CHASS Newsletter #50

New CHASS President

CHASS new President Professor Sue Willis is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Social Inclusion), Monash University and was until recently Dean of the Faculty of Education at Monash. Sue was past President of the Australian Council of Deans of Education (ACDE). Sue began her career in Western Australia as a secondary mathematics teacher before moving into curriculum development and then university teaching and research. Her research, curriculum and professional development work have had two foci: mathematics and numeracy, and equity and social justice in and through education. Sue has engaged extensively in consultancy and policy work and served on a number of Boards and Steering and Consultative Committees at state and national levels. Sue is currently a Director of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Limited (AITSL) and on the Board of the VCAA, chairing its Post Compulsory Curriculum and Assessment Committee.

Professor Willis is supported for her term by an Executive Committee comprising Professor Faith Trent as Vice-President, Associate Professor Peta Ashworth as Secretary and Michael Crayford as Treasurer. View our
Board member profiles

Promoting CHASS

The Executive Director, Ms Angela Magarry met with Senator Gary Humphries, ACT Senator and shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Attorney-General and Defence Materiel on Wednesday 8 June 2011. This meeting is part of a range of meetings held regularly with parliamentarians to promote the work of CHASS and share information wherever appropriate.

Senator Humphries is a keen supporter of the arts, humanities and social sciences and this meeting was an opportunity to put forward the key issues facing these sectors. In recent months Senator Humphries has spoken out in support of Canberra’s national institutions and in particular the effects on staff, exhibitions and public research of the existing efficiency dividend. CHASS met with Senator Lundy at HASS-on-the-Hill regarding this issue in March this year, however, since then the increase to 1.5% announced in April is considered by many as making the situation worse. CHASS will seek information from member institutions about how the government’s hike in the efficiency dividend will affect core business and provide that to Government and the Opposition. Feel free to email me on if you would like to discuss this matter further.

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

Professor Sue Willis, President of CHASS addresses the March 2011 HASS-on-the-Hill

Update on the Development of a National Cultural Policy for Australia – 2011 is the year!

The Government’s National Cultural Policy is now the responsibility of Federal Arts Minister Simon Crean, who inherited it from his predecessor Peter Garrett. Consultations occurred with interested stakeholders up to early 2010. CHASS met with Minister Crean’s office to discuss the status of the policy given there is a commitment to deliver by the end of 2011. It has been described by Minister Crean as his number one priority as Minister for the Arts. CHASS is meeting with government officials and with the assistance of a steering committee comprising Board members, CHASS will convene a workshop to inform submissions by members to the draft national cultural policy on 2 August 2011, as promoted in this newsletter.

CHASS represented at Artsource 2011 Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Art Gallery of WA
With Professor Ted Snell, Board member and Director of the Cultural Precinct for the University of Western Australia, I joined a group of 250 enthusiasts including many CHASS members, to honour leading visual artists Pippin Drysdale and Brian McKay for their outstanding careers and contribution to the culture of Western Australia. Guest of Honour Betty Churcher delivered a key note address acknowledging the importance of celebrating the tireless work of artists over a lifetime. A captivating visual presentation of the work of Pip and Brian was shown by Professors Carmen Lawrence and Ted Snell who documented their careers to-date.

From a member services perspective it was pleasing to receive so many positive responses from the recent survey we conducted. Over the next year we look forward to continuing to service our members and to grow further. Please watch our website for the events planned for the rest of 2011.

HASS at a glance

ERA Update – Journal Rankings and CHASS Workshop

Following concerns about journal rankings, Minister Kim Carr announced a number of changes to the operation of ERA, primarily refining the journal quality indicator to remove the prescriptive A*, A, B and C ranks and placing more emphasis on the peer review process. Ministerial Statement.

As previously announced, CHASS will conduct a Workshop on Excellence in Research for Australia, focusing on its implications for the HASS disciplines and clusters, once the guidelines are released. The Council will seek to work with partners in the learned academies, publishers, and universities in developing this workshop. Details on the date, location and content of the workshop will be announced once further information, including ERA 2012 submission guidelines become available. You may wish to register your interest in attending by emailing membership [at]

Inspiring Australia

Following the launch of Inspiring Australia – a national strategy for engagement with the sciences in 2010, funding of $21 million over three years was announced in the 2011-12 Federal Budget for a new Inspiring Australia program to encourage Australians to study and excel in science and research. The program has three elements, designed to: encourage more young people into science careers; celebrate Australia’s strengths in science; and develop a national hub for science communications. Further information, including Inspiring Australia newsletters.

Europeans find interdisciplinary research essential

The European University Association (EUA) has told the EU that interdisciplinary research is essential for tackling challenges centred on energy, climate change, health and sustainable cities. Responding to the EC’s green paper on a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding, released in February 2011, the EUA says that enhancing the role of the arts, humanities and social sciences is one of six key elements necessary for a future strategic framework for European research and innovation funding. The EUA said study and analysis by the social science and scientific fields of recent major events, such as the global financial crisis, is essential to strengthen the knowledge base and inform future EU policy.

