Faculty of Economics and Commerce
alumni news From the Dean’s Desk
“Like it or not, we live in interesting times…” When preparing to write this message to the Alumni I thought of this quote. Little did I realise that it came from an address given by Robert F. Kennedy at the University of Capetown in 1966. While the Faculty isn’t facing the turbulent times experienced in South Africa during the decades that followed that address, it is nonetheless living in interesting times. The most interesting is the challenge of responding to the implementation of the new Higher Education Support Act (commonly referred to as “the Nelson reforms”). As Faculty Alumni I know you are interested in maintaining the quality and prestige of the degrees offered by the Faculty. I believe the Nelson reforms provide us with an opportunity to do just that, although at the time of writing, the whole implementation program is yet to be considered by the University Council. To the extent that there are additional revenues generated by the these reforms, they should enable us to improve the
quality of the education we provide to students and also allow us to offer more places to meet the growing demand of Australian students wanting to obtain a B.Com. Against these opportunities, I believe that we must balance the need to allocate additional revenues to ensure that we increase the access to our Faculty by high quality students regardless of means, and policies are currently being developed to achieve this goal. Issues under consideration include plans to increase the number of scholarships for undergraduate students and to implement policies that will ensure that a significant portion of government funded places are reserved for students whose social, economic or educational circumstances may have influenced their performance in Year 12. There is no doubt that for some students and their parents the Nelson reforms will represent additional costs if a decision is taken by the University to raise the HECS charges. However, all students, whether offered a HECS or a fee place, will be able to defer these costs until they are in full employment. Improving quality, equity and access is a difficult balancing act. This is the challenge we must meet and in itself makes for interesting times especially if we consider that any new Labor government may overturn many of the reforms! The University year has started with the usual flurry and fun of orientation week. The Faculty again attracted the very best students nationally and internationally into its undergraduate and postgraduate programs. The growth in postgraduate programs continues to escalate with the total number of students enrolled in 2004 exceeding 913 compared to 400 in 2000. To maintain program quality and to meet the demands of an expanding student population has required a substantial expansion of the Faculty’s infrastructure. Through the efforts of Professor Ross Williams (Dean, 1993-2002) and Professor Peter Dawkins (Dean, 2003) our Faculty is now well on its way to
having world-class facilities. Late last year some Faculty Office staff along with academic staff in the marketing discipline of the Department of Management moved into the fourth floor of Building A in University Square. In April of this year, the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research as well as staff associated with the Masters of Business and Information Technology will relocate to this building. Many of our postgraduate subjects are already being taught there. The University has recently sought planning approval for a new 11storey Economics and Commerce building in Berkeley Street for completion in 2007 with final approval to be considered in April. These two buildings more than double the facilities we now have available for staff and students. It also enables us to incorporate the most recent technology developments with high quality teaching facilities. A major priority over the next few years is to enhance further the Faculty’s research profile. While our Faculty is considered to be the best research faculty in Australia it continues to strive to be “one of the best” in the world. A world class faculty is one that is research led. continued page 2
In this Issue... Welcome Economic & Social Outlook Orientation Faculty Facts & Figures Alumni Scholarship Max Corden Lecture Mentors Celebrity Research Targeted Access Program Australia Day Honours Events Calender Students Win
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Faculty of Economics and Commerce Alumni Newsletter 1
Welcome to the first edition of Alumni News for 2004! The University of Melbourne Commerce Alumni Society (UMCAS) held a number of successful events in 2003. The 150th University anniversary celebrations were a highlight, and further events included a play “The Visit” at the Melbourne Theatre Company, a Young Alumni Function featuring internet entrepreneur Bill Lang, a lunch and reunion for those that graduated more than 45 years ago, and the alumni barbecue for final year students.
The committee would like to thank faculty members Susan McPharlin, Brooke Young, Phyllis Vellu, Suzanne Dixon and the Dean and Deputy Dean for their help and support throughout the year. UMCAS holds alumni functions throughout the year for the benefit of alumni and friends, some of which are outlined in this newsletter.
Future listings will appear on the www.ecom.unimelb.edu.au/alumni/ alumni.html web site, so keep a look out. If you have any suggestions or would like to participate, please call Susan McPharlin on 8344 2167 or contact Susan by email s.mcpharlin@ unimelb.edu.au. We hope to see you at one of our events soon. Steven Zigomanis President UMCAS
Business is Booming for Business & IT The Faculty’s new Master of Business and Information Technology which commenced last year is proving to be a roaring success. In the program’s first year nearly 500 applications were received, with a first year cohort of 85 students (which has now nearly doubled in 1st semester 2004). The quality of the applicants has been outstanding. MBIT students have a wide range of backgrounds (IT, engineering, business, as well as arts, psychology, and media studies), and diverse work experiences – nearly half the current students work full-time and study part-time, many with employer financial sponsorship.
