We decided to delay the September newsletter because many colleagues were away given the school holidays. I was far away in Europe where I attended the European International Studies Association conference in Barcelona followed by a workshop in Prato (Tuscany) that I co-organised with Richard Devetak on the theme of ‘The Rise of the International’. Monash University has leased the Prato Centre since 2001; it provides them with a stunning venue for international conferences which have a European connection.

Being away enabled me to gather my thoughts on my pending transition to a new role – which I will say more about in an email which will go out on Friday morning (October 13). On the downside, I missed a number of exciting events back in HASS; as many of you will have seen, the incredibly talented Dr Emma Hutchinson won a prestigious UQ Foundation Research Excellence Award (FREA) for her work on emotions in the context of humanitarian catastrophes.

Staying with Political Science and International Studies for a moment longer, I understand that their Annual Lecture was a great success. Delivered by The Honorable Linda Burney MP on the prescient theme of "Reconciliation, Referendum and Agreement Making". If you missed it, the video is available in this e-newsletter and on the HASS website.

I first met Linda Burney at the opening of the Courting Blakness installation (September 2014) that so powerfully subverted the conventional aesthetics of the Great Court. We were fortunate that she took up the opportunity to return to give the annual lecture. 1967 mattered, she reminds us, because ‘for the first time we were going to be counted’. We are reminded that reconciliation is a journey – and one that we are all part of as individuals and as a University.

More political science news (sorry). Roland Bleiker and Katharine Gelber have both been elected Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences (ASSA), Australia. Both deserve this honour given their distinguished contribution to knowledge and learning. Faculty representation in both Academies (Humanities, and Social Sciences) is impressively high with 19 ASSA Fellows and 30 Fellows of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

I’ve mentioned a high-profile lecture taking place by a distinguished guest here at our St Lucia campus. Meanwhile, our colleagues continue to travel nationally and internationally to present their innovative ideas. I’d particularly like to share with you that Greg Marston delivered a keynote at the Australian Social Policy Conference on the 25th September, which caused a lot of media discussion.

The last journey to note this time is the one taken by Bruce Woolley and Paul Smith who accompanied twenty UQ journalism students for seven days of reporting in Jaipur, India. More than 60 original multimedia stories were produced and you can see all the students' work on their website.

Finally, on a different theme altogether, I’d like to share with you the fact that the Faculty is gearing up for the upcoming Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) process. UQ’s return to the 2018 ERA is being coordinated by the new PVC/R Mark Blows. I’m very pleased that the complex process of ensuring research is appropriately distributed will be led by Gillian Whitlock and Lynda Cheshire; these two professorial colleagues will be the key cluster leaders in our discipline codes who will be working closely with DoR’s in Schools and Institutes.