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Beef put to the taste test

Wednesday 20 Sep 2017

It's not five star dining but Charles Sturt University (CSU) scientists are calling on people to put their taste buds to work for research into beef eating quality.

Researchers from the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation are running consumer sensory analysis sessions, or taste testing, of beef products in Wagga Wagga.

CSU lecturer in farming systems, Mr Michael Campbell said, "The Graham Centre has various projects investigating how different management, feeding regimes, breed and meat storage affects the eating quality of beef. While some factors affecting eating quality can be measured in the laboratory we need consumers to be part of the next phase of our research, to taste some of these beef products."

One of the things being put to the taste test is research examining the eating quality of Holstein meat.

Veronika VicicCSU Bachelor of Animal Science (Honours) student Ms Veronika Vicic's research will compare the carcass performance and eating quality of meat from Holstein steers with British breed beef steers fed a common diet.

"The Australian dairy industry slaughters more than 500 000 male calves per year, most are marketed as veal with carcasses ranging between 50 to 150 kilograms, and they are generally regarded as a low-value product," said Ms Vicic (pictured left).

"There's potential to grow these steers out to higher weights, providing an opportunity for dairy farmers to expand and integrate their enterprise into the beef market.

"Commercial feedlot data from America indicates that Holstein steers consume less feed and can exceed performance and grading of traditional beef breeds, although their dressing percentage is lower.  There's also limited information about what consumers think about the meat and my research aims to provide some baseline data."

Ms Vicic's research has been approved by CSU's Human Ethics Research Committee and is supported by a Graham Centre Honours research scholarship.

One consumer sensory analysis session has already been run in September with more planned for October.

Media Contact: Emily Malone, 0439 552 385

Media Note:

To arrange interviews or to attened the beef tasting sessions media should contact Graham Centre communications officer Emily Malone on 0439 552 385 or email emalone@csu.edu.au

Media are invited to attend a beef tasting session at 12:30pm on Thursday 21 September at the Dining Hall, building 230 near carpark 69 off Jingellic Place, at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

Vintage bikes lead CSU Tweed Ride fund raiser

Tuesday 19 Sep 2017

Tweed Ride 2017 posterCSU Green will host its second annual Tweed Ride and Fair with a vintage-packed day planned for the library lawn at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst on Thursday 21 September.

Sustainability officer with CSU Green Ms Alesha Elbourne said, "This year's Tweed Ride will be held as part of Bike Week, a NSW Transport initiative.

"We aim to engage Charles Sturt University staff and students in sustainability-related conversations about local cycling infrastructure for transport and recreation.

"The aim is to encourage staff and students to reduce their carbon footprint, and raise funds for tree planting."

At least 30 riders are expected to gather at 11.45am in their finest tweeds and climb on their squeaky vintage cycles for a leisurely jaunt around campus starting at 12pm.

The dress code is simple; anything that harks back a time before lycra.

Find out more about the University's support for bike transport here.

To contribute to the CSU Tweed Ride tree count, donate to our partners at BeardsOn here.

The 2017 CSU Tweed Ride starts at 12pm on Thursday 21 September at the library lawn, CSU in Bathurst.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with CSU Green sustainability officer Ms Alesha Elbourne.

Scholarships for international students at CSU in Port Macquarie

Tuesday 19 Sep 2017

International students enrolled in courses at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Port Macquarie will be presented with scholarships on Wednesday 20 September.

CSU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Vann, will present seven students from as far as Denmark, India, Nepal and Zimbabwe with scholarships each worth $10 000 to assist them with their tuition fees while they study at CSU in Port Macquarie.

The students are currently enrolled in masters and undergraduate courses in accounting and information technology.

"These scholarships will be awarded to students who have demonstrated experience in community involvement and a strong desire to join the exciting and supportive Port Macquarie community," said Ms Delphine Swat, Associate Director, Marketing and Student Recruitment (International and VET).

"They are also a testament of the University's commitment to growing a diverse student body on Charles Sturt University's newest campus."

