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The reality of voting online

Thursday 26 Aug 2010

With the cost of the Federal election running into the tens of millions of dollars, two Charles Sturt University (CSU) academics have spoken out in favour of voting online, stating it would be cheaper, secure and more efficient. “Australians are able to do their taxes online, bank online and even register to vote online,” lecturers Mr Geoff Fellows and Mr Ken Eustace said. “Yet Australians still turn up to polling stations around the country and have their names crossed off the roll in pencil and then mark their ballot papers in pencil. The technology is there for the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to conduct the poll online. Voters could use their Medicare numbers to vote at portable ATM-style machines. The votes could still be scrutinised and it may reduce the number of voters who mistakenly vote informal if the system ensures invalid votes are authorised. Voters could also vote from home by pre-registering their computer and then voting through a special website. The AEC could even charge the political parties to have links from the special site to election material.”

Media Contact: Fiona Halloran, 02 6933 2207

Media Note:
  at CSU in Wagga Wagga. They also write a weekly column about IT issues for the Daily Advertiser in Wagga Wagga. The lecturers are available for interview.

More scholarships for TAFE students

Tuesday 24 Aug 2010

The success of a scholarship program for students moving from TAFE to Charles Sturt University (CSU) is being expanded in the wake of its success. CSU’s ‘TAFE to University’ Scholarship Program was developed last year specifically for Diploma and Advanced Diploma students studying at TAFE NSW’s Riverina Institute and TAFE Western, and the Canberra Institute of Technology. Due to the program’s success, it has now been expanded to include an additional five TAFE institutes. The move doubles the number of scholarships available to TAFE students in 2011. Three scholarships are available to each of the TAFE providers. “Charles Sturt University is committed to creating strong education pathways. Our collaboration with TAFE institutes is a great example of how educators can work together to ensure students reach their potential,” Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at CSU, Professor Ross Chambers said. Applications for the $2 500 scholarships are open until 5pm on Friday 26 November 2010.

Media Contact: Holly-Amber Manning, 02 6365 7813

Media Note:

Participating in the scholarship program are: TAFE NSW Riverina Institute; TAFE Western; Canberra Institute of Technology; TAFE NSW Northern Sydney Institute; TAFE NSW North Coast Institute; Wodonga Institute of TAFE; Sunraysia Institute of TAFE; and Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE.
 
The selection criteria includes academic achievement, industry experience and financial hardship.
 
More information about CSU’ s ‘ TAFE to University’

Meeting and learning on Wiradjuri land

Tuesday 10 Aug 2010

Members of the group, Maliyaa who performed at Nguluway at CSU in Wagga Wagga.Nguluway, the Wiradjuri word for ‘Meeting with Each Other’, is the title under which Indigenous staff from across Charles Sturt University (CSU) will meet this week for their annual conference. About 30 Indigenous staff are expected to attend the two-day event at the Convention Centre at CSU in Wagga Wagga from Wednesday 11 August to Thursday 12 August. Wiradjuri Elder Aunty Flo Grant will give the Welcome to Country from 9.20am on Wednesday 11 August. CSU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Ian Goulter will address Nguluway at 9.30am and the Indigenous dance group from Wagga Wagga Maliyaa, will perform at 10am. Indigenous Elders and community members will join CSU staff for these sessions of Nguluway. The University’s Australian Indigenous Employment Strategy aims to increase the proportion of Indigenous staff in continuing positions and boost the overall representation of Indigenous staff to three per cent. Read more about the strategy here.

Media Contact: Fiona Halloran, 02 6933 2207

Media Note:

Nguluway is being organised by Ms Catherine Maxwell, the University’ s Indigenous Employment Coordinator within the Division of Human Resources.

Investigating Asperger's in the community

Tuesday 3 Aug 2010

Asperger’s syndrome is a complex condition covering a range of symptoms that include communication difficulties and problems with social interaction and cognitive abilities. Little is known about community views on this condition, which Charles Sturt University (CSU) doctoral student Ms Donna Kite will address in her current research project. Based in Port Augusta in South Australia, Ms Kite is looking for people to complete an online survey on the characteristics, causes, treatment and management of the condition. “Changes are being proposed on the diagnosis of Asperger’s, which could have implications for its subsequent recognition and treatment, so I am also asking respondents for their opinions on the proposed change,” Ms Kite said. “Most clients with Asperger's syndrome have adequate communication and cognitive functioning to participate in regular school programs, employment and sporting activities, but experience social and often behavioural difficulties relating to their interpretation of the world.” 

