Thank you, Julie, for that warm welcome.
And thank you to the National Press Club for providing Australia’s higher education sector with this very important platform today.
I’m delighted to be here in my capacity as Chair of Universities Australia, the peak body representing Australia’s 39 comprehensive universities.
I want to begin with acknowledgement of the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples on whose land we are gathered today and pay my respects to their elders past, present and emerging.
Indigenous culture has ever been in this place – on country, in our nation, and for over 60,000 years before the first Australian university opened its doors.
One hundred and seventy short years after that, our enrolments and completion rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students still trail population parity and outcomes for non-Indigenous students.
This is a time when all Australians should be educating themselves and reflecting on what acknowledgement really means, and on the importance of the principle of constitutional recognition of First Nations peoples.
We still have such a very long way to go.
I’d also like to acknowledge some people in the room today:
- Senator the Hon Sarah Henderson, Shadow Minister for Education
- Mr Tony Cook PSM, Secretary of the Department of Education, and
- Members of the Australian Universities Accord panel
– Chair of the panel, Professor Mary O’Kane AC
– Distinguished Professor Larissa Behrendt AO
– Professor Barney Glover AO, and
– Mr Ben Rimmer
- The government’s newly appointed expert adviser, Patty Kinnersly, who is also the chief executive officer of Our Watch.
My apologies in advance for both the accent and especially for the lack of subtitles.
While I am indeed an Australian citizen, I’m afraid that my speed of delivery of the spoken word was honed on the northside of Dublin for the first 38 years of my life and after only 11 years here it’s now running at about half Irish speed, which is still about three times faster than top Australian listening speed.
I should also expand on how it is the tail end of bronchitis, which is underpinning my somewhat breathy delivery today, and not breathlessness from my having had to descend the many hundreds of steps of some imagined ivory tower to be able to be here with you.
It’s funny though, that here, in 21st Century Australia, of all places, this lucky country where the ‘fair go’ principle of recognition of attainment has cultural centrality, it somehow feels as if there has been a sustained effort to portray its universities as bloated anachronistic throwbacks from the 17th Century, disconnected from community and society, or, indeed, the national interest.
Why exactly that would be is something of a mystery to me.
Research recently commissioned by Universities Australia found that more than half of Australians have a positive attitude towards universities.
More than half is not an effusive qualifier.
It’s certainly not 100 per cent.
Why is that – and what can universities do to address this?
Of course, the same could be asked of government, which only 41 per cent of Australians view positively.
Or dare I say it, our good friends here from the media, which less than a third of Australians hold a positive opinion of – the notable exception here, of course, being the winners of the 2023 Universities Australia Higher Education Media Awards, whom we have just announced.
This may come down to trust.
Trust in institutions.
Trust in people.
But yet, and notably, the people that universities produce – doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers, IT professionals, and so on – are recognised as among the most trusted in the nation.
How far does the apple need to fall from the tree for there not to be a link between the two?
It has made me wonder why we as universities haven’t been successful in presenting facts about ourselves to the public – when we are obviously quite good at instilling knowledge and skills in our graduates, who now comprise quite a large proportion of that public.
Is it that somehow our messaging is unclear or lacks resonance in certain quarters – or is it that perhaps in some quarters the message, and with it the sector, is wilfully ignored?
We know that the Australian population turns to universities as sources for truth and as sources of innovation and enterprise and skilled graduates.
COVID-19 evidenced that incredibly clearly.
University researchers were relied on to provide expert commentary in at least 67,000 media stories during the first 12 months of the pandemic.
But somehow, universities have ended up as a ready punch bag or an easy target, used to score points in some inexplicable game of tall poppy decapitation – without assessing the facts of the matter.
Principal among those facts is that Australia’s universities exist to serve our entire nation and everyone who calls it home.
Yes, not every Australian has a university degree, and not every Australian will attend university in their lifetime – in fact, not every Australian wants to or necessarily should attend university – happily we are well served with great secondary and tertiary institutions which afford appropriate choice in education.
But all Australians are better off for the presence and contribution of our universities.
This is irrefutable fact.
Before I get carried away extolling the virtues of the sector I love, I’d like to dispense a little education if I may.
Please bear with me, it’s an occupational hazard.
