Prof. Adam Shoemaker with Patty Kinnersly

Episode 27: Prof. Adam Shoemaker with Patty Kinnersly

A thought-provoking conversation with Patty Kinnersly, the CEO of Our Watch, exploring the profound ripple effect of individual actions in addressing societal challenges. The impact is nothing short of significant.

Show notes

Adam chats with Patty Kinnersly, the CEO of Our Watch – Australia's a national leader in the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia.

This episode was recorded with a live audience at Victoria University's Footscray Park Campus.

Topics discussed:

  1. Our Watch and Victoria University partnership – Educating for equality
  2. Student safety
  3. Gender equality and preventing gender-based violence

Find out more:

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:02 Hello colleagues, my name is Adam Schumaker. I'm delighted to be the Vice Chancellor of Victoria University. I also host this podcast People of vu. And for the episode you're about to hear we did something quite different. It's recorded in front of a live audience at Victoria University's foots Scrape Park campus. We had an incredibly important conversation on day 10 of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence and with a very special guest, Patty Kindersley, the CEO of our watch. Not only that, on the day of this live podcast with Patty, we signed a very important significant multi-year contract with our watch to embed its Educating for Equality program on every site in every campus at all levels in TAFE and higher education. And there's so much work to do. Our watch, as you know, as a national organization, driving change in cultures, attitudes and behaviors to prevent violence against women. In 2022, Victoria University first partnered with our watch to help address systemic issues around gender inequality and violence. With their guidance, we are actively showing that we educate for equality, as I said before, creating much needed change. There is so much more to do and we talk about all this and more in the podcast. Now over to the live recording,

Speaker 1 00:01:36 Can I thank you in person for being here. This is what we call the people of VU podcast series and the idea came from our colleagues in the room and many of the colleagues in the room have taken part. I can pick out a few faces as I see, and of course many more in the future. But this is the first time anyone from our watch has been part of it. So we're delighted to have you here. It's really great Patty Kindersley. And can I also acknowledge country Place and Time, the Warri rung people who've shown us the pathway way forward, those in other parts of the country, whether they be turbo people in Brisbane or aorta, people in Sydney or wherever we may operate, wherever we may be. And wherever you may be listening to this podcast, we honor you. We do so not just in a way which is perfunctory. And let me say this, acknowledgements of country are not perfunctory. They're deep, they're serious, they're worthy of repetition and they're worthy of acknowledgement in their own right as something which is a small sample of our intent. I fully disagree with any counsel that decides that they're superfluous and can be done away with. 'cause that is just a road to non-recognition rather than equality. We believe in this room that they're important. And can I welcome everyone here? Could I just hear from everyone in the room so we can show this is live? Hello?

Speaker 1 00:03:03 Little did I know that would work. Thank you Katrina. That was a good suggestion. I wasn't sure, but of course it's what they say filmed in front of us live studio audience and now you know. Now you know the difference. Right? So here we are. And Patty, you've had an amazing journey. This is partly about you, but partly about your organization and partly about your history. Now probably this year, when you woke up, you know, early in January, did you have any idea that you might end up in the corridors of parliament working with the education minister, achieving what you've achieved? Do you have even a glimmering of that when you woke up in January this year?

Speaker 3 00:03:40 Hi Adam and thanks very much for the opportunity to be here and thank you to all the live audience as well. And I echo your sentiment about the acknowledgement of country and our responsibility as leaders to keep telling that story and keep engaging in that in a meaningful way. Certainly at our watch we believe the same, no, at the start of the year, we didn't foresee that the work that Minister Claire has led along with universities and others to develop a draft action plan to reduce gender-based violence in universities. We didn't think that was gonna happen at the start of the year, but I think what's really important to say is that anybody who's doing movements for social justice, whatever that is, we need to always be ready for the opportunity and work to improve safety of students and staff at universities has been going on for well over a decade and am amazing. People have done a lot of work in this space for a very long period of time. And so when the opportunity came, we, the royal we that is advocates and activists, it's people in universities, it's unions, it's students. We're ready to move quite quickly and take the opportunity. And so I wasn't ready for this particular thing, but I think it's a great, not lesson for us, but a, a great learning for us all that when an opportunity comes go for it because we can make substantial change. Yeah.