International science education and research call

The Academy of Science has joined 13 other ‘G8+’ national science academies to call on governments around the world to support and extend science education and formal international research collaborations, including by: supporting and expanding programs which are successfully facilitating interactions between scientists, the general public, the media and decision makers; supporting international collaboration for open access to scientific literature; and creating a network of virtual collaborative research centres at the front line of innovation in education. Download the science-based global development statement.

CRN Funding for Murray Darling Futures Project

The University of Canberra will receive $6.3 million to lead a project to build resilience in the Murray Darling Basin environment and communities. The project draws together the University’s expertise in fields including environmental science, public policy, social and economic modelling, health and regional planning. Partner institutions include the Australian National University, Charles Sturt University, the University of Southern Queensland, the CSIRO, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences and the National Water Commission.

New public policy partnership

AustralianPolicyOnline (APO) is now in partnership with the Australian National Institute for Public Policy (ANIPP), a strategic collaboration between the Australian Government and the Australian National University. The partnership is designed to enhance public policy material available nationally and internationally.

iPad trial program increases textbook usage

All first-year science undergraduates at the University of Adelaide were issued with iPads earlier this year to better engage students and assist them with seamless access and exchange of information. Results of the trial to date include higher retention of students in first year science and an increase from a third to a half in the number of students buying textbooks as e-books are more affordable.

Consultation on geography draft curriculum

The Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA) recently distributed elements of the draft geography curriculum to state and territory education authorities for consultation. This stage provides teachers and curriculum officers with the opportunity to submit feedback and inform drafting of the curriculum. National consultation on the draft curriculum will occur in November 2011. The ACARA website contains additional information on the Australian Curriculum and the progress of all learning areas, including geography.

National Science History Prize

ANU students have scooped the National Science History Prizes in 2011 for essays based on original research into the history of Australian science and the environment.

2011 AEF National Summit: Accelerating Asia Literacy

Ms Angela Magarry, Executive Director CHASS, attended the 2011 National Summit of educational leaders held on 16-17 May 2011. The conference focused on the increased importance of Asia literacy, supporting its embedding in the Australian curriculum, sharing of good practice and development of future strategies.

Australian Dance Awards

The final nominees for the 2011 Australian Dance Awards have been announced. Presented by Ausdance in association with Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), the premier national award event will be held in Queensland on 24 July 2011.

Cultural leadership for Indigenous Australians

Applications are open for ACCELERATE, an intensive, fully funded professional development initiative designed to advance the careers of Indigenous Australians working in the arts. Eight shortlisted applicants will participate in a cultural leadership workshop in Australia, with four subsequently selected to travel to the UK for a formal professional visit within Britain’s world-renowned creative sector. ACCELERATE is presented by the British Council and the Australia Council for the Arts in association with the NSW, Queensland and Victorian Governments and Virgin Atlantic Airways. Expressions of interest close on Friday 22 July 2011. Application forms and background information are available or email enquiries [at]

Members’ Events Calendar

30 June 2011: Call for Papers extended deadline

The deadline for submission of papers for the symposium War’s Affects: Mediating Conflict and Emotion, 1700-1900, hosted by the Humanities Research Centre and the College of Arts and Social Sciences, has been extended to 30 June 2011. The symposium will address the cultural history of war and feeling and will be held at the Australian National University, Canberra on 5-7 October 2011.

13-21 July 2011: National Science Week

This year’s National Science Week will contribute to the Inspiring Australia program by engaging Australians with a range of scientific displays, shows, workshops and events aimed at celebrating science.

25-26 July 2011: Inaugural Meeting of the ACHRC

“Networking the Humanities”: the inaugural meeting of the Australian Consortium for Humanities Research Centres will be hosted by the Flinders Institute for Research in the Humanities in partnership with the Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus) at the Science Exchange, 55 Exchange Place, Adelaide. It is designed to connect Humanities research centres and cultural institutions from across Australia and invite participation in a series of practical sessions, while also introducing the ACHRC. The guest speaker will be Professor Srinivas Aravamudan, President of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) and Dean of Humanities at Duke University. Register interest by emailing: contact [at]

25 July 2011: Networking opportunity for CHASS members

To coincide with the Inaugural Meeting of the ACHRC, CHASS members are invited to attend networking drinks in Adelaide on Monday 25 July from 5.30 – 6.30pm at RiAus. Please email your interest to attend this function to membership for catering purposes by Friday 8 July 2011.

27-29 July 2011: Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI) Symposium

The ARC Centre of Excellence for CCI symposium will focus on the way socio-cultural research addresses complex problems and opportunities in Australia, the Asian region, and globally. It is designed to bring together international and national thought leaders around the themes of policy convergence, social innovation and media ethnography.

2 August 2011: CHASS Workshop on National Cultural Policy

To assist CHASS and its members to respond to the framework document for a National Cultural Policy, expected to be released during July, CHASS is planning a workshop, Communicating Big Ideas: National Cultural Policy. To be held at the heritage “Female Orphan School”, Parramatta campus of the University of Western Sydney, commencing at 9.30 am, outcomes of the workshop are expected to include identified priorities for a national cultural policy and illustrative case studies. Further details will be provided when information about the Minister’s statement becomes available. Please email your interest to attend this function to by 22 July 2011.