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EngFest 2017 builds in Bathurst

Friday 2 Jun 2017

Engineering students Ms Georgia Sonter and Ms Aldrex CondinoCharles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst will be the centre of the local engineering world next week when it stages Engfest 2017.

Hosted by CSU Engineering, the four-day event includes activities for the central west community, industry and schools as well as CSU Engineering students.

This year, the degree is drawing international appeal by hosting staff from the renowned US-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which are investigating what makes the internationally innovative CSU degree tick. This comes on top of a recent visit by delegates from the Minnesota Institute of Engineering in USA.

The central west community is invited to Community Day on Tuesday 6 June at 9.30amto hear from the national winning team from CSU in the 2016 Engineers Without Borders Challenge on what it takes to win the annual Challenge, which is for engineering students across Australia.

This year, the students have developed ideas that will address the needs of ten communities on Espiritu Santo Island in Vanuatu. These communities are seeking new income generating activities so the villagers no longer need to rely on income from harvesting the endangered coconut crab. Visitors can view this year's entries for the Challenge by first-year CSU student engineers throughout the day.

CSU Professor of Engineering Jim Morgan will then present his thoughts on transforming his traditional academic career into the extraordinary opportunity of starting a unique program while being allowed to break most of the academic rules. The lecture commences at 6pm on Tuesday 6 June and is part of CSU's Explorations Series public lectures.

Local engineering professionals and firms have been invited to Industry Day on Wednesday 7 Juneto view the Challenge exhibits by the student engineers in the morning, and will then discuss regional business, universities and entrepreneurship during an afternoon of professional development activities with CSU's CenWest Innovate, the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship and with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia.

CSU Expo Day on Thursday 8 June will include final tours of the first- and second-year exhibitions and the CSU Engineering building, which has been shortlisted for this year's NSW Architecture Awards.

Finally, high school students, teachers and parents can learn more about engineering and the CSU engineering degree at MyDay on Friday 9 June. Year-12 students will also receive an exclusive opportunity to apply for early entry into the 2018 course.

All activities during EngFest will be in CSU Engineering (building 1305), Panorama Ave, CSU in Bathurst.

The full program for EngFest 2017 is here, andregister here to attend various EngFest activities.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

For interviews with EngFest organisers including Professor Euan Lindsay and Dr Andrea Goncher, contact CSU Media.

Read more on the MIT visit here.

Law degree takes next step for reconciliation

Wednesday 31 May 2017

indigenous flagAs Australians celebrate national Reconciliation Week, Charles Sturt University's law degree has been recognised as leading the way for other similar courses across NSW.

The NSW Justice Department recently recognised the inclusion of Indigenous Cultural Competency as compulsory study for all students in the degree as an excellent way to provide students with knowledge, skills and capabilities to work effectively with Indigenous people and communities.

CSU law lecturer Ms Annette Gainsford said the recognition was a good alignment with this year's theme of 'Let's take the next steps' for Reconciliation Week.

"Our degree is one of the first in law to establish Indigenous cultural competency in curriculum and work together towards promoting reconciliation in Australia," Ms Gainsford said.

"Furthermore, we are leading the way in Australia in the design and delivery of Indigenous perspectives across our law degree.

"We have Indigenous and non-Indigenous academics, community members and Elders collaborating to 'take the next steps' to provide authentic learning experiences to assist our Law students with their cultural competency learning journey.

"Sharing our stories and learning from each other is an important component of our teaching. Building respectful relations is an important step in acknowledging traditional Indigenous knowledge as a rich source of wisdom." 

Director of the Centre for Law and Justice, Associate Professor Alison Gerard said, "It is wonderful to have this recognition from industry that Charles Sturt University is leading the way.

"This week in class, law students will analyse the NSW legislation that paved the way for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families and will evaluate its impact on current access to justice.

"In their assessment they will demonstrate appropriate cultural protocols and language use – a great example of how to build technical legal skills and foster Indigenous cultural competence among our law students so that they can be the change-makers of the future."

Manager of CSU's Indigenous Student Centres, Mr Nathan Peckham, said Reconciliation Week was "an opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to get together, celebrate Indigenous culture, acknowledge the past and continue to work towards a positive future as one."Staff in our Indigenous Student Centres at Charles Sturt University, including Wammarra in Bathurst, provide an important platform in this process with a number of events this week and we look forward to building relationships across communities in the future."

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Ms Gainsford will be available for comment at an event at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst to celebrate Reconciliation Week. The BBQ will commence at 12pm on Thursday 1 June and will be held for CSU staff and students at the Wammarra Learning Centre (Building 1292) at CSU in Bathurst.

