Welcome to this December issue of dKin Difference, the last for 2018.
Next year will be an important year for Deakin as its welcomes its next Vice-Chancellor in July 2019. Council appointed Professor Iain Martin after an extensive international search and he will be Deakin University’s seventh Vice-Chancellor. Our Chancellor believes Professor Martin will be an excellent fit for Deakin; he shares Deakin’s view that students are a university’s true north and he believes in Deakin’s overall strategy and values.
One of the privileges of being Vice-Chancellor at Deakin is the opportunity it gives me to witness the coming together of like-minded, generous people who also believe in our vision of access for all and research innovation that will change lives.
I thank you, our valued donors, supporters, partners and staff, for opening your world to include Deakin in your story. I am so very proud to be part of an inspiring Deakin community that values fairness and equal access to opportunities, dedication in the face of adversity, innovative thinking, and the ability to bring others along in pursuit of a remarkable tomorrow.
As we approach the end of the year, I wish all our Deakin community an enjoyable festive season and a safe and relaxing summer.
Jane Professor Jane den Hollander AO Vice-Chancellor
This generous scholarship program comes on top of the Bank’s existing generous commitment to providing scholarship support for 20 students for the duration of their undergraduate degree.
The new scholarships are only possible thanks to the overwhelming support of Deakin staff, students and alumni who have elected to do their banking through the Deakin University Community Bank®, which is committed to turning profits into philanthropy.
Deakin University Community Bank® University Relationship Manager Ashley Wijey, who is based at the Burwood Customer Hub, said he is delighted to see the Australian-first partnership between the bank and the university continue to blossom.
“Bendigo Bank and the university share a strong commitment to supporting Australians from rural and regional areas,” Ashley said.
“That’s why we’ve chosen to focus on assisting students who have to relocate in order to pursue their dream of a university education.
“It’s important to us that we help students from orientation day right up to graduation day, so the scholarships provide $5,000 cash payments each year for up to four years.”
For many students, scholarships are the key to making a university education accessible.
984 scholarships were available to Deakin students (422 funded by the university, 451 by government, and 111 by donors)
5,363 students applied for a scholarship which means that 82 per cent of those who needed support missed out
65 per cent of students applying for a Deakin-funded scholarship indicated that they were experiencing financial hardship
This shortfall has a direct impact on the number of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds and regional and rural areas who choose to attend Deakin.
For more information about how you can support Deakin students through Access and Equity Scholarships, please visit the Giving page on the Deakin website.
About Deakin University Community Bank®
The launch of Deakin University Community Bank® in August 2016 was the culmination of an extraordinary – and Australian-first – partnership between Bendigo Bank and the university. The partnership enables staff, students and alumni to support a range of Deakin projects by simply choosing to do their everyday banking through the Deakin University Community Bank®.
In just two years, Deakin University Community Bank® has grown substantially with over 1,000 customers comprising staff, students and alumni. In addition to the scholarship program, this year the initiative is expecting to make available another $100,000 for funding. Groups that have already benefited include Deakin TV, Deakin Debating Society, Deakin Cheerleading Squad, and the Deakin Engineering Society (pictured above).
The spirit of Geelong’s manufacturing history lives on at Deakin’s Geelong campuses thanks to a very special gift of artwork from Ford Australia and the Geelong Sculptors Inc.
In 2016, as Ford Australia was rolling out its Closing Plan, members of the Geelong Sculptors Inc. group rescued a range of old wooden pattern and core boxes from the iron foundry at North Shore.
These boxes carried a lot of history and nostalgic value, having been a vital part of Ford’s manufacturing process for decades.
Pattern making was the trade in which a foundry core box would be produced. The foundry core boxes would then be used to make a casting of the core – the negative moulds that replicate the interior void of the finished component.
The rescued pattern and core boxes were used to create three assemblage sculptures that present the viewer with a mass collection of interesting and colourful old objects that also mark the passage of time.
The first sculpture was designed and assembled by the Ford Australia Iron Casting Patternshop team and titled Blue Oval 2016. This sculpture was created in the foundry pattern shop three months before closure by Darren Matthews, Geoff Dutton, John Holak and Russell Bone. It comprises more than 70 pattern boxes and is shaped like the iconic oval shape of the Ford logo and was donated by the Ford Motor Company to the University in 2016.
The second sculpture was a collaborative work by the Geelong Sculptors Inc members titled TheCore Values 2018. This sculpture comprises only core boxes that the sculptors washed down, cleaned by hand, and then lightly sanded to retain as much original surface colour as possible. The core boxes were then hand-varnished with a water-based sealer, re-assembled, and attached to a hardwood frame that connects one box to the other. The Core Values 2018 was donated to Deakin by the Geelong Sculptors Association and the Ford Motor Company in 2018.