In Ireland, in 1854, 20 years before the foundation of the University of Adelaide – the first one, not the new one we are now building – University College Dublin was founded by John Henry Newman, a Roman Catholic Cardinal.
Cardinal Newman was quite an unusual Roman Catholic, insofar as he started off as an evangelical Calvinist, then becoming a priest in the Church of England, before he finally settled down and signed up for the Catholic priesthood.
He was ultimately canonised as a saint in 2010.
There’s a metaphor somewhere in there for switching teams and allegiance and achieving greatness, but I haven’t given it sufficient thought to make it truly funny in this context.
Newman is relevant to our conversation here today though, as a philosopher and educationalist.
While the Irish potato famine was, through disaster, creating a diaspora which would later populate far flung nations, including, Australia with my kin, Newman was busy writing a book – ‘The Idea of a University’.
The philosophy of that book has shaped the evolution of most, if not all, of the modern universities we know today – everywhere on the planet.
And certainly, all Australian universities, the oldest of which had opened its doors a mere two years before its publication in 1852.
In the book, Newman argued that the role of a university was to educate the intellect to reason well in all matters, to reach out to – and to grasp – the truth.
It’s a simple premise, but it was very controversial in its day.
Fast forward 170 or so years and the idea of a modern university is somewhat more subtle.
There now exists subsurface tension between the purity of a vision of education for its own sake and contemporary government’s focus on and society’s expectations of education existing to serve broader social and economics ends.
I would contend that these two strong ideas of mission are not incompatible, both are necessary and no absolute choice between them should ever be required.
One critic of Newman’s 19th Century university said: “The young men are allowed to go out at all hours, to smoke, etcetera, and there has not been any fixed time for study”.
Imagine that! No fixed time for study.
Smoking aside, and allowing for better inclusion and diversity, 21st Century educators are working harder than ever to introduce flexibility to allow us to educate increasingly diverse populations of students.
Working to flexibly teach our students how to think – to reason – to seek out truth through their education in this era of artificial intelligence – and through that education, to overcome ignorance, and to excel and advance both themselves and society.
Flexibility in the provision of higher education is so much more important today than it was in Newman’s consideration of how a university should operate because – spoiler alert – education is not simply afforded to those making the progression from year 12 to first year university.
While commencing enrolments for students aged 20 and under have remained constant, an increasing amount of mature age students are now attending Australian universities.
This is particularly pronounced among those aged 40 years and over.
These are students with jobs, with families, with obligations, cares and concerns beyond the traditional considerations of a 17- or 18-year-old fresh from secondary school and eager to invest their hard-earned ATAR.
They are students from non-traditional backgrounds as entrants to higher education who are seeking to acquire new knowledge and skills and to translate those to benefit.
We cannot afford to continue to bias our thinking through a lens of belief in the existence of a ‘typical’ student, which can somehow be found equally distributed across our 39 universities.
I can categorically state that there is no one size fits all definition of an Australian university student.
That unicorn does not exist.
And from that, it follows that there can be no one size fits all definition of an Australian university either.
We teach and engage with individuals, with individual needs and requirements.
But up to now, a one size fits all sectoral lens has been applied to universities nationally, and policy and funding decisions have been, in the main, unilaterally sectorally applied – even though we know that they have variable local consequence.
Thinking of and embracing the value of the diversity of Australian higher education as a system in and of itself, a system of unique and differentiated organisations, rather than as a sector with assumed equivalence and homogeneity, could well be an appropriate starting point for its further improvement.
I would like to take this opportunity to put the word ‘reform’ to bed, if I may, as reform infers a requirement to change to compensate for an inherent deficit or irrelevance.
Our institutions perform so many vital functions on behalf of the nation, and in this pursuit, they are not in need of reform so defined, but rather of support as they seek to further improve.
The benefits which flow from Australian universities can be broadly captured under two key themes.
The first is the education of the skilled workforce that drives our productivity and economic growth – the workforce that Australia needs to deliver on its national priorities.
These workers, educated in our universities, permeate every corner of the economy, making it hundreds of billions of dollars bigger than it otherwise would be and underpinning a higher standard of living for all Australians, regardless of where they live.
The National Skills Commission’s employment projections show that in the next few years, more than half of all new jobs will be highly skilled – meaning they will require a university qualification.