The presentation will be held at 12noon on Wednesday 20 September in room 1026 at CSU, Major Innes Road, Port Macquarie.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media for interviews with CSU staff at the event.

CSU game show celebrates first-in-family degree students

Monday 18 Sep 2017

2013 Bathurst graduates_red-goldA game show devised to celebrate students who are the first in their families to attend university will be staged at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst on Tuesday evening 19 September.

Ms Kara King, FirstDegree Program Lead in the CSU Office for Students, said, "The Game Show Extravaganza will celebrate an inclusive Charles Sturt University community, promote a sense of belonging, and increase awareness of the first-in-family experience.

"This interactive show will see 10 teams of Charles Sturt University staff and students pitted against each other in rounds of trivia, physical tasks, and fast-paced questions.

"The format of the show will visit elements of TV game show favourites such as Wheel of Fortune and Family Feud."

The game show has been devised by the CSU FirstDegree Program and students enrolled in the Communications Event Management subject. It will be hosted by CSU theatre/media lecturer Mr Dan Aubin, special guest, CSU alumna and Australian comedian Ms Penny Greenhalgh, and current CSU student Mr Nick Everard.

The Game Show Extravaganza will be held in the Rafters Bar (in building 1413) on Bathurst campus from 6pm to 8.30pm on Tuesday 19 September. The venue will accommodate up to 200 audience members, and in addition event live-streaming will allow online and remote students to interact with participants by commenting and contributing during the event. Live streaming and interacting are via the FirstDegree Facebook page.

Tickets are $5 with all money going to CSU Give for future scholarships. Pre-sale tickets can be purchased online and on campus. Pre-event ticket buyers will go into the running for a major lucky door prize.

For more information and to watch the live-stream, visit the FirstDegree Facebook page - search @FirstDegreeCSU

The FirstDegree Program is part of the CSU Office for Students led by Professor Julia Coyle, and is a HEPPP funded program to support students who are the first in their family to attend university.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

For further details please contact Ms Kara King, FirstDegree Program Lead, CSU Office for Students on (02) 6338 6190.

Advice for parents on university options

Monday 18 Sep 2017

Parents of Year 11 and 12 students looking for guidance on the next steps for their children on their path to a university education can meet with representatives from Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Albury-Wodonga on Thursday 21 September.

"We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to attend university if they want to," said the coordinator of the CSU Parent Information evenings, Ms Katy Fardell.

"A degree can open up a world of possibility for a person's future career, community, and personal development.

"Parents play an important role in helping their child make that choice by providing advice, guidance and support as they consider their options as they approach the end of their schooling.

"That's why Charles Sturt University is giving parents the opportunity to get first-hand information about studying at the University," Ms Fardell said.

"From applying, pathways and costs, to scholarships, accommodation and support, these events help parents help their child prepare for university."

In addition, the NSW University Admission Centre will also attend the Albury event to explain the ATAR score that their child receives after the Higher School Certificate exams, how it is calculated, and the university preference system.

The free CSU Parents Information Evening will run from 5.30pm to 7.30pm in the Stanley A Room in the Commercial Club Albury, Dean Street, Albury. Please register to attend here.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:
For interviews with Ms Katy Fardell, contact CSU Media.

Students organise inaugural paramedicine research conference

Friday 15 Sep 2017

Charles Sturt University (CSU) paramedicine students have organised the inaugural 'Dare to Know' student research conference in Bathurst on Saturday 16 September.

Lecturer in paramedicine in the CSU School of Biomedical Sciences in Bathurst Mr Lyle Brewster said, "This is the inaugural paramedicine research conference and it aims to promote to students early in their careers the idea of doing research.

"The students have done an amazing job organising the conference.

"They have found the speakers, organised venues on campus, arranged to pay for travel and accommodation for the guest speakers, have built and maintained the website, devised and issued advertising, liaised with University staff, and have organised the catering."

The speakers include international academics such as Professor Peter O'Meara who will speak about 'The emergence of paramedicine as a profession', and leading professional paramedics such as Mr Mark Palaitis who will speak on 'The impact of paramedic research in NSW'.