Culturally the group is equally diverse, with students from Columbia, Mexico, Kenya, Norway, India and Thailand as well as a sizable domestic contingent. Much of the program’s attraction lies in its unique flexible course structure, individualised course planning and the strategic integration of business and IT. MBIT students also have the opportunity of participating in an MBIT exclusive Internship Program managed by Hudson Global Resources: providing students with greater industry exposure and career opportunities with leading employers in the marketplace. Contact: Tracy Ellis or Allison Jenkins 8344 1671
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It provides the means of attracting the very best academics from Australia and the rest of the world which in turn attracts the very best students. As a Faculty we can do much more to support the research efforts of academics and we are currently developing a strategy to strengthen that support. During the coming year, we will be working at enhancing our links with industry and government. The Alumni play a part in these plans in two important ways. First, we want to increase the research collaboration between industry and academics within the Faculty. Just as academic knowledge is expanded through collaboration with industry, so too can the solutions to many of the serious problems
confronting industry be enhanced by the depth of knowledge and the analytical skills of academics working in the area. Second, we would like to develop a forum where we can better communicate our research and share our expertise with Alumni as well as gain insights from Alumni working in industry. Our first move will be to reinstate the “Oval Round Table” as a forum for debating the current economic, finance, management and auditing issues that concern senior management in industry and government circles.
The Alumni are important to the development of a world-class Faculty – I will call on you for that support as we respond to these ‘interesting times’. The Young Alumni Function in April and the Annual Alumni Dinner in July will provide me with the opportunity to meet many of you. I hope you will attend at least one of these functions. Mary Wooldridge will be speaking at the Young Alumni Function and Hugh Morgan at the Alumni Dinner. I am sure they will both be great events and I look forward to seeing you there.
These are but a few of the challenges that make for interesting times in 2004.
Margaret Abernethy Dean
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Economic and Social Outlook Conference About 350 people attended the Melbourne Institute's second economic and social outlook conference entitled Pursuing Opportunity and Prosperity. Convened jointly with The Australian Newspaper on November 13th and 14th, the conference brought together high-level experts, policymakers and business people who are significant in setting the agenda for Australia’s future. Speakers included some leading academics in our Faculty, such as Professors Jeff Borland, Peter Dawkins, John Freebairn, Stephen King and Mark Wooden, as well as leading academics from elsewhere in Australia and overseas. Other speakers included several federal government ministers and shadow ministers and figures in Australian economic and social policy development including Secretary to the Commonwealth Treasury, Dr Ken Henry; Reserve Bank Governor, Ian Macfarlane; Secretary of the Victorian Treasury, Ian Little; Chairman of the ACCC, Graeme Samuel; The Australian Statistician, Dennis Trewin; CEO of the Business Council of Australia, Katie Lahie and Secretary of the ACTU Greg Combet. The conference which was sequel to Towards Opportunity and Prosperity in 2002, examined a range of economic and social issues including intergenerational relations, work and family, welfare to work, education and innovation, (including higher education reform) health reform, indigenous development, the trade debate and free trade agreements, water reform, competition policy and what is the budget constraint? The conference obtained extensive coverage in The Australian and other media. At the Gala Dinner, Chairman of the Productivity Commission Gary Banks, described this conference, which is planned to be held every eighteen months, as Australia's premier policy conference. The speaker, Governor of the Reserve Bank, Ian Macfarlane, focused on intergenerational issues , and sparked a public debate by warning of what he saw as the emerging problem of inter-generational conflict. At last years conference he contributed to the momentum behind higher education reform arguing for the need for Australia to have one or more of the world’s top universities. The next conference of this kind is expected to be in 2005.
Hailed as the premier policy conference, the Economic and Social Outlook Conference convened by the Melbourne Institute and the “Australian” attracts the leaders in policy development including the Mr Mark Latham, leader of the Federal Opposition (top). The Conference is planned to be held every 18 months.
