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Twenty one years of whiz, fizz and bangs in chemistry

Friday 15 Feb 2019

* Riverina Year 12 students will have experienced 21 years of whizzes, fizzes and bangs when they participate in this year’s HSC Chemistry Days at CSU

* Students from far-flung high schools gather to complete parts of their Chemistry course that they cannot do in their school

* Students will visit CSU’s world-class facilities and learn about course and career options

Final year students from far-flung high schools will gather in Wagga Wagga next week to complete parts of their Chemistry course for the Higher School Certificate (HSC).

About 220 Year 12 students from 20 NSW high schools will travel up to 450 kilometres to Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga to undertake a series of experiments and practice their skills on equipment that is not available in their own schools.

While visiting the campus, they will also experience the CSU facilities and staff, and live a slice of University life.

“We want to show students, and teachers, some of what we have to offer science students, particularly the world-class facilities and equipment, as well as courses and career opportunities,” said CSU chemistry lecturer and course director Dr Celia Barril.

“This program has been running for 21 years in collaboration with the Eastern Riverina Science Teacher Association, with the aim of filling important requirements for Chemistry students in their HSC, while also promoting careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, particularly chemistry.”

Students will complete experiments on acidity and basicity of common household products, iron content of cereals, and water acidification during the week commencing Monday 18 February.

“Students take part to short activities demonstrating chemistry concepts and their application in our modern world.

“We will also discuss studies and career paths in chemistry and science in general. Everyone participates, the students and their teachers and CSU staff - it is a great program!,” Dr Barril said.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

The HSC Chemistry students andDr Celia Barril in Wagga Wagga will be available for pictures and interviews from 11.30am to 2.30pm on Thursday 21 or Friday 22 February. They will be in the NaLSH building (289), Nathan Cobb Drive on the Wagga Wagga campus, near Carpark P70.

To arrange interviews, contact Wes Ward at CSU Media on mobile 0417 125 795 or

Please note that visiting media will be required to wear enclosed, non-permeable shoes, as well as laboratory coats and safety goggles, in the laboratory.

CSU students connect with local business

Tuesday 5 Feb 2019

* CSU students work with local business to solve problems

* Students apply their skills to gain valuable on-the-job experience

* CSU and Port Macquarie Hastings Council work together to help businesses grow

Students at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Port Macquarie have been working with local businesses to solve problems and grow.

The CSU Talent Hack-athon program was introduced in November 2018 to connect students and local businesses over the University summer break.

CSU student liaison officer Ms Clara Koch said the program was operated in coordination with the Port Macquarie Hastings Council (PMHC) who were able to reach out to local businesses.

“Twenty-two businesses responded to the Port Macquarie Hastings Council advertisement, with four selected to take on a student to help solve their problems.

“The students selected worked with the businesses over the summer to create everything from flyers to marketing plans,” Ms Koch said.

The Kendall Tennis Club was one organisation to take advantage of the program. Ms Wendy Hudson from the club said it was reliant on the support of volunteers who already give over 80 hours weekly to run it.

“The committee has very little time to spend on designing flyers, marketing and social media, and welcomes the creative knowledge and expertise brought by the international students to the club.

“They have been fantastic, already creating flyers for programs and assisting with website advice,” Ms Hudson said.

A further nine businesses with in-depth projects were contacted by CSU lecturer Dr Sabih Rehman from the School of Computing and Mathematics as potential student final-year projects.

The remaining businesses were contacted by the PMHC with the recommendation they hire a student as an intern to complete their nominated project.

International students at CSU in Port Macquarie were particularly interested as it gave them an opportunity to better connect with the local community and expanded their experience over the typically quiet summer break.

Ms Koch said it was the first year the program was run but they were happy with the enthusiasm of businesses and hope to run it again in 2019.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

CSU Indigenous Access Program

Wednesday 30 Jan 2019

* Students who complete the program achieve an average 75 percent progression rate.

* Majority of students completing the program offered CSU course placement.

* Program assisting more Indigenous students into university.

The Charles Sturt University (CSU) Indigenous Access Program is assisting more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders into tertiary education.

The five-day program that will be held at CSU in Bathurst from 4 to 8 February kicking off with a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony followed by a range of activities aimed at building confidence and providing students with practical steps they can take to gain access into their chosen course.

