Happy holiday season – and reflections on 2012

As the year draws to a close and thoughts turn to time out with family and friends during the Christmas break, we’d like to wish all of our email subscribers a happy, safe and joyful season of reflection and recharge.

2012 has been another good year for the Newcastle Institute.

We started the year with a very special event to commemorate the fall of Singapore in 1942, with a special presentation in February, from Dr Peter Hendry who was able to provide a personal recollection on the events as a participant. 

Our year then gathered momentum in March with popular speaker, Michael Ondaatje, looking both back and forward at the scene in the US, heading toward a Presidential election year in Obama’s America: A Critique of the Critics.

In April, as part of some recurrent themes, it was a look at transport and infrastructure needs for Newcastle, followed by some feedback from the Hunter Development Corporation and information about the Infrastructure Investment Fund in our May event: Developing the Hunter.

In a wonderful example of the Newcastle Institute’s capacity to promote respectful debate and discourse, the Hunter Room at City Hall was packed in June to hear ideas and opinions about Reinventing Newcastle’s NIght Life, following a huge social media campaign within Newcastle in support of different perspectives on small bars and other entertainment options related to the Night Time Economy on Newcastle.

July saw a significant milestone for the Institute as we relaunched as the Newcastle Institute, and then, in August, partnered with Newcastle University and then the Newcastle Herald, for events featuring Cheryl Kernot, and then a major Mayoral Candidates’ Forum at Panthers.

In September, we took ‘Newy’ a personification of Newcastle, to visit a panel of Psychologists and Counsellors in Newcastle on the Couch. This look at the ‘psyche’ of Newcastle through characterisation was recorded and can be viewed on our website. Please feel free to leave your comments to keep the discourse going.

For October, Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline McMillen, presented a look at the changing face of tertiary education against a rapidly changing global context and talked about the great, often unremarked upon, gains and achievements of our university in The Future of the University: the Future of Newcastle.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you should also take a few minutes to have a look at NeW Directions: 2013-2015, a speed drawing video outlining some of the context and achievements for our University. (available at the Engage site.)

A big year at the Newcastle Institute was rounded out in November with Institute patron and economist Ross Gittins with his presentation The Economics of Just About Everything.

2012 also saw a continued growth in our ‘reach’ via social media, with an additional 150 ‘Likes’ for our Facebook page and around 300 ‘Followers’ for our Twitter account. These are not huge numbers but demonstrate the growing number of ‘channels’ available for connecting and collaborating.

All in all it has been a busy year, with our team of volunteers working to continue to deliver a program of events which reflect some of the current issues and contextual themes for our city and region.  If you have feedback from the year, or ideas for events in 2013, please use the Contact Us link above to get in touch: we’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, from all of us, have a great Christmas and festive season!

We look forward to your continued support in 2013.



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