Engineering career satisfying, exciting: public lecture in Bathurst

Tuesday 30 May 2017

EngineeringThe excitement and satisfaction of a career in engineering is the focus of the next Explorations Series free public lecture at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst on Tuesday 6 June.

The title of the free public lecture to be delivered by CSU engineering academic Professor Jim Morgan is 'Finding my way: A journey from a traditional career to living the dream'.

Professor Morgan, from Texas, USA, will discuss how he transformed a traditional academic career into the extraordinary opportunities of starting a new and unique program at CSU while being allowed to break most of the rules.

"This has been a once in a lifetime opportunity for anyone … a dream come true for an engineering educator!" Professor Morgan said.

Head of Campus at CSU in Bathurst Associate Professor Chika Anyanwu said, "We encourage everybody to come and listen to how we are breaking all the rules, and transforming our society with new ideas. Jim and his colleagues have demonstrated that with determination and vision, nothing is impossible.

"Our Exploration Series public lectures are geared towards sharing with the wider community new and exciting ideas as part of our intellectual exchange as a University campus. We are looking forward to sharing this exciting evening with you."                                                                                   

The public lecture starts at 6pm on Tuesday 6 June in building 1292, room 223, at CSU in Bathurst. Follow the event parking signs to P7. There will be time for questions and answers, and light refreshments will be served at the conclusion.

Please RSVP online for catering purposes, or send an email. Guests are also welcome to just turn up on the night.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Professor Jim Morgan, who is based at CSU in Bathurst.

Scholarships and prizes awarded at CSU in Dubbo

Tuesday 30 May 2017

GW and Rachel KPThe annual scholarships and prizes presentation ceremony at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Dubbo on Tuesday 23 May saw 16 scholarships and nine prizes awarded to students.

Across the University a total of 296 scholarships worth over $1.2 million will be awarded in 2017, making it one of the strongest scholarship portfolios in the country. The number and value of CSU scholarships has increased 21 per cent since 2015.

Head of Campus at CSU in Dubbo Ms Cathy Maginnis said, "This scholarships and prizes presentation evening recognises and celebrates the outstanding achievements of students.

"It also recognises the contributions made by local businesses, organisations and individuals who sponsor an award, and enables recipients to meet the donors and share their stories and explain what the award will do for them. Without these generous benefactors the evening would not occur and these students would struggle to study.

"The CSU Foundation Trust also presented scholarships to students and these contribute to enhancing the students' experiences and development of professionals for our regions. We were fortunate to have CSU Acting Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Toni Downes present a scholarship on behalf of the University Council and the Chancellor of the University."

The Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science Professor Tim Wess, and Head of the School of Indigenous Australian Studies Associate Professor Jay Phillips also attended.

Academic prizes and awards were also presented to students with outstanding results in their course and Dean's merit awards were presented as recognition of students' outstanding academic performance.

"The evening was a chance to celebrate the hard work and achievements of students and the support they have from their families," Ms Maginnis said. "It was an opportunity to mingle with donors, recipients, staff and families in the newly refurbished Café at completion of the ceremony.

"This ceremony is an important calendar event for the University and all students should feel very proud of their achievements, this provides further incentive to aim for further awards and recognises the hard work they have put into their studies. The scholarships and prizes are earned from a very competitive field and reinforces the students' choice of course to study at Charles Sturt University.

"Ms Genoveva De Sousa presented the vote of thanks on behalf of all the students and concluded her speech by thanking everyone in five languages, which alone is a major achievement."

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

The photo shows Chair of the Tony McGrane Scholarship Committee, Mr Geoff Wise, presenting the Tony McGrane Scholarship to student Ms Rachel Krause-Poyser.

Scholarships and prizes awarded at CSU in Bathurst

Friday 26 May 2017

Flags CSU Bathurst gatewayThe annual scholarships and prizes presentation ceremony at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst on Friday 26 May will see 84 scholarships awarded to students.

Across the University in 2017 a total of 296 scholarships worth over $1.2 million will be awarded, making it one of the strongest scholarship portfolios in the country. The number and value of CSU scholarships has increased 21 per cent since 2015. A number of academic prizes will also be presented.

University Council member Professor Jo-Anne Reid will welcome recipients and their guests to the presentation ceremony.

"Scholarship ceremonies are one of the best days on the University's calendar," Professor Reid said.

"Not only do they allow us to recognise the achievements of our worthy recipients, they also celebrate the fantastic community of donors who share Charles Sturt University's passion for ensuring our students reach their full potential.

"We are very grateful for the generosity of donors, many of whom have expanded their commitment this year, and we thank them for recognising the significant value their contribution provides to the education of our students."

Professor Reid said the Charles Sturt University Foundation Trust works to strengthen the connection between the University's network of campuses and communities and CSU students in Bathurst, Albury-Wodonga, Canberra, Dubbo, Goulburn, Orange, Parramatta, Port Macquarie and Wagga Wagga, and at specialist locations throughout Australia.