Among CSU paramedicine student speakers at the conference are third-year students Mr Jeremy Benson and Ms Milly Sonter-Kelso who will speak about 'AEDs on drones'.

The Dare to Know conference is from 9am to 5pm Saturday 16 September in the large lecture theatre, building 1292, at CSU in Bathurst.

Find out more at the conference website.

Connect via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DareToKnow2017/?ref=br_rs and Twitter https://twitter.com/D2K2017

For more information contact organiser Ms Lana Plews on 0455 500 548, or email Dare2knowbx@gmail.com

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:
To arrange interviews contact organiser Ms Lana Plews on 0455 500 548

Online survey for sheep producers

Thursday 14 Sep 2017

There's a call for sheep producers to take part in a survey as part of research to better understand and improve animal health and biosecurity practices.

The research through the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation is led by Charles Sturt University (CSU) senior lecturer, Dr Marta Hernandez-Jover (left).

"This short online survey aims to build our knowledge about Australian sheep producers, their aninmal health management, and attitudes towards surveillance for emergency animal diseases," Dr Hernandez-Jover said.

"We also want to investigate how sheep producers can be better supported to improve on-farm profitability and animal health management, through innovative communication and extension approaches.

The confidential survey is available online here and will take producers about half an hour to complete. Those taking part will go into a draw to win one of 20 $50 retail gift vouchers.

Postdoctoral researcher Dr Jennifer Manyweathers said, "Information from this study will contribute to current research on biosecurity and disease surveillance.

"Our aim is to build producer-led and partnership based animal monitoring systems so that Australian livestock industries are more reliant and prepared for an outbreak of emergency animal disease."

This research is part of a wider Rural Research and Development for Profit integrated project to improve surveillance, preparedness and return to trade from emergency animal disease incursions using foot and mouth disease (FMD) as a model. Read more here.

Producers can take part in the survey here.

Media Contact: Emily Malone , 0439 552 385

Media Note:

The survey is supported by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), through funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit programme, and by producer levies from Australian FMD-susceptible livestock (cattle, sheep, goats and pigs) industries and CSU, leveraging significant in-kind support from the research partners. 

The research partners for the wider project are the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), CSU, the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, supported by Animal Health Australia (AHA).

To arrange interviews, contact Graham Centre communications officer Ms Emily Malone 0439 552 385 or email emalone@csu.edu.au

This research has been approved by Charles Sturt University's (CSU) human ethics research committee.

The Graham Centre is a research alliance between Charles Sturt University (CSU) and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI)


Mentoring program to foster young scientists

Monday 11 Sep 2017

Charles Sturt University (CSU) PhD students have taken a break from their own research to mentor primary school students from Wagga Wagga in a science education program.

The students from the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Functional Grains (FGC) are working with Year 5 students from Mater Dei Primary School as part of the MyScience program.

Over the past three weeks the FGC students have been working with groups of primary school children to design and carry out an experiment related to energy.

PhD student Mr Stephen Cork said, "The MyScience program does a great job at hands on teaching core scientific principles of seeing a problem, defining a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis by changing one variable and controlling other variables, then measuring and reporting the findings. It is also a privilege to be able to give students real life exposure to people who have chosen science as a career."

The program will culminate in an expo at the School on Tuesday 12 September where the students will showcase their experimental results.

Mater Dei Year 5 classroom teacher Mr David Enever said, "Most students have loved taking charge of their own investigations, under the watchful eyes of their Functional Grains Centre mentors. Some have come up with some really creative investigation ideas linked to improving the production of renewable energy."

PhD student Ms Michelle Toutounji has enjoyed her role as mentor and is looking forward to the expo.

"I hope that I have planted seeds of imagination and enthusiasm for scientific investigation.  The future of the next generation of scientists looks bright," Ms Toutounji said.

Funded by the Australian Research Council, the FGC is an initative of the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation.