Jobs in health care, professional, scientific and technical services, and education and training – all those trusted professions you can’t enter without a degree – are among the fastest growing industries.
These are all professions that will continue to drive our economy and the societal advances Australia needs.
If university attainment doesn’t progress beyond current levels, modelling puts the cost to the economy of undershooting the National Skills Commission’s target at $7 billion in 2026.
Addressing this challenge for our national benefit will require us to rethink how we upskill, reskill, and deliver units of education to learners in a manner commensurate with life-long learning.
This looming iceberg of skills shortage requires a much shorter turning circle than the provision of additional traditional three-year degree programs if it is to be avoided.
The ways in which we educate for attainment – our very definition of attainment – must now be reconsidered.
Timing, as we all know, is everything.
Regrettably, this is happening when Australian universities are more financially vulnerable than at any other time in our history, due to poor policy and pandemic consequence.
Any proposed interventions, however well intended, must be fully thought through.
The second theme of benefit is the contribution that higher education makes to social cohesion and human advancement through research and development.
Research is a major part of what universities do and Australian universities have a strong track record of excellence and impact.
Interestingly, a colleague of mine was once party to a dinner conversation with an elected official – a holder of very high elected office and, how can I put this, with significant influence over national policy.
For the purposes of narrative, lets fully anonymise that person and arbitrarily call him, ehm, Karen.
On learning that their fellow diner was an academic, Karen went on to openly question the very need for research – to question whether it was worth progressing research at all in
Australia when clearly the fruits of research conducted elsewhere could be readily bought.
Leave aside the fact that Wi-Fi, the bionic ear, penicillin, the pacemaker, printable solar cell technology and medical ultrasound are all Australian inventions developed by Australian university graduates in and with Australian universities, and all of them have transformed countless lives for the better.
I kid you not.
It was openly espoused – why would Australia not buy in the outcomes of research from somewhere else?
Oh hello, welcome to accident and emergency.
Could you please put your infection or your arrythmia or your bronchitis on hold while we wait for inspiration and invention to occur in due course somewhere overseas, ideally in a friendly nation who will engage to share the technology with us at a non-extortionate price?
I think you get the point.
The impact and value of sovereign research and development is immeasurable, and no nation can claim to be thoroughly successful without it.
Sadly, Australia’s research and development activities are comparatively significantly underfunded – to our detriment.
I will come back to this point later to highlight our sovereign risk, our systemic vulnerability and our challenge to address it.
Together, education and research elevate not only those directly involved in these activities but also the communities universities serve.
These pursuits broaden our horizons, they fire our ambitions to think bigger and better, and they challenge us to go beyond the realm of what we know, or think, is possible.
Universities are an indispensable partner in the delivery of initiatives underpinning this government’s plan for a better future for all Australians.
This is nothing new.
Universities, working with government and increasingly importantly with industry, have always been relied on to keep pace with the evolution of society and right now, society is evolving at an unprecedented rate.
Digitalisation, decarbonisation, artificial intelligence, national security, climate change, a growing population and the health and wellbeing of Australians – how we navigate these issues, and so many others, will define Australia’s success, safety and prosperity in the coming decades.
The two vital endeavours that universities undertake on behalf of the nation – that nexus of the education of skilled workers and the advancing of research and development – are only going to become more important as we confront those multigenerational challenges before us – challenges that are as myriad and varied as they are complex.
Recognising the innate interdependence of these endeavours is similarly vital.
These days, in some quarters of higher education in modern Australia, vocational education – the provision of skills and training – gets a bad rap.
It reminds me of that classic comedy sketch about the class system in 1960s Britain, the one with John Cleese, Ronnie Barker, and Ronnie Corbett.
If you don’t know it, it’s definitely worth a Google.
Except instead of exploring the absurdity of class divides, they’re educational divides, where those same tall poppy decapitators look down on universities, and some within universities look down on vocational education, and position it as somehow ‘lesser’.
I think that’s so incorrect and incredibly short-sighted.
Medicine is a vocation.
Teaching is a vocation.
Nursing, and so on.
These are cornerstones of the Australian higher education system.
Speaking of cornerstones, at the very centre of Stanford University in the United States sits a blacksmith’s forge.
The engineering department there was built around it on a framework of explicit vocational education.
Back in 1891, Leland Stanford wanted his students – all the children of California – to have a practical education – with utility and relevance and excellence and access in equal measure.
