The University of Newcastle, Australia

Three staff members elected to UON’s Council

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The results are in. Congratulations to Michael Robertson, Professor Pablo Moscato and Dr Roslyn Larkin who have all been re-elected to UON’s Council.

All three colleagues previously served on Council, Michael as a professional staff member and Pablo and Roslyn as academic staff members, and their new terms will begin on 1 September for two years.

Council is UON's governing board and membership includes one professional staff member and two academic staff members. Council’s role is to oversee the affairs of the University, set and review our strategic direction and ensure that the right structures, policies, processes and plans are in place to help us achieve our organisational goals.

Elected staff members have identical duties and responsibilities to all other Council members but bring their own unique understanding of the University landscape.

Seven academic and six professional staff members nominated to contest the election with relevant ballot papers distributed to all academic and professional staff eligible to vote in the election. Formal results are available via the elections page.

Michael RoberstonMichael Robertson

Why did you nominate to join the University Council?

As a 20+ year Alumnus of the University of Newcastle, I am proud to have been involved with the institution since my first days as a student fresh out of High School. As a passionate advocate for the transformational power of education in our communities, I am deeply committed to the strategic direction, aspirations, and positive future of our University. The ability to bring a highly engaged and informed perspective to University Council discussions provides an opportunity to actively contribute to the responsible governance and strategic management of this outstanding institution.

What do you look back on most fondly when it comes to your own education?

I am deeply grateful and indebted to the institution for providing me with the range of skills, knowledge, expertise and opportunities that have allowed me to better understand the world and my passion for music and education. My continuing university experience enables me to lead a fulfilling and meaningful career that provides an opportunity to positively ‘pay back’ and influence the lives and wellbeing of the many students, colleagues and communities that I continue to encounter every day.

Pablo MoscatoProfessor Pablo Moscato

Why did you nominate to join the University Council?

Because of my passion to establish the right balances for the university. I believe we are given a very clear mission by society to help us develop a better society by interdisciplinary building towards a common good. My voice, advocating for a research, teaching and community servicing balance, helps to bring important information “from the academic trenches” where the battle to win hearts and minds is occurring. We need to lift the spirits of our undergraduates, graduates, fellow academics and staff members towards the higher aims that our society, and our elders, put on us as a mission for the future.

What do you look back on most fondly when it comes to your own education?

Richard Feynman had an excellent way of expressing it with only six words, so I will repeat them here: “The pleasure of finding things out”.  It is also the title of a book he wrote and some videos on teaching.  In my case, I will add, “… while doing it as part of a team”. I like to work a part of a group with many different skills.

Roslyn LarkinDr Roslyn Larkin

Why did you nominate to join the University Council?

I was curious to understand how all of the moving parts of the university environment fitted together to produce the outcomes that affect us all so significantly. I quickly realised that the role of staff on Council was a privilege that requires commitment and active participation in order to bring forward a richer combination of factors that will ultimately influence decisions and outcomes.

What do you look back on most fondly when it comes to your own education?

Learning! There is nothing more rewarding than having curiosity soothed through understanding something new. Universities have provided me an amazing opportunity to constantly learn both as an individual and as a member of a learning community. I hope that disruptive change from external environments does not destroy this very precious piece of these institutions.

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