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 02 6051 9906

Media Note:

For interviews with CSU doctoral student Ms Donna Kite, contact CSU Media.  The research project is part of Ms Kite&rsquo

For outstanding service to rural health

Tuesday 3 Aug 2010

National award winners Ms Stephanie Frazer and Mr Alan Dyason from CSU.Charles Sturt University’s (CSU) Ms Stephanie Frazer has won a national award for her services to a student rural health club. Ms Frazer, who is president of the CSU Multidisciplinary Albury Rural Health Society (MARHS), was awarded $1 000 by the National Rural Health Students Network (NRHSN). The Network recognised her significant involvement in helping build MARHS into a strong and active club, particularly in relation to mental health in regional Australia. “Improving awareness about mental health is important as almost half of all Australians will experience mental illness in their lifetime. We can make a difference by encouraging understanding and improving support. I feel humbled to be recognised by my fellow students and to work with such great people at Charles Sturt University,” Ms Frazer said. Ms Frazer, who is a third year physiotherapy student with the School of Community Health based at Thurgoona, received her award in Alice Springs in July during the Network’s national conference of 29 student rural health clubs. MARHS vice-president and second year occupational therapy student Mr Alan Dyason also won a prize at the conference for his contribution to increasing awareness and action in Indigenous health issues.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 02 6051 9906

Media Note:
FONT-FAMILY: " Arial" ," sans-serif" mso-bidi-font-size: 10.5pt; mso-no-proof: yes">CSU allied health students Ms Stephanie Frazer and Mr Alan Dyason will be available for interviews and pictures at 10.30am on Wednesday 4 August, at the Allied Health laboratories at at CSU in Albury-Wodonga, off Elizabeth Mitchell Drive, Thurgoona. Contact CSU Media for more information.

From academia to the Army Reserve

Thursday 10 Dec 2009

Dr Joanne Connolly, senior lecturer in veterinary microbiology at CSU.It’s a far cry from studying platypus on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River to Army Reserve training in the jungles of Malaysia, but a Charles Sturt University (CSU) lecturer is about to get a taste of what her environmental science (Honours) student has been experiencing in his training with the Army Reserve. Senior lecturer in veterinary microbiology, Dr Joanne Connolly, from the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at CSU in Wagga Wagga, will leave on Monday 15 December to spend five days with Rifle Company Butterworth, near Penang in northern Malaysia, at the invitation of the Defence Reserves Support.  Dr Connolly, who researches disease in platypus, will experience life as a soldier in the field, including weapons handling and finding food from the jungle, to gain insight into the Army Reserve. It’s an activity Dr Connolly didn’t know was on the horizon when she became Mr Tom Claridge’s supervisor for his Honours degree.  However, the academic is excited and a bit nervous about the challenge. “We’ve roughed it in streams late at night netting the nocturnal platypus across the Murrumbidgee catchment as part of the current research project, but this will certainly be a bit different. Tom has to write his thesis when he gets back from his three months service, so I’ll gently remind him about that when I see him in Malaysia,” Dr Connolly said.
 

Media Contact: Kate Roberts, 02 6933 2207

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange an interview with Dr Joanne Connolly who will depart for Malaysia on Monday 15 December and return on Sunday 20 December. CSU student Mr Tom Claridge will return to Wagga Wagga in late February 2010. The Army Reserve’ s ‘ Exercise Boss Lift’ , it’ s a scheme operated by the  Department of Defence's Cadet, Reserves and Employer Support Division.
 

Plea for action for wetlands

Sunday 8 Nov 2009

Director of CSU's Institute for Land, Water and Society Professor Max Finlayson is one of the presenters at the conference, Wetlands and Waterbirds: Managing for Resilience in Leeton.Globally, the rate of loss of freshwater wetlands exceeds that of any other ecosystem and predicted climate change will greatly exacerbate the trend in the future. According to Charles Sturt University (CSU) vertebrate ecologist Dr Iain Taylor, wetlands provide invaluable ecosystem services to humans throughout the world and are essential habitats for an amazing diversity of flora and fauna. “Many species of water birds are in serious decline and the on-going drought in southeast Australia has caused a massive and probably irreversible decline in most of the larger water birds such as egrets, ibises and spoonbills,” he said. Dr Taylor is the convener of the international conference, Wetlands and Waterbirds: Managing for Resilience in Leeton in the Riverina region of NSW from Monday 9 November. Also presenting at the conference is CSU wetland ecologist Professor Max Finlayson who said climate change will place many wetlands and species under further pressure from rising temperatures and changes to their water regimes as rainfall patterns change. “If anything we should be constructing or restoring more wetlands, not degrading those that are left. They are valuable and have been under stress for far too long,” said Professor Finlayson, Director of CSU’s Institute for Land, Water and Society.

