By Professor Cat Hope
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Edition 40 of NiTRO, my first welcome as the new President of the DDCA. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Jenny Wilson, supported by Web Officer Tom Barton, for her tireless efforts that have led us to this wonderful 40th edition. I thank my predecessor Professor Clive Barstow for his work as DDCA President over the last three years, where he has steered the DDCA and the creative arts academics we represent with generosity and clarity through very challenging times. I also acknowledge the contributions of the board under his leadership and the input from all our DDCA members.
As I begin my term, challenges will continue and likely intensify. Recent change proposals for the Australian Research Council, government vetos on peer approved grants, and ongoing funding challenges for our sector are just some of the issues requiring continuous and forthright engagement. It is time to be bold.
Many creative arts academics are caught between arts and university sectors devastated by COVID-19 impacts, and exhausted from periods of online and now hybrid teaching challenges in our disciplines. We see you. Creative arts research reporting is becoming ever more onerous, suffering at the hands of a climate of “counting” and the averaging of data driven decision making. We can draw attention to this. The outlook for postgraduates and early career researchers seems bleak. We commit to changing that outlook.
The DDCA under my presidency will work to sustain, grow and celebrate the creative arts in the tertiary sector. The enrichment that creative arts academics and their research provide to Australian life is valuable and worthy of recognition. We can collaborate across our sector in new ways and regenerate in better forms that are more equitable and diverse.
My vision as President of the DDCA is to step up our lobbying for the consideration and opportunity of creative arts research within academy, industry and policy, and increase the visibility of this work. I am an activist, and I will work my hardest to support our sector and the people in it. I hope you will join me.