CSU Indigenous Programs Officer Lesley Lyons said the Indigenous Access Program provided a successful transition to university.

“90 percent of students who completed the program stated they were confident in their ability to succeed at university compared to 76 percent pre-program,” Ms Lyons said.

Describing the program Ms Lyons said the students were given assessments against their preferred course to understand their strengths and what needed to be improved.

“Students are either offered a placement or are given an alternative pathway into their chosen program,” Ms Lyons said.

CSU Manager of Indigenous Student Centres said the program provided Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students the support and access to the University’s Indigenous study resources to help them succeed.

“The Indigenous Access Program provides students support throughout their university life and connects them with the full range of services and support we offer Indigenous students.

“Access to these resources can be particularly helpful for students who are the first in their family to study at university,” Mr Dunn said.

The Indigenous Access Program is open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students both mature-aged and school leavers, future dates will be posted to the Indigenous Access Program website.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

Health program supports Ageing Well

Thursday 24 Jan 2019

* CSU research shows a regular 10-week fitness program has both physical and mental benefits for older regional Australians.

* Participants increased their ability to do daily activities and were more satisfied with their lives over the duration of the program.

* Participants received personalised attention from CSU allied health students who also received important intergenerational work experience during the program.

Charles Sturt University (CSU) researchers have shown that older people undertaking a regular wellness program have benefitted both physically and mentally from the ten-week program.

The research team will present preliminary results of the Ageing Well project at a morning tea reunion to start at 9.30am on Thursday 31 January in the Community Engagement and Wellness (CEW) Centre, CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

“The Ageing Well project aims to improve the health and wellbeing of older people living in regional and rural Australia,” said team leader, Dr Melissa Nott from the School of Community Health at CSU in Albury-Wodonga (pictured left).

“We targeted both the physical and cognitive abilities of older people in regular sessions, and also taught them strategies to use at home.”

The 2018 program included 37 participants aged between 61 and 89 years. Each person participated in ten sessions, either weekly or twice weekly, at the CEW Centre at Thurgoona.

“We found participants significantly improved their balance and outdoor walking, while all participants reported experiencing fewer cognitive difficulties after the program,” Dr Nott said.

“Participants also increased their abilities to do everyday activities in their home and community from 60 per cent before to 74 per cent after the program, while their satisfaction with their everyday lives increased from 54 per cent to 74 per cent.

“In addition, participants also appreciated the new friendships they formed during the program, while relatives also noticed the positive changes in the program participants.”

The wellness sessions were run by CSU students from the physiotherapy, occupational therapy and podiatry courses under supervision from CSU health academics and local clinicians, providing students with considerable intergenerational work experience.

Dr Nott noted that the upcoming reunion “allows us to speak with participants about the benefits and impact of the program on their lives.

“It also provides an opportunity to celebrate a unique and engaging program for older community members, whose thinking and mobility are challenged in a personalised and graded way.

“Overall, the initial results of this program are very promising, highlighting that everyday functioning and satisfaction can improve in older age,” Dr Nott said.

The Ageing Well program will be open to new participants in 2019. To enrol or for further information, contact Ms Tana Cuming on 02 6051 9266 or email

The next session is due to commence in April 2019.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media for interviews on the Ageing Well program with CSU health researchers Dr Melissa Nott or Dt Kristy Robson, both based at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

Media are welcome to attend the Ageing Well morning tea, which will commence at 9.30am on Thursday 31 January at the CEW Centre, CSU in Albury Wodonga, Ellis Street, Thurgoona, (behind the Thurgoona Plaza shopping centre). Park near the CEW Centre in carpark P8.

CSU creative industries graduate takes a different path

Tuesday 18 Dec 2018

* CSU Creative Industries program leads to diverse career opportunities

* Student applying CSU learning to job

Charles Sturt University (CSU) graduate Layne Bayly expected her career would start in corporate graphic design team but the reality was very different.

In her final year of study, Ms Bayly was encouraged by a friend who worked at a tattoo studio to consider applying for an apprenticeship that was on offer. Ms Bayly walked into a Port Macquarie tattoo studio, portfolio in hand, to talk with the manager about starting an apprenticeship.

“The [tattooing] industry is a whole new ball game that has a lot of graphic design principles that you don’t expect,” Ms Bayly said.

