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CSU students explore occupational therapy for Indigenous Australians

Friday 19 Oct 2018

In their final activity at Charles Sturt University (CSU), fourth year students will explore the possibilities of their new careers as occupational therapists in a two day conference starting Wednesday 24 October at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

The CSU students will present papers on contemporary practice issues relevant to the provision of occupational therapy services to regional, rural and remote communities with a specific focus on Indigenous Australian people.

In her final year of the occupational therapy course, student Ms Gemma Wall hailed the conference initiative as an excellent way to showcase how far the students had progressed after four years of university study.

“During my course I learned much about the importance of culturally competent care and the impact this can have on improving health outcomes when working with culturally diverse clients such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Ms Wall said.

In her conference presentation, Ms Wall is considering how to successfully implement a culturally sensitive self-management program for stroke rehabilitation in an Indigenous Australian community.

Ms Wall will draw from the Best Evidence for Stroke Therapy study being conducted at CSU in partnership with Albury Wodonga Health and Wagga Wagga Base Hospital.

Fellow student Ms Rachel Ralph said the conference was particularly relevant as new national standards for cultural competency in occupational therapy become effective in January 2019.

“The conference is important as it allows us to educate each other on how we can better our practice with Indigenous people,” Ms Ralph said.

Discipline Lead of the occupational therapy program in the CSU School of Community Health, Dr Tracey Parnell, said the conference allowed students to demonstrate what they had learned from their studies, and the intellectual rigour they can offer to the health of regional, rural and Indigenous Australians.

“The conference is the culmination of the four year course for these students. It provides an opportunity for them to show the breadth and depth of their knowledge in various areas of contemporary practice.”

“This year we also challenged the students to examine their chosen topic in relation to Indigenous Australians.”

Dr Parnell will welcome participants and students to the conference from 8.30 am on Wednesday 24 October at Room 101, Building 667 at CSU in Albury-Wodonga, Broomfield Court, Thurgoona.

The 26 student presentations include:

  • * Addressing Indigenous health inequality and the role of occupational health in ‘closing the gap’;
  • * Ageing in place in Indigenous Australian communities;
  • * The mental health implication of leaving the land;
  • * Challenges in accessing stroke rehabilitation in rural and remote areas; and
  • * Chronic pain and its impact on mental health.

The conference will be closed after 2pm on Thursday 25 October by the Head of the School of Community Health, Associate Professor Michael Curtin. The event coincides with national Occupational Therapy Week.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Tracey Parnell, conference coordinator Ms Rhiannon Memery and CSU occupational therapy students Ms Rachel Ralph and Ms Gemma Wall, all based at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

CSU staff member elected national president of Apex Australia

Tuesday 16 Oct 2018

* Mr Neal Molineaux CSU staff member elected national president of Apex Australia.

* Mr Molineaux said the community mindedness and skills taught at Apex Australia are brought to CSU.

* Mr Molineaux and Apex Australia raised $16,000 in recent months to support farmers experiencing drought.

A Charles Sturt University (CSU) staff member has been elected national president of Apex Australia.

Mr Neal Molineaux, a project manager in CSU’s Division of Facilities Management, said he is pleased to become national president of an association that does a lot of good, not only in local communities, but in communities all over Australia and across the seven countries it is established in.

“It’s the work of these Apex Clubs that builds better communities,” Mr Molineaux said.

“Apex has opened my world to something that you would not experience anywhere else.

“It’s not all just about serving your community, but the lessons learnt, and through the opportunities Apex has provided me, I have been able to learn, develop new skills and gain the confidence I use daily in my current occupation.”

Mr Molineaux has been around Apex throughout his childhood and in 1997 became a member of the South Wagga Apex Club where he held a number of administrative roles. Four years ago he took on the challenges of being a member of the Apex national board.

This long history within Apex created many fond memories and friendships across Australia and other Apex countries. Mr Molineaux said it is these genuine friendships that have helped him raise over $16,000 in recent months to assist Australian farmers suffering from years of drought.

Mr Molineaux describes Apex Australia as a vibrant and energetic volunteer service organisation focused on harnessing the ideas, ideals and intelligence of primarily younger Australians.

“Although some clubs are open to people of all ages, most welcome members aged from 18 to 45,” he said. “We are an authentic Australian icon that is still going strong since it was established in 1931.

“We have help younger Australians make a difference to their community, learn valuable skills, and make great friendships.

“The Apex story is one of fun, fellowship and friendship. We offer you the opportunity to give others a fair go, practical help and positive role models to reach their own potential,” Mr Molineaux said.

Photo credit: Neal Molineaux, project officer CSU Division of Facilities Management

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Mr Neal Molineaux who is based at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

CSU in Wagga Wagga recognises academic and community ties

Friday 5 Oct 2018

The annual Town and Gown procession of academics, staff and students from Charles Sturt University (CSU) and other Riverina educational institutions will grace the main street of Wagga Wagga on the afternoon of Tuesday 16 October.

