated view of innovation based on the smokestack industries of the last century,'” Professor Gillies said.

“This is old-fashioned thinking. The work of our sector is highly relevant to innovation. It creates new jobs and new industries; and is central to tackling major areas of concern like health, terrorism, cyber crime and the environment.”

Fifteen other organisations (including the ARC and the AVCC) were sharply critical of a sentence from the Issues Paper published by the Commission: “The focus is thus on the physical and biological sciences, including engineering, with the social sciences (and the arts and humanities) excluded except to the extent they are relevant to innovation.”

The full media release and submission are on our web site.

7. MPs name CHASS as a top lobby group

When MPs were asked to nominate the most effective industry-lobby groups in Canberra, they chose the heavy-hitters: AMA; Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Pharmacy Guild; Australian Industry Group; and NFF.

But there was space on the survey form for “others”; and here some MPs nominated – CHASS! So we are in the top 25 in a field of hundreds! And the ONLY organisation representing the interests of the tertiary sector.

The survey was carried out by a commercial organization Client Solutions, which set out to advise industry groups how to be more effective in representing their interests to MPs.

And Client Solutions’ tip to industry groups? “Learn from the masters! Look at what the most successful groups do and how they achieve their level of influence.”

8. Next Parliamentary dinner

CHASS regularly raises issues with MPs at dinners with federal Parliamentarians. The next speaker is Professor Ross Homel, lead researcher in the “Pathways to Prevention” project. This aims to keep young people out of jail, by providing positive interventions in their early education.

Ross will be speaking in Canberra on 29 November.

9. My final newsletter

This will be my final newsletter as President of CHASS. I have been honoured to be CHASS’s inaugural President, and am awed by the depth of commitment of our Member Organisations to quality HASS education, research and practice.

We’ve advocated strong policy positions, and helped build new networks of HASS people across Australia. There have been good policy wins, and more – I suspect – lurk in the wings. Now, with increasing numbers of workshops, we are turning changed policy into changed practice.

I thank all members of the first two CHASS Boards for their service and companionship, and salute Toss Gascoigne and our office staff for outstanding commitment.


Malcolm Gillies
9 September 2006

For more information, please contact:
Toss Gascoigne
Executive Director
Council of the Humanties, Arts and Social Sciences
Phone: +61 2 6249 1995