Those 19th Century Californian students and their successors ever since have been so fortunate to have access to education which is augmented through visionary private philanthropy – another area where Australia lags behind in the 21st Century.
Australian universities could do much worse than to aspire to revisit such goals:
• equity of access for the realisation of potential
• excellence in all facets of operation, and
• relevance in all facets of operation.
We can and we must move towards recognising Australian universities as being a forge for this nation.
A forge where new knowledge is created from many inputs – and in strong partnership with others beyond our institutions.
Where education which isn’t only linked to bounded degree parchments, but rather is linked to the validated competencies of the successful learner and where we learn to measure and to value outcomes, not inputs.
On this stage three weeks ago, Minister for Education Jason Clare released the Australian Universities Accord interim report, marking the midway point in the all-important Accord process.
The Accord, of course, has the potential to shape the future direction of higher education in Australia and the very fact that we are undertaking the process is itself firm recognition from government of the importance of universities and what we do for the nation.
There is already much to welcome in it – and in the five immediate action items announced by Minister Clare.
Universities have long called for uncapped places for all Indigenous students and the removal of barriers to a university education for students from other underrepresented backgrounds.
The extension of the Higher Education Continuity Guarantee is a critical step toward providing the long absent funding certainty that our institutions need to continue doing their job for the nation.
We are wholly supportive of the removal of the 50 per cent pass rule and we support the government’s intention to explore new funding models that are fairer for students and provide the resources universities need to educate the next generation.
I have already acknowledged today that we are not perfect.
With regard to recommendations on university governance, our institutions will continue to engage with government around these issues to ensure we are providing the best possible work and learning environment for staff and students.
We can and we will do better.
These five immediate actions are measures that will help us to do our job for the nation.
But they are only a start.
Fifteen years on from when the late Professor Emerita Denise Bradley AC conducted the last comprehensive examination of Australia’s higher education system, it is appropriate that we now would examine the funding and policy settings that underpin our institutions.
The strength and depth of commitment in the Accord report to advancing equity and access of participation in education is something which Denise would have relished.
She would have welcomed the intent to support underrepresented groups, to address placement poverty, to meaningfully advance work integrated learning and to engage with industry on the creation of innovative and contemporary curriculum.
Above all, Denise would have highlighted that participation in and of itself is not an outcome, that we must do more to see these learners succeed.
It would be quite remiss of me to come to the National Press Club of Australia and not make the case to government for greater support for the sector I represent and the enormous population that learns at our universities.
Apparently, that is somehow expected of those who stand on this stage, and I would hate to disappoint in that regard.
Australia is operating in a fast-changing strategic environment, and our universities are vital to how we respond to shifts in the domestic and global landscapes.
As a nation and as a society, the evidence all suggests that we need more of what universities do, not less.
And we need to do more of what we do in true partnership.
In partnership and collaboration not only with government but especially with industry, for mutual national benefit.
Two hours south of here, construction is underway on Snowy Hydro 2.0 – a nation-building renewable energy project that will help Australia transition, successfully we hope, to a clean energy future.
In my home state of South Australia, we will soon take on the enormous task of building a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines as part of the AUKUS initiative, along with developing other technology crucial to Australia’s national security.
AUKUS is one of the biggest industrial challenges in our history and is central to our nation’s defence.
Over in the west, Australia’s push to become a critical minerals powerhouse is gaining momentum as we seek to capitalise on our comparative advantage in this field by using more of our critical minerals to develop the products we need here at home – adding much-needed complexity to our national economy.
Such measures will help us to become a renewable energy superpower, while also driving the development of advanced technologies spanning defence, aerospace and medical applications.
Nationally, the rebuilding of Australia’s once great manufacturing industry is on in earnest, spurred by the Albanese Government’s National Reconstruction Fund.
This is boosting investment in manufacturing – from low emissions technologies and resources to agriculture, transport and defence – to create jobs, grow local capacity and breathe life once more into Australia’s industrial base.
These initiatives all have something in common.
The common thread through each and every one of them is that they cannot and will not be completed without our universities – either through the research and development we undertake, or by the skilled workers we educate.
We will not get Australian-made nuclear-powered submarines patrolling our waters without a highly educated and skilled workforce guiding the construction process decades before the boats leave the shipyard.
