Interview with Ellen Sandell, State MP for Melbourne

Faculty of Arts alumna Ms Ellen Sandell made headlines earlier this month when she was elected as State MP for Melbourne, leading the Greens’ to their first ever lower house state seat. Since her time at the University of Melbourne, she has worked in the Department of Premier and Cabinet, served as CEO of a national climate change non-profit organisation, and has received numerous awards for her environmental activism, including the Faculty of Arts’ inaugural Rising Star Award in 2013. Following her election victory, we caught up with Ms Sandell to learn more about her journey to the lower house and her plans for the new role.

Ellen Sandell, State MP for Melbourne and Faculty of Arts Alumna

Ellen Sandell, State MP for Melbourne and Faculty of Arts Alumna

What do you consider the most important steps or milestones in your career trajectory so far?

A significant step in my career trajectory was realising that I wanted to work in policy rather than as a scientist. I knew that the science of climate change was clear, and in fact, the greatest challenge was communicating climate change and getting our governments to create policies that would help us take action. Becoming the CEO for the climate change not for profit Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) was also a significant learning curve and a big change from my previous work in the public service.

Which project or accomplishment are you most proud of?

Running a campaign that was successful in getting the University of Melbourne to agree to become carbon neutral was the first campaign ‘win’ I experienced, so that’s significant (although we aren’t there yet in terms of implementation!)

I’m proud of the campaigns we ran while I was CEO of the AYCC – especially the campaign to replace the dirty coal plants in Port August with Australia’s first solar thermal plant. In 2012 over 80 people walked 325km over two weeks from Port August to Adelaide to draw attention to this issue and it’s now moving ahead with a demonstration plant and state government support, although it’s not 100% there yet. I’m also very proud of the work we’ve done linking those who are affected by climate change in the Pacific and Nepal to Australia, raising their voices at the UN and supporting their practical projects on-the-ground, which the AYCC continues to do.

Do you have any special memories of your time at the University of Melbourne?

I had some wonderful lecturers – including people like David Karoly in climate science. I loved indulging my passions for science but also for language (I did a double degree in Science/Arts with majors in Genetics, Linguistics and Spanish). But the real learning I did was outside of the classroom – as Environment Officer in the Student Union, where I cut my teeth in campaigning. That’s ultimately what led me to work in climate policy in Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Tell us about your extracurricular activities and environmental/political activism at University. How did this encourage you on your path to running for the seat of Melbourne?

While I was at the University of Melbourne I was heavily involved in the student union as the UMSU Environment Officer. I was particularly involved in campaigning to protect our native forests in and around Healesville, which are home to the endangered Leadbeater’s Possum, as well as campaigning to get the University to become carbon netural. This activism demonstrated to me the impact of people power, but given we’re still fighting to protect these forests now, it also showed me that reform can take time. In my role as Melbourne’s State MP I’ll be continuing to work against the tax-payer subsidised logging of our native forests.

Tell us about the Greens policy platform about creating a fair society by reversing cuts to education.

The Greens have always stood, and will always stand, against cuts to education funding. The cuts to universities and deregulation at a Federal level means that students will face enormous debt and will make it harder for poorer students to get a university education. These changes will limit the opportunities of hundreds of thousands of Australians. I’m committed to working with our Federal representative Adam Bandt to oppose these cuts. Here in Victoria, TAFEs have faced cuts and deregulation from both Labor and Liberal. There’s also a $470 million maintenance backlog in schools and areas (including right here in inner Melbourne) that desperately need a new school built. With two MPs in the lower house and at least 3 MPs in the Upper House, I’m confident that the Greens can affect real change on these important issues.

What does being an alumna of the University of Melbourne (Faculty of Arts) mean to you?

I was incredibly lucky to go to the University of Melbourne and to receive a scholarship to do so. There are people everywhere that don’t have the opportunity to pursue tertiary education. It may sound a little clichéd, but being lucky enough to be an alumna of the University of Melbourne makes me want to work as hard as I can to ensure others get similar opportunities.

