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High Table with Vice-Chancellor and Deputy-Dean of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

Dr Jennifer McDonald with Professor Duncan Maskell and Dr Sarah Maskell, Professor Jane Gunn as well as students and guests in the Heritage Room

Head of College, Dr Jennifer McDonald welcomed the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, Professor Duncan Maskell and his wife Dr Sarah Maskell, the Deputy-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, Professor Jane Gunn as well as students, alumni and guests to High Table on Monday 27 May, 2019. 

Students joined the Vice-Chancellor at High Table and discussed diversity, inclusion, reconciliation, their courses, careers and more.

Professor Maskell encouraged students to recognise the importance of diversity in all facets of life and to make the most of every opportunity, such as being at College and University while also recognising that it was currently Reconciliation Week.

“A great university is first and foremost about students. Yes, we are about curating knowledge through great teaching, and interrogating knowledge which is the genesis of research. And we also have a responsibility to push our research out into world to make a difference.

But these things don’t matter unless we put students front and centre in everything we do.

As I said before, our University should have access to the best and brightest students from Australia and around the world.

I know this college was established as a women’s college at a time when there were far fewer women than men in the University’s student body.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Duncan Maskell addresses High Table in Syme Dining Hall

Imagine how much we missed in brain power, thinking and discovery because there weren’t as many women at university as men.

We need students from all sorts of backgrounds. And tonight I want to say a big thank you to people with us who have worked to make the University accessible to students from all sorts of backgrounds through generous scholarship programs.

I won’t name names, but this generosity is so important to opening the front door of the University to people who otherwise would not be able to study here. Without these scholarships, we would miss out on the brain power and contribution that these students bring.

Some of you might know that I was the first in my family to go to university. For me, a university education was transformative, and I am confident that it will also be for the students here tonight.

University remains one of the greatest opportunity for social mobility. I’m evidence for that as many of you are too. We should preserve and increase access to the university at all costs” said Professor Maskell.

For more information on College events and activities, please contact the Advancement Office at University College on +61 3 9349 9113 or community@unicol.unimelb.edu.au