Wagga Wagga

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Refurbished CSU Riverina Playhouse set to reopen

Tuesday 19 Jun 2018

* CSU Riverina Playhouse refurbishment nears completion and will reopen soon

* $3 million upgrade to seating, lighting, access, and amenities

* Environmental sustainability features include energy efficient lighting and water-saving fittings

Much needed refurbishments to the Riverina Playhouse at Charles Sturt University (CSU) will soon be completed and the well-known Wagga Wagga cultural facility will be reopened in July.

Director of the CSU Division of Facilities Management, Mr Stephen Butt, said the temporary closure of the Playhouse in October 2017 was a necessary inconvenience but the end results are worth it.

Mr Butt said, “While the closure caused some disruption for staff, students and those community groups who make use of the facility, the work that was carried out to the Playhouse has ensured the facility is state-of-the art and even better able to serve the needs of the creative arts into the future.”

The refurbishment cost an estimated $3 million and delivers upgraded amenities to ensure the Riverina Playhouse includes disabled access and facilities, upgrades to the theatre seating, new lighting grid systems, wall and floor furnishings, new auditorium layout with new theatre chairs providing generous leg room, new emergency and exit lighting, and a re-organised foyer area.

Head of the School of Communication and Creative Industries Ms Sue Wood said, “Staff and students in the School of Communication and Creative Industries are delighted with the upgrade and look forward to working in the newly improved theatre”.

The refurbishment project officer Mr Neal Molineaux said the enhancements to the Playhouse will benefit performers and audiences.

“The environment will also benefit from some of the upgrades, with a key focus on sustainability features,” Mr Molineaux said. “The newly-installed mechanical systems and lighting are energy efficient, and water saving fittings have been added to the hydraulic systems.”

The Riverina Playhouse was established in 1986 and has had limited improvements since then.  CSU students have been using alternative venues at CSU in Wagga Wagga and other community facilities during the refurbishment.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Director of the CSU Division of Facilities Management, Mr Stephen Butt, and refurbishment project officer Mr Neal Molineaux.

Photo courtesy of Mr Neal Molineaux shows the newly installed seating in the refurbished CSU Riverina Playhouse in Wagga Wagga.

Calling stroke clients for BEST study

Thursday 31 May 2018

* Call for stroke patients living in southern NSW to take part in an ‘at home’ rehabilitation project.

* Geographical distance from health services can make it difficult for patients in regional NSW to access outpatient services once they have been discharged from hospital.

* Project participants and carers will have access to extensive support materials and phone support for 12 weeks.

* Participating clinicians will also receive support as part of the project.

Have you had a stroke in the last six months and live in or near Albury-Wodonga or Wagga Wagga? Do you experience cognitive or upper limb difficulties?

A research team supported by Charles Sturt University (CSU), Murrumbidgee Local Health District and Albury-Wodonga Health are looking for participants to test a program over 12 weeks that assists patients in their recovery from the debilitating effects of stroke.

Participants and their carers will have access to the Best Evidence for Stroke Therapies (BEST) website that can help stroke patients to regain some or all of their capabilities before the stroke occurred.

Project leader Dr Melissa Nott (pictured left), an occupational therapy lecturer with the CSU School of Community Health, is part of the team that developed the BEST website.

“The website is a one-stop shop for helpful resources including 'step-by-step' guides, information and instruction sheets and videos, home activity records and goal setting worksheets.

“On the same site, clinicians such as occupational therapists and speech pathologists can access 'how-to' videos, implementation checklists and evidence summaries to help them implement and evaluate their stroke-related care of patients, working as a team with the stoke patient.

"We wanted to provide all the information that would be needed by both patients and clinicians so that clinicians feel more confident to implement the National Stroke Guidelines and that patients receive the best quality care," said Dr Nott said, who is based at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

"Geographical distance from health services can make it difficult for patients in regional NSW to access outpatient services once they have been discharged from hospital. This website offers an alternative way to ensure all patients can access the highest quality rehabilitation."

See 'Cheryl' from Wagga Wagga as she tells her story on the importance of a team approach to her rehabilitation after a stroke.

The program incorporates use of the BEST website (pictured right) with phone coaching and training for clinicians to help stroke patients drive their own recovery from home over 12 weeks, supported by the research team.

The BEST website has been trialled and refined since 2017, and we are now ready to expand its use across areas covered by the Murrumbidgee Local Health District and Albury-Wodonga Health.

“Positive results for this expanded trial will have application for rehabilitation services across regional Australia and for patients living in isolated circumstances.”