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Orientation 2004 a Success Where were one hundred and twenty-five large pizzas eaten in 20 minutes during Orientation 2004? Where else but outside the Economics and Commerce Building! Coordinated by the Marketing and Development Unit of the Faculty, both students and staff joined in the fun and sometimes serious side of Orientation in February.
The Student Societies Welcome was also well-received and was followed by the Commerce Students’ Society’s free BBQ and yes you guessed it…100s of students made a show for that too.
Activities ranged form the Dean’s Welcome, Academic Transition Day, DJs, BBQ, Student Societies Welcome and 100s of students lining-up for pizza. The Dean, tutors, academics and Faculty staff served the pizza to students at the lunch held on the same day as Academic Orientation.
It was wonderful for staff to welcome students who they had seen throughout 2003 on school visits or at careers exhibitions and we wish all new students happy studying and lots more pizza!
Academic orientation is a new day in the University’s Orientation calendar whereby all Faculties present some aspect of their programs to the students and start them thinking about their university study. The Teaching and Learning Unit devised the program for the Faculty which mirrored the experience of other Faculties attracting full houses throughout the day. On offer were lectures in Introductory Microeconomics, Transition to Commerce, Finance, Accounting 1A and Management. Students also had the chance to have a taste of a tutorial in Introductory Microeconomics.
Bachelor of Commerce 2004 Facts and Figures The following figures illustrate the admissions of HECS students for 2004.
For the International Bachelor of Commerce selection in 2004 (VTAC):
Number of Offers
Number of Offers
Clearly in Rank Fringe Middleband Targeted Access Program Offers Average ENTER
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269 95.35 93.3 18.93% 26 96.49
Average ENTER Minimum ENTER
193 95.37 92
Alumni Scholarship The 2004 Commerce Alumni Final Year Scholarship has been awarded to Daniel Snyder. Daniel receives $2,000 to assist in funding his studies. The scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic merit, the applicant's interpersonal skills and leadership potential. This year over 50 applications were received for the Scholarship, with six students being interviewed by a panel comprising Associate Professor Christine Brown and Professor Ian McDonald from the Faculty, and Ross Cameron from the Alumni Society. Ross noted "last year we were blown away by the quality of the applicants and this year was the same. All of the final six applicants had outstanding marks (eg consistent H2As and above), but just as importantly, had demonstrated strong leadership involvement in community activities".
45 years or more since graduation reunion Each October Faculty Alumni who graduated fifty years or more ago are invited to attend the annual reunion at the Parkville Campus. This year the invitation was extended to those who graduated 45 years or more years ago. Held in the Upper East Dining Room of University House the reunion was attended by forty-three Alumni, Commerce Alumni President, Steven Zigomanis (a more recent graduate) and the Deputy Dean of the Faculty, Professor Garry Marchant. Garry was happy to talk briefly on the changes in the Faculty since the audience were students.
BBQ gets good turnout despite downpour Since 1999 the Commerce Alumni Society of the Faculty has hosted a BBQ for final year Economics and Commerce students. This event was held this year in the System Gardens on October 23. Despite a huge downpour at precisely 12.30pm (the starting time of the BBQ!) the event was still a success with about 100 students attending. The Commerce Alumni Society UMCAS holds the event to encourage recent graduates to become involved in the society and continue on the friendships made at University. The BBQ provides students with the opportunity to learn about Alumni activities and to meet committee members. Thanks to all those involved.
We will profile Daniel Snyder – this year's winner – in the next newsletter. To support this initiative, UMCAS started an appeal in June last year aimed at raising $6,000 (see below). Should you wish to support the Commerce Alumni Final Year Scholarship with a donation please contact Susan McPharlin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alumni Fundraising Total 2003 = $3,456 Total to date (2004) = $65
Above: Daniel Snyder, Steve Zigomanis and Margaret Abernethy at the Prizegiving Ceremony.
