Meanwhile, we are co-investing with our industry and government partners in the growth of world-class research and training facilities at the Tonsley Innovation District, including a new $50 million development that will co-locate Flinders’ expanded Factory of the Future with the South Australian Government’s Tonsley Technical College.
Addressing the social, political and legal ramifications of digital expansion is another frontier being explored at Flinders. Our researchers at The Jeff Bleich Centre are examining misuse of digital technologies and cybersecurity, our College of Science and Engineering is exploring AI influence on automated vehicles and defence technologies, and the development of software and hardware through the Flinders Digital Health Research Centre are all pointing to brave new technological advances.
Embracing the digital future extends to digital arts, with Flinders standing as a leader through our diverse partnerships. Our Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Effects and Entertainment Design) delivered with CDW Studios continues to win international awards for students learning digital illustration, game design and graphics. Flinders’ digital video production facility, The Void, is building professional collaborations with the film, gaming and video industries, and innovative research collaborations through Flinders’ Assemblage Centre for Creative Arts is forming a new nexus to combine art, science, and technology.
These innovations build on targets laid out within Flinders University’s strategic plan Making a Difference – The 2025 Agenda. It continues to provide a valuable road map to strengthening our research and education and creating opportunities to make a wider impact.
This is especially important in the wake of COVID-19, and the welcome return of international students - supported by the new Flinders University Academy which is creating new pathways for international students to study with us.
Our responsibility as a leading institution extends beyond protecting and caring for our community. We must also take responsible steps to embrace sustainability, improve our natural environment, and serve as a shining example for society. Ambitious renewable energy goals are being met, with our campuses across South Australia powered with 100% green renewable energy, achieving net-zero emissions from electricity. Our vehicle fleet is being converted to electric vehicles, and vehicle-to-grid chargers are exporting spare battery capacity generated by these vehicles to the main power grid.
The enduring strength of our services are underlined by significant milestones. In December, Flinders celebrated 30 years of Law, bringing together former Flinders Law students with staff members to acknowledge the many successes of our law program and graduates. We also celebrated 25 years of health professional education and research activity in the Northern Territory, which began with the Northern Territory Clinical School providing local medical students with experiences aimed at graduating a workforce fit for practice in the context of remote and Indigenous communities.
These are important stepping stones that chart our progress and reinforce Flinders University’s position as a strong and redoubtable institution, fearlessly prepared for the future with purpose and conviction.
I express my appreciation to our staff for their steadfast commitment to our mission, and their professionalism, hard work, and dedication to serving our students and the wider community. I’m honoured to work with such exceptional individuals.
I thank our longest serving Chancellor, Stephen Gerlach AM, for his remarkable contribution to Flinders University – his foresight, courage and conviction has steered us through turbulent times to emerge stronger than ever.