Message from SAGE Executive Director, December 2018

Dear SAGE members

2018 has been a very busy year and an enormously productive and rewarding one for SAGE and its members … especially Cohort 1.

I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved this year, especially completing a most critical milestone in the accreditation and awards pathway – the peer review. Indeed, I’m humbled by the generous support and confidence shown by all SAGE member institutions, their leaders and staff. Your trust in SAGE was clear in your honest and constructive feedback, through your continued engagement and contributions to improving our services and resources, and in your collective and collaborative spirit and commitment to make SAGE a great success.

Highlights of 2018

Reflecting on the highlights of 2018, the SAGE Awards event tops the list of achievements by members – congratulations to the Awardees and to all Cohort 1 members. Success is also evident in the commitment by institutions who are progressing towards Bronze accreditation to continue on the course for change and transformation. The all-important SAGE Peer Review process goes hand in hand with the awards – the work of the SAGE Peer Reviewers, Moderators and Secretariat has been outstanding.

I want to single out the SAGE Symposium 2018, particularly the work of the Symposium Committee and its members. The success of the Symposium is built on their shoulders and the recognition is due to their ideas, recommendations and support to create a rich and diverse program with excellent facilitators and speakers. A most sincere thank you to: Sandra Elias (SA RNM), Tasha Weir (VIC RNM), Annie Fenwicke (NSW RNM), Susan Stewart (WA RNM), Nicole Barton (QLD RNM), and Lucy McPherson (ACT RNM)

Above all, the constructive guiding advice, expertise and respected contributions of the former Expert Advisory Group have been exceptional – without its foresight and leadership, the well-advanced implementation of the SAGE Pilot would not have been possible. I would like to acknowledge and thank the former Chair, Ms Elizabeth Broderick AO FTSE and all former members for their dedication and commitment to guiding the Pilot in its establishment phase.

Also, a note of thanks and appreciation goes to members of the SAGE Project Audit and Risk Committee – Dr Rosalind Dubs FAICD FTSE, Professor Michael Barber FAA FTSE, Michael J. Edwards FTSE and Professor Marilyn Anderson AO FAA FTSE – for their strategic advice, invaluable guidance and wise counsel.

Other SAGE achievements

It is gratifying that the SAGE Pilot, its implementation and processes, are now being looked to as models to inform international pilots of Athena SWAN, such as those in Canada, the USA and Japan.

Other achievements worthy of mention include the feedback from the formative evaluation, which will inform the next phase of improvements to SAGE resources and services. SAGE training activities and improved services have also received your praise, and I thank the SAGE team for their responsiveness and commitment to serve you all. Of course, we need to continue improving our services so as to better respond to your evolving needs and we have commenced action on some of these areas – the SAGE Communications Manager role, with Deborah Sippitts joining the team, is one example of our efforts to strengthen our engagement and relationship with you.

I thank the SAGE team and Sarah Dickinson-Hyams for all their excellent work, commitment and support in making SAGE a success.

And last but not least, I would like to sincerely thank the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and the respective CEOs, Anna-Maria Arabia and Dr Margaret Hartley, for initiating this innovative project and for their continued support, invaluable advice and assistance, and encouragement. It is greatly appreciated.

SAGE in 2019

So, what’s in store for 2019?

The New Year promises another busy schedule for SAGE and its members:

• The Pilot implementation will continue – our business as usual – with two rounds of submissions and peer review, and the next set of awards.
• We will work closely with Cohort 1 (as well as 2 and 3) members to facilitate workshop activities designed to share experiences and expertise across the regions – so watch this space for more news about this approach.
• SAGE Newsletter will continue to improve, feature richer information, profiles and activities across SAGE’s membership.
• Applications and guidance for Silver pathway awards will be progressed, as we work closely with the sector to set out the application process. We will reach out in Quarter 1 of 2019 to explore a small Pilot to test Silver pathway awards to commence by the middle of the year. We will also work with you to activate developments of application template(s) to respond to and accomodate the differences between different organisation types, e.g. MRIs and PFROs – taking forward the recommendations of the SAGE formative evaluation
• The business model for SAGE future will be clarified and finalised by the two academies, and SAGE will also reach out to engage with members in this regard as well.

So a busy and productive year this year and more to come in 2019.

I wish you all a restful and happy holiday season … and look forward to continuing our journey with you to make 2019 another successful year for SAGE and its members.

Yours sincerely

Wafa El-Adhami
Executive Director