Ms Bayly, who graduates in 2018 with a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Design and Visual Arts) degree from CSU in Port Macquarie, said aside from updating the studio’s website and managing social media she was also able to use design and technology.

“I take a design, work it up using an iPad and Photoshop to mock up the way it will wrap around the client and adjust the illustration. The photo is printed out, the artist traces it onto carbon paper adjusting as onto the skin when needed,” Ms Bayly said.

Ms Bayly said her job took in many aspects of design strategy and planning that had been taught as part of her degree.

“I’ve done lots of drawing to get ready for tattooing. You can’t get away with any errors and you need to be able to draw perfect circles and other shapes because there is no rubber or undo,” Ms Bayly said.

Ms Bayly said this is stressful but there are others who have been working for 10 to 20 years who still get stressed by certain designs.

Ms Bayly said she has been sharing her knowledge about the similarities between graphic design and tattooing with her graphic design lecturer, Willhemina Wahlin.

“I was able to submit my sketches and work as assessments and I think that showed Willhemina the similarities to what was being taught and my work,” Ms Bayly said.

Lecturer in graphic design in the CSU School of Communication and Creative Industries Ms Willhemina Wahlin said the University supported how students applied their learning to their careers.

“I think it’s important for students to be able to balance work and study as well as complement their skills on the job with what they learn in class.

It’s also great to see the students bringing that workplace knowledge back to class. We really encourage this because the creative industries are so diverse. It keeps it exciting and interesting.”

Photo credit: Top Ms Layne Bayly, middle and bottom tattoo art by Ms Bayly.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Ms Layne Bayly and Professor Willhemina Wahlin.

Three CSU graduation ceremonies in Albury this week

Monday 17 Dec 2018

Charles Sturt University (CSU) will host three graduation ceremonies in Albury this week, Wednesday 19 December.

These are part of the wider graduation season during December across all main campuses as well as in Parramatta and the two CSU Study Centres in Sydney and Melbourne. The season concludes in Albury-Wodonga.

More than 370 students will be present to graduate across all the Albury ceremonies in Albury which are for graduands based at CSU in Albury-Wodonga. In addition, thousands of family members and friends will celebrate the achievements of these graduands.

Head of Campus at CSU in Albury Wodonga, Dr Jennifer Munday said, “Over 370 graduates will receive their testamurs from the University in Albury this year, and we congratulate our graduating professionals on the successful completion of their studies.

“Sometimes we can get caught up with the busy-ness of the end of the year, so it’s wonderful to be able to stop and take the time to reflect and congratulate the many students who are graduating, and celebrate their achievements.

“Anyone who has completed a long-term project or achieved a long-awaited goal will understand the sheer joy and excitement of a graduate at the moment they shake the hand of the Vice-Chancellor and receive their hard earned testamur.

“The testamur our graduates will receive at the graduation ceremonies is their key to future success. Not only is it an important marker in their lives, an achievement they should be proud of, but it will unlock new opportunities for them. For some it will mean a new career, for others it will mean they are one of many CSU graduates who will earn the highest starting salary of any graduate in New South Wales,” Dr Munday said.

In recognition of their impact on their professions in regional Australia, three CSU alumni who are professional leaders and entrepreneurs will give the occasional addresses to graduates in all three ceremonies listed below. These graduation ceremonies will be held in the Albury Entertainment Centre, Swift St in Albury:

9.30am - 136 graduates present in the Faculty of Science ceremony, from the Schools of Community Health, Environmental Science, Agriculture & Wine Science, Animal & Veterinary Sciences and General Science.

Occasional speaker: Ms Leah Wiseman.

2pm - 140 graduates present in the Faculty of Science ceremony, from the Schools of Nursing, Midwifery & Indigenous Health, Biomedical Science, Dentistry & Health Science, Exercise Science Sport & Health and Human Movement Studies; and from all schools of the Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences.

Occasional speaker: Mr Ty Seaton, Chief Radiographer of The X-Ray Group.

6pm - 96 graduates from all schools of the Faculty of Arts and Education, including the Schools of Education, and Humanities & Social Sciences.

Occasional speaker: Ms Jo Palmer, educator, networker and business entrepreneur, based in regional NSW.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to help arrange interviews with graduates and various speakers and dignitaries.

