UCA Executive Committee at the Strategy Planning Day

UCA Strategy Plan 2017
-  Educate
-  Communicate
-  Expand
-  Research

Vale Dr James Rigney & Helen Fletcher

National Issues
-  Alcohol Harm Minimisation
-  Charitable Status for Colleges
-  Respect. Now. Always Campaign

New Heads
-  Mr Richard Niessl
-  Ms Joanna Rosewell
-  Mr Mark Sampson

New Deans
-  Mr Arend Boog
-  Ms Susan Bazzana

UCA Grants
-  Conference
-  Research
-  Future Leaders

Save the Date
-  UCA Forum, 28-29 September
Dear everyone
I can’t believe how quickly the year progresses once O Week is behind us.  I hope that you have all had a successful start to the year and from O Week I hope that you and your students have settled into the new College and University year and have time to catch your breath!  I hope to get a newsletter out at least every second month
On 25th January, UCA executive members had a very productive strategic planning session hosted by Dr Marie Leech at Sancta Sophia College.  This followed on the back of some terrific phone calls and emails I had from a range of members in all states who provided their feedback about UCA and some ideas for the future.   I am keen to keep the dialogue open, so all members are welcome to call or email me at any time.
Four key themes emerged from the planning session being: Educate, Research, Communicate and Expand.  These will be refined over the next few executive meetings to be shared with all members, however, in the interests of keeping you all up to date and also being brief, broadly speaking, this will include:

  • Providing access for all members to templates for simple policies and procedures and initiating best practice papers about key issues affecting our sector.  In addition, a mentoring program for new  heads has been developed and I look forward to providing you with more information and an invitation to join our program by the end of this week.
  • Dave Segal, our newest Executive member has a flair for all things IT and together with our executive officer has commenced work on our online presence through various platforms including LinkedIn and Facebook.   This might also provide members with the opportunity to share ideas and begin conversations about issues in our sector.
  • We are looking at reviewing our membership package to continue to ensure value for members. 
  • We continue to collaborate with AACUHO in areas of mutual interest and their upcoming conference represents a great opportunity to visit Tasmania and hear some terrific guest speakers.  We have established a positive connection with the New Zealand Tertiary Education Accommodation Providers and look forward to implementing an MOU later this year.  Our relationship with the Collegiate Way can only serve to strengthen our aims and purposes as Heads of Colleges and Halls in Australia. 
  • This will involve UCA continuing to fund research initiatives, in particular continued support for the National Alcohol Harm Minimisation Strategy, that provide practical outcomes for Colleges in addition to measuring programs on a national basis.

Vale Dr James Rigney and Helen Fletcher
I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of our colleagues Dr James Rigney (St John’s College, UQ) and Helen Fletcher (Flinders Living, Flinders University) who both sadly passed away in January and February respectively.  

James had a long and strong association with Colleges both in Australia and in Britain.  He was an undergraduate resident of St Andrew’s College (Sydney), was a tutor at Women’s College (Sydney), trained for ordination at Westcott House Cambridge and later became the Chaplain at Magdalene College Cambridge before returning to Australia to take up the position of Dean of Newcastle before returning to College life.  James’ sharp intellect, his calmness and approachability together with his sense of humour will be missed by all his students.
Helen also had a long and deep association with Colleges in Australia.  A graduate in the dramatic arts, Helen worked in Colleges in Queensland and New South Wales before taking up the position of Dean of Flinders University Hall where she oversaw the expansion of the Hall of 200 students to the Deidre Jordan Village which became the Flinders Living project which now accommodates 560 students.  Helen’s passion was young people.  She was a strong advocate of her students and the value of the residential collegiate experience for rural, regional and international students alike.  Former students of Helen credit much of their current success to Helen’s mentorship and positive impact she had on their lives.
National Issues
National Steering Committee for Alcohol Harm Minimisation
UCA will continue to support this committee and I am delighted that Professor Tim Corney has agreed to chair the committee.  Other members of the committee include Jamiyl Mosely (B&G ANU), Keith Conley (University of Wollongong), James Aitkinson (Flinders Living) and Marianne Pidcock (Sancta Sophia).   

We are really hoping to pilot a project that has some outcomes that translate practically for our members.  The AHM Committee will approach NSW, Vic and SA Health with a proposal to fund three separate pilot studies involving first year students, student leaders and college staff.  A ‘watch this space’ proposal and I hope to be able to report more detail to members in the next couple of months.
Charitable Status for Colleges
This, and other statutory and legal issues are matters that concern Colleges and Halls of Residence on a regular basis. UCA remains committed to providing support and advice to the best of its resources and capabilities to all Colleges.  There has been some further media attention recently on the ABC, and UCA has sought advice from Peter McDonald who will prepare some advice for all members and their Boards to consider.

Respect. Now. Always Campaign
There has been some initial discussion with UA regarding the development of a consent/healthy relationships curriculum for our sector(s).   Given that the release of the results of the survey is due in just over eight weeks, this may not come to fruition in the first half of the year.  There are a range of initiatives that some Colleges, Halls and Universities have undertaken in all states and territories. I look forward to members sharing their ideas through one of our various platforms and/or resources online.
New Heads
Congratulations and Welcome to new members:
- Mr Richard Niessl, Principal, Raymont Residential College, Brisbane. Richard was previously Deputy Master at King's College, UQ.
- Ms Joanna Rosewell, Principal of Jane Franklin Hall (University of Tasmania) following the retirement of Mark Harrison.
- Mr Mark Sampson, Principal of University Hall (UWA).

We also welcome two new Associate Members:
- Mr Arend Boog, Dean of Residents, New College, UNSW
- Ms Susan Bazzana, Dean of Residents, New College Village, UNSW
A reminder about the UCA Grants (Conference, Research and Future Leaders) that support the professional growth and development of our members which ultimately enhance the student experience.   For those College Heads and Deputies who were not able to make it to the conference last November, Tim’s report can be accessed online and he will present his paper at the AACUHO conference in Hobart this May.
Save the Date – UCA forum 28 – 29 September
UCA Forum will be held in Brisbane on 28th and 29th September and is open to all Heads and Deputies/Deans in all Colleges and Halls.  The executive has begun planning these two days which will ensure relevance for Heads, a good break before the end of the year and an opportunity to network with colleagues. Any ideas you have, please contact Deb, one of the Executive or me.
Until next time!
Warmest regards

Rose Alwyn
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