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CSU hosts ‘Star Parties’ for ABC Stargazing world record attempt

Tuesday 22 May 2018

* CSU to boost ABC stargazing world record attempt on Wednesday 23 May

* CSU will host ‘Star Parties’ in Port Macquarie, Bathurst and Wagga Wagga

* Aiming to beat previous 2015 world record of 7,960 stargazers in 37 locations

Charles Sturt University (CSU) will host three ‘Star Parties’ as part of the ABC’s Stargazing Live Guinness World Record Attempt for ‘Most People Stargazing Across Multiple Venues’ on Wednesday evening 23 May.

CSU will host events in Port Macquarie, Bathurst, and Wagga Wagga.

Acting Head of Campus of CSU in Port Macquarie Mr Peter Fraser said, “Charles Sturt University in Port Macquarie is delighted to host a Star Party as part of the ABC’s Live National Guinness World Record Attempt, for the ‘Most People Stargazing Across Multiple Venues'.

“This will be a family-friendly fun event, and is a great way to show off our facilities in Port Macquarie. Everybody is welcome to come along and take part in this world record attempt.

“This event is open to the community and free to attend, but you must register.”

In Port Macquarie: 7pm to 10pm at CSU in the outdoor amphitheatre and half basketball court.

To register:

In Port Macquarie guests can enjoy a barbeque near the fire and hot drinks for gold coin donations, which go toward Port Macquarie’s Observatory. Guest speaker, astronomer Mr David Reneke will introduce the event and provide some insight into stargazing. Campus tours will also be available on the night. Participants can purchase a small telescope upon registration for $6.50, or bring your own.

In Port Macquarie, at approximately 7.45pm guests who are participating in the world record attempt will move to the half basketball court to stargaze for ten minutes. All participants in the record attempt must have a telescope or binoculars. The live cross with the ABC will be aired in the Indigenous Centre.

More information can be found on Facebook:

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews , 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Acting Head of Campus at CSU in Port Macquarie Mr Peter Fraser.

CSU paramedic student receives prestigious Rural Fire Service Award

Tuesday 15 May 2018

* CSU Port Macquarie Bachelor of Clinical Practice (Paramedic) 2nd year student received a prestigious Rural Fire Service Award.

* Brigade unit awarded a Commissioner’s Certificate of Commendation in recognition of outstanding actions in relation to fire service duties.

A Charles Sturt University (CSU) 2nd year Bachelor of Clinical Practice (Paramedic) student Ms Karma Reeves has received a Rural Fire Service award as part of a team that rescued a trapped man last year.

On Tuesday 7 February 2017 the Pacific Palms Rural Fire Service (RFS) were the first to arrive on the scene where a man was trapped under a small excavator, which had overturned in a shallow dam at Charlotte Bay on the NSW Mid North Coast.

The man was pinned by the machine, and managed to keep his mouth and nose above the water. He’d been trapped for several hours and was struggling to maintain his position.

The crew were unable to extract the victim so instead set up pumps to try and reduce the dam water level to provide relief for the victim and support the rescue effort.

The NSW Fire and Rescue units from Forster arrived and worked closely with the RFS to rescue the victim.

Ms Reeves said given the muddy base of the dam and the awkward position of the victim it took 40 minutes to rescue the victim.

“It was a great honour to receive the award with my fellow crew members. It was a difficult and challenging rescue, but seeing everyone work together and having a successful rescue was great,” Ms Reeves said.

Ms Reeves has been an RFS volunteer for the past two years.

“I love being involved in the community and it’s a great experience and exposure for my studies to become a paramedic,” Ms Reeves said.

The Commissioner’s Certificate of Commendation (Unit) is an award that recognises outstanding actions in relation to fire service duties.

The Certificate of Commendation was awarded to the unit last week for service beyond the scope and responsibility normally expected of a unit in their assigned duties.

