Wanted; blogger in the southern hemisphere….

Ashamed I am that I’ve neglected the blog for the last few weeks, travelling I’ve been. All points northern hemisphere, and all places that begin with ‘B’: Bristol (to help chair sessions at a future cities conference); Barcelona (to meet the new team and help bring to life the new RMIT Strategic Plan); and Bow in central London (where I was working for the UK government assessing university applications for premium funding on the basis of global standing in L&T excellence – crikey!). More recently I’ve also been to Brunswick, Bundoora and Bendigo. Why is it that all the best places on earth begin with ‘B’?

The last time I went away, I came back and we had a new Prime Minister. Nothing so seismic this time, but I did land just in time to enjoy the indigenous hip-hop dancers at the launch of the new University strategy. With first-stage jet lag it seemed pretty extraordinary. But for RMIT it was simply seismic, it sends a powerful message for our change of direction as we reassert our course in the coming years. I also returned in time to enjoy the university’s climb up the ERA tables. Well done to all my DSC colleagues who maintained, and indeed strengthened, our position on the greasy slope of world-quality research standings.

As a relatively new arrival in Melbourne I am still truly fazed by the odd conjunction of Christmas with steaming hot days and birdsong that awakens me at precisely 4:53am. (You notice such things with jet lag). 18 months after arriving in this very fine city, I still struggle to wish someone a hearty ‘Merry Christmas’ while wiping the sweat from out of my eyes. But you know what? I think I can get used to it.

As you can imagine I had a choice of lovely seasonal images to accompany this short narrative: there’s one somewhere of me with a glass in my hand surrounded by stuffed furry animals – but I conveniently misplaced that one. There’s another of me with a stuffed furry animal in my hand surrounded by glasses. I ditched that one too for fear of litigation. Instead here’s one taken by Zara from the fabulous Fashion and Textiles School. It’s not as seasonal but it has the unique advantage of making me look 6 foot 4 inches tall. Must be the jet lag.