Speaker 1 00:04:58 And timing is important. The readiness is all, as many people have observed going back in time. So when the call came, it sounds like there was a readiness. Absolutely. Did it have to be something where unusual coalitions were formed? Did you have to meet people you'd never met before, for example? Or was it actually gathering all those with whom you had already interacted?

Speaker 3 00:05:19 I think it's a bit of both. Probably a key to any substantial change like the action plan. And hopefully what it presents is that it takes genuine leadership from people in the right places at the right time. And so we're actually really lucky that Minister Claire decided once he knew some of the experiences that students were still having and staff were still having said, I'm gonna do something about it and I'm gonna do something about it now. So then to bring that coalition of people together is really important. And so whether that was the students or the advocates or the unions or the teachers themselves or the universities themselves, it's important to say that universities have done a lot of work over a long period of time and so many people were ready to do this as well. But to, I think the key thing is to bring people along to have the conversations. Yeah. Not to push anybody out because everybody's experiences of the same issue is valid. And usually it comes from a different standpoint. You know, if you put the issue in the middle of the plate and look at it from five different directions, you see something slightly different. And so whether that's as a student, whether it's as a student who has a disability, whether it's as a teacher, whether it's as a union, whether it's as a government, and then to push that thing around the plate until you come to something we can all work on

Speaker 1 00:06:29 And like and gendered violence, I mean, we're talking a bit before about how important it was that people's voices, the actual community voices were heard, the organizational voices were heard, but also the personal voices. There's a bit of a difference, isn't it, between the personal and the collective sometimes. Do you wanna just explore that a bit for me?

Speaker 3 00:06:45 So some of the people that were involved in the, particularly the gender-based violence advisory group that I was fortunate enough to be the chair of, and we were asked, we were tasked to give advice to the minister about what should be in an action plan to prevent gender-based violence in universities. And everybody's voice was strong and important and valid. But the voices of the, the groups who have been advocating for students for a long period of time and had gathered a wealth of evidence, and I call them stories, they're not really stories, they're people's experiences, but had gathered those and kept those at the heart of their advocacy. Yeah. And then were able to keep sharing those stories to bring the issues to life. There is no doubt that those experiences lived experiences, real experiences. And the consequences of those experiences is what moves people.

Speaker 3 00:07:34 Yeah. So an organization like our watch, we are evidence-based. I will talk about the theory, I'll talk about what evidence we've gathered, I'll talk about how it fits in the system and I'll talk about the role of policy and government. And those things are without doubt important, but to infuse in that this is my story. This is a story of a student who was sexually assaulted and then had to leave university because her perpetrator was still in the same class or was asked to drop out 'cause they were falling behind. It was those, those stories shared experiences that really moved people in senior roles who have their hands on the leaves of power. Yep.

Speaker 1 00:08:10 And leaves of power is so fascinating at this point 'cause different people have at different points. But observing what we have earlier today, we heard PA Bala's very important oral history and testimony about issues of gendered violence. That's a good example, isn't it? You know, an individual voice on behalf of a collective experience is even doubly more powerful.

Speaker 3 00:08:30 Yes. And it's, there's, we are very rarely gonna have the opportunity to speak to every individual who's experienced something. Whether that's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have experienced daily racism and how that impacts their life. Or every student or staff member in fact who has been impacted by sexual violence or sexual harassment in university. But there are really amazing and important groups who gather those experiences, bring them together, and then they are able to share those up upstream if you like, or up the up the tree. And that's a, they're really valid experiences and we need to engage with those people who have had the opportunity to speak to everybody. We can't ask people to keep telling their story, keep sharing their experience because it can be re-traumatizing. Yeah. But if we can gather their stories and then share them, that's really important.

Speaker 1 00:09:14 Going to that point. I recall when I was very early on in my time here and met Uru or Kath Walker, she was then known, she gave a lot of advice to people, but she say gave some really sage advice and she just said, when I write poetry, it's not my voice, it's the people. And she was able to sort of bridge that gap of saying, you know, I am speaking oral history, so therefore we talk about acknowledgements, acknowledgement of country. But acknowledgement of practice and practice as well is really powerful. And it's almost as if you really listened to that, if you like encouragement in the process this year, a lot of voices were heard and they were very powerful as a collective too. Very good to see.