If we contact you a year from now, what do you hope to be able to say you have achieved?

I’ve already been doing a lot of work with African and refugee communities in Melbourne, and I’m proposing an amendment to the Government’s Back to Work Bill to give tax incentives to employers who hire refugees or people from refugee families. These communities are facing a lot of discrimination, and I want to do all I can to help them overcome it.

I also want to work with experts in renewable energy to develop a plan to get Victoria’s investment in renewable energy back on track. We’re one of the worst performing states and already it has cost the state thousands of jobs. I want to work with the Government to make progress on tackling climate change at a state level.

These are two of my priorities – but I also hope that in a year we will have made significant progress towards creating a 21st century public transport network for Victoria, rather than continuing to invest just in roads.

What do you hope is the next step in your career?

Right now I’m focussed 100% on what I can do in the next four years to best represent the people of Melbourne! I’m committed to being here for the long term and fighting for a clean economy and a fair society.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…  
It wasn’t given to me, exactly, but I love the quote from Winston Churchill: “It is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.”
I live by this – there are some big challenges our world is facing and we need to dream big and work hard to do what’s necessary to fix them, rather than being happy with the status quo or just going about our daily business.

Now that you have been out in the workforce for a few years, what advice would you give to our brand new graduates?

Don’t just work towards a career – work towards something that is going to make the world a better place. Our world faces big challenges and there is no one better to address them than you. In fact, we are the last generation who can solve some of these problems – with something like climate change if we don’t do something it will be too late. Ask yourself: If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

 

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Education opportunities abound at Melbourne School of Government

The Melbourne School of Government offers a range of programs for those working in and with government in Australia and internationally. From short courses and workshops, to full degree programs, there are a range of ways we can help you further develop your skills in 2015.

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We offer Executive Education programs to those already working in the field. First up on our February program is an Executive Workshop on Commissioning Public Services. Learn more or sign up here.

Our team of experts can also work with your organisation to create customised education, research or other programs. Visit our website, or give us a call to find out more. (Ph. +613 9035 4746).

If you’re already working in the private, NGO or public sector and are looking to advance your career, or perhaps even change the trajectory of your career, the Melbourne School of Government offers the Master of Public Administration (MPA), a program specifically designed for working professionals with more than 3 years professional experience. The MPA can be undertaken both full-time or part-time, meaning participants can have more control over their workload and hours, and all subjects are taught entirely in block mode during evenings and weekends, allowing a high degree of flexibility rarely offered by other programs. Learn more about how the Master of Public Administration can transform your career in 2015.

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Melbourne Masterclasses: 10 Great Books

December brings to a close the hugely popular Melbourne Masterclasses 10 Great Books for 2014. In its inaugural year, this much anticipated, sell-out series presented some of the most influential works in history, guided each month by leading academics and celebrated public intellectuals from the Arts Alumni community.

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This year, the series explored classic novels such as Chaucer’s ‘The Canterbury Tales’ and Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights’, and extended from ancient poetry to philosophical and political treatises, from antiquity to modernity, such as Sappho’s Fragments and Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan. With an equally distinguished list of presenters, the 2014 program for 10 Great Books provided challenging, thought-provoking and animated conversations on a monthly basis.

Following the runaway success of the inaugural series, the Faculty of Arts is excited to reveal the program for 10 Great Books 2015. From Shakespeare to Marx to James Joyce and Bill Gammage, discover a series designed to get you discussing, understanding and challenging the legacy of great books.

Tickets for the 2015 program of 10 Great Books will be available for purchase online from 10am on 12 January 2015.

Please be aware that tickets sold out quickly in 2014, so book your place early to avoid disappointment.

Series pass: $480 full price / $432 discount (inc GST).
Discounts apply to University of Melbourne Alumni, Students and Staff

Click here to learn more about the Melbourne Masterclasses program for 2015.

