Congratulations to everyone on another fantastic year.

First and foremost, we are fortunate to have wonderful new colleagues. In such a big department, with so much going on and multiple campuses, it's especially important to take the time to connect with new people. So far this year, we have Krisztina Orban (who is taking advantage of an NBER fellowship prior to joining us full-time), Xiaojian Zhao, Sascha Becker, and Tony Venables joining in continuing roles. Stefan Meyer and Matthew Olckers have joined as research fellows, working on projects with Paulo and Yves respectively. Welcome to all. Of course, there have also been some sad goodbyes, with special thanks to Elias Khalil and John List for contributions over many years with Monash. Philip Ushchev and Carina Cavalcanti have started great positions following their research fellowships here. Rather than put Andreas Leibbrandt in both the goodbye and hello columns, I'll just say it's great to have him here.

Another highlight is the great outcome in the ERA research assessment released early this year, where Monash achieved the top rating for all fields in our discipline, a feat only matched by UNSW and University of Melbourne within Economics, and only matched by Physics amongst other disciplines within Monash. It is also very nice to be able to point out, as we have in our job ads, that "Economics at Monash is placed among the top 50 groups in the world according to a range of widely recognised rankings and metrics (ARWU: 42, QS: 45, Tilburg: 24, RePEc: 49, USNews: 36)."

Our teaching has also been a highlight. According to the SETU teaching evaluation scores, we are now the best teaching department in the Business School, whether one looks at SETU, raw or adjusted, or converted into relative percentiles. We have done much work on curriculum development as well, and I hope that soon we can confidently claim we have the best-designed and integrated curriculum in the Business School as well.

Thanks to each of you who have worked so hard and contributed so much to this strong trajectory.

Professor Michael Ward