Speaker 3 00:09:54 Yes. And it does two things. It also helps people to feel like they've been listened genuinely to and 'cause we never, we can never not move if move issues forward without listening to people's experiences and allowing time and space for healing if that's what's needed. And at a minimum, listening genuinely to their experiences. Right. And we say that all the time actually at our watch. One of the things that I've learned from people in leadership in whether it's in universities or sports organizations or the media, and particularly from men actually is the most powerful thing they've done, is listen to the women in their lives about the impact of gender equality, inequality. Whether it's in workplace or at home or in their relationships. And so I think it's not until we listen deeply to people that we understand what the genuine issues are. Great.

Speaker 1 00:10:36 Listening is crucial. You've mentioned sports, we might just go there for a bit because it's been a big part of your history and of course you're still serving as a director of Carlton Football Club and you know the A FL is involved in this work as well. Maybe could you do a bit of a compare and contrast on what it's like working with a sporting league, one of the most important ones in the nation and say the group of universities and or the federal minister in that regard. What's the difference?

Speaker 3 00:10:59 We know that if we're going to change the community we live in to be more gender equitable and fair and respectful. And where women are not treated as less than or not equal, that we need to change all the places we spend our time. Yep. So education settings from kinder right through to university workplaces where we spend a lot of time, our sporting organizations, our where we go to pray and our faith settings and in our interaction with media, all of those places need to be places where we look at and see gender equality and respect for women and non-binary people. And, and we see that. And so we're bit by bit, we're gonna change the environment we live in. I think some of those places we spend time in are kind of cornerstone settings though education, certainly if you think about the amount of time we spend in education and the impact it has on the rest of our life.

Speaker 3 00:11:45 And I think sport is one of those in a country like Australia where people are quite sport mad, they listen to and respect what comes outta their sporting organizations, they engage with them themselves. What the leaders of sporting organizations tell them matters to them at a deep personal level. And I've seen that even more than I realized by being involved with one of the A FL clubs. And so the A FL clubs, NRL, you know what happened with the Matildas earlier this year? Any sporting organization in this country also has a responsibility to contribute to gender equality. If you think about universities or sporting organizations, they're both gonna say to you, yeah, but gender equality's not my main job. My main job's educating people or my main job is winning premierships or my main job's, selling tires, whatever it is. But we've moved past that. Yeah. We've moved to a place where big cornerstone institutions understand they have a responsibility to create an Australia where everyone can thrive and not just survive, not just be free from violence but thrive. Yeah. And so sporting organizations are really very similar to universities in that regard.

Speaker 1 00:12:51 I think that's a fascinating insight. It's one thing to be talking about research around sport and we do a lot of it here and very proud to do so. And but what we also feel, and we've seen it, is whatever age group, and we're talking about literally from birth, these insights work and early stages of childcare, early stages of coaching, early stages of sports, participation in groups, cross gendered groups and so on. They're all elements of both enno enablement and risk. Both, both sides come together. So really in a way, by the time we're talking about, you know, study at university, a lot has happened beforehand. We must have cognizant of those early stages. So how much of that is going back in time in this work we're talking about, you know, university. But really doesn't it all start in earlier childhood?

Speaker 3 00:13:33 It's what we certainly know is that it's a responsibility of everybody to be setting this environment. So everybody who's bringing up children, the parent, the adults at home also need to model healthy and respectful relationships and not getting stuck on the rigid stereotypes about men must do this and women must do that. You know, men will go out and earn money and women will clean. Yeah. Boy, children will take the bin out and girl children will vacuum like right back from there. We are setting a story. Yeah. So we need to challenge those as adults right from the start. And not just parents, but the, the aunties, the sports coaches, the uncles, the people around as well. And then we are doing some work at the moment in what about early childhood settings? How do we have conversations about healthy relationships in early childhood that are age appropriate?

