University Of Melbourne Bill, Monash University Bill, La Trobe University Bill And Deakin University Bill

Posted on 14. Oct, 2009 in Speeches

It gives me great pleasure to support these four university bills. Victoria has a number of universities of world standing.

One of the finest is Monash University, which has eight campuses. Its first and the largest is located at Clayton, in my electorate. Not surprisingly, therefore, I would like to direct my contribution to the Monash University Bill.

The Monash University Bill, along with the other bills, provides a modern and more flexible framework for the operation of our universities.
The bill does this by sharing common objectives with other university bills in setting out the role of a university in Victoria, in accordance with community expectations; providing the university with greater flexibility in determining the size of its own governing council, allowing for the appointment of between 14 and 21 members, as against 21 currently; removing prescriptive detail from legislation about operational matters, such as the naming of units within a university and the composition and responsibilities of an academic board or its equivalent, leaving such matters for a university to determine itself; providing for a clear delineation between the roles and responsibilities of the council as the governing body of the university as against those of the vice-chancellor as the chief executive officer of the university; and providing for the creation of guidelines, subject to the minister’s and the Treasurer’s approval, setting out best practice arrangements in respect of risk management planning and oversight of a university’s commercial activities.

Monash University was established by a 1958 act of Parliament and opened its doors to 363 students in 1961. As Victoria’s second university Monash grew through the 1960s and into the 1970s — a time of student protests and the hiding of draft resisters — into the large and mature institution it is now.

Monash University now has over 55 000 students and 14 303 full and part-time staff. Over 25 000 of those students attend the Clayton campus. It has campuses at Berwick, Caulfield, Churchill in Gippsland, and Frankston. There are international campuses in Malaysia and South Africa and a centre in Italy.

Monash University has a breadth of programs with faculties in art and design, arts, business and economics, education, engineering, information technology, law, medicine, nursing and health sciences, pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences and science.

Monash has 17 813 international students coming from all over the world. Monash has a very special place in my heart because I mention with pride that on my election to Parliament I was appointed by Parliament to represent it on the university council. I was a member of the council for only one year because after that period there was no requirement for the university to have parliamentary representation on its council, so my service to the university was terminated accordingly.

The other aspect of Monash University which I mention with pride is the incorporation of the first and probably only Australian synchrotron. As members know, the Premier is regarded as the father of the Australian synchrotron in scientific circles. We should be proud to have the synchrotron located in Victoria and at the Monash campus. It enhances the stature of the university as a scientific research centre vis-a-vis the whole world. It goes without saying that Monash University is at the forefront in many areas.

It is a medical teaching institution and through its proximity to the Monash Medical Centre it is very well known for its pioneering research in many areas.

This bill will better enable Monash University to meet the challenges of the 21st century, especially in providing programs of excellence to students not just in Victoria and Australia but all over the world, to undertake world-renowned research and work closely with industry and its community. I commend the bill to the house.

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