The new year will mark the beginning of an exciting new era at Charles Sturt University with the establishment of a new Agriculture, Water and Environment Institute, one of the most significant strategic investments into research in the history of the University.
The AWE Institute will see research from three existing research centres merged. Sadly this means the end of the Graham Centre as we know and love it.
However, it also marks the commitment of the University to a substantial investment that will translate and support research for agriculture, horticulture, grape and wine sciences, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
The Institute will employ more than 32 new research-only positions and invest in dedicated business development support to enhance the University’s ability to secure funding for research and collaboration across industry sectors.
The University’s research partnerships with NSW Department of Primary Industry (NSW DPI) will continue within the AWE Institute, as will all funded projects that are aligned to the new Institute priorities.
Some funded projects which are not well aligned to the AWE will continue to be supported at Charles Sturt through the relevant Faculty.
In celebrating the achievements of the Graham Centre in this final edition of ‘the Innovator’ I’d like to make special note of the administration staff, Tracey Bentley, Maree Crowley, Raylene Heath, Jenny Locker, Emily Malone and Monique Shephard who have provided outstanding and highly valued support to our members over the years which has allowed our researchers to get on with what they do best - research.
The administration team’s dedication to supporting a positive, respectful, and performance-based culture was recently recognised with a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence and I congratulate them for this recognition of achievement.
A well-deserved and fitting recognition for commitment and excellence to their role and especially over the past two years of disruption and change management.
Best wishes for the festive season and we look forward to more research to drive innovation in our agricultural sector through the AWE Institute in the new year.
Professor Leigh Schmidtke.