Speaker 3 00:14:18 Yeah. So what happens in people's head is as soon as you talk about consent and respect for relationships in early childhood, they say, that's too young to be talking about sex. And That's right. It is too young to be talking about sex and nobody is. But we are talking about, oh, you should get permission to give your friend a hug. Actually. You don't have to be hugged by somebody if you don't want. Yeah. So it's always gotta be age appropriate. But we think there's a lot more work that can be done in the early childhood and early primary school settings because you are right by the time we get to into university, a lot of our views about women and about relationships have already been

Speaker 1 00:14:54 Set. And the beauty of universities, why I love, you know, working at them privileged to be working at them is that we cover that whole spectrum. I mean, there's a really amazing sense in which, you know, even at Victoria University, early childhood care is part of the tafe, early childhood education is part of higher education and it's all a continuum, but it has to be overlayed with a sense of, you know, personhood, safety appropriateness, you know, guidance. You know. And so therefore, if we're to approach it something like a national center of excellence in early childhood, all of these things would have to happen. You know, and they could and they should and they would, but not by ourselves. Hence, you know, school systems, childcare systems, our watch itself. We really think this is the making of something where you can revolutionize as an exemplar the way that happens. Now, we'd like to think that might work for our watch as well. Do you have sort of similar views yourself about where there, there could be sort of exemplars of working this together?

Speaker 3 00:15:47 I think the work that you, you started this podcast by saying that we are here to, 'cause we work together and this work will not be achieved by any one organization or one individual. It will always be done as teamwork. And people call it a puzzle or a team sport or whatever you wanna call it. But the truth is that it needs to be multiple systems interacting with each other at every part of our community life. Universities have all of that. And a university like vu, you've got, as you said, childhood, early childhood settings. You've got gyms here, you've got a big hospital being built over the road. You've got tradies all over the place. You've got a secondary school. You've got amazing high rates of people who, who have English as a second language, high levels of people who describe themselves as being gender diverse.

Speaker 3 00:16:32 And so this is an amazing microcosm of the broader community. And everybody you impact then also goes into their own home life or their own sports club or their own faith setting. And so the only way we'll achieve this is by bringing those multiple layers and multiple forms of the parts of our lives together to do the work. And it's where the leadership of something like VU is so important. And, and so I absolutely think we've got an opportunity as an em as, as an exemplar here, particularly as VU is this partnership that you have with our watch to implement educating for equality, which is how do we put equality across the whole university through a gendered lens at every part in your marketing, in your, in your curriculum, in, in every part of your organization that we are working on an exemplar piece here. Yeah.

Speaker 1 00:17:18 And that's the genuinely exciting, you know, prospect and intent. One things that I looked at in preparation for today was just how many of our students speak languages other than English? 70.3% at home. Okay. 73.3%. And often English is the second or third language spoken at home. And yet people often talk in the sector about international students as if they are a category. I kind of hate that because I was one myself. I didn't like to be a category, you know, because we're just, you know, people from different places, right. Who move across borders. But think about it this way, 23% of our numbers are quote, international students. More than 70% speak international languages. Now that to me is the lived experience as opposed to the category of visa. And it, what's great is your program, our program together can address the 70, the a hundred percent, not just the 23. And that's important too.

Speaker 3 00:18:11 It, it's the huge challenge that we, and we are very good at doing this as humans, as the othering, you know, one in four people have disability. That's that one in four, one in four people have parents who are born overseas and one in whatever it is 10 has is expresses as non-binary or gender diverse. But actually they're not categories. They're just us. Yeah. We are all that. And so the more, and I think that's, we talk about intersectionality and making sure we do intersectional practice, but we kind of, it's, it's a tricky term that people don't really understand, but it's actually how do we make sure it's all of us and how do we make sure we talk to all of those different groups and individuals. 'cause even if you are from one of those groups, you might not identify as an overseas student. You just identify as Adam who's here studying. Yep. And so it's the real challenge for us and the opportunity as you position it to bring everybody into the conversation because this is our community.

Speaker 1 00:19:03 Yeah, it certainly is. And another aspect which is fascinating is if you look at histories, and I'm interested in histories, we all are more than a hundred years of history in the predecessor institutions here. Well over. And also the number of graduates of those, it's, we're talking 270,000 people somewhere in the world, including over a hundred nations outside Australia. Right? So if you imagine the reach of this program together isn't just the current student body, but alumni perspective. So 43,000 current students, nearly 270,000 former, and of course staff as well. It, the reach starts to get a lot bigger. So, you know, reaching them is a challenge too, which we can embrace.