"The relationships we build with our communities allows us to not only place our students in a profession to build skills as they study, but also to embed those same students into the community itself for the benefit of everyone involved," she said.

"At Charles Sturt University, we believe the contributions we make to the lives of our students and communities are the most rewarding part of our work."

Head of Campus at CSU in Bathurst Associate Professor Chika Anyanwu said, "This year's awards will include 37 scholarships to our Indigenous students. As we mark National Sorry Day this Friday, we at Charles Sturt University hope that these scholarships will make some tangible difference in the healing process of our Indigenous students and their families, by empowering them, as well as bridging the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians."

Special guests at the ceremony will include Councillor Bill West, Mayor of Cowra Council, Councillor Monica Morse from the Bathurst Regional Council, donors, scholarship recipients and prize winners.

The ceremony starts at 11.30am on Friday 26 May in the CD Blake Auditorium (building 1220) at CSU in Bathurst.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

A modern take on greed, power, pleasure

Thursday 25 May 2017

The FoxA play that examines wealth, greed, status, power and pleasure opened at the Ponton Theatre at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst on Tuesday 22 May for six performances.

This adaptation of The Fox (also known as Volpone) by 17th century English playwright, actor and critic Ben Jonson (1572-1637) is directed by CSU theatre/media lecturer Mr Adam Deusien who adapted the play with student dramaturge Ms Shannon Leonard to contemporize it.

The production is the collective effort of 21 third-year theatre/media students in the CSU School of Communication and Creative Industries in Bathurst and is presented by CYCLE Productions.

Publicist for the production Ms Jaimi-lee Bennett said, "This clever adaptation is a ruthless satire that explores the extent of human greed and wealth in the modern age. It's rollickingly good theatre and a wacky commentary on the basic desire for wealth and power".

Read a review of The Fox by senior lecturer in English at CSU Dr Suzie Gibson.

Performances are at the Ponton Theatre (building 1434) at CSU in Bathurst at 7pm from Tuesday 23 to Saturday 27 May, as well as a matinee at 1pm on 27 May.

Tickets are Student/Concession $10, Adult $15 for sale at the door or online at

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

For more information and media interviews contact Ms Jaimi-lee Bennett on or 0420 440 035.

Ceremony to dedicate religious stained glass window at CSU

Friday 19 May 2017

Cowshed BathurstA newly installed religious stained glass window will be unveiled at a special dedication ceremony at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst on Friday 26 May.

The stained glass window is a donated gift to the University by Ms Olive Lawson, an alumna of the CSU predecessor institution Bathurst Teachers College.

Head of Campus at CSU in Bathurst, Associate Professor Chika Anyanwu said, "It is important that we dedicate a safe space with spiritual and contemplative signs and symbols to enable our staff and students to engage in quiet reflection, alone and in groups.

"At a time when global peace and security are threatened, when financial crises have led many students to sacrifice many essentials and juggle more than three jobs and studies, when the future looks environmentally bleak, and when future employment is full of uncertainty and anxiety, it is time we stepped back to reflect and meditate on how to make the world a better place.

"Ms Lawson's creation and donation to the University of her replica Cistercian Order stained glass window has added to the spiritual journey of students and staff at our Bathurst campus."

Stained glassProfessor Anyanwu said that through this donation Ms Lawson has linked two important contemplative histories; the history of her journey as an alumna of Bathurst Teachers College (1952-53), and the history of the stained glass window from the Cistercian Order in 1240.

"It is great that these two important histories have come together at Charles Sturt University," he said.

"It is befitting that this piece of historical reflection is installed in the oldest building on our campus, the Old Cowshed (pictured) which was part of the Bathurst Experiment Farm, as a meditative space of our history, a reflection of our present, and our hope for our future.

"I hope that the space will give us the serenity of mind, purity of heart, and empathy of spirit to build a future of hope and peace."

The Catholic Bishop of Bathurst, the Most Reverend Bishop Michael McKenna, will conduct the dedication service.

The Bathurst Teachers College Association Scholarship will also be awarded at the scholarship ceremony that day.

The dedication ceremony is at 10am on Friday 26 May at the Religious Centre, building 1298, at CSU in Bathurst.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

International visitors check out innovative engineering degree

Tuesday 16 May 2017

Andrea GoncherA visiting delegation from the USA will be in Bathurst this week to examine the engineering degree offered at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst.

Engineering lecturer Dr Andrea Goncher said the CSU course is fast becoming recognised as a global leader in innovative education for engineers.

