International Women's Day

In the week of International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the women of the UNSW Canberra community.

2022 has already seen some incredible achievements from our staff and students. Here are just a few of the highlights.

A new Dean and Rector

Professor Emma Sparks on campus at UNSW Canberra

UNSW Canberra was thrilled to welcome Professor Emma Sparks as the Dean and Rector in January – the first woman to step into the role.

Professor Sparks joins us from the UK and brings 20 years’ experience of working across both the higher education and defence sectors. 

Professor Sparks said she was delighted to be joining UNSW Canberra given its global reputation for excellence.

“UNSW has provided education services for the Australian Defence Force in Canberra for more than 50 years. This is a nationally significant collaboration, and I am excited to have the opportunity to lead the team educating defence leaders of the future,” Professor Sparks said.

Making a mark in government

Professor Helen Dickinson was named one of Apolitical’s 100 Most Influential Academics in Government, joining a group of academics from across the globe who have influenced the policy making process.

Professor Dickinson’s work spans governance, policy implementation and stewardship of emerging technologies. However, she said she is particularly passionate about inspiring others to advocate for change.

“It’s a great honour to be named amongst a list of incredible academics and a number of whom I admire,” Professor Dickinson said.

“But academia is a team sport and what I’m most proud of is how UNSW Canberra’s Public Service Research Group has been recognised as being influential in policy spaces and the great work that all of the team do.”

Navigating ‘COVID-normal’

Sue Williamson at home

Associate Professor Sue Williamson continued sharing her valuable insights into what the future may hold for Australia’s office workers.

Her most
recent study into how the public service is adjusting to the ‘COVID-normal’ found that there’s still a discrepancy between the needs, preferences and perceptions of managers and employers. However, managers are becoming increasingly more supportive of flexible working arrangements.

“It will be important for managers and organisations to work out optimum hybrid working arrangements – the amount of time employees can work from home, how tasks are distributed and workloads managed with hybrid teams,” A/Prof Williamson said.

“Over two in five respondents also stated that if their agency did not allow them to work from home at all, they would consider changing agencies or leaving the public sector.”

New insights into Australian literature

Nicole Moore

A UNSW Canberra research project led by Professor Nicole Moore, with Dr Christina Spittel, aims to produce the first full history of one of the boldest ventures in Australian publishing.

‘Making New Readers: The Australasian Book Society and the Cold War’ is one of three UNSW Canberra-led projects to receive funding from the ARC’s Discovery Projects scheme for 2022.

The Australasian Book Society sought to develop new readers and writers in mid-century Cold War Australia. Using a rich web of archival sources, this project shows whether and how the Society met those ambitious aims.

New knowledge about the unique business model of a grassroots nationalist publisher will lead to deeper understanding of the development of Australian working-class writing and reading. This will afford new insights into Australian literary identity for a nation still committed to reading, an archive preserved for future generations and, for the determining global history of the Cold War, a revealing Australian case.

A Fulbright Scholar

Jane Millward outside the National Library of Australia.

UNSW Canberra 2021 first class honours student and engineering graduate Jane Millward has been named a 2022 Fulbright Scholar.

The scholarship will allow Jane to purse a PhD in electrical engineering, specialising in signal processing and stochastic control research, at a top university in the United States.

Jane said she was excited to begin the next chapter in her studies.

“It means I have the opportunity to really refine and extend my expertise in electrical engineering,” Jane said.

“It will give me the skills to develop my interest in signal processing further and hopefully come back to Australia and use that on challenges in the domestic, Australian industry.”

Jane credits UNSW Canberra’s supportive environment and hands-on opportunities with setting her up well for the next step in her studies.