Media Contact: Kate Fotheringham, 0432 628 163

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Ms Karma Reeves, at CSU in Port Macquarie.

CSU: $100,000 in community grants open to the region

Wednesday 11 Apr 2018

> CSU launches its $100,000 Community-University Partnerships grants program for 2018.

> Up to $20,000 available across five different categories to support our regions.

> Launch at CSU in Port Macquarie today. Online applications here.

> Grants for projects across arts and culture, education, sport, indigenous and discretionary grants for community initiatives.

Grant money totalling $100,000 is now on offer from Charles Sturt University (CSU) for local communities following the launch of the 2018 Community-University Partnerships (CUP) grant program.

Acting Head of Campus at CSU in Port Macquarie Mr Peter Fraser said, “The University is offering $100,000 in grants as an investment in the development of our regions.

“Members of our local community on the NSW Mid North Coast are encouraged to apply for the funding to support their local community groups and activities.

“There’s funding from hundreds of dollars, up to a maximum amount of $20,000 in each grant category,” Mr Fraser said.

CUP grants are across five separate categories across arts and culture, education, sport, indigenous, as well as discretionary grants to support small community initiatives.

Launching in Port Macquarie today, CSU also welcomed successful recipients from last year’s program to congratulate them on their success and for them to share with the community how they spent the grant they received.

Among the groups to receive funding in last year’s CUP grant program was the Nautilus Senior College in Port Macquarie. They used funding from the CUP Rural and Regional Education Development Program to purchase a set of African djembes for the purpose of providing drumbeat workshops to engage students.

Ms Deb Tougher, from Nautilus Senior College said, “The CUP grant application process was very easy and the results were fast. It’s great that Charles Sturt University is offering grants to community projects to assist in breaking down educational barriers.”

“Given that winter is just around the corner, we’ve opened the 2018 grant program with the Rural and Regional Sports Development round first and the other grant programs will open in a rolling fashion throughout the year.

“Charles Sturt University wants to build higher education aspiration and awareness particularly among young people in rural and regional communities,” Mr Fraser said.


Grants are available from five different categories. The CUP Head of Campus Small Grants Program, CUP Rural and Regional Arts and Culture Program, CUP Rural and Regional Education Development Program, CUP Rural and Regional Indigenous Community Engagement Program and CUP Rural and Regional Sports Development Program.

Online applications are now open for the 2018 CUP Rural and Regional Sports Development Program, with the other programs to follow. Further information, application packs and program guidelines can be found here.

Media Contact: Fiona Halloran , (02) 6933 2207

Media Note:

The 2018 CUP grants program was launched on Wednesday 11 April at CSU in Port Macquarie.

Photo: Acting Head of CSU in Port Macquarie Mr Peter Fraser launches the University's 2018 CUP grants program with guests in the courtyard at CSU in Port Macquarie.

A signatory of Uluru Statement to speak at CSU

Wednesday 14 Mar 2018

A signatory of the Uluru Statement from the Heart will speak about its meaning for all Australians at a public talk at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Port Macquarie on Monday 26 March.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart came from a historic and unprecedented gathering at Uluru of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from around the country. The gathering was the culmination of 13 regional dialogues.

Mr Thomas Mayor, a Torres Strait Islander who is one of the signatories of the Uluru Statement, will speak at CSU about the journey to Uluru, and why the aspirations of the Statement are so vitally important.

Uluru Statement supporter and lecturer in social work and human services in the CSU School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Ms Lava Kohaupt, said the Uluru Statement and people’s understanding of it can show the way forward in mending relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australia.

“To repair these relations, both groups need to acknowledge our joint past and through Constitutional recognition provide a voice to First Nations people,” Ms Kohaupt said.

Ms Kohaupt believes the Uluru Statement is a formal step forward in this process for all Australians.

“Australia is the only developed nation that has not formally recognised its First Nations people,” Ms Kohaupt said.