We will not get the thousands of new jobs and the economic boost infrastructure projects bring to regional communities and capital cities without the highly educated and skilled workforce which spends countless hours designing those projects long before the first sod is turned.
These are national challenges and opportunities we simply can’t rise to without universities, which is why we need our universities to be better supported, to be properly supported, to enable us to do our job for the nation.
But this is no one way street.
All the while, our universities will and must work harder to become better and more agile partners for their delivery.
And yet, at a time when our functions are needed most, Australian universities find themselves more financially vulnerable than at any other time in our history.
This is despite the fact that, prior to the pandemic, in 2019, Australian universities added almost $41 billion to the economy through the provision of much lauded international education.
Education is this nation’s largest service export industry and it’s the biggest export we don’t dig out of the ground, helping to pay for those essential services all Australians need and deserve.
This success must be amplified wherever possible – but it cannot be cemented in as a compensatory mechanism for a lack of sovereign supports in the core operation of our institutions – the house of cards so created would be even more vulnerable than before.
A decade of successive and consistent changes to policy and funding settings have had terrible consequences – resulting in caps on university places, confused market signals being sent to students, the abandonment of infrastructure investment initiatives and, most worryingly of all, government investment in research and development falling to its all-time lowest share of gross domestic product.
This see-saw of corrosive policy oscillation and accompanying funding uncertainty has made any kind of sustained strategic planning that any major institution must carry out almost impossible – not to mention the unique challenges thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic which further compounded our issues, and which are still washing through the finances of our universities today.
In case this is seen as something other than a statement of fact, I want to take this opportunity to make it very clear that universities and our operation of them are not about politics.
We are absolutely all about good policy, as we cannot do our job for the nation without it.
This brings me back to Australia’s research and development activities and our funding problem.
Or, the Karen Conundrum, if you prefer.
Without criticism or the casting of aspersion, it is in this domain that the Accord process could yet do more.
Australia’s spend on research and development has been in free fall relative to the economy for the last decade and a half – dropping from us sitting at the OECD average of 2.24 per cent of GDP in 2008 by 20 per cent down to 1.8 per cent in the latest data, while in the same timeframe, the OECD has moved up by over 20 per cent to 2.7 per cent.
Our investment gap grows ever wider.
Higher education sector investment is the only element of national research and development investment which has trended up since 2011.
According to the most recent budget tables, the level of federal government budgeted appropriations for research and development has never been lower, currently sitting at 0.49 per cent of GDP in 2022-23.
The Labor Party took a commitment to the last election to work with business and universities to boost Australia’s overall spend on research and development to almost three per cent of GDP.
Three per cent may seem a long way away from today’s 1.8 per cent.
But even three per cent itself is a very, very long way from research and development investments being made by other nations in our region – so pragmatically, just getting to three per cent would be a great start.
Germany, the United States, and Japan all spend more than three per cent of GDP on research and development – countries that, arguably, lead the world in manufacturing and technological development.
South Korea is sitting around 4.9 per cent – that’s more than double where we are.
Outside of the OECD, Israel spends upward of five per cent, and even Iceland’s investment of 2.8 per cent dwarfs Australia’s spend.
This is not good enough for a nation of Australia’s standing.
I don’t think any Australian believes we should lag behind like this – it seems to me to be, well, un-Australian.
Surely, at the very least, we should aspire to do better than average.
This is an essential ambition and I urge the Labor Party to retain the three per cent target in its 2023 National Platform when it goes to a vote later this month.
Declining investment in research and development puts at risk our ability to prepare Australia for the challenges and opportunities before us, while also responding to those already on our doorstep.
We do not yet have a clear path forward which can reduce Australia’s research vulnerability.
The Accord interim report acknowledges this and does highlight the significant social and economic benefits of research and development.
We need not re-prosecute that upside here again today, but we must reflect on where we would be without it.
Declining investment also affects our capacity to drive Australia’s productivity which, according to the Productivity Commission, grew just 1.1 per cent per year in the decade to 2020.
To put it bluntly, we have a productivity problem, and we need to be doing everything we can to address it and to move towards a more modern and faster growing economy to underpin a higher standard of living for all Australians.
Universities are at the heart of enabling this.
If we were to lift investment in higher education research and development by just one per cent, through raised productivity we could increase the size of Australia’s economy by $24 billion over 10 years.