The third sculpture, Time on our Hands2018, was created by Darren Matthews, a sculptor and Ford employee who says that it “reflects the final time on our hands these patterns and core boxes would see.” It was donated to Deakin by the artist Darren Matthews and the Ford Motor Company in 2018.
Leanne Willis, Senior Manager, Art Collection and Galleries at Deakin University, explained that it was important to both the Geelong Sculptors Inc. and Ford Australia that the works be proudly displayed in Geelong.
“Geelong’s proud ‘maker’ identity continues – despite the closure of the Ford and Alcoa plants – thanks to a flourishing creative community and groups like the Geelong Sculptors Inc.,” Leanne said.
“We all felt strongly that these artworks deserved to find a home at Deakin where the people of Geelong could admire them as an important part of the fabric of the city.
“Fittingly, Blue Oval and Time on our Hands are on permanent display in CADET and ManuFutures, two of Deakin’s landmark engineering facilities at the Waurn Ponds campus.
“Core Values is on permanent display in the John Hay Building at the Waterfront campus, where it looks perfect against the building’s beautiful old timbers and brickwork from a bygone era.”
According to Leanne, there are many advantages to gifting artwork to a collection like the Deakin University Art Collection.
“If you give to somewhere like a large state institution, it’s likely your gift will probably just go into storage alongside thousands of other artworks,” Leanne said.
“You’ll probably never see it on display in your lifetime.
“If you give to the Deakin University Art Collection, on the other hand, the artwork gains a second life – just like these one-of-a-kind pieces of Geelong’s history created by the Geelong Sculptors Inc. have.”
A childhood scarred by civil war in Sri Lanka hasn’t stopped Sri Lankan refugee Kavery Jeyakumar from working hard towards her dream of becoming a doctor.
When she was just nine years old, Kavery was forced to abandon her fifth-grade studies after schools stopped operating in her local area due to the constant threat of bombs and bullets.
This was daily life for Kavery, who was born in Sri Lanka and watched helplessly as a brutal civil war between 1983 and 2009 tore her homeland apart.
During the last days of war in 2009, Kavery and her family moved more than 12 times with her education on indefinite hold as the family fled from one place to another in search of refuge.
It was during one of these moves that Kavery and her mother were injured during an air attack. Around the same time, her father was arrested and listed by the Sri Lankan Government as ‘missing’.
The family first fled to Malaysia, then on to Indonesia, then by boat to Christmas Island, and finally to the Australian mainland. This journey included two years’ hard imprisonment in Sri Lanka, eight months’ imprisonment with merciless treatment in Malaysia, and six months’ detention on Christmas Island.
Despite the tremendous hardships she has faced in her short life, Kavery is determined to reach her full potential and completed three years of schooling in Australia, achieving great results during her VCE.
Today, Kavery is one of nine recipients of a Deakin Sanctuary Scholarship and studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science with the aim of becoming a doctor.
She is also an active and passionate community volunteer who develops and delivers youth workshops as a teacher at Eelam Tamil Association School in Glen Waverley, providing a path to education for fellow Tamil students seeking to follow in her footsteps.
“It was very hard for me to be comfortable with the education system here in Australia after not going to school for almost five years,” Kavery said.
“I still hoped and hoped that there will be someone that will help me and the help came in the form of the Sanctuary Scholarship.
“The scholarship is not only helping me study, but it has reduced so much pressure and sadness in each and every member of my family.
“I’m always thankful to the people who thought of people like me in need.”
Deakin GIVE is the university’s workplace giving program. It provides a wonderful opportunity for Deakin staff to donate to a range of charitable causes directly from their pre-tax pay.
Many Deakin staff are showing their support for refugees and asylum seekers by choosing to donate to Sanctuary Scholarships through Deakin GIVE.
Together, we are transforming the lives of vulnerable members of our communities like Kavery and Javid, another of Deakin’s nine Sanctuary Scholarship holders who was profiled in the second edition of dKin Difference.
The future of Deakin’s Food & Mood Centre looks brighter than ever thanks to the support of generous donors like the Wilson Foundation and the Fernwood Foundation.
In just two years, the Centre has established an enviable reputation as pioneers and centre of excellence in Nutritional Psychiatry research, the study of how what we eat influences our brain and mental health.
And not before time, too, with recent Deakin research revealing that almost 20 per cent of all Australians were affected by mental ill health at an economic cost of $12.8 billion.
The Centre’s Director, Professor Felice Jacka, credits the generous support of two major philanthropic partners – the Fernwood Foundation and the Wilson Foundation – as a crucial part of the team’s success since the Centre’s doors opened in 2016.
“The Fernwood Foundation came on board in early 2017, providing $500,000 to fund a new research fellowship and further research into the biological underpinnings that link diet and mental and brain health,” Professor Jacka said.
“Such research is vital if we want to understand the links between nutrition and mental health and target our interventions more effectively.
“These links have been a focus of research by our inaugural Fernwood Fitness Research Fellow, Dr Tetyana Rocks, who joined the team in 2017.