"The visitors from the Minnesota Institute of Engineering (MIE) recognise that our degree embeds our students in industry very early in their studies, which enables them to develop professional and practice-based skills through industry experience early in their engineering course," Dr Goncher said.

"MIE identified our engineering degree as a global leader and state-of-the-art program in engineering education, and we are looking to share our experiences and expertise to identify strategies that help them to embed their students in US industry."

The original Iron Range engineering program previously used in Minnesota provides a four-year degree based on practical industry experience. The degree is accredited through Minnesota State University, Mankato, and is located in Virginia, Minnesota.

Other partners in the Minnesota Institute of Engineering include Mesabi Range College and Itasca Community College, which are similar to Australian TAFE colleges.

Tour leader Mr Ron Ulseth said MIE is inspired by CSU Engineering and the Iron Range model.

"The new MIE model of engineering education uses features from Charles Sturt University and Iron Range models so our graduates will have a set of attributes necessary to practice in this century," he said. 

Dr Goncher said both programs emphasise strong industry collaborations and aim to deliver distinctive curricular experiences.

"We want to deliver better engineering solutions that address the needs of the local community, our society and the world," she said.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:
For interviews with Dr Andrea Goncher and visiting delegates from the Minnesota Institute of Engineering, contact CSU Media.

FACTS Day at CSU Bathurst for high school students

Monday 1 May 2017

Flags CSU Bathurst gatewayAn estimated 800 senior high school students from the NSW Central West will attend the annual Facts About Careers and Tertiary Study (FACTS) Day at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst on Thursday 4 May.

CSU prospective student adviser Ms Melinda Negus said, "The FACTS Day provides students the opportunity to speak to and hear from a range of career-offering organisations and higher education providers.

"This is an important time in the students' lives as they approach the Higher School Certificate and end of secondary school and are considering their next moves and career paths. The information and insights on offer can help to make their decisions about their futures less daunting."

Organised by the Central West Careers Advisers Association and hosted by CSU, the day will be divided into two sessions: Session 1 from 10.30am to 11.30am, and Session 2 from 11.45am to 12.45 pm.

Speakers at the event will include Ms Hilary Matchett ( Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) graduate), Mr Jake Mayhew (current Bachelor of Physiotherapy student), and Mr Jarryd De Castro ( Bachelor of Justice Studies (Policing) graduate).

Participating schools include Kandos High School, Orange Christian School, Orange High School, The Scots School (Bathurst), St Stanislaus College (Bathurst), All Saints College (Bathurst), James Sheahan Catholic High School (Orange), Cowra High School, Bathurst High School, Blayney High School, Canobolas High School (Orange), MacKillop College (Bathurst), Oberon High School, St Raphael's Catholic School (Cowra), Molong Central School, and Canowindra High School.

Some of the exhibitors at the FACTS Day include University Admissions Centre (UAC), Sydney University, Newcastle University, the Australian Defence Force, and Centennial Coal.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with CSU prospective student advisor Ms Melinda Negus. Mr Des Crawford, President of Central West Careers Adviser Association, Denison College/Bathurst Campus is available for interview on 0422 822 926.

Report launch for child-safe, child-friendly Bathurst

Friday 28 Apr 2017

Bathurst child safe report launchThe evaluation report about initiatives to create a child-safe, child-friendly environment in Bathurst has been launched at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst on Thursday 27th April.

The report, prepared by CSU researchers Dr Sandie Wong and Dr Tamara Cumming, evaluated the effectiveness of the Bathurst Child and Family Network 2016 workforce development approach to the 'building child-safe, child-friendly communities initiative'.

Ms Annette Meyers, the facilitator of the Bathurst Early Learning Support (BELS) and chair of Bathurst Child and Family Network (BCFN), said, "The quest of the BCFN is to help create a world where children are active, engaged and valued citizens.

"The purpose of the of the child-safe, child-friendly initiative was to provide opportunities and resources for organisations working with children and families to increase knowledge and awareness, make changes, and share their experiences and expertise in developing and implementing child-safe, child-friendly policies and practices.

"The launch promotes community awareness of the report through local and regional media, and aims to engage all early childhood and government agencies and schools in the region to inspire them to take action to embrace a child-safe, child-friendly environment in their organisation."

Key findings of the report and future directions of the Bathurst Child and Family Network were outlined at the launch at The Grange at CSU in Bathurst at 10am Thursday 27 April.

The initiative was evaluated through a CSU Community-University Partnership Grant.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Ms Annette Meyers the facilitator of the Bathurst Early Learning Support (BELS), or with CSU researchers Dr Sandie Wong and Dr Tamara Cumming.

Photo, front row (left to right): Mayor of Bathurst Councillor Graeme Hanger, Ms Annette Meyers, Dr Sandie Wong and Dr Tamara Cumming, with guests at the launch behind them.

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