To apply to join the BEST project or for further information, contact Ms Tana Cuming on 02 6051 9266 or email bestresearch@csu.edu.au.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews in Albury-Wodonga with Dr Melissa Nott.

Research partner Dr Shannon Pike with the Murrumbidgee Local Health District is available for interviews in Wagga Wagga. Contact Ms Sally Druitt on (02) 6933 91781 or email Sally.Druitt@health.nsw.gov.au to arrange interviews with Dr Pike.

See the BEST website here.

CSU hosts coding competition for school students to boost IT careers

Wednesday 23 May 2018

* CSU coding comp aims to improve school students’ coding skills

* Students to solve several coding challenges in various programming languages

* Coding comp supports students to aspire to a career in IT and computing

Charles Sturt University (CSU) is hosting a coding competition on Friday 25 May for 16 students in Years 11 and 12 from high schools in the Wagga Wagga region.

Dr Arif Khan (pictured), course director in the CSU School of Computing and Mathematics said, The aim of the event is to bring together high school students interested in IT and coding, and provide a fun activity for them to improve their skills.

“The University has organised the event and has designed the program because we are keen to support these students and provide them with the opportunity to learn about computing and improve their coding skills.

“The program will involve solving a number of coding challenges in various programming languages.

“Lecturers will be teaching and guiding the students throughout the program, to support and encourage high school students to study on-campus and go into a career in IT and computing.”

The winner of the competition will receive a $100 gift voucher and a certificate of achievement. All attendees will get a certificate of participation.

The coding competition is from 9.15am to 1.15pm in the Library (room 1012, building 13) at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Arif Khan who is based at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

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 Wagga Wagga, Port Macquarie, and Bathurst.

Head of Campus of CSU in Wagga Wagga Ms Miriam Dayhew said, “Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga 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 Wagga Wagga. 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 Wagga Wagga: 7pm to 10pm at CSU the event will be hosted by the CSU Science Club in the Physics Lab courtyard, in front of the Radiography Lab (building 10). Participants are advised to dress warmly.

To register: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/charles-sturt-university-science-club-star-party-tickets-45847937415

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Head of Campus in Wagga Wagga Ms Miriam Dayhew.

Medical scientists’ regional conference in Wagga Wagga

Tuesday 15 May 2018

* Medical science conference in Wagga Wagga on Saturday 19 May

* Presentations by three CSU medical science academics

Three Charles Sturt University (CSU) medical science academics will present papers at the annual 2018 NSW South-West Division of the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists (AIMS) conference in Wagga Wagga on Saturday 19 May

Dr Thiru Vanniasinkam (pictured left), senior lecturer in immunology in the CSU School of Biomedical Sciences in Wagga Wagga said, “Organisers expect up to 70 people to attend the AIMS conference from across the NSW South-West region, including from Griffith, Dubbo, Bathurst, Orange, Wagga Wagga, and smaller places in between.

“We also expect participants from the Sydney region, and this year we hope to have a few from Victoria since Wagga Wagga is relatively close to the border,” Dr Thiru Vanniasinkam said.

There will be 13 scientific presentations, with three by medical scientists from the CSU School of Biomedical Sciences:

* Dr Thiru Vanniasinkam, senior lecturer in immunology, ‘Antibiotic resistance in Camylobacter jejuni in NSW’

* Dr Philip Bwititi, senior lecturer in biochemistry, ‘Oxidative stress’

* Dr Wouter Kalle, lecturer in biomedical sciences, ‘DNA Diagnostic – from karyotype to NGS’

The conference organisers have offered discounted student registrations for the conference day to engage with students enrolled in the medical science degree at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

“Conferences like this are valuable to the region, as they provide Continuing Professional Development (CPD) within the pathology industry as our scientific program caters to the interests of scientists who are multi-disciplined,” Dr Vanniasinkam said.

“Being proficient in a number disciplines is often required of scientists working in the smaller regional and peripheral laboratories, while those working in the bigger central laboratories are more likely to specialise,” Dr Vanniasinkam concluded.

For more information see the conference flyer: https://www.aims.org.au/documents/item/982

Or visit the website: https://www.aims.org.au/events/event/nsw-south-west-div-conference-2018-f

The annual 2018 NSW South-West Division of the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists conference will be held at the Rules Club, 188 Fernleigh Street, in Wagga Wagga on Saturday 19 May.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Thiru Vanniasinkam, Dr Phil Bwititi and Dr Wouter Kalle who are based at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

For further information contact NSW South-West Division of AIMS conference organiser Ms Christie Gordon on 0428 102 797.

