It is very satisfying to hear that Griffith University is once again listed in the 301-400 band on the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) – the Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings.

We remain one of only two universities in South East Queensland listed on this prestigious ranking, complementing our top 400 position on both the CWTS Leiden rankings and the QS World University Rankings.

The University was also ranked in the Social Sciences Top 200 for the third year running — one of eight Australian universities listed. A further cause for celebration was our appearance for the first time in the Top 200 for Business and Economics. Congratulations to all our researchers for their contributions to this latest international rankings success.

This followed amilestone celebrationon our Gold Coast campus with the official opening of the new $38 million Griffith Business Building on August 5.

The opening also recognised the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Griffith Business School and provided a perfect opportunity to acknowledge the development of the GBS as a national leader in business education and as the number one business school on the Coast.

John O’Sullivan, Managing Director Tourism Australia, officiated at the building opening and commented on the enormous changes at Griffith since he graduated from the University with a Bachelor of Leisure Management in 1992. The new home for GBS is a striking building and its unique design reveals spaces which are open, inviting, transparent and engaging. Interactive lectures theatres and flexible seminar spaces will ensure that our 4500 business students studying on the Gold Coast campus have access to a range of attractive and technology-rich learning environments. A must see is the simulated trading room on level two which includes 12 Bloomberg terminals allowing our students to use live stock market data from the ASX. For more on this wonderful new building and the official opening, see here.

In June, it was my great pleasure to announce a new initiative for our women leaders at Griffith – “The Leneen Forde Future Leaders Program”. The program will support the development of women who are succeeding in leadership roles and who we hope will seek to further their leadership contributions in the future. To launch the new program, the Chancellor and I were privileged to host the inaugural Future Leaders lunch at our Gold Coast campus on 25 August. The lunch brought together eight academic staff and two professional staff who over the next two years will be working with senior leaders on a personal development plan to enhance leadership skills. A similar lunch has been planned for the Nathan campus later this month. I wish all of our participants in the program a rewarding and enriching experience.

From 17-22 August, Brisbane was host to the world’s premier horticulture event – the 29th International Horticulture Congress (IHC). This is only the second IHC to be held in the southern hemisphere. I extend a special congratulations to Griffith’s Professor Rod Drew (School of Natural Sciences) who played a major role in planning this year’s IHC as Australia’s Co-President of the Executive Committee. Rod has also been elected President of the International Society for Horticultural Science, the first time an Australian has filled this position. The IHC program included 43 symposia covering a wide range of topics on all aspects of horticulture, arboriculture and medicinal and aromatic plants. A diverse range of plenary sessions provided delegates with the opportunity of hearing from some leading experts in their fields from around the world. For over 3000 delegates from more than 100 countries the Congress was a resounding success and an ideal way to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the International Society for Horticultural Science.

Over the last week I have been delighted to host reunions for Griffith alumni living and working in Canberra (26 August) and in Melbourne (28 August). The evenings of networking and socialising attracted a dynamic group of alumni who appreciated the chance to catch up with the latest developments at their alma mater. A particular highlight of the Canberra event (our first ever alumni function to be held in the Australian capital city) was the presence of special guest speaker, and Griffith PhD graduate, Senator Brett Mason.