Message from Professor Michael Ward

Over the last three years, the leadership team of the department has worked with tremendous dedication to continue the department's great trajectory, which was our legacy from Russell Smyth's time as Head.  As my initial term as Head is concluding, it is a fitting time to express appreciation to all those in executive roles who have been working so hard.

Of course, some of the business is visible to all, but that is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. A huge effort behind the scenes is required, and we owe a collective debt of gratitude to those making it happen, and especially so during a time of great challenge with the transformation in professional staff structure.

Gennadi Kazakevitch has steered our education portfolio as Education Director and Deputy Head for more than ten years now with an operating principle of common sense, though his has been notable for being uncommonly good.

Jeff LaFrance has served two terms of hard labour as HDR Director, and he has crushed enough tough rocks by now to lay a solid and lasting foundation for our PhD program.

Phil Grossman has managed the Research Directorship with efficiency, skill and diplomacy - attributes that will serve him well in his new role as Deputy Head.

Jakob Madsen has been a great role model as Caulfield campus director, and I wish him the very best for his transition next year to UWA.

Nick Feltovich is the once and future Clayton campus director, and suffice it to say that I feel very grateful that he has agreed to continue in that role.

Simon Angus has been in a new executive role for learning and teaching for only a few months, and already the value of adding him to the leadership team has been very high.

Niki Calastas departed nearly a year ago, but her many contributions and dedicated service are unforgettable. Niki provided the administrative foundation on which everything else rested, and she was a rock of sound advice, efficiency, and dedication. That's a tough act to follow, but Sue Ball has done it with aplomb for almost the past year, and to our great fortune.

Of course, these are just the formal leaders, and it is the efforts and dedication of everyone collectively that make this a great department. To each of you who has given it your best over the past few years, I thank you. And to the incoming leadership team, thank you in advance.