CSU paramedic student profile: Sam Ross

Monday 17 Dec 2018

* CSU student Sam Ross will graduate with a Bachelor of Paramedicine

* Has been offered a role with NSW Ambulance

* Volunteering and leadership roles helped him secure his first job

A chance encounter at a bus stop led Charles Sturt University (CSU) student to take on a career in paramedics and complete a Bachelor of Paramedicine.

While sitting at a bus stop, the then 15 year-old student Sam Ross noticed a man was behaving strangely and looked to be in need of help. Mr Ross wasted no time and ran to the local medical centre.

As he drew toward finishing high school Mr Ross began looking at universities and programs that were available to him before settling on CSU.

“My careers advisor suggested Charles Sturt University because it had a strong reputation for teaching and graduate job prospects,” Mr Ross said.

“They also told me the University was building a campus in Port Macquarie so I pretty much moved up there straight out of high school.”

Mr Ross said he was impressed with CSU’s facilities in Port Macquarie and also the small size of the campus meant he “didn’t feel like a number”.

“Lecturers knew students by their names and would also put on extra classes and sessions to help us.

“We felt like they put in the extra effort to help us succeed, especially for subjects there were harder and more technical,” Mr Ross said.

At the suggestion of a first-year lecturer, Mr Ross got involved in CSU Student Paramedics Australasia (SPA) a group that provides first aid services to community events and hosts guest speakers to share knowledge.

Eventually Mr Ross became President of the SPA, a position he said allowed him to further gain experience that would help with his job prospects following graduation.

“It was also a useful way to revise what I’d learnt and to pass knowledge to first- and second-year students,” Mr Ross said.

Leaving SPA, Mr Ross said the group had raised $5,000 that would be donated to local charities to support the Port Macquarie community.

In early January 2019 Mr Ross will take-up a role with the NSW Ambulance Service; this was his first professional job application.

Mr Ross graduated on Monday 17 December 2018 at a CSU graduation ceremony at The Glasshouse in Port Macquarie.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Mr Sam Ross.

CSU STRIVE leader offered position at award-winning public relations agency

Thursday 13 Dec 2018

* CSU student Shannon O’Mara will graduate with a Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) / Bachelor of Business Studies this Thursday 13 December in Bathurst

* Has been offered a full-time position at Sefiani Communications in Sydney

* STRIVE leadership program assisted in further growth as a leader

Charles Sturt University (CSU) Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) / Bachelor of Business Studies student Shannon O’Mara (pictured) will graduate in Bathurst this Thursday ahead of taking on a position with Sefiani Communications in Sydney in 2019.

Ms O’Mara completed her degree full-time in Bathurst, where she also held the position of Head Resident for Towers (Bathurst) campus and also participated in STRIVE, a CSU Student Leadership Program.

The STRIVE leadership program according to Ms O’Mara was something that offered further growth as a leader in the community.

“I completed STRIVE in 2017 in the pilot stages of the program. It helped me take a look at my abilities to be able to grow as a leader in my role as Residential Advisor at the time, but also equipped me with the skills for future employment,” Ms O’Mara said.

The Newcastle local chose CSU in Bathurst to fulfil her studies, due to a keen interest to fall into a fast-paced industry after graduation and a love for people.

“A good family friend suggested a career in PR, and for me, CSU’s Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) /Bachelor of Business Studies matched my selection criteria perfectly.”

Having completed a number of internships including a five-month-long stint with Australian University Sport on their Eastern Uni Games in Newcastle in 2017 and a month full-time DEC PR in Sydney, Ms O’Mara is eager to sink her teeth into full-time work in 2019.  

“I have been offered a job at Sefiani Communications in Sydney where I will commence in January next year. It’s been great having completed internships to get a sense of the type of work I can look forward to.”

With access to many CSU lecturers and mentors that are heavily connected and enjoy varied PR industry experience, Ms O’Mara attributes her university experience to them.

“Aside from being able to live with my best friends, it was that I could live and learn regionally while being taught by some industry professionals that spanned a wide range of careers.”

“To me, this was a highlight and so important ahead of going into the workforce full-time” Ms O’Mara said.

Media Contact: Hilary Longhurst,

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Shannon O’Mara

CSU in Port Macquarie congratulates 2018 graduates

Wednesday 12 Dec 2018

* CSU at Port Macquarie celebrates 131 graduating students on Monday 17 December

* Family and friends invited to celebrate CSU graduands at graduation ceremonies

Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Port Macquarie congratulates the 131 students who will graduate at ceremonies held at the Glasshouse on Monday 17 December.