Speaker 3 00:19:42 One of the issues with preventing violence against women and the notion that we do it through building gender equality is that people feel like it's too big. Where would we start for start? People will say, it's not in my world and I dunno about it. And even if it is, it's too big, how do we do it? Yeah. But actually when you think about that story you just shared, how many of those people, if we get most of those people starting to, to really engage with gender equality and not, and gender based violence, and then they all take that into their world, their sphere of influence goes a long way. Yeah. I think the same at the football club I'm involved with that has 95,000 paid up members. Right. And we have a program on gender equality. Yeah. If even a third of those take that on and start living it more, more deliberately in their own lives, that's a huge impact. So it's that we don't know where the tipping point is. We don't know whether, you know, where we get herd immunity to use covid language. But what we know is we need to keep doing this work and reaching as many people as we can and asking them to reach as many people as they can. And then hopefully one day we'll get to the point where this violence against women and non-binary and gender diverse people disappears altogether. Yeah.

Speaker 1 00:20:44 And wouldn't that be an, you know, that's got to be the aim. You know, we see, for example, you know, St. Alban's, which is one of our, you know, great campuses in the west of Melbourne and one of the, you know, kind of new approaches if you like, is instead of having society out there and education in here, this flip campus model or industry at the core has seen Lifeline establish a whole building there. Autism spectrum or aspect, establish a building there, Melbourne City Mission establish a building there. And instead of them operating individually as pro bono or NGOs or working for the public, they're working together with each other. And more than half the clientele is from outside. So actual people. Actual people. So they may not be students of vu, but they're clients of those organizations. That's also a way in. So we'd like to think every single client could also be touched, reached by these pro policies that we are, we we're trying to do together. It's a, a whole new way of looking at the world, which is we're servants rather than telling people what to do.

Speaker 3 00:21:44 Yes. Being in service to our community, I think is a, is fundamental. I also think that flip that you are talking about is so important. I think I'm a bit of a governor, I like good governance and I've been on boards and I'm, you know, all of that sort of stuff. And a lot of people are, but one of the things that you know about ev just about every organization you've ever been involved with or have something in their values about welcoming or people feeling safe and welcome here or being a part of this, whatever it is. And I often say, well what does that mean? Welcome, welcome. If you are white welcome. If you are a athlete, welcome. If you're a student or just welcome. Yeah. And so then if you take that, the next level, so if, if I, if I want everybody to feel welcome here at VU is that if people who are in a wheelchair is that people who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander is that people from the community next door. And then you start viewing it from, you know, go around the other side of the table and look at it from a different perspective. And that starts to change the way you do things. And so it sort of shines a light on your community responsibility rather than saying, we'll just do our little bit here.

Speaker 1 00:22:41 And it's also the evidence-based changes, you know, because we were told by the CEO of Lifeline that the number of calls per week this year, we talked about 20, 23, 2000 calls per week higher than at the peak at the pandemic from mental health advice. Okay. Now that's just an, a sample here, but it's also likewise throughout all of Australia. So we're not talking about just a microcosm, we're talking about a real problem. And gendered violence is a big part of it, you know, so let's not just imagine that we're talking about here something we can actually quantify the size of the, of the, of the challenge and it needs to be addressed. That's why we have to do it. And I'm sure that getting back to Minister Claire, he'd be very interested in those figures as well as would ministers for social security and industry and everything, every other portfolio.

Speaker 3 00:23:27 Yes. I agree. And I still, I think we always kept coming back to those stats, really shock our brains. There's, there's a statistic I was looking at in preparation for today to say something like 23% of university staff feel unsafe at least once a week or similar. That's not quite the right stat, but it's similar and it just feels insurmountable. So I do keep coming back to what is your role as an individual? Yes. As an individual person and who interacts with another individual. Yeah. But also what is your sphere of influence? Yeah. Because everybody in this room, everybody who's listening to this podcast will have a sphere of influence and you don't have to be the prime minister or the CEO EO of the vc. Mm. To, to have influence. It could be in your family, it could be the sports coach you are, it could be in your, even in your group of friends that catch ups on a catch catches up on a Friday for a drink or what have you. Every time you hear the sexist or the racist joke, you can say something. If you're in a leadership role, you can look at your organization's policies and procedures and make sure that they're got a gendered view on them. Or that you haven't got a bias of part-time staff who are women or you don't let that kid say that really awful sexist joke at footy. You actually challenge them. Yeah. And so each of us can just pull this massive insurmountable problem down into what can I do as an individual and in my sphere of influence,

