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From the Dean

11 November 2019
Welcome to Issue 10 of Illuminate Alumni News
As the end of the year looms and various tasks take on a new sense of urgency, it is a Dean’s pleasure to reflect on the many achievements of the staff, students and alumni of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

It was recently announced that the University of Sydney has risen to 41st in the world and 2nd in Australia for arts and humanities in the 2020 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The rise correlates to the remarkable contributions our scholars make towards the advancement of arts and humanities research in Australia and beyond—including publishing in the highest quality journals, creating networks with prominent partners inside and outside the institution, and actively working to address some of the major challenges faced by our local and global communities.

I had fun MCing the University’s first Thank You Day event on 17 September, a day designed to thank donors, colleagues, academic and professional staff for their various parts in securing the University’s place as the first Australian institution to raise $1B in philanthropic funding through the Inspired campaign. An amazing achievement that would not have seemed possible as recently as a decade ago. I encourage you to read some of the extraordinary stories of generosity from our supporters and the life-changing impact of their gifts.

The University of Sydney continues to advance its ambitious research aspirations and in July was awarded over $1.5million in funding through the federal government's ARC Linkage Project scheme. Excitingly for the Faculty, the Institute of Open Adoption Studies secured $612,000 for their project, “Fostering lifelong connections for children in permanent care.”

The Faculty’s flagship public outreach and engagement program “Outside the Square” has been another sell-out success in 2019. Our academics and alumni experts tackled a range of issues from phone addiction, public art, personalised medicine, The Uluru Statement from the Heart, to the ethics of true crime. We have our final event on 28 November examining The Rise of Veganism—there are a small number of tickets left, which you can book online here, if you are quick. You can also catch any of the panel discussions you missed by listening to the series podcasts.

The Faculty’s flagship public outreach and engagement program “Outside the Square” has been another sell-out success in 2019. Our academics and alumni experts tackled a range of issues from phone addiction, public art, personalised medicine, The Uluru Statement from the Heart, to the ethics of true crime.

We have our final event on 28 November examining The Rise of Veganism—there are a small number of tickets left, which you can book online here, if you are quick. You can also catch any of the panel discussions you missed by listening to the series podcasts.

Global engagement is crucial to the success of the University and we continue to build strategic global partnerships that change lives through high-impact collaboration whether that is leadership in research, teaching or international experiences. Next week I leave for India as part of a delegation led by the Vice Chancellor to engage with our strategic partners there and develop new partnerships with aligned organizations. Inside this issue you can learn about two of our impressive alumni who have made significant impact in their respective fields in India; Australian High Commissioner to India, Harinder Sidhu, and Cofounding Director of Pollinate, Alexie Seller.

As we approach 2020 we have some incredibly exciting projects to look forward to, not least the opening of the Sydney College of the Arts in the Old Teachers’ College early next year. In their redesign of the Old Teachers College, Melbourne architectural firm ARM have maintained much of the 1921 building's Modern Gothic heritage while accommodating all of SCA’s studio specialisations – see ARM’s website for more details and images. And for anyone who has ever wondered what career awaits an art school graduate, I’d recommend reading these profiles, which demonstrate the diverse and interesting career paths of just a few of our SCA alumni.

Professor Annamarie Jagose
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences