Games to remember and more to come

Griffith’s Commonwealth Games athletes have been making national and international headlines, and giving their loyal followers plenty to cheer about in the early hours of the morning.

The final medal tally for our students and alumni is 10 gold medals, five silver and seven bronze (if Griffith was competing as a nation, our gold medal tally would place us in 10th position). On behalf of the University, I congratulate all our Games competitors on their wonderful achievements. It was particularly satisfying to see Griffith Business graduate Michael Shelley take out the gold medal in the marathon – one of the Games’ premier events.  And while the focus of the nation is on sport, you may also wish to check out Griffith’s new sports web site at http://www.griffith.edu.au/sport which highlights our research, teaching and community engagement programs.

Gold Coast marathon success

Speaking of successful marathons, the Gold Coast Airport Marathon over the first weekend of July attracted a large attendance across the two days of the event. The University fielded a 700 strong team looking extremely fit and attractively attired in the traditional red Griffith running singlets. For the second year in a row we won awards for the Largest Corporate Team and Most Kilometres Travelled. I surprised myself by completing the 5.7 km run on the Saturday although I understand I was a long way off the race record. I’m not sure about the propriety of claiming a PB in my first ever race but at least it gives me a benchmark to work towards next year. Many thanks to the staff and student volunteers who gave generously of their time to assist the Griffith team over the course of the weekend (our physiotherapy students in particular provided exceptional care for our athletes). I am very grateful for your help in making this year’s event such an outstanding success.

Light rail opens

The second major event at the Coast in July was the launch of the new $1.1 billion light rail system on Sunday 20 July. I attended the official opening by the Transport Minister the Hon Scott Emerson at the Gold Coast University Hospital Station. The free travel day proved a tremendous success with over 100,000 commuters riding the 14 trams from Parkwood to Broadbeach. The light rail system is an incredible piece of infrastructure and will play an important role in delivering students to the doorstep of our Gold Coast campus. A social media campaign began last week to inform Semester 2 students about the new tram service.

Great staff achievements

There have been a number of significant staff achievements since my last post and I congratulate each of the following staff members on being recognised for their contributions:

Professor Kathleen Daly, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology (ASC), making her the second Australian and the only Australian woman to be honoured in this international group. The fellowship recognises Kathleen’s distinguished scholarship in gender, race, crime and restorative and innovative justice over a career spanning 30 years.

Professor David Weaver, Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management, received a lifetime achievement award in tourism research at the 4th International Conference on Tourism in Dalian, China.

Professor Fiona Paisley, Griffith Centre for Cultural Research, won the 2014 Magarey Medal for Biography for her book “The Lone Protestor: AM Fernando in Australia and Europe” (Aboriginal Studies Press, 2012).

Professor Darryl Low Choy, Discipline Head of Urban and Environmental Planning in the School of Environment, was honoured by the internationally renowned Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) with a Visiting Professorship for Senior International Scientists.

Dr Michael Hall, a research fellow in the Centre for Quantum Dynamics (CQD), was one of 143 physicists named by the American Physical Society this year as an Outstanding Referee, out of a pool of about 60,000 currently active referees worldwide. He joins CQD members Professor Howard Wiseman and Professor David Pegg, who were similarly recognised in 2009 and 2008 respectively. Griffith University is the only Australian institution to have three awardees.

Dr Tammy Muckert, Griffith’s Careers Outreach Coordinator in Student Services, was awarded the Career Development Association of Australia’s 2014 Practitioner of the Year. Tammy’s work has involved establishing relationships with a wide range of students, teachers, community practitioners and Queensland Department of Education staff to bring about transformational change and inspire young people to set and achieve meaningful career goals.

Griffith In Asia website

I am also pleased to announce that the new ‘Griffith in Asia’ website was launched recently. Building on the University’s long and distinguished reputation for its commitment to Asia studies, the website showcases the depth of our expertise and engagement in the region. Highlights include Asia related research, student mobility, news, events, visits and key activities across the University. Included in the new web site is an Asia Research ‘lens’ for the Research Hub. This is the first glimpse of a much larger Research Hub redevelopment project. You can access the site at www.griffith.edu.au/asia. To get information featured on the site, please contact gai@griffith.edu.au.