Hello Q4 (and Christmas is beckoning)!

Posted: 29/09/2022

It’s been a cold and wet winter for most people across Australia, but I guess it is winter. Unfortunately, it is still raining in many parts of Australia. Last month it snowed at Mt Lofty, just outside of Adelaide. That does not happen too often in SA!

It’s been an amazing year for DVE! This last quarter has continued with an increase in improvement projects, new universities and Higher Education providers as customers, and an additional six DVE team members joining us. We continue to grow from strength to strength. Jo and I are proud of this achievement after 15 years of DVE. The strength of DVE comes both from our marvellous team members, and also you, as our clients and colleagues. One of our DVE Values is #workasoneteam; we live this within DVE but it also carries over to our projects, working collegiately with you and your teams.

Universities Australia Conference

In my last update to you, I was excited about travelling to the Universities Australia (UA) Conference again. It was a great conference and wonderful to catch up with colleagues again, some of whom I hadn’t seen for more than two years. Sadly, the conference was a Covid spreader, and many attendees became ill, including me. I was quite sick for 2 weeks Unfortunately (or fortunately) I had this booked as rec leave so I had a free diary. It was a time where I realised how important family and friends are to me as they supported me during this period of ill health. Luckily, I’ve had no aftereffects, and after the 3rd week, I was back at work. I hope any of you who contracted Covid this year are recovering well.

At the UA conference, there were some interesting presentations and panels on topics such as research commercialisation, online safety for students, changing modes of delivery and challenges and opportunities for internationalisation to name a few. I attended along with my colleagues Ian Thomson and Amber Daniels and between us we were able to attend most sessions. I found the final keynote with The Hon Gareth Evans AC QC and The Hon George Brandis QC interesting in their ‘tussle’ to present their opinions on ‘Seismic Geopolitical Rearrangement’. Both men have a lifetime of achievements and experiences, and their deep knowledge and informative opinions provided an entertaining close to the conference.

Heads of Student Administration Wrap Up

Due to the risk of Covid and a number of other factors, I decided to attend the HoSA conference virtually this year. I was disappointed to miss attending in person as this is my favourite conference, talking all things student administration and services with many customers, colleagues, and friends. For someone online, I still felt very much part of the conference. The presentations were excellent and informative. I particularly appreciated the keynote presentations of Prof Barney Glover (Western Sydney University) and Prof Merlin Crossley (UNSW). The improvement work being undertaken at many universities is outstanding.

Some of the presentations included:

  • the Job Ready Panel who discussed their administration processes in light of the Job Ready Graduate (JRG) scheme. The challenges of this scheme were analysed in some detail.
  • Maddy McMaster (HoSA ANZ) and Edwina Grose (University of Sydney) spoke of their research, identifying ideal organisational structures in student administration and services across the sector.
  • Using robotics and AI to help with efficiencies and in identifying students in need (Bethany Just and Paul de Ruyter (University of Wollongong) was wonderfully innovative with robots clearly playing a role in the future of transactional processes.
  • Jacqui Wise (UTS) moderated the student panel, where four students from three universities (Newcastle, UTS and Wollongong) spoke about their experiences on the role of students in helping students feel a sense of belonging when studying at university. The students had some insightful feedback from which everyone could learn a great deal.

It was an excellent conference and very well organised. Well done HoSA ANZ committee and thank you !

Upcoming DVE events

Upcoming events which I will facilitate over the next quarter include:

A Governance and Compliance (G&C) webinar is also planned (October) and several of our G&C team will be attending the TEQSA conference in November so reach out to them if you see them there.

Finally, some wonderful news! Jo, our CEO (and my daughter), and her partner were expecting their first child, a baby boy, due in early October. As will happen with babies, they can arrive early. Little Thomas Alfred (Tommy) arrived quite quickly on 1st September. He is a healthy baby boy, a good weight, thriving and alert. He will be coming home soon. I am a Dutch Oma for the first time which is very exciting!!

DE JS and Tommy

That’s all for this ‘Coffee Corner’! Remember to connect with me on LinkedIn and if you want to have a chat, virtual coffee or an on-campus catch up just call me on 0412 417774 anytime.

Warm regards,