To reverse Australia’s poor productivity fortunes, government must prioritise institutions, innovations and partnerships that drive productivity and grow the economy – in ways that pay for themselves.
People often assert that productivity is about doing more with less.
Let’s be very clear though – that is not the same as being given much less and asked to do even more.
Universities cannot continue to do more and more for the nation with less and less.
The same can be said for Australia’s need for more skilled workers – here again, universities can’t do more with less.
But that’s exactly what we were compelled to do under the Job-ready Graduates package – a policy intervention positioned as ‘a reform’.
False nomenclature aside, at its core, JRG simply cut the average level of government funding for student places while shifting the additional costs on to students and universities.
I cannot be more fulsome in my criticism of JRG.
It has hurt and is hurting students.
It has hurt and is hurting universities.
It has hurt and is hurting the nation.
Australia, not Australia’s universities, urgently needs a funding model that is fairer for students, and which sustainably provides the resources needed to educate the next generation.
Skills don’t flourish in isolation.
They exist in an ecosystem.
Passionate teachers, inspired town planners, skilled nurses, a vibrant artistic community, compassionate social workers, an informed, ethical media.
These are just some of the essential workers our universities educate on behalf of the nation.
We need more of them.
According to Engineers Australia, we are short 50,000 engineers and this number is growing.
This will, inevitably, affect Australia’s ability to deliver new infrastructure.
The defence establishment estimates the shortfall of cyber security professionals in Australia could reach as high as 30,000 in the next few years.
With cybercrime on the rise, our security agencies will struggle to defend Australians.
There are shortages plaguing our education and health systems.
We don’t have enough teachers to staff our classrooms, and there are too few health practitioners in our communities, hospitals, and aged care facilities.
Australia needs an additional 85,000 nurses alone by 2025.
A university qualification is essential in all these areas, and an increasing number of others.
Our nation’s future prosperity, its vibrancy, its competitiveness, and its social cohesion is all intrinsically linked to how well our nation’s university system is enabled to deliver on its mission.
Our vulnerability becomes the nation’s vulnerability.
A good university system counteracts this.
A good university system supports the education of the skilled professionals we need.
A good university system supports the research and development that will continue to drive Australia forward – safely and successfully.
A good university system is for the whole community, not just certain sections.
And a good university system is deeply engaged with that community.
The key talking points coming out of the Accord so far point to propagating that type of university system.
A better university system.
A system with greater equity and more opportunities for those who have traditionally not engaged with higher education, something we have failed to improve sufficiently over the past 20 years.
A system that supports learners as they reskill to meet changing work needs throughout life.
A system where curriculum is shaped in collaboration with industry, and the student experience is maximised to ensure a smooth transition to employment.
A system where the quality of our institutions is judged by more than just the broad brushstrokes of rankings, but rather is appreciated for contributions to advancement, society and local priorities.
A system in which research and innovation don’t scramble for scarce funds but can be inclusive, cross-disciplinary, community engaged and socially aware, driving productivity without stifling creative investigation.
A system where we can attract students to STEM without punishing our humanities.
A system where new knowledge is created from many inputs, and one that is, ultimately, measured by the value of the outcomes those inputs enable.
A system where we never have to rob Peter to pay Paul, or pander to Karen.
Over the next several months, there will be much discussion and debate as the Accord panel’s considerations evolve towards firmer recommendations.
We owe it to ourselves, and the nation, to interrogate all the areas in focus appropriately and deeply so that the outcomes drive our universities and underpin their success.
Not every idea, spiky or not, will manifest as a firm recommendation as we evolve this diverse system towards having an even greater role in Australia’s future.
What can and must manifest is a mechanism for and the creation of a sense of true partnership between universities and government – to assuage mutual vulnerability and to act in the best interests of future generations of Australians.
To paraphrase my friend, the late Terry Pratchett, a good plan isn’t one where somebody wins, but one where nobody loses.
A plan for everyone – for our universities, for our communities, for our nation.
Above all else, a plan which manifests in the tangible, in demonstrable relevance and the provision of value to wider society – so that no-one ever has reason to question the future role of higher education in modern Australia.
That is what’s in Australia’s interest, and it’s the opportunity the Accord presents.
We can’t let it go to waste.