“The Uluru statement provides a direction in this process by seeking ‘constitutional reforms to empower’ Aboriginal people and enable them to take a rightful place in their ‘own country’.

“This is also a rare opportunity to see the original Statement that will one day be celebrated as the spark of hope that led to Australia’s Makarrata, ‘the coming together after a struggle’.”

This event is presented in partnership with the Birpai Local Aboriginal Land Council and CSU.

Mr Thomas Mayor will speak about the Uluru Statement from the Heart from 6.30pm on Monday 26 March in room 2062, at CSU at 7 Major Innes Road Port Macquarie.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Uluru Statement signatory Mr Thomas Mayor and Ms Lava Kohaupt from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at CSU in Port Macquarie.

New students arrive for Orientation Week at CSU in Port Macquarie

Friday 16 Feb 2018

It’s time for ceremony, wide eyes and nervous feet as nearly 600 students are welcomed to their new educational adventure at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Port Macquarie during Orientation Week, commencing Monday 19 February.

CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann said, “The start of the new academic year at the University is always an exciting time, particularly with the arrival of new students on campus for Orientation Week activities, followed by the return of continuing students.

“I welcome all new students, whether they are studying on campus or online.

“Charles Sturt University is committed to providing the best possible student experience, and sharing the University’s values so students become graduates who are insightful, inclusive, inspiring and who make a positive impact in their communities and professional disciplines.”

Orientation Week activities at CSU in Port Macquarie include:

- Commencement Ceremony: a formal academic procession commences a formal welcome to new students and their parents to CSU. Commencing starting 10am on Monday 19 February at CSU in Port Macquarie, Major Innes Rd, Port Macquarie;

- Market Day: a ‘show’ day for local businesses and services for new students at CSU. To be held between 11am and 2pm on Monday 19 February in the main courtyard in CSU in Port Macquarie, Major Innes Rd, Port Macquarie;

- Enrolment and course information day: on Wednesday 21 February to engage new students in the ‘business’ part of Orientation Week, starting 10am at CSU in Port Macquarie, Major Innes Rd, Port Macquarie;

- Beach activities: from 3pm to 6.15pm on Wednesday 21 February, beach walk from Towns to Flynns Beach, then beach games and learning to surf (surfing starts at 5.15pm) at Flynns Beach, Port Macquarie.

- Activity Day: on Thursday 22 February to welcome new students studying with the School of Environmental Sciences, with paddle board session to be held from 11am to 3pm (best time 11am to 12.30pm) near the boatshed at Settlement Point, Port Macquarie.

Across the University, 2 785 new students will study on campus in 2018. They join the more than 40 000 students who study at CSU, of which 21 per cent are international students from 120 countries studying on campus in Australia and overseas through partners or online.

Session One classes for students studying on campus commence on Monday 26 February.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

For interviews during Orientation Week, please contact CSU Media.

University Roadshow comes to the Mid North Coast

Monday 5 Feb 2018

The annual University Roadshow will commence the first leg of a tour of schools on the Lower Mid North Coast on Monday 12 February.

The University Roadshow is a collaboration between Charles Sturt University, Southern Cross University and the University of New England. It will provide high school students with information on life as a university student, what they can do to prepare, and outline what paths they can take in order to pursue their dream career.

The Roadshow will visit three school locations per day from Kempsey down to Bulahdelah and inland to Gloucester and Wingham, as part of a three-week tour to visit thousands of senior high school students at approximately 100 schools in NSW.

Ms Bernadette Gammon, a prospective student adviser with Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Port Macquarie, encourages all senior students to attend the University Roadshow She says it is normal for Year 12 students to feel overwhelmed by the university processes.

“The University Roadshow has visited schools in regional and rural NSW for over 15 years,” Ms Gammon said.

“Many of the students we speak with are still undecided about where and what they would like to study, which is completely OK. We are there to help out in any way we can.

“The University Roadshow gives students a chance to start thinking about life after school and allows them to speak with representatives from each of our three universities.