Speaker 1 00:24:43 It's quite empowering then in that way. You know? 'cause some people feel, they say they feel disempowered. Well this is how you can gain it and regain it and achieve it together. I find that so inspiring the fact that, you know, there's a, a positive approach to what is a terrible issue. But it only will be addressed if we get it there. Then I think you said it before, run towards the problem, you know, lean towards the problem. Think of it as something which we must address together, rather than saying, oh, it's all too hard. 'cause I mean that is just giving up and we're never gonna do that.

Speaker 3 00:25:12 Yeah. It's arbitrarily I'll say, everyone's got 10 units of energy to spend a day. You can spend two units of it fighting off something. How do we get outta this? I don't wanna have that tough conversation. Nothing to see here. Or you can spend that same two units of energy going, I need to do something here. I wonder where I start. Who can I speak to about it? What is my job in that? And that two units of energy you spend leaning in or running towards the problem is a positive two units. It's, it brings other people along. You're having a positive conversation. You're learning, you are understanding what you can do to contribute. And so it, I think then it doubles. It's not two anymore, it's four because it's enjoyable and it's positive. When you spend that same two units of energy trying to avoid the problem, there's not much positive going on there. Yeah. So that's the individual thing that we can do. We can apply a different view to this work.

Speaker 1 00:25:57 Yeah. And there is that kind of physics, you know, equa equation that says energy begets energy, you know, like it actually reproduces more and the more people who get on board, it's like a constellation of effects, which is great to see really is Now were you always this energetic?

Speaker 3 00:26:15 Apparently? I just think we are very fortunate, Adam, to live in a country that where we have all the things we need mostly, and I know I'm making a generalization because it's not the case for everyone, but I feel like I am in a position where I can use the energy I have and the influence I have to make a contribution to the community. And so that's really important to me. So I acknowledge that people, not everyone can do that all the time because there's lots going on in their lives. Yep. But I feel like I'm in a position to do that. And so it's incumbent on me to do. So

Speaker 1 00:26:46 I think it's fantastic, honestly, we're so grateful for that. And we're also going to be later today, you know, signing a formal contract, which though we had an MOU and we're working thoroughly for the last 12 months. It just gives us even more structured to it. That's for the next four years, possibly five, possibly more with particular, you know, goals and aims together. What do you think is the role of sort of KPIs in these things? Like, I mean, how important are they as opposed to the, the, the general aim? You know, what, what do you think?

Speaker 3 00:27:15 Anybody who's been in any workplace, or actually even in your own personal life knows that if you've got KPIs, you've got something to aim for. KPIs are really important to break down. The big issue. If we just said outta mind in five years time, we'll have this done. We, we dunno what the markers along the way are. That's not that, that means it's also hard to bring other people along because people are, need to be clear about what their part of the job is. It also gives us something to measure to say, this is how we're going. It gives us an opportunity to get to a KPI and say there's parts of that that aren't working or aren't interacting with the other KPIs very well. Let's, let's review that and change that. It also allows us to take account of the bigger environmental system and what's changed in it. For example, at the, as you said at the start of the year, we did not think there would be an action plan to prevent gender-based violence that all universities will be required to fulfill. And so that might, that might change one of the KPIs. So it is that thing about visibility, accountability. How do we hold ourselves to account? How do we share our story with other people? How do we give people guidance? So I think KPIs or targets or any of those kind of words are really important in this work.

Speaker 1 00:28:22 Good. Well we certainly agree too. And that's in the document by the way, colleagues. So you'll be pleased to hear. And the other part of it is this, we don't know exactly what's gonna happen next year. We know though that there's amazing, in important three reviews being handed down together. One, the migration review, imminent second skills review just happened. And the third is what's called the Accord or Higher Education Review. All these things come together. So I don't know what you've been hearing, you know, around Canberra, but you know that these are the big three. How do we play in all three at once is the question.