Media Contact: Emily Malone , (02) 4439 552 385

Media Note:

The MyScience expo will be held from 2pm to 3pm on Tuesday 12 September in the Year 5 classroom at Mater Dei Primary School, 63 Gregadoo Road in Wagga Wagga. To attend contact Graham Centre communications and web officer Emily Malone on 0439 552 385 or email emalone@csu.edu.au

The MyScience program was founded in 2006 to support primary school teachers and students in conducting authentic scientific investigations.

Supporting educational aspirations of people with disability

Friday 8 Sep 2017

People living with disability are looking to higher education as a path to engaging with meaningful activity in their community, particularly in regional areas. But can our regional universities support these aspirations?

Researchers from five universities including Charles Sturt University (CSU) are currently investigating the experiences of people with disability who aspire to complete a university course in regional Australia.

The research team is now calling for people with disability in regional areas from Wangaratta in Victoria to Port Macquarie in NSW to share their experiences of higher education, particularly those:

  • currently at high school in Years 10 and 11 and who are interested to go to university; and,
  • mature aged people who  haven't been to university but are interested in study.

Clare Wilding"We want to interview volunteers from regional communities to understand their perceptions of higher education. We are investigating the barriers for people with disability in undertaking a university course," said CSU researcher Dr Clare Wilding.

"The uptake of higher education by people with disability is lower in regional areas than for their city counterparts," Dr Wilding said.

"According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, people with disability are more likely to have lower levels of educational attainment. Furthermore, data from the bureau showed that there are more people aged 15 to 64 years living with disability in regional areas – around 18 per cent - than those living in major cities, which is 13 per cent. So we should see a higher proportion of students with disability from regional areas attending university."

"However, only two per cent of people with disability living in Australia's regional or remote areas are currently studying in higher education, compared with four per cent in a major city.

"We want to find out why this pattern is happening, and how universities, governments and the community can address the problem," she said.

As part of the project, the researchers have already surveyed and interviewed students with disability who are currently enrolled in regional universities.

"Through this research, we hope to improve access and participation in higher education by regional people with disability, particularly those from a low socio-economic background," Dr Wilding said.

The upcoming round of interviews will be conducted using media to suit the volunteer participants: by telephone, instant messaging, Skype, email or face-to-face. People wishing to participate should contact Ms Kate Freire on (02) 6051 9355 or email kfreire@csu.edu.au.

The researchers aim to complete and analyse the interviews before the end of 2017, and report final recommendations to the Federal Department of Education by the middle of 2018.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Interviews with project researcher Dr Clare Wilding are available through CSU Media.

The research project, titled "Understanding how regionality and socioeconomic status intersect with disability", is funded by the Federal Department of Education.

The project has been approved by the CSU Human Ethics Committee, project number H17124.

Other partners in the project are Federation University in Victoria, and University of Southern Queensland, Central Queensland University and James Cook University in Queensland.

The Red Cross needs CSU blood

Friday 8 Sep 2017

Blood donor cardCharles Sturt University (CSU) students and staff will be doing their bit to support the life-saving work of the Australian Red Cross when its mobile blood donation van is at CSU in Bathurst on Monday 18 to Wednesday 20 September.

CSU student liaison officer Mr Scott Hatch said, "Donating blood is one of the great modern life-saving gifts, and our students have been outstanding in stepping forward to contribute to the Australian community in this way. According to the Red Cross, in 2017 Charles Sturt University students made 768 donations and saved 2 300 lives. That's a significant contribution to our communities."

Mr John Feist, NSW/ACT Community Relations Officer with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service praised CSU students when he recently visited CSU in Bathurst. Mr Feist presented student representatives with a plaque acknowledging their donations over several years, and the 142 donations that gained them second place in the 2017 CSU Student Blood Donation Challenge.

The Red Cross mobile blood donation van will be outside the CD Blake Auditorium (the gym), building 1220, at CSU in Bathurst on Monday 18 to Wednesday 20 September.

To make an appointment phone the Red Cross on 131 495.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

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