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The Future of Marketing Communications

How has digital impacted on contemporary marketing models? Is social media is really changing things, or are we just seeing the same problems on a different platform? Is television still the pre-eminent medium for brand building? These were just some of the key issues covered at the launch of the new Master of Marketing Communications program, “The Future of Marketing Communications – a panel discussion”.

With the transition from a mass-media based society to a networked society, digital media has rapidly impacted and increasingly integrated the marketing and communications fields. The Master of Marketing Communications, co-taught by Melbourne Business School and the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, seeks to teach students a combined approach to operate effectively in the sector.

Attended by a number of staff, students and alumni from Melbourne Business School, the panel discussion featured industry leaders including Stephen O’Farrell, co-founder and Director of The Royals, Clare Gleghorn, head of the corporate and public affairs team in Edelmen PR’s Melbourne office, Hugh Stephens, Director of Dialogue Consulting, and Russel Howcroft, Executive General Manager of Network TEN, and regular marketing expert on The Gruen Transfer and Recipe to Riches.

Panellists from the Future of Marketing Communications event

Following the panel, attendees enjoyed the opportunity to network with the panel speakers and other guests, while celebrating the launch of the new program with drinks and canapés in the picturesque location by the edge of the Yarra.

For those of you with a passion for marketing communications and an interest in discovering more about the benefits and pitfalls of traditional versus digital media, or the challenges of integrated marketing communications, the panel discussion can be streamed online here.

If panel has whetted your appetite for more intense debate around the future of the marketing communications industry, learn more about our new Master of Marketing Communications program on our website or contact us directly.

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Key lessons about ‘The Future of Marketing Communications’

The panel covered the benefits and pitfalls of traditional versus digital media, the challenges of integrated marketing communications, and some insightful basic truths about the changing marketing communications industry. Here are our top 4 takeaways:

  • Digital has expanded the sphere of competition for brands, from cereal to angry cats and beyond… Brands no longer compete only within their category. In response to this increasingly competitive environment, Edelman PR’s Clare Gleghorn urges us to keep it simple. Ask yourself ‘What’s your purpose? Who’s your audience? How can you build trust?’ These questions are the key to building a successful campaign, no matter the channel or format.
  • With new tools come new responsibilities and new problems…right? With the rise and fall of new social media platforms, companies are keen to have a presence on every  available channel. But, as Hugh Stephens, Director of Dialogue Consulting suggests, perhaps we are overcomplicating things for ourselves. Not all channels are for everyone. “As a business, if you can’t think of 5 images to post on Instagram, you probably shouldn’t be there”, he says. When it comes to social media marketing, Stephens urges brands to “Do it well, or get out”.
  • Director of The Royals, Stephen O’Farrell, stresses the importance of retaining marketing communications professionals skilled at driving consumer engagement, loyalty and advocacy on behalf of brands. He warns us ‘not to leave customer service to IT departments’, and predicts greater opportunities for marketing communications professionals in the C-Suite (citing as his example the emergence of the ‘sexy’ title of ‘Chief Marketing Technologist’, the sits somewhere between the CMO and CIO and acts as a translator between the two).
  1. According to Russel Howecroft, Executive General Manager of Network TEN, above all else, marketing is the art of persuasion. “The critical skill in marketing is writing. It is about telling stories in a magical and creative way”, he says. Communicating clearly, no matter the platform, should always be at the heart of your strategy.
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Conservation of Gallipoli Battlefield Objects, Çanakkale Turkey

Holly Jones-Amin and Carmela Lonetti, objects conservators from the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, travelled to Çanakkale, Turkey in 2014 to preserve objects uncovered in an historic tri-national interdisciplinary archaeological survey of the ANZAC battlefield.

