Hello Everyone

While you are used to hearing from the person directing SMI aka Nev, I thought I would share some great work happening in SMI from the viewpoint of the DDO's desk!

Many of you will know I have a background in agriculture, training as a scientist way back last century. This has instilled in me a passion for the changes science (in its many forms) can bring to the world and more specifically for me now in the minerals world. By changes I mean the real impact the work all our academics do to make a difference in the very complex arena of producing the ever increasing minerals desired and needed by our society. What is important for the members of the Operations team is that we also play a part in creating change, even if we aren’t ‘doing the science’.

The next few months will be very busy as we head towards the year end activities and completing all the initiatives planned in 2019. Many of you will be deeply involved in preparing your 2020 budgets and year end forecast. The UQ budget will be released on 13 September, and Neville and I will present the SMI budget to the Provost and new CFO on 1st November. Additionally, the SMI Senior Leadership Team will be working on strategic plans for 2020 aligned to UQ’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, and the final SMI Advisory Board meeting will be held on November 18.

In the coming weeks we will release a new video showcasing the amazing diversity of staff and students in SMI. This production follows a previous video by the Marketing and Communications team in 2018 when Dr Anthony Hodge visited SMI. We will also introduce a Diversity and Inclusion Webpage on our SMI website which will provide a range of information relating to D & I in our Institute, and UQ. The video is a further celebration of the fantastic results of the Voice Survey.

I would personally like to congratulate Andrea Shaw on winning the All Institutes 3MT Final. This is an outstanding achievement with some very tough competition from the other UQ Institutes HDR candidates. We should all be very proud of Andrea, and wish I her the very best in competing in the UQ final next week during UQ Research Week, showcasing some of the work in SMI.

Other exciting news is the Global Leadership Series event on 28 November to be hosted by Peter Greste and filmed by the ABC for broadcast. The GLS is entitled “Minerals, materials and a sustainable future” and will be a Q&A style event with an expert panel. I encourage everyone to attend as this will be an important engagement event with internal and external stakeholders. To quote Gill “this is advertising money can’t buy!”.

We are also recruiting for the role of SMI Health and Safety, Wellness and Facilities Manager, hopefully this will be completed in the next two months.

Finally I would like to wish Trish Murray a restful holiday in Europe and please come back!

(As always, I welcome feedback from you all about operations in SMI.)