RMIT University has been active in OHS education for some time and it is hoped that the OHS lecturers might wander down the corridors and knock on the door of Professor Bruce Wilson.
On 28 May 2010, RMIT university launches its European Union Centre (EUC). According a media notice about the launch, the EUC intends to
“..promote a better understanding of the European Union and EU-Australia relations….”
and, according to Professor Wilson
“…offers a footstep into Asia for Europe, to help address deep-seated challenges. The Centre will use RMIT’s strong linkages with Asia to enhance European understanding and engagement with the region, tackling vital issues such as the future of cities, people mobility, border security and climate change.”
The EUC has a fairly broad brief and will conduct a variety of events, seminars, etc on matters of mutual interest.
SafetyAtWorkBlog spoke briefly with Professor Wilson to see whether OHS would be a matter of interest. He said it would and mentioned the issue of working hours in Europe was of particular OHS relevance. Professor Wilson is no stranger to labour relations and OHS as he was the Director of the Union Research Centre on Organisation and Technology Limited (URCOT). Given that the UK is part of Europe, the EUC may be a local avenue for information about Commonwealth OHS laws, cases and precedents.
SafetyAtWorkBlog has written elsewhere about the similar challenges between Australia and the European Union on the harmonisation of OHS laws.
Further details of the EUC’s launch are available through the university. The launch will centre around a keynote address by his Excellence David Daly, Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation to Australia and New Zealand, entitled “The Lisbon Treaty: Making Europe a stronger partner in the World”.
EUC Part 2
Curiously, another university in Melbourne, Monash, has its own European Union Centre, the Monash European & EU Centre. This MEEUC (?) was relaunched on 22 April 2010 and also had David Daly attend.
The Monash University EU Centre has a four-year head start on RMIT’s EUC and it is certainly worth looking at due to the interesting research projects that Monash has undertaken since 2009.
The question needs to be asked whether Melbourne needs two European Union Centres?
Both centres were approached for comment. Professor Wilson advised that
“…Monash has a very strong academic reputation with an internationally renowned European Studies scholar as its Director, RMIT is positioning its Centre as an opportunity for bridging several sectors, building on its strong industry engagement profile. Both Centres are at the heart of their university’s strategic direction, which tells you something about how they are differentiating themselves in the current climate of change.
At the same time, it is a clear expectation of the EU Centres program that the Centres do cooperate, and that will certainly characterise our relationship with the Monash Centre. We have already had one meeting directed to exploring possibilities, and there will be more. Already, both Centres have co-sponsored a seminar.”
The Director of the Monash European and EU Centre, Professor Pascaline Winand, has advised SafetyAtWorkBlog that EU Centres throughout Australia are “contemplating working together”.
Note: Kevin Jones studied at Monash University in English and Classical Civilisations but in the days before the internet and when the library was filled with drawers of index cards.