Teachers and students to learn coding at AgriTech Incubator in Wagga

Tuesday 15 May 2018

* Computer coding training for Riverina teachers and female high school students

* AgriTech Incubator supports women and girls into tech and entrepreneurial activities

The AgriTech Incubator at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga will host computer coding training for teachers and students from Riverina schools on Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 May.

Following the success of the 2017 event, the 2018 sessions will again be delivered by Code Club Australia which teaches students how to program by showing them how to make computer games, animations and websites. Code Club also delivers training to equip teachers with the confidence and ability to teach their students to code.

Professor of Food Engineering in the CSU School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences, John Mawson (pictured), said, “The AgriTech Incubator teacher training day on Wednesday 16 May is fully booked, and over 90 students are expected to attend the coding event on Thursday17 May, to learn how to create a rainbow predictor using Python and Raspberry Pi programs.

“Students and teachers are travelling from towns across the Riverina − Cootamundra, Griffith, Junee, Leeton, Tullibigeal, Wagga Wagga, and Young − to attend the events.

“Offering specialised programs supporting women and girls into tech and entrepreneurial activities is just one of the goals of the AgriTech Incubator.

“The 2018 event follows the successful AgriTech Incubator at Charles Sturt University which delivered its first coding event specifically for Years 9 and 10 female high school students in the Wagga Wagga region in November 2017. Then, students created computer generated modern art, using Python, and the event was very well received by both students and teachers.

“The teachers at that event also noted they would greatly value a training day to improve their ability to support STEM related initiatives in their schools,” Professor Mawson said.

The coding events will be held at the AgriTech Incubator, building 6, CSU in Wagga Wagga (car park 11) from 10am Wednesday 16 (for teachers) and Thursday 17 May (for students).

The AgriTech Incubator is funded by the NSW Department of Industry with significant additional funding from CSU, with the coding events being in partnership with Code Club Australia (https://codeclubau.org/).

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Professor John Mawson will be available for interview at 10am on Wednesday 16 May at the AgriTech Incubator (building 6) at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

New Booranga writer-in-residence to speak in Wagga Wagga

Wednesday 2 May 2018

* Award-winning author Lili Wilkinson at Booranga to present reading and workshops

* Free Public Reading from 5 pm to 7pm on Thursday 3 May at Historic Council Chambers, Baylis Street

* Writing Workshop from 2pm to 4pm Saturday 12 May at Booranga Writers’ Centre, Mambarra Drive

Booranga Writers’ Centre in Wagga Wagga will this week welcome a new writer-in-residence, award-winning young adult author Ms Lili Wilkinson (pictured), for a two-week residency.

Adjunct senior lecturer in English at the Charles Sturt University (CSU) School of Humanities and Social Sciences in Wagga Wagga and President of Booranga Writers’ Centre Mr David Gilbey said Ms Wilkinson is Booranga’s second writer-in-residence for 2018.

“We try to invite writers who have published in different genres and styles at Booranga, and we’re very excited to have such an accomplished ‘Gen Y’ young adult author coming here,” Mr Gilbey said.

Ms Wilkinson is the award-winning author of eleven books, including Green Valentine and Pink. She established insideadog.com.au and the Inky Awards at the Centre for Youth Literature, State Library of Victoria. Lili has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne, and now spends most of her time reading and writing books for children and teenagers. Her latest novel is The Boundless Sublime.

Mr Gilbey said, “Lili’s writing has received many commendations and we particularly like her interest in what might be called the ‘surreal’ intersections between reality and consciousness (Lili says she enjoyed and was influenced by Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through the Looking Glass), especially as it affects young adult readers.

“Her latest novel, The Boundless Sublime, takes readers to some of the dark places – unhappy families, overwhelming personal sadness and the deceptive seductions of cult membership. Her characterisation is strong, and the narrative engaging.

“While at Booranga, Lili will speak to on-campus students taking the subject Australian Children’s Literature, focussing on her next project about fairy tales,” Mr Gilbey concluded.

Ms Wilkinson’s Booranga writer-in-residence events are:

* Public Reading from 5 pm to 7pm on Thursday 3 May at Historic Council Chambers, Fitzmaurice Street Wagga Wagga; Free, but bookings essential as seating is limited. RSVP

* Writing Workshop from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday 12 May at Booranga Writers’ Centre, Mambarra Drive, Wagga Wagga; cost: Free for members, a $10 donation is requested from non-members. RSVP

More information about Ms Wilkinson can be found at http://liliwilkinson.com.au/

For more information contact Booranga President, Mr David Gilbey dgilbey@csu.edu.au or Creative Director Ms Kathryn Halliwell director@booranga.com

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

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

Tuesday 17 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 Wagga Wagga 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.