“Dr Rocks is now focused on developing educational material for current and future medical practitioners, which will facilitate a broader understanding of the link between diet and mental health and, perhaps most importantly, provide the necessary skills to help individuals and communities.”
In June 2018, the Centre received a remarkable $1 million gift – the Centre’s largest to date! – from the Wilson Foundation to support research linking the human gut microbiome to mental and brain health.
This remarkable gift also extends the Wilson Foundation’s existing partnership with the Centre for an additional five years.
“The generosity of the Wilson Foundation had already provided funding for a research fellow and research into the microbiome and mental health,” Professor Jacka said.
“The additional $1 million investment will significantly expand our research, providing insights that will result in new prevention and treatment strategies for disorders that impose the greatest burden of illness across the globe.
“It will mean that we have a secure salary for our post-doctoral researchers, who are critical to the program.
“It also ensures that we can now pay to have the valuable data we have collected analysed, which means we can start to understand how our resident microbiota influence our mental and brain health.”
With generous donors like these on board, Professor Jacka has grand plans for expanding the internationally renowned Centre, with hopes of securing funding in the next five years for a stand-alone Food & Mood Centre in central Geelong.
The planned centre of excellence for Nutritional Psychiatry research would include clinical spaces for patient consultations, training areas for clinicians, state-of-the-art laboratories and office space, and commercial kitchens to hold cooking workshops for individuals, schools and businesses.
“That’s what we’re hoping for,” Professor Jacka said.
“We are so incredibly grateful for the support of generous donors like the Fernwood and Wilson Foundations. We now need donations from the public to achieve that dream but that’s the aim over the next five years.”
A simple but impactful act of kindness from a Deakin graduate and scholarship recipient is set to change the lives of Deakin students.
When Arts/Commerce student Brad Underhill was awarded the Bowater Trust Medal in 2017, his first reaction was a slight feeling of embarrassment.
Awarded annually to a high achieving and community-minded student in Deakin Business School, the Medal includes a $5,000 prize generously funded by the Bowater Trust.
“To be honest, I felt a bit uncomfortable about taking money away from someone else,” Brad recalled.
“Not that I’m loaded or anything, but as a mature age student, I imagine I’m in a more fortunate position than those just starting out so I couldn’t help but think there must be a way I can help someone who’s really struggling.”
As someone who has dedicated much time and energy to supporting disadvantaged kids as a volunteer mentor and Board member, Brad set about finding a way to ‘pay it forward’ and make it right.
“I’ve also got a daughter that works in case management for protective services, so she’s dealing with kids who come from difficult circumstances and I thought ‘well, maybe I can set up something, do something with that award’,” Brad explained.
“One thing lead to another and I met with a couple of different groups within Deakin and that’s how we came up with this idea that if I were to put the money back in, then the Business School itself would match it and then the Bowater Trust would match it again.
“So rather than giving $5,000, we’d be able to give $15,000 a year.
“That’s an extra $100 a week and that makes a huge difference for an undergraduate student who’s finding it hard to make ends meet.”
Did you know:
One in five university students earn less than $10,000 per year
One in five full-time low-SES students report they regularly go without food or other necessities because they can’t afford them
A quarter of employed students work more than 20 hours a week to make ends meet
One in three students fail to complete the course they began within six years of enrolling
The Underhill Bowater Paying It Forward scholarship now provides financial support, confidence and encouragement to one commencing student for three years of study.
The inaugural recipient, Carina Mammone, is working toward a double degree in Public Health/Health Promotion and Commerce and hoping to work for an organisation that deals with health policy.
“Carina’s drive and passion really stood out,” Brad said.
“She comes from Mildura and she’s studying Health so she can give back to the community. She lives on campus and she’s quite passionate about life at Deakin.
“Carina is obviously really switched-on and a dedicated student and with her studying health, it’s nice to know we’re able to help someone who’s going to help people in the community later. It’s paying it forward again, in a way.
“I imagine that’s how she’ll think and it’s nice to think that she’ll hopefully go on and do the same thing for someone else down the track.”
It means a great deal to Carina to be the first recipient of the Underhill Bowater Paying it Forward Scholarship.
“I truly can’t thank Brad and the other contributors enough for offering so much,” Carina said.
“I’ve always been a hard-worker, at some points working multiple jobs whilst studying. I understand the importance of financial stability, and try to reduce the load I place on my parents for financial support. This scholarship allows me to do that, and so much more!
“Between paying for rent and all the other essentials, I rarely had money left from each week to spend on extra development opportunities but the scholarship has changed all that.
“My university experience is going to be so much more meaningful, and I really couldn’t be more grateful for Brad’s contribution. His sacrifice isn’t something I am going to take lightly.
“With this scholarship, I have nothing holding me back from reaching my goals. I am honestly super excited for what’s to come!”