Dear alumni

As this eventful year draws to a close I would like to offer you my best wishes for the holidays, and for a peaceful and prosperous 2009.

This has been quite a year in the wider world of politics and economics. It has also been quite a year for me personally. I left Sydney for Oxford in 1988, little realising that my time there would prepare me to return to the University as Vice-Chancellor, a post I was thrilled to take up in July.

You are probably aware that the University is in a time of transition. Some beautiful new buildings are nearing completion but there are more to come to provide better space for our staff and students and room for our increasing research activities. In 2009 our strategic plan needs revising and we will have important conversations about our priorities for the future.

This year I have implemented changes in our decision-making processes to bring the faculties more centrally into strategic planning for the institution as a whole. My vision is that faculties should be free to pursue their own goals, relevant to their fields of expertise, but that the University as a whole should be a coordinated and cohesive community. It has been gratifying to watch my colleagues respond to this understanding of how the University might operate.

With this in mind, I would like you to know that I am very aware of the interest of the alumni community in the wellbeing and development of the University.
I would like to thank you for your continuing involvement and for the kindness shown to my family and me by those we have met – and I hope to meet many more of you before long. The commitment of alumni to this great institution to which we all owe so much is vital to its success. I am also keen that alumni should participate in our conversation about the priorities of the University. So, if there is anything that you would like to let me know, please do contact me via email at

Best wishes
Michael Spence
Vice-Chancellor and Principal

$99M medical education and research facility opened

NSW Minister for Health John Della Bosca and the Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence officially opened the new $99 million Kolling Building at Royal North Shore Hospital in November, providing a new purpose-built facility for medical researchers and clinical educators. Read more

Feedback from the eSydney survey

Thank you to the nearly 1000 alumni who completed our survey in the November edition of eSydney, your feedback is greatly appreciated. We are now working through the individual feedback responses provided.

In summarising the results, 64% of respondents preferred a monthly e-newsletter (versus 36% every two months), 92% found the format easy to read and navigate and the top four interests were University news, followed by lectures, events and alumni profiles.

Concert | Sydney University Graduate Choir
Saturday 13 December (8pm)
Join the Sydney University Graduate choir in the magnificent Great Hall for its final concert of 2008, 
J S Bach's Mass in B Minor. More ...
Reunion | Wesley College 1969-1979
Saturday 14 February (5pm)
Wesley alumni who resided at the college from 1969-1979 are cordially invited to return to the college for a weekend reunion. More ...
Alumni Discussion Dinner with Justice Michael Kirby
Saturday 28 February (6pm)

Alumni and friends are invited to a Discussion Dinner with Justice Michael Kirby, currently Australia's longest serving judicial officer. Justice Kirby will retire from the bench of the High Court of Australia in 2009. More ...

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International alumni associations
International alumni associations are already planning their events for 2009, with a European Alumni Reception in Paris on 1 July, the UK Alumni Reception on 2 July, and the SUGUNA Conference in Los Angeles on 21-22 August.

Click here to view a complete listing of international associations on our website.
G'Day USA in Los Angeles and New York
January 13 and 20, 2009

Alumni and friends are invited to two wonderful events as part of the G'Day USA activities, which include a film screening in Los Angeles and a concert at Carnegie Hall. More ...

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University closedown period
Christmas/New Year 08-09

Please note that the University of Sydney will be closed for two weeks from 5pm Friday 19 December until Friday 2 January 2009.

The Alumni Relations Office will re-open on Monday 5 January.
Kid’s museums: school holiday activities on again

Sydney University Museums will once again provide a great range of school holiday activities for children aged 5-12 over the summer holiday season, from handling artefacts from Egypt, Greece and Rome to looking at the microscopic world.

Click here for dates and details

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