During March, the Institute for Glycomics had a double cause for celebration with Professor Mark von Itzstein and Professor Michael Good being elected as Fellows of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

Fellows of the Academy are recognised for their outstanding leadership in the science of health and medicine, and for demonstrating significant and continuing involvement with issues of health care, prevention of disease, education, research, health services policy and delivery. Congratulations to both Mark and Michael on this thoroughly deserved distinction.

Nursing Hall of Fame

Congratulations also go out to Professor Wendy Chaboyer, Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Nursing (NCREN), who will be inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honour Society of Nursing.

The award recognises nurse researchers who have achieved significant and sustained national or international recognition and whose research has improved the profession and the people it serves. Wendy’s research focuses on patient participation in patient safety activities such as clinical handover and pressure injury prevention. This work aims to promote active patient engagement in their hospital care.

Coastal management awards

On the back of winning the 2014 B/HERT Ashley Goldsworthy Award for Sustained Collaboration between Business and Higher Education, the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management (GCCM) has won two major categories and has been acknowledged in a third at the prestigious 2015 Australian Coastal Awards.

Announced in Melbourne on 12 March, the GCCM won the Research category, for its overall research program, and the Community Engagement category. Meanwhile, the Centre’s QSurge project – funded by the Queensland Government and involving real-time storm tide risk assessment – received Special Mention in the Planning and Management category. The Australian Coastal Awards are conducted by the National Sea Change Taskforcewhich supports and advances the interests of coastal councils and their constituencies. Well done to Professor Rodger Tomlinson and his team at the GCCM.

Harmony Week

The University celebrated another successful Harmony Week across all its campuses from 16-21 March. During the week, staff and students enjoyed cultural performances, art displays, morning teas and other talks and presentations that resonated with Griffith’s commitment to celebrating the diversity of its communities. Highlights included a Citizenship Ceremony hosted by the Centre for Interfaith and Cultural Dialogue; a presentation by rugby league legend, Mr Wayne Bennett AM at the Logan campus; a saxophone orchestra performance featuring world music at the Queensland Conservatorium; the Universal Feast event hosted by Griffith Mates at Gold Coast and Nathan campuses; and the Library’s Great Wall of Harmony display. I would like to extend a warm thanks to the many elements across the University whose careful planning and hard work contributed to a very memorable week of activities. In particular, a special thanks to the team at Students Services who played such an important role in overseeing this year’s Harmony Week.

Sciences reunion

It was my great pleasure to join the DVC (Engagement) and PVC (Sciences) at the 40th reunion of the first cohort of undergraduate science students at a special event on 14 March 2015. Many of those who attended had vivid memories of the 3rd March 1975 when 87 ‘new’ science students gathered at 8.30am in the Science 1 building, Nathan campus, to hear David Pegg deliver the University’s first ever lecture.

Our first cohort of science students proved to be outstanding – 18 students achieved PhD qualifications, three became medical doctors (two as specialists) and incredibly, 24 students graduated with first class honours (which required special exemption to allow so many students to be awarded this level of honours). It was fantastic to catch up with 32 of the original science students at the 40th reunion and to share their life experiences. It was inspiring to hear about their various achievements in industry, medicine, academia, research and government since graduating from Griffith all those years ago.

Our choir at Carnegie Hall

On Sunday 29 March, Griffith Health Group’s A’Capella Choir, Serotonin, was one of two choirs from Australia to perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall as part of the prestigious “Distinguished Concerts International New York Concert”. For the Choir of 25 Griffith students, under the direction of Choir Master Mr Jonathan Albertini, it was the experience of a lifetime. The Choir’s incredible trip would not have been possible without the generous support of the University’s donor community and on behalf of the Choir and the University, I sincerely thank all our donors who kindly contributed.

Join the Gold Coast Marathon

Griffith’s team of students, staff, alumni, family and friends are already in preparation for the Gold Coast Marathon on 4 and 5 July. For the third year running we are attempting to win the ‘Largest Corporate Team’ and ‘Most Kilometres Travelled’ awards. As advised in a recent email, each staff member will receive a complimentary Griffith running shirt as well as free registration, but you must register via the Griffith University Gold Coast Marathon website prior to 30 April. I hope you will be able to join us for a very enjoyable day of exercise and social activities.