Social Problem Solvers at The Brunswick Green

The Institute is made of people, by people and for people.

We are social creatures and we do like to get together. That’s just the way we do things.

Every 3 months (minimum) we have a meeting. We usually get together somewhere that has conspicuous character. The last two Socials have been at The Brunswick Green which is really a beautiful garden hiding behind the very Melbourne looking shop front at 313 Sydney Road.

The gardens are special but it’s the people that work there that make it really special. It is a family run business. Under the guidance of the wonderful Marrit it manages to create a rather different ambiance. There is a bit of the Nederlands style “Brown Cafe” about it. There is beer but there is much more than beer. Which is good for our crew of mentors, less than half of us drink beer. It is a more like a meeting place than a drinking place and this suits our needs. We eat, we talk and we are made to feel very welcome.

The Institute organises these events to get Mentors together. We talk about how our scholars are going, we share tips and resources and we plan future projects. That’s what we did last Friday. Thanks to all who came.

At this Social we welcomed three new recruits; Sam, Gerald and Matthew. We welcomed back several people that had been away.

We introduced one of our very special Board Members, Dr Rachel Wilson of the School of Media and Communications, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). Rachel is a very important part of what we are trying to do. We want to create a community in and around The Institute for Enquiring Minds, one that’s representative of the world of mathematics and one that fosters a sense of belonging. Belonging is a big deal. Rachel and her co-academic lead Bronwyn Clarke, have been working on this and have published extensively. The centrepiece of their work is “The Belonging Project” which I shall place a link to below. Their work has been embraced on a very large scale by RMIT and it’s 84,000 students. RMIT has seen enormous benefits across its multiple campuses. We want to apply Dr Wilsons and Dr Clarkes ideas to a much more nebulous group; mathematicians in general. It is a complex multi-layered idea that we will expand upon in a later article.

We were also very proud to formally announce our first Member of The Institute; Finn McGlade. Finn has been with us from the very start and he was our first Mentor. He has led a series of Mentorships and all the feed back has been awesome! Finn is soon to leave Melbourne to pursue a PhD in San Diego. We shall miss him and to make sure we didn’t lose such a talent we have made him the first Mentor that has been invited to become a full Member of The Institute. This is just the start as we hope that most of our current Mentors will become Members of The Institute in the months and years to come. Being a Member of the institute includes helping guide the direction that we take in the future and it includes voting rights. More on what it means to be a Member later. (That’s two follow up articles in the pipeline.)

The Institute is made of people, by people and for people. Problem solving people. Good people.