“By joining forces on the Roadshow, the three universities are able to provide students with a wide range of options, and reduce the amount of time students need to be away from the classroom.

“We aim to give school students information early so that they can make the most of the opportunities throughout the year. The Roadshow covers topics such as the courses, accommodation options, career paths, right through to pathways into university study; the University Roadshow covers it all.”

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with CSU prospective student adviser Ms Bernadette Gammon.

Photo shows the courtyard of CSU in Port Macquarie.

Cognition and disabilities expert for national brain conference

Friday 1 Dec 2017

An expert recognised Australia-wide for research to assist people with disabilities will deliver a free public lecture during a national conference to be hosted by Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Port Macquarie next week.

Emeritus Professor Max Coltheart, AM, who was founding Scientific Director of the Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science, has worked around Australia and in the United Kingdom and Canada in an academic career spanning 50 years.

Professor Coltheart will speak on the nature of cognitive science during his public presentation, which is free to the general public. It will start at 4pm on Friday 8 December at Charles Sturt University in Port Macquarie, in room 2062.

The emeritus professor was recognised for his services to people with learning difficulties in 2010 when he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

The 'Cognition on the Coast' Conference, the biennial meeting of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science, will be held on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 December at CSU in Port Macquarie, and is hosted by the CSU School of Psychology.

The two-day conference will address such diverse topics as animal cognition, heuristics and biases in emergencies and disasters, cognitive psychology applications for teaching, and much more.

Conference convenor and CSU academic Dr Glenn Carruthers said, "We are thrilled to be bringing together researchers from Australia, the US, Israel, Chile, Canada, New Zealand, and Serbia to discuss some of the most exciting and troubling issues in the study of the mind.

"This is also an exciting opportunity to showcase the high quality work being done in regional universities in Australia."

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

For interviews with Emeritus Professor Max Coltheart, AM, or conference organiser Dr Glenn Carruthers, contact CSU Media.

The conference website is here.

CSU graphic design students emerge in Port Macquarie exhibition

Friday 24 Nov 2017

What: emerge: CSU Graphic Design Graduate Exhibition

Where: Charles Sturt University, 7 Major Innes Road, Port Macquarie

When:  Friday 1 December from 6pm

Tickets: Event Brite

Johnny CashAn exhibition of graduating graphic design students' work showcasing cutting edge designs for contemporary life, will be opened at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Port Macquarie on Friday 1 December.

The emerge: Graphic Design Graduate Exhibition displays the work of the first-ever graduating cohort of students who studied the Bachelor of Creative Arts and Design (Graphic Design) in the School of Communication and Creative Industries at CSU in Port Macquarie.

CSU graphic design lecturer Ms Willhemina Wahlin said, "We are immensely proud of the work in this exhibition featuring some innovative pieces from graduating and second year graphic design students' work.

"The exhibition will be of interest to the whole community because graphic design is all around us and influences the choices we make about what we buy and how we live.

"It will be of particular interest to people in business who might want to hire a graduating designer, as well as potential students and families whose children are thinking of studying design, and educators and professionals in the area."

The emerge: Graphic Design Graduate Exhibition will open at 6pm to 9pm on Friday 1 December, at CSU, 7 Major Innes Road, Port Macquarie, with refreshments provided. It will be accessible for viewing until the end of January.

Tickets are limited. To RSVP, go to Event Brite

More information is available on the School of Communication and Creative Industries event page and Facebook and on CSU graphic design Facebook. Follow on TWITTER: @CSUGDExhibition

The exhibition is sponsored by local businesses in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region, including The Other Chef, Hastings Co-op, Latin Loafer, Wildwood Festival, Wauchope Bakery, DONE Cold Brew, Doppio or Nothing, and The Settlers Inn.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with CSU graphic design lecturer Ms Willhemina Wahlin.

Image: 'Johnny Cash' by CSU graphic design student Ms Kseah Cowan.

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.

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

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.

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