NECTAR Co-Chairs

The NECTAR Co-Chairs are appointed annually as the representatives of ECAs at ANU and leaders of NECTAR.

The Co-Chairs lead the advocacy NECTAR as a representative of the ECAs of ANU as follows:

  • Take a lead in NECTAR governance, particularly in relation to advocating the needs of ECAs.
  • Take turns to act as spokesperson and represent NECTAR at key meetings with the University Executive.
  • In conjunction with NECTAR staff, facilitate and maintain close working relationships between NECTAR and other stakeholders concerned with the welfare of ECAs at ANU.

Read the full role description and criteria here. Nominations are currently open for the Co-Chair role, closes 17 Aug 2021. Nominate here of by emailing NECTAR Office

Mari Kondo

ANU College of Health and Medicine

John Curtin School of Medical Research

I am a part-time Visiting Fellow at the John Curtin School of Medical Research and am a Japanese-Australian female ECA with 2 young children. I was elected to NECTAR Co-Chair in February 2020 and re-elected for a second term in August 2020.

I am passionate about increasing awareness around the additional barriers faced by particular groups of ECAs (including female, carer, disability, culturally and linguistically diverse, LGBTIQ+, casual and sessional staff), and working towards changing attitudes and improving policies. I believe that putting systems in place to support our ECAs, especially groups who are disadvantaged by current systems, is more important than ever for ANU to weather the COVID-19 storm and come out stronger on the other side.

I represent NECTAR on the ANU IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access) Family Friendly Committee.

Bin Lu

ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science

Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering

This is a particular time – things changed quickly and lots of things are out of control due to Covid-19. Our early-career academics are more vulnerable to this situation, as many of our jobs are short-term contracts relying on external or internal funding, so we usually have less job security. Therefore, it is important that the Executives of the University, colleges and schools can hear our voices, and take them into account when making decisions.

NECTAR is a “platform” where early-career teachers, academics and researchers across the campus can share information, thoughts and work/life experiences. I think NECTAR is building a bridge between the Level D and E executives and the Level A, B and C staff. This can be an effective channel of communicating with the senior management group to express our ideas, thoughts and concerns.

The University’s Strategic Plan 2020-2023 highlights building a culture of collegiality and engagement. As an active member of NECTAR, I’m keen to contribute time and energy to lead future NECTAR initiatives and work with you during this particular period of time.

Bin Lu Represents Early Career Academics on the Universtiy Research Committee.

Hieu Nguyen

ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science

Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering

I worked at Intel Corp for two years as an engineer before joining academia. At ANU, I conduct research in energy materials and solar cells, convene a double-badged Photovoltaic Technologies course for undergraduate and Master students and lead a group of 10 people (PhDs, Masters, research assistants). I have received two back-to-back research fellowships, won several small, medium and big-size grants, participated in many media interviews, established a few optical labs and publish many journal papers. On the other extreme, I have also had many research grant proposals failed and a countless number of journal submissions rejected. All these experiences, both good and bad, have happened to me only within the last several years. Therefore, I can integrate my real experiences to develop initiatives and programs to help ECAs navigate through their careers during this challenging time at ANU.
I received the CECS Dean’s Award for Excellence in Supervision, was nominated for the ANU VC’s Award for Excellence in Supervision and in February 2020 I was ANU Supervisor of the Month. As a Co-Chair, I would be particularly interested in enabling ECAs to be excellent supervisors and to further support a push for a more collegial culture at ANU.

Kai Zhang

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

School of Culture, History and Language

I am a casual-sessional teaching and research staff at the College of Asia and the Pacific. I have benefited greatly from the NECTAR Mentoring Program and would like to contribute to the ECA community. I share the experience of many fellow ECAs, who on the one side, are passionate about the teaching and research work unfolding in front of us, but on the other side, suffer from great uncertainty, financial insecurity and even occasional lack of confidence. Therefore, I would like to attend to the bonding and networking among ECAs and casual-sessional staff in particular, so that we can be more resilient through mutual support and sharing of experiences.