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Academic Board forum: UTS Social Impact Framework

On 18 October 2017, the Academic Board held a forum focused on UTS Social Impact Framework.

Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners and introduction

Aunty Joan Tranter, Elder in Residence, opened the forum with an Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners, followed by an introduction and a warm welcome to guests by Associate Professor Joanne Gray, Chair of Academic Board.

Public benefit of universities

Professor Andrew Parfitt, Provost and Senior Vice-President, gave an overview of the public benefit of universities.

Social impact at UTS

Verity Firth, Executive Director, Social Justice, presented on Social Impact at UTS and launched the UTS Social Impact Framework.

Stories of impact

University staff and students Farah Al Majed, Ruby Wawn, Danielle McCartney, Professor Larissa Behrendt, Professor Simon Darcy and Mitra Gusheh shared their stories of impact. Stories included measuring social impact and active citizenship, UTS in its precinct and sustainability at UTS.

Contribution to social impact in learning and teaching

Professor Shirley Alexander, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, announced a new award for an outstanding and sustained contribution which has engaged students in learning activities and capability building that contributes to social impact.

UTS Social Impact Research Grants

Professor Glenn Wightwick Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Innovation and Enterprise) announced the 2017 UTS Social Impact Research Grants and congratulated the grant recipients:

  • Sue Dean, Samantha Donnelly, and Professor Tracy Levett-Jones
  • Associate Professor Bronwen Dalton and Rachel Bertram
  • Dr Sandris Zeivots and Dr Meera Varadharajan
  • Dr Natalia Nikolova, Dr Walter Jarvis, and Dr Alexandra Pitsis
  • Dr Honni van Rijswijk
  • Dr Bhuva Narayan.

Panel: Demonstrating social impact

Following the announcement of the award, a panel held a discussion on demonstrating social impact, sharing their experiences and approach to demonstrating social impact. Panel members included:

  • Dr Clare Netherton, Social Impact Research and Evaluation Specialist
  • Emeritus Professor Jenny Onyx, UTS Business School
  • Associate Professor Bronwen Dalton, Director, Master of Not-for-Profit and Social Enterprise Management program
  • Professor Jim Macnamara, Professor of Public Communication
  • Associate Professor Deborah Edwards, Director (Postgraduate Research).

Where to next and conclusion

The forum concluded with thank you note from Verity Firth. Verity emphasised that development of the social impact framework means that UTS now has a structure by which we can bring our efforts together for a more integrated/ united demonstration of our collective efforts in this space.

A new website, UTS Social Impact, was launched to provide a platform to share stories of impact and create a community of practice.

Verity announced that in partnership with Designing out Crime and the Hatchery, Equity and Diversity Unit is launching an enabler program that recognises the existing knowledge and expertise of our institution and supports it to grow.

A donation was made to Glebe Morning School Bus in lieu of providing gifts to presenters.