End of the semester. End of the tax year. End of American hegemony. This is getting to sound like a REM lyric – so I’ll leave the endings at that for now!

Instead, let me mention a few beginnings. You may have seen the new UQ advert that went live over the weekend; in case you missed it, here it is. The advert is the first snapshot of the new campaign. What do you think? To my view it shows continuity with the previous ‘create change’ while at the same time presenting more mature visuals.

Campaigns are ultimately about student recruitment. We are entering an important phase of student recruitment cycle for 2018 (and beyond) with TSXPO on the weekend of 15 & 16 July and UQ Open Day on 6 August. The Faculty greatly appreciates the hard work and commitment by all staff involved in these important events.

UQ Open Day this year will feature a HASS precinct for the first time, in addition to our discipline and program seminar sessions. The precinct will be based on level 2 of the Michie Building and is an excellent opportunity to give prospective students a feel for the disciplines we have on offer.

Among our top news this month is the success of four of our researchers in the recent ARC Future Fellowship awards. Congratulations to  Adrian Cherney from the School of Social Science, Ian Hesketh and Elizabeth Stephens from IASH, and  Felicity Meakins from the School of Languages and Cultures – you can read details about their projects here. The Faculty won 23.5% of the national allocation in HASS disciplines – which is a remarkable result and reflects the highest quality of our researchers across the Faculty and the outstanding professional support they receive from the Research Office.

HASS also had a good showing at the recent UQ Awards for Excellence and my congratulations to Majella Ferguson, and the student administration team, who were highly commended for their exceptional service.

Outside the Faculty there’s been a lot going on in the State of Queensland and beyond. The Queensland Premiere, Annastacia Palaszczuk, announced a plan for two new inner city state Schools, one in Fortidude Valley (in partnership with QUT) and one in an unnamed site within the Brisbane State High School catchment area (in partnership with UQ). While the details remain unclear for the moment, this will be an exciting opportunity for UQ to add value to the local community. Additionally, HASS will benefit from such a partnership through enhanced recruitment opportunities and, in particular, I predict that our School of Education will be a critical part of the success of this ‘high schools for exellence’ initiative.

Nationally, UQ’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Høj was featured delivering a key note at the National Press Club. He used this occasion as an opportunity to deliver a strong and critical message to Canberra regarding the proposed legislation that ‘persistent and dramatic funding cuts’ to the university sector.

Many of you will be taking some recreation leave to co-incide with the inter-semester period and the fact that children are out of School. If that is the case, you might not want to think about pending austerity. So here is a positive note to end on. Here is a remarkable TedTalk by the Kenyan born novelist Chimamanda Adichie. Her message resonate with humanities learning and discovery. I particularly like the metaphor about how many of the dominant stories we tell about the social word start with ‘secondly’ forgetting what came before. Only foundational humanities disciplines can give us an understanding of emergence, even if moments of origin will always remain elusive.