Trenches in  Çanakkale

Trenches in Çanakkale

Despite the historical importance of the Gallipoli battlefield, this area had previously remained unstudied in great detail through modern archaeological survey methods. During the survey, spanning nine years from 2005 to 2014, over a thousand fragmented and complete objects were uncovered on the Gallipoli battlefield surface, often found wrapped within thorny bushes, buried under clumps of pine needles or embedded in eroding trench walls. Ms Jones-Amin and Ms Lonetti were commissioned to stabilize and prepare the objects, which remain patrimony of the Turkish government, for exhibition and long-term storage.

Ms Jones-Amin and Ms Lonetti at the Çanakkale Museum

Ms Jones-Amin and Ms Lonetti at the Çanakkale Museum

The uncovered artefacts are currently stored at the Çanakkale Strait Commandery Military Museum, a working naval base and open air museum, complete with cannons, submarine and a replica of the Nusret mining boat, the vessel that kept the allied forces at bay and forced our armed forces to abandon their efforts to pass through the Dardanelles and to land at Gallipoli instead.

Ms Jones-Amin and Ms Lonetti had access to a purpose built conservation lab at the naval base, where they set about stabilizing the objects  whilst maintaining an appearance of exposure, and preparing  them for future exhibition and travel.

 

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Water bottle

The uncovered Gallipoli Battlefield objects revealed a built-in memory of natural processes. They were exposed to the elements for almost 100 years, during which time they had interactions with their exposed and burial environment. Amongst the artefacts uncovered, there were the expected shrapnel and bullets, but also handmade bricks used to strengthen trenches, sandstone used by the Turks to bake flat breads, as well as fragile and crumbling metal food containers, including iron ‘keys’, used to twist the top off sardine cans.

During exposure, metals return to their oxidized forms by corroding in the presence of oxygen and moisture. Astonishingly, iron, bronze, ceramic, glass and organic objects that were discarded, fired or lost during WWI survived and were consequently revealed during the nine year dig. Surviving organic material, such as parts of a leather shoe sole, fragmentary textile fibres attached to copper alloy objects, and a particularly ingenuous tree growing around an iron bayonet, were some of the most astounding discoveries of the survey.

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Bayonet excavated from the Gallipoli battlefields

The conservators from the University of Melbourne worked painstakingly to remove corrosion on iron and bronze objects using scalpels, dental picks, fibreglass bristle brushes and dental drills. The removal of corrosion from copper alloy bullets and fuse heads revealed inscriptions, and importantly, identified artefacts as either being Turkish or from the Commonwealth battalions. This provided new information (and excitement) to the archaeologists, helping them to interpret the objects and better understand the site.  After corrosion removal, all of the artefacts were preserved and meticulously prepared for storage or exhibition, and thanks to the tireless work of the conservators from the University of Melbourne, the conserved objects are now stable and can be studied and displayed for the next 100 years.

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Cambridge University Press will publish the results of the archaeological project in 2015 – Battlefield Gallipoli: Landscape of War and Memory. In addition, a comprehensive, web-based digital archive – Gallipoli Battlefield Archaeological Database (GBAD) – containing thousands of images and detailed data will be made available to the general public.

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Nominate an outstanding Arts Alumnus

Nominations for the 2015 Faculty of Arts Alumni Awards are now open.

The Arts Alumni Awards recognise alumni who have achieved excellence in their chosen field, and who have made a considerable contribution to the Faculty, the University and their communities through their endeavours.

Professor Mark Considine, Dean of Arts, with the 2014 Arts Alumni Award recipients.

Professor Mark Considine, Dean of Arts, with the 2014 Arts Alumni Award recipients.

The Arts Alumni Awards program was established in 2013, with the inaugural Rising Star Award presented to Ms Ellen Sandell, who was recently elected as Greens MP for Melbourne. This year, the Faculty recognised outstanding alumni in three additional categories; Contribution to the Faculty and University, Lifetime Achievement, and Leadership. Learn more about our 2014 recipients here.

