CHASS Newsletter #49

Shining a light on the sector

Along with representatives from the highest levels of industry, government and academia, as the Executive Director of the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, I participated in the Women in Science and Engineering Summit, hosted by the Forum for European-Australian Science and Technology (FEAST) cooperation, the Australian National Commission for UNESCO, and the UN Women on 11 April at Australia’s Parliament House. Discussion was broad-ranging but focussed in large part on boosting the employment of women in the fields of science, engineering and technology, particularly within the senior ranks. There is a high attrition rate of women in these fields, and agreement was reached to create better linkages between them and the HASS sector, particularly where issues of culture were concerned. At a roundtable by invitation only, the Council participated with the Minister for the Status of Women, the Hon. Kate Ellis, MP, and other senior business, government and Ministerial officials discussed issues associated with changing the system. Agreement was reached to endorse the UN set of values for empowering women.

In late April the government released a research workforce strategy which was the culmination of over eighteen months consultation across multiple stakeholders including CHASS. At the launch I met with many of those who participated in the development of this important national strategy and discussed with them how best to work to implement it. CHASS will work with the Australian Research Council to convene a workshop which focuses on fostering researcher careers in the humanities, arts and social sciences covering issues including the role of the funding agencies, role of institutions, support from peak bodies, successful models of mentoring and collaboration to name a few!

In mid May the Asia Education Foundation (AEF) will host a National Summit on Asian literacy where peak education, business and community organisations will come together to support the call for a National Action Plan for Asia Literacy in Schools. I will report back to you on the outcomes of this summit in the next edition of our newsletter.

HASS on the Hill 2011 was a very successful event which brought together many of our members and friends. At this event we elected a new Board and Executive. You can see more about them and the CHASS secretariat on our website. Throughout 2011, I very much look forward to meeting more of the membership.

Angela Magarry
Executive Director
Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
May 2011

ERA Workshop

The Developing Excellence in Research for Australia: Lessons learnt and next steps workshop will be held on Thursday 16 June 2011 at Flinders University (Bedford Campus) in Adelaide. The workshop will deconstruct the inaugural ERA round, examining the impact of and implications for HASS disciplines and will examine the next steps forward for future ERA rounds. For further information please visit the National Research Workforce Strategy to guide the development of Australia’s research workforce to 2020 and beyond.

Chief Scientist appointed

The Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences has welcomed the appointment of Professor Ian Chubb AC as Australia’s new Chief Scientist.

Closing the gap in higher education

The Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans and the Minister for Innovation, Senator Kim Carr, have announced a review into Indigenous higher education access, to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders share equally in the life and career opportunities that a quality higher education system can provide.

HASS at a glance

History and Geography Standards Statements

The Learning and Teaching Academic Standards Project concluded in 2010 and the History and Geography Standards Statements have now been published by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC). Hard copies are available from the ALTC (email standards [at] )and electronic copies may be downloaded from the ALTC website.

Bridging the Gap in School Achievement through the Arts

The Song Room has released the summary report of its commissioned Bridging the Gap in School Achievement through the Arts” (Insert hyperlink to: ) study. The study has found that arts education not only has intrinsic value, but when implemented with a structured, innovative and long-term approach, it can provide essential extrinsic benefits, such as improved school attendance, academic achievement across the curriculum, as well as social and emotional wellbeing.

An old idea for a new conversation

The Conversation is former editor of the Age, Andrew Jaspan’s new online venture, designed to turn research and academia into accessible content for the mainstream.

eLit Awards

The second annual eLit Awards are now open. The eLit Awards are a global awards program committed to illuminating and honoring the very best of English language digital publishing entertainment.

Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History

Nominations are sought for the 2010-2011 Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History. The Prize is for any work first published, produced or broadcast between 1 July 2009 and 31 December 2010 and may include a published book, a documentary film, a documentary for radio or television, CD-ROM, DVD, other form of multimedia or a series of these works. The subjects of works submitted could include, but are not limited to historical events; historical figures (including biographies); and work covering a particular subject.

Further information is available at the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History website. Nominations close at 5.00 pm AEST, 18 May 2011.

Calendar of events

For further information on events happening in the HASS sector visit the calendar of events on the Council website. Did you know that Council member organisations can upload their events on the Council’s website – a great opportunity to spread the word across the nation.