Media Contact: Kate Roberts, 02 6933 2207

Media Note:
For media inquiries on Tuesday 10 November and Wednesday 11 November contact Ms Tracey Valensis on 0407 262 496. The Fivebough and Tuckerbil Swamps are internationally recognised wetlands under the Ramsar Convention and home to large waterbird populations, just minutes from Leeton.

Graduates celebrate in Hong Kong

Thursday 5 Nov 2009

The Chancellor of Charles Sturt University (CSU) Mr Lawrie Willett AO will praise the academic achievements of almost 70 graduates who are eligible to receive their awards at a ceremony in Hong Kong on Saturday 7 November. The graduates will receive their postgraduate and undergraduate awards from the University’s Faculties of Arts, Business, Education and Science from 10.30am in the Langham Place Hotel in Hong Kong. The occasional address will be delivered at the graduation ceremony by Mr Steve O’Conner, the Librarian at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Mr O’Conner has worked in Higher Education for most of his career and has researched, published, spoken, consulted and taught very extensively in the areas of change, organisational management, information delivery, scenario and strategic planning, as well as the wider library and information environment. Graduates have completed a range of courses at CSU in areas such as theology, business, information technology, hotel management, arts, primary education, library and information management, medical imaging and clinical nursing.
 

Media Contact: Fiona Halloran, 02 6933 2207

Media Note:
The ceremony will be held from 10.30am in the Langham Place Hotel, 555 Shanghai Street, Mongkok, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Charles Sturt University is one of Australia’ s leading providers of distance education with currently 20,000 students around the world studying by distance education.

CSU leads at Tour de Timor

Tuesday 8 Sep 2009

CSU third year physiotherapy student Tom Bidstrup at work during the recent Tour de Timor.Staff and students from Charles Sturt University (CSU) successfully flew the flag at the inaugural cycling race Tour de Timor held recently in Timor Leste (East Timor). CSU student Mr Neil Van der Pleog from Mount Beauty in Victoria won the 450-kilometre race around the country. CSU students and staff also provided extensive physiotherapy services for competitors throughout the tough event. Started by President Dr Jose Ramos-Horta in the capital Dili, the five day event took cyclists through the nine regions of Timor before returning to Dili.  At the hilliest stage of the race, riders climbed to 1 850 metres. Two third year Bachelor of Physiotherapy students Mr Tom Bidstrup and Ms Rachael McLeod and physiotherapy lecturer Mr Tim Retchford from the School of Community Health at CSU at Albury-Wodonga provided physiotherapy services for the 350 competitors. Many of the riders were international participants who were attracted to Timor Leste for the gruelling US$75 000 event. “The Tour de Timor coincided with the celebration of the 10 years since East Timor's independence vote,” said Mr Retchford. “Locals lined Dili’s streets up to 10 deep to cheer the riders as they crossed the finish line.”

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 02 6051 9906

Media Note:

Gifted designer honoured

Tuesday 8 Sep 2009

PhD student Mr Rohan Nicol’s Peppered Sunlight. Photo by Matthew Regan.An artist and Charles Sturt University (CSU) student has been named as a finalist in Australia’s richest design prize. PhD student Mr Rohan Nicol from Wagga Wagga is one of 10 finalists in the prestigious Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award. With his entry, Peppered Sunlight Mr Nicol will compete for the first prize of a $30 000 grant and a trip to Milan to attend the Salone del Mobile furniture fair in April 2010. The prize is dedicated to recognising and rewarding excellence in design, improving and promoting awareness of design and improving the commercial success of talented Australians. Peppered Sunlight is a large pendant light inspired by ‘dappled light that filters through trees’. Through the School of Visual and Performing Arts at CSU at Wagga Wagga, Mr Nichol is researching a financially sustainable model of studio-based craft and design practice by engaging with the Australian manufacturing industry in regional Australia. Read more here.

Media Contact: Fiona Halloran, 02 6933 2207

Media Note:

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