11 March 2010

The Governor of Queensland told the audience at last night’s inaugural UQ Centenary oration that bridging the gap between research labs and everyday life is key to changing people’s perceptions about global change.

Dr Penelope Wensley, who delivered her oration in conjunction with the launch of the University’s seventh research institute, the Global Change Institute, said until this communication channel was clear, addressing global issues would be difficult.

“Until this gap is filled in a sensible, purposeful manner, the changes that we need to make as individuals, as societies, as governments, as countries working in cooperation with other countries, to address global problems and pressures, will not happen,” she said.

Dr Wensley praised the University’s Global Change Institute’s intention to focus on community engagement.

“Even though the Institute’s primary purpose will be the facilitation of collaborative, multi-disciplinary research, it intends also to become involved in advocacy and community engagement,” Dr Wensley said.

The Global Change Institute is a major new international research institute that will address the problems of a rapidly changing world and develop innovative solutions.

It will focus on a world where the biggest challenges of the future are interconnected and of a global scale.

Dr Wensley’s oration was the first in a series that will run throughout UQ’s Centenary year.

All orations are open free to the public, and explore topical issues across a range of areas including politics, Indigenous education, medical research and scientific discoveries.

The next speaker is Professor Gareth Evans on March 31 at Customs House.

In his oration, Professor Evans will examine issues such as the role of middle power advocacy and civil society/think tanks in energising foreign policy development and implementation.

Other speakers include Dr Tony Haymet who will talk about innovations in global ocean exploration and Jack Manning Bancroft, 2010 Young Australian of the Year finalist and founder of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience.

More information on the speakers can be found at the Oration Series website

Read the full transcript of the Governor's oration.

Media: Shannon Price, UQ Centenary communications, 07 3346 7660