Speaker 3 00:28:57 I think with any of these things, it's really important to have a look where the consistent messages across the three are. I mean, there'll be some things that are legislative and you need to require, need to do them. And so they'll be at the top of your list. But I, I think it's really important to look at where the consistency is, how it aligns to the work you're doing, what your vision is, what your organizations, you know, your own targets are and so forth. And then really get people to buy into them and the reason why they are important and make them personal as well. Yeah. So I do think, again, these things can be overwhelming, but to, you know, do the old fashioned, lay out the recommendations and see which bits you're already doing well at where, where the priorities are. We know that this work won't be done overnight. It does any, no major change is, but it's important we start, we have a clear roadmap, we prioritize and we bring people along.

Speaker 1 00:29:44 Yeah. And I think reporting back to our populations as we go is just as important as reporting at the outset. You know, in other words, each stage of the way saying guess what, this has happened and we're, you know, proud of this or we need to do more work on that. Owning the good, owning the bad, addressing both, not resigning from either. I think that's the

Speaker 3 00:30:03 Key. Yes. And I think people like you and I, Adam, have lots of really good ideas. My staff will tell me this quite often and I go out with it and they'll say, that's not quite gonna work, Patty. So it's really good to go out with the idea, test it, get feedback, change it, do something for a year. If it's not working, change it. Don't get stuck. Yeah. You know, I must succeed to do, you know, on this thing. Keep being agile as we go is important.

Speaker 1 00:30:24 But look, being accused of being an ideas machine isn't the worst thing in the world. Okay. Let's face it. Be much better than being bereft of originality, isn't it? You know, so,

Speaker 3 00:30:32 Well, you and I just talking to each other, we we're doing all right with our ideas aren't we? Don't look, we might look at, at people who, who work with us.

Speaker 1 00:30:39 Well, it's the collective of ideas that's in the room and listening online. I think it's gonna be the key for this. 'cause the, you know, the best possible solutions often come from an unexpected source, you know, and one of the things I've found recently, for example, we were just observing this, even in social media, which can be so much wrong in terms of this area occasionally does help too, you know, and people come forward with great ideas that they just pop with them. And that may be a solution to something we haven't thought of as well. So using technology cleverly using the broader family cl you know, I think cleverly and also even using politics cleverly, let's face it, it isn't just being summoned to Canva, it's what we take to Canberra or to Spring Street or whatever government it is. We've gotta ball up solutions, I think. Not just the issues.

Speaker 3 00:31:21 Yeah. And, and you and I, Adam have an experience of life, but it does, but it's, there are so many experiences we don't have, you know, from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective, or from a perspective of a woman with a disability or from a multicultural person who's come here to study. And so we've gotta keep having conversations with people because our view is only as broad as it is. Yeah. And we need to keep bringing other people in.

Speaker 1 00:31:43 So true. My frustration is not having enough experience. I don't know if the rest of you would agree, but we always want to have more. But we don't want to presume we know what it feels like for others. But we do wanna listen. And I think right from the beginning of this talk today, we talked about the power of listening. The power of listening to power, power of listening to victim survivors, the power, power of listening to groups and, you know, focal groups and also those organizations and the power of listening to each other. And to me, if we get the power of listening, right, we're halfway there, then it's the power of doing, which is the other half. And that's what I think we're about today. So just a, a final comment before we sign. What do you think will be in a year's time, if we can look back in those KPIs, what do you think we should try to do in the next year? What's our number one task?

Speaker 3 00:32:26 I think the commitment is that we keep moving forward and we keep asking our people about what the most important next thing is. And we achieve that. Now there'll be a list, whether it's let's review policies and see how we're going there, and let's do an audit to make sure that we've, we've got women in leadership and let's, you know, do the survey of students to see how their safety is. Whatever that is. It's, it's mostly about making sure the momentum keeps moving us forward. Some things will come along that slow us down or things will come in from left field we hadn't thought about. It's about picking ourselves up and keep moving and keep things transparent and keep bringing in people into the conversation.

Speaker 1 00:32:59 Fantastic. What an inspiration. Please join me in thanking Patty Kinley. Great.

Speaker 5 00:33:05 Well done.

Subscribe now

Get new episodes of People of VU automatically