The Faculty is now calling for nominations for the 2015 awards. All alumni of the Faculty of Arts are eligible to nominate candidates, so if you know a Faculty of Arts alumnus who is making an impact in their field, nominate them today.

For more information, visit the Faculty of Arts Alumni Awards webpage.

Nominations close Friday 20 March 2015.

The Arts Alumni Awards will be presented at the Dean’s Awards Ceremony in May 2015.

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Arts West Redevelopment: The Home of the Bachelor of Arts

In December, construction work commenced on the Arts West Building marking the start of the Faculty of Arts’ most significant infrastructure project in recent years. The Arts West Redevelopment Project will enable the creation of new and dynamic teaching and learning spaces for staff and students and will provide a signature building in the Arts Precinct.

Profs WalkArchitect team ARM & Architectus were commissioned to design the building which will provide a new home for the Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne. As one of the largest undergraduate degree programs, this new facility (to be completed by mid-2016), will give our students access to world-class spaces, and our academics purpose-built teaching and research environments specifically designed to support the humanities and social sciences.

The new Arts West will house the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, which in turn supports some of the oldest disciplines at the University.  The timing of the project is significant, with 2014 marking the 160th year of teaching Classics at the University of Melbourne and the development of significant alumni and community support to endow the Chair in Classics in perpetuity.

The study of Classics, including Ancient Greek and Latin and studies in ancient literature, history and philosophy, were some of the first subjects taught at the University and have been a core element of the Faculty of Arts’ program since its establishment in 1855. These subjects continue to evolve and take in new and exciting advances and discoveries in research. As part of the Classics, Ancient World Studies and Archaeology majors, these subjects continue to provide students with intellectually rich and rewarding experiences. The Faculty wishes to extend its thanks to those alumni who have worked to support the study of classics, and encourages others to become involved.

walking outside babelArts West will provide a new home for the Classics Program, along with the History, Philosophy, and History and Philosophy of Science programs, and the architects have taken up the challenge of creating a building able to fuse the historic with the distinctly contemporary. The teaching spaces will be provided with the latest technologies for interactive and participatory learning, facilitating collaborative and engaged student experiences. These spaces will enable a focus on material culture through the facilitation of object-based learning, now seen as a key branch of the pedagogy underpinning the Faculty’s academic mission. Students will be able to engage ‘hands-on’ with objects from the University’s rich cultural collections, essential to our applied professional programs, while also providing our humanities and social sciences disciplines with objects able to bring learning to life.

Situated opposite the iconic Old Arts Building, the new Arts West will reference the sandstone history of Old Arts and the colonnades of the Old Quadrangle, while bringing something entirely new to the campus.

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A message from the Dean of Arts

As another year draws to a close I would like to say thank you to all alumni for your continued engagement with the Faculty of Arts. We have had an extremely successful year and it has been a pleasure to meet with so many of you through our public programs, our Melbourne Masterclasses series and through our reunions and alumni events.

In this edition of ARTiculation, you will read about the exciting new building project which is taking off just next to the Old Arts Building. The Arts West Redevelopment will create a signature presence on the Parkville campus. It is the Faculty’s most significant infrastructure project in many years, and I look forward to keeping you up to date on developments as we build a new home for the Bachelor of Arts.

You will hear of the successes of our alumni and friends, with the Faculty of Arts Excellence Scholarship students Rosie Hingston and Jessie Sun sharing their experience of the Bachelor of Arts at Melbourne and you will also hear from two conservators, Holly Jones-Amin and Carmela Lonetti from our Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, about the immense task of restoring objects found on the Gallipoli Battlefield site in Çanakkale Turkey, as they work on a project which will be form part of the University’s recognition of the ANZAC centenary in 2015.

To all alumni, I wish you a safe and enjoyable festive season and look forward to bringing you more news from the Faculty of Arts in 2015.