Target to June 2004: $6,000
Young Alumni Drinks “Secrets to Career Success” UMCAS is delighted to announce that Mary Wooldridge will be sharing her thoughts on career success and to tell us some tales of her exciting business career at the upcoming Young Alumni Drinks function to be held on Tuesday, 27th April at KPMG. Mary has been busy since completing her BCom! She is the CEO of The Foundation for Young Australians, an organisation that invests over $4 million in initiatives that benefit young people, and manages an active grant portfolio of over $6 million on initiatives supporting young people. Previously, Mary was a Senior Adviser to Nick Minchin, the Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, and before that an Executive Director with Kerry Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings and Publishing and Broadcasting in Sydney. Mary worked with McKinsey & Company after completing her Harvard MBA. She is on the Board of Breast Cancer Network Australia. In 2002 Mary was awarded the 'New CEO Award' in the Equity Trustees' CEO Awards for Not for Profit Organisations. She has judged the Prime Minister's Business Community Partnership Awards and is a selector of the National Youth Roundtable. All young alumni and latter year undergraduates are welcome to attend. Tuesday, April 27th 6.00 to 8.00pm Green Cat Foyer KPMG House 161 Collins Street Melbourne
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Max Corden Lecture This year’s Max Corden Lecture was given by Dr Martin Ravallion who is the Senior Advisor and Research Manager at the World Bank. Measuring poverty and globalisation is a contentious issue which is why Dr Ravallion spent some time extricating the evidence from the debate. Dr Ravallion’s presentation started with an examination of concepts such as inequality, poverty, intercountry comparisons, “vertical” versus ”horizontal” inequality and “relative poverty” as opposed to “absolute poverty” and how our understanding of these concepts affects the way in which we measure them. For example, “finding no change in aggregate inequality or poverty is perfectly consistent with there being large numbers of losers and gainers at every level of living.” he said. For example, in Russia between 1996 -98 poverty rate rose by 2%, with 18% falling into poverty and 16% escaping poverty.
Postgraduate Mentor Program Last year the inaugural postgraduate mentor program proved successful with both students and mentors. Some 15 volunteers helped to guide students through an exploration of career opportunities, industries, career planning and with building professional and personal networks. To expand the program this year, the Faculty ran an ad in the business section of the weekend “Age” and received many inquiries. Given that most professionals are under enormous time and career pressures, it remains gratifying to see that the role of mentoring assumes such an important priority among so many people in the business sector. Given the calibre of mentors registering for the 2004 program, some of whom started with us last year, we envisage the program will go from strength to strength. We extend our thanks to last year’s mentors who have come from the following organisations: Adcorp Australia Australia Post CEO Collegiate City of Melbourne Ernst & Young Ford Australia KPMG National Electrical & Communications Association Rio Tinto Siemens Dematic Spotless Urban Maintenance Systems
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Looking at India, Dr Ravallion found that the rates of poverty reduction from 1970 to 2000 across 14 Indian states varied from 1.8 % points per year in Kerala to 0.4 % point per in Assam. Although growth, development spending and inflation had similar effects across states, the response to non-farm output growth in India varied significantly between states. He concluded that growth does not always happen where it would have the greatest impact on poverty and suggested a number of policy initiatives for combining growth-promoting economic reforms with the right social-sector programs and policies to help the poor participate fully in the opportunities that can be unleashed by growth.
Celebrity Researcher Congratulations to Professor Bruce Headey from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research for his recent full page spread in Australia’s “Woman’s Day”. The article quoted Bruce’s research into pet ownership in Germany and Australia and his findings that animal ownership lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and decreases depression. In fact, pet ownership produces overall well being and reduces visits to the doctor. Bruce has had a long running interest in the area, working with the Petcare Information and Advisory Service. It’s not often that a staff member shares the limelight with the Hollywood glamour set, but Meg Ryan, Sharon Osbourne, Charlize Theron and Alyssa Milano were quick to confirm Bruce’s findings declaring that their pets kept them content and grounded.
Targeted Access Program The Faculty of Economics and Commerce recognises its obligations to the community and offers a number of scholarship opportunities to promising students. This year the Faculty has increased the number of scholarships offered to students from rural, low income and under-represented groups through the University’s Targeted Access Program. Students considered for admission under the Targeted Access Program include:
The Targeted Access Program is unique to the University of Melbourne.
• Those who have experienced ongoing difficulties during secondary schooling, such as a disability or long-term illness; hardship caused by socioeconomic circumstances; difficult family circumstances; or learning English at secondary school.
In support of this initiative, we have also introduced a rural visiting scheme whereby Faculty staff travel throughout regional Victoria meeting with students, parents, teachers and careers counsellors. While this activity clearly benefits regional students, it is productive for the Faculty in understanding issues facing this student group. To date, regional visits have been undertaken in Mildura, Horsham, Shepparton, Kyneton and Ballarat.
• Completed Year 12 at a Victorian school which is under-represented in the tertiary sector or those who are living or studying in a rural or isolated area or • Women wishing to study in a course non-traditional discipline.