CSU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) Professor Heather Cavanagh will preside over the two ceremonies.

Professor Cavanagh said graduation is one of the highlights of the academic year and that she looked forward to welcoming graduates, their families, friends, and the community to celebrate this special event.

"I congratulate our graduating professionals on the successful completion of their studies with us,” Professor Cavanagh said.

Professor Cavanagh said the University in Port Macquarie was growing and it was exciting to welcome more graduates from the region.

“It’s rewarding to be involved in the education of the next generation who will stay on in the region and enrich their local community,” Professor Cavanagh said.

CSU Bachelor of Criminal Justice graduate Ms Grace Stevens said graduation was the satisfying culmination of years spent studying, at a University with a personal touch.

“With the smaller classes we got to have a closer relationship with our lecturers, so we were more comfortable asking questions and sitting down with them for one-on-one sessions,” Ms Stevens said.

Guest Mr Neville Parsons will give the Occasional Address to the Faculty of Arts and Education ceremony. Mr Parsons is CEO and Director of the Holiday Coast Credit Union and is a Board Member and Deputy Chairman of the Mid North Coast Local Health District, as well as a Board member of NSW Life Education.

Guest Mr Alan Morrison will give his Occasional Address to the Faculty of Science, and Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences ceremony. Mr Morrison is currently the Director Education for NSW Ambulance and Director of the Paramedic Education Program Accreditation Scheme for the Council of Ambulance Authorities.

Local Aboriginal Elder Uncle Bill O’Brien (OAM) will conduct a Welcome to Country at both graduation ceremonies.

Ceremonies location and timing

The graduation ceremonies will commence:

* Faculty of Arts and Education - 9.30am

* Faculty of Science and Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences – 2pm

The Glasshouse is located at 30-42 Clarence Street, Port Macquarie.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with CSU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) Professor Heather Cavanagh.

CSU 2018 graduate offered teaching scholarship

Wednesday 12 Dec 2018

* CSU student Meaghan Kempson will graduate with a Bachelor of Education (Health and Physical Education) this Thursday 13 December in Bathurst  

* Has been offered a Department of Education Rural and Remote Teaching Scholarship

* Extra-curricular offerings and social life shaped Ms Kempson’s all-round CSU experience

Charles Sturt University (CSU) student Meaghan Kempson (pictured) will graduate this Thursday in Bathurst ahead of commencing her first teaching role in a rural or remote school as part of being offered a Department of Education, Rural and Remote Teaching Scholarship.

Originally from Orange, Ms Kempson moved to Bathurst and lived on campus to study a Bachelor of Education (Health and Physical Education). A course selection, Ms Kempson said “to help improve the current health and wellbeing status of young people throughout Australia.”

“Undertaking an occupation in education allows you to play a positive role in shaping the youth and empowering them to one day exert control over their health and support the wellbeing of others around them,” Ms Kempson said.

“Education is ultimately the key to breaking the cycle of disadvantage and reducing the burden placed on the health care system.”

With a passion and love for sport, the recent Department of Education scholarship recipient took on many extra-curricular activities during her time at CSU, each with an emphasis on sport and leadership.

These included being an Australian student ambassador at the International University Sports Federation (FISU), participant, medal-winner and captain in five University games events, President of the CSU Football Club in Bathurst, President of the CSU Sports Council and soccer captain.

Ms Kempson said that her greatest sporting achievement at CSU was being part of the CSU University Nationals team who took home the Tom O’Sullivan Spirit Award for displaying the values and foundations that embody Australian University Sport. 

Crediting the extra-curricular and social life at CSU, Ms Kempson said this shaped her university experience by creating an immediate sense of comradery, support and pride.

“Throughout my degree, I felt valued and respected by all staff. I can certainly credit my academic success to the personalised and somewhat intimate nature that comes with attending a regional university,” Ms Kempson said.

Continuing her interest in sport and leadership outside of teaching, Ms Kempson will be travelling to Russia in February as a result of her achievements at the 2018 FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy, and will be representing Australia in a volunteer capacity at the Winter Universiade in Siberia.

Ms Kempson will be allocated her teaching position in 2019 in a rural and remote area that is yet to be advised.

Media Contact: Hilary Longhurst , 0498 578 541

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Meaghan Kempson

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