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Critical and positive thinking all paths to excellence…

A deep belief in the value of critical thinking, human rights, positive psychology and social wellbeing have resulted in Bachelor of Arts students Rosie Hingston and Jessie Sun being awarded the 2014 Faculty of Arts Excellence Scholarships for outstanding academic achievement.

Rosie HingstonWith the highest overall GPA score for first year in 2013, Rosie Hingston was thrilled to receive news of this new award, stating that it has ‘made me aware of my own capacity to achieve academic success’.  Rosie says that undertaking a BA at Melbourne has not only allowed her to pursue her long time interest in archaeology, but also enabled her to discover new interests in history, political ideas and human rights.  These are interests she may follow into an honours degree in Arts or possibly into Law.

For now, Rosie intends to use some of her scholarship to participate in an archaeological dig at Tell is-Safi in, and continues to value her Arts education.  Rosie outlined that education has always been valued highly in her family, but she particularly values the transferable skills she is developing through her BA.  More than anything else, she values ‘being trained to think critically’ and developing not only ‘valid points’ but also ‘the right words to communicate meaningfully’.

Jessie SunAchieving the highest second-year results in the BA, Jessie Sun is also committed to an Arts degree, but with a scientific and also educational twist.  Jessie’s passion is the psychological and social processes that contribute to wellbeing, particularly through education.  Combining psychology, sociology, anthropology and philosophy in her Arts degree, she has developed a particular interest in positive psychology and mindfulness in educational settings.

In the first of half of 2014, Jessie was lucky enough to undertake a semester exchange program at the University of Pennsylvania where she wrote research papers on these topics and has subsequently been a research assistant in the Centre for Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne, working with Professor Lea Waters.

A classical soprano who has sung choral solos in Germany, Russia, the US and many other countries, as well as an academic support worker for students in anthropology cinema studies and politics, Jessie describes herself as motivated by ‘the potential for psychological research to promote human and societal flourishing’.  Looking forward, she wants to extend her degree in Arts into an academic career that will enable her to research more fully ‘the psychological and social processes that contribute to wellbeing’.

For more information about the Faculty of Arts Excellence Scholarships and about opportunities to support students studying Arts, please visit our website.

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Comparing National Policy Designs for Unemployment Assistance

Description

Please join Professor Dan Finn to launch Professor Mark Considine and Dr Siobhan O’Sullivan’s book Contracting-out Welfare Services: Comparing National Policy Designs for Unemployment Assistance.

Dan Finn will say a few words about employment services research around the world and recent developments in the UK.

Contracting-out Welfare Services focuses on the design and overhaul of welfare-to-work systems around the world in the light of the radical re-design of the welfare system; internationally based authors utilise a national/program case study, considering employment services policy and activation practices.

• International contributors bring a global comparative perspective to the subject

• Contributors are all experts in their field, who also draw on a much longer intellectual legacy

• Uses employment services as a case study to advance understanding in relation to a host of broader principles and concepts

• Each paper included within the text uses a national/program case study, and each considers employment services policy in general, and activation practices in particular

Professor Mark Considine is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at The University of Melbourne. His research areas include governance studies, comparative social policy, employment services, public sector reform, local development, and organisational sociology.

Dr. Siobhan O'Sullivan is a Research Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Siobhan specialises in the welfare state, especially the delivery of employment services.

Dan Finn is Professor of Social Inclusion and was previously co-Director of the independent Unemployment Unit. He studied for an undergraduate degree in Sociology at the University of Warwick before completing his PhD at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, University of Birmingham, in 1978.

He is best known for his role in the development, analysis and assessment of the British Comparing National Policy Designs for Unemployment Assistance Governments' welfare to work programmes and he has acted as a consultant and special adviser for a number of UK and international agencies.

Admission is free. Bookings are required. Please join us for drinks and canapés.

When
Tuesday, 3 February 2015, 5:30 pm

Where
University House, Professors Walk

Booking
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