Contribute to the Faculty The Faculty welcomes the involvement of alumni. Whether this is through developing social and professional networks via the alumni society; speaking to prospective students in Australia or overseas, undergraduate or postgraduate mentoring or even a donation to the alumni scholarship fund please contact Susan McPharlin by email: email@example.com
Students are encouraged to apply under these criteria with the assurance that all applications are carefully considered.
Australia Day Honours 2004 AM: Member of the Order of Australia
OAM: Medal of the Order of Australia
Mr Michael William GORTON
Mr Michael John JANES
For service to the community through a range of organisations including the United Nations Association and Greening Australia, and through the promotion of equal opportunity and Aboriginal reconciliation.
For service to the community, particularly through the Vision Australia Foundation, and through involvement with the Catholic Church.
Michael Gorton in currently a Partner at Russell Kennedy Solicitors. He has a wide range of community involvements. He was, until 1999, Victoria's first permanent male Commissioner with the Victorian Equal Opportunity Commission. He is the immediate past president of the United Nations Association of Australia (Victorian Division) and was previously the National President of Greening Australia. Mr Gorton is currently President of the Health Services Review Council and also chairs the Administrative Law and Human Rights Section of the Law Institute of Victoria. He holds a BCom (1982) and a LLB (1982) from the University of Melbourne and is a former resident of Trinity College.
Michael Janes is currently the President of the Vision Australia Foundation. He holds a BCom (1961) from the University of Melbourne.
PSM: Public Service Medal Mr Robert William EDWARDS For outstanding public service in the development of macroeconomics statistics and his contribution to international statistical standards. Robert Edwards graduated with a BCom (Hons) (1971) from the University of Melbourne. He is currently Deputy Australian Statistician - Economic Statistics for the Australian Bureau of Statistics and was previously First Assistant Statistician.
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Events calendar Event
Date & Venue
17th Downing Lecture
Tuesday 20 April, 6.00pm Copland Lecture Theatre Economics and Commerce Building To be delivered by Nobel Laureate Professor Sir James Mirrlees on the topic 'What Taxes are Best?'
Ms Phyllis Vellu firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 8344-5311
Young Alumni Drinks Secrets to Career Success
Tuesday, April 27th, 6.00 to 8.00pm Green Cat Foyer, KPMG House 161 Collins Street, Melbourne
Ms Ghislaine Lowry email@example.com
Faculty of Economics and Commerce Postgraduate Information Session for prospective students
June 9, 6pm 161 Barry Street, (cnr Grattan and Barry Streets) The University of Melbourne
Mr Scott Lascelles firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 8344-1670
Commerce Alumni AGM
7th July AGM 6.00pm Woodward Centre 185 Pelham Street Carlton 3053
Ms Susan McPharlin email@example.com or telephone 8344-2167
Economics and Commerce Dinner
7th July, 6.30 - 9.00pm Woodward Centre, 185 Pelham Street Carlton 3053 Speaker: Hugh Morgan, AO, LLB, BCom
Ms Sarah Martini firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 8344-1815 Hugh Morgan has been a member of Reserve Bank since 1996. He is former chief executive of WMC and director of Alcoa. He is also president of the Business Council of Australia.
For a list of events happening each week at the University including exhibitions and public lectures go to: http://events.unimelb.edu.au/
Students win international case competition Four students sponsored by the Faculty of Economics and Commerce won first prize in the Scotiabank International Case Competition. Felicity Chan, Christopher Kong, Kath Cugley and Camilla Davey attended the competition at the University of Western Ontario where they competed against teams from around the world including the University of Alberta, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration and IFI Institut de Formation International, France.
Contact details Faculty of Economics and Commerce The University of Melbourne Victoria 3010 Tel: 03 8344-2167 Fax: 03 9348-1674 Email: email@example.com Web: www.ecom.unimelb.edu.au/alumni/ alumni.html Edited by Susan McPharlin, Executive Officer (Development)
The case is a gruelling process. The teams have two days to discuss the case and present their findings on Saturday morning to a panel of three judges. The top three teams are selected to present their strategy again to a large audience and answers questions of their peers, 14 judges and other interested parties. Felicity, Christopher, Kath and Camilla have expertise in a variety of disciplines, notably finance, accounting, marketing, and management. This team also won the Victorian and Australian BCG Strategy Competition last year.
Alumni News, March 2004, ©2004 Alumni News is a publication of the Faculty of Economics and Commerce. Authorised by the General Manager
Disclaimer The information in this publication was correct at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes as appropriate.
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