July 16, 2009

Charles Darwin University joins Innovative Research Universities

Innovative Research Universities (IRU) expanded this week with the announcement that the Northern Territory’s Charles Darwin University (CDU) will join the network.

Chair of IRU and Vice-Chancellor of James Cook University Professor Sandra Harding announced today that CDU has become a member of the IRU network of universities, which promotes high-quality research, member collaboration and provides a unique perspective in advancing the Australian Government’s education agenda.

CDU joins IRU members Flinders, Griffith, James Cook, La Trobe, Murdoch and Newcastle universities.

Professor Harding said CDU was a valuable addition to IRU, sharing similar priorities to the present members, and significantly broadening the group’s reach across Australia.

“Charles Darwin University is renowned for its research expertise and leadership in tropical and desert knowledge of the Australian and Asia-Pacific region, with particular focus on Indigenous knowledge and addressing problems of importance to people of the region,” she said.

“The seven members of IRU now cover every mainland State of Australia and the Northern Territory. CDU’s membership will provide further opportunity for joint collaboration, and to share expertise in areas of common interest, including research and teaching and learning.”

IRU’s combined research strengths include social wellbeing and inclusion, Indigenous education, tropical research, climate change adaptation, sustainable agribio science, and society and health.

CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover said partnerships were central to the development of the University, which has eight campuses and centres across the Northern Territory. The University already had productive existing relationships with several IRU members.

“I am particularly pleased with the invitation to join IRU, as it will facilitate further collaboration between CDU and like-minded universities,” Professor Glover said.

“CDU already has a strong relationship with Flinders University in areas such as engineering, medicine, heritage studies and language programs,” he said.

Other immediate opportunities included developing an oral health program in conjunction with JCU and the University of Newcastle, and expanding links to JCU, Griffith and Murdoch in the areas of tropical research and development, he said.

The announcement was made in Perth during a two-day IRU forum for senior university staff.