The ANU was founded as a national institution devoted to intellectual endeavour. An institution fostering knowledge and understanding of Australia and the world.
In its early days, names like Florey, Oliphant, Clarke and Hancock are what sustained it and allowed it to prosper. The School of Music was founded long before it became part of the ANU, by acclaimed violinist Ernest Llewellyn. It shares with the university a similar genesis; a purpose beyond mere vocational training and a staff that comprised some of Australia’s most talented musicians.
Many things have changed over time about the ANU. We’re told of new paradigms, new fiscal pressures and grandiose capital projects. One thing that must not be allowed to change though is the value we place on the people, the human capital. Those who have taken, and continue to take, this institution forward and enable it to fulfil its fundamental purpose.
The university’s intention to declare all School of Music positions vacant, cut the number of positions going forward and greatly restructure and reduce the music program, demonstrates a woeful disregard of those very people and for the principles on which the ANU was founded.
Published in The Canberra Times (Fairfax) – 8 May 2012