Head of Campus at CSU in Wagga wagga Ms Miriam Dayhew said, “The University is offering $100,000 in grants as an investment in the development of our regions.

“Members of our local communities 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,” Ms Dayhew 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 Wagga Wagga 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.

One of those was the small Uranquinty Pre-School which received funding through the CUP Rural and Regional Education Development Program.

Pre-School Director Ms Louise Grigg said, “The money enabled us to engage in three projects: Music from around the World; STEM Resources; and Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives in the Curriculum.

“As well as purchasing resources to support these projects, the Pre-school invited specialists including a musician, scientist and Aboriginal artist to engage the children in specific programs.

“We would not have been able to do without the help of these grants. The CUP program has allowed us to achieved goals and outcomes for the children of Uranquinty Pre-School.”

Ms Dayhew said, “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 has a long and proud tradition of supporting our communities.  The CUP initiative is all about the University supporting groups and organisations in Wagga Wagga and the surrounding region in achieving the goals,” Ms Dayhew concluded.

Background

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 at CSU in Wagga Wagga on Tuesday 17 April.

Photo: Head of Campus at CSU in Wagga Wagga Ms Miriam Dayhew with Uranquinty Pre-School Director Ms Louise Grigg at the National Life Sciences Hub at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

CSU digital learning innovation lab - public forum

Tuesday 10 Apr 2018

Data: Future Solution or Problem?

The use of data will be the subject of a free public forum hosted by Charles Sturt University’s (CSU) digital learning innovation laboratory, u!magine in Wagga Wagga on Tuesday 11 April.

The panel discussion, being held from 5pm to 7pm, will focus on data, what it is, what it means and how it can be used to change the way business, industry and communications are conducted.

CSU online learning innovation leader Dr Lyn Hay said, “From agriculture to logistics, health to communications, data is fundamentally changing how we do things - from making decisions, caring for one another, working with the environment and doing business around the world.

“Data is having a huge impact on the way we live our lives and how societies work, from personal privacy, to big business, to government and elections,” Dr Hay said.

Moderated by Wagga Weekly editor Dr Pennie Scott, the panellists are:

> Dr Tim Caton, Medical Director and CEO of Complete Skin Care in Wagga Wagga;

> Mr David Bardos, Business Development Manager, Port of Melbourne;

> Ms Deb Blackwell, Owner Sunnybrae farms and Pentland wines; and

> Mr James Howell, Managing Director at Professional Data Kinetics.

The panel discussion will be held at the Wagga Wagga Council Chambers from 5pm to 7pm on Tuesday 11 April. The event is free and open to the public. It will be livestreamed here. (https://livestream.com/uimagine/data-community)

U!magine at CSU aims to spark educational innovation, be a catalyst for new scholarship in online learning, and explore the ways that new and emerging technologies can be used to transform learning as we currently know it.

Media Contact: Fiona Halloran , (02) 6933 2207

Media Note:

Dr Lyn Hay and Dr Valerie Peachey from u!imagine at CSU are available for interview. Contact CSU Media

MyDay for future students at CSU in Wagga Wagga

Tuesday 10 Apr 2018

> First MyDay event underway for 2018 underway at CSU in Wagga Wagga this week

> More than 280 students to attend the MyDay to learn about degrees in animal and veterinary sciences fields.

> MyDay program at CSU gives students a taste of university life

A range of Charles Sturt University (CSU) degrees in the animal and veterinary sciences field will be on show this week when the annual MyDay program for 2018 gets underway.

MyDay at CSU offers school students and their parents a taste of university life including a chance to visit a campus for a day, meet and ask questions of staff and students, tour teaching, learning and research facilities and inspect on campus accommodation.

The MyDay at Wagga Wagga on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 April is designed for school students who’ve expressed an interest in degrees such as animal science, equine science, veterinary science, veterinary technology, science and general studies (science).

More than 280 students and family members will attend relevant course information sessions over the two days, tour accommodation, the CSU Farm and Equine Centre, anatomy and research laboratories, learn about pathways into CSU, and support services for students including scholarships.

MyDay events are also being held this week at CSU in Bathurst and Orange. See the full program here.

Media Contact: Fiona Halloran , (02) 6933 2207

Media Note:

The media is welcome to attend the follow MyDay practical sessions: equine science at the Equine Centre on Agricultural Avenue from 11am to 12noon on Monday 16  and Tuesday 17 April; animal science practical from 12noon to 1pm on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 April in Sutherland Laboratories, building 268, near car park 67, Jingellic Place; CSU in Wagga Wagga.

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