The parade of academics, teachers, researchers and students  will be joined by Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga, Councillor Greg Conkey, OAM, and the Kapooka Army Band  in recognition of education’s contribution to the Riverina.

First held in 2005, the Town and Gown event was at first a precursor to upcoming CSU graduations, but it has since grown to reflect the educational institutions found in the Riverina.

The procession will include representatives from the wide range of teaching, training, learning and research organisations that call Wagga Wagga home.

CSU Manager of Community Relations and Acting Head of CSU in Wagga Wagga, Mr Aaron McDonnell said CSU strongly valued the contribution the University makes to the community.

“Wagga Wagga is city of education and the Town and Gown procession highlights the importance of this sector to the local economy and the social and cultural fabric of the community,” he said.

Mr McDonnell said that some people who have never been to university or attended a graduation ceremony may perceive the parade as somewhat of a novelty, seeing people dressed in academic robes, wearing trenchers (mortar boards), and bonnets and draped in coloured sashes and stoles harking back to medieval times.

“The procession is a little different, but importantly it acknowledges the place of education and research in the life of Wagga Wagga, and allows the public the opportunity to encourage and thank those who teach and support those who are studying, no matter what institution they attend,” Mr McDonnell said.

Starting at the corner of Morgan and Baylis Streets from 4.30pm on Tuesday 16 October the procession will make its way to the Civic Theatre precinct where a public reception will be held.

“We hope that business owners and shoppers, parents and children will line the street to watch the procession and cheer on those who contribute to the education of so many in this city,” Mr McDonnell said.

He added it was a perfect opportunity for the community to meet academics and researchers who make a significant contribution to the region.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

CSU presents Exploration Series: Rachael Treasure

Thursday 27 Sep 2018

Charles Sturt University (CSU) will host alumni and acclaimed rural writer Rachael Treasure on 4 October as part of its Exploration Series.

Rachael Treasure will talk about 'Writing new stories for our soils and our souls' to encourage others in farming to adopt a restorative and regenerative approach to agriculture. Ms Treasure, who lives in Southern Tasmania with her two teenage sons and partner, have adopted this alternative approach to their property.

"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to speak in the region given the recent attention on drought. I want to share my knowledge and my global network of farmers who are profiting and thriving by using principles of regenerative agriculture and holistic farming.

As a story teller, it's a story that needs sharing to help alleviate our struggles with our environment and even with our own selves,” Ms Treasure said.

CSU Manager of Community Relations Aaron McDonnell said the University was excited to be able to bring someone with Ms Treasure’s experience and knowledge to Wagga Wagga.

“Ms Treasure is a trail-blazer who brings together science and philosophy and shares her vision for a regenerated rural Australia,” Mr McDonnell said.

Mr McDonnell added Ms Treasure was an accomplished author with her most recent, Down the Dirt Roads listed for the 2017 Tasmanian Premier's Literary Prize for the Margaret Scott Award.

Mr McDonnell said CSU’s Exploration Series were free public lectures to engage rural and regional communities by sparking debate about major issues facing the regions, the nation and the world.

“In an agricultural region like Wagga Wagga, Ms Treasure is certain to spark debate about how we manage farm land and soils,” Mr McDonnell said.

The Exploration Series talk will be held at Charles Sturt University, Wal Fife Theatre, Building 14, Room 209 from 5.30 to 7pm on 4 October with light refreshments provided.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

End of an era: Remembering Village Way

Tuesday 25 Sep 2018

Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga has announced it will demolish aging student accommodation cottages located along Village Way at the end of the year.

CSU Division of Facilities Management (DFM) Executive Director Stephen Butt said the 18 cottages located along Village Way were built over 50 years ago and had reached the end of their useful life.

“The campus has several assets built in the early 1950’s and 1960’s. Similar to Doman building which was demolished recently, the cottages have reached their end of their useful life and to mitigate risk and maintenance costs to the University, they need to be demolished,” Mr Butt said.

DFM Project Manager Ms Emma McCormick said, “A new refurbished landscape precinct for staff and students will be implemented along Village Way with wider plans for other residential accommodation revitalisation.”

DFM has joined Residence Life to acknowledge that the cottages aren’t simply old structures but ones that hold special memories for past and present staff and students. People who have stories and photos of life on Village Way are encouraged to share them with the University.

CSU is calling for people’s memories of living in the colourful cottages of Village Way including:

  • photos and memories from any teachers who lived there with their families, starting from around 1950
  • photos and memories from any students who moved in from around the 1970’s as the cottages expanded
  • photos of the unique sunsets over Pine Gully Rd residents have watched and enjoyed over the years.

“Preservation of the history of this asset is significant to the future of Charles Sturt University,” Mr Butt said.

People who want to share their photos and stores are asked to upload them to the Remembering Village Way site where they will be published in a commemorative book to preserve the history of Village Way.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

CSU hosts two-day equestrian clinic with Olympian Heath Ryan

Monday 24 Sep 2018

Olympian and equestrian coach Mr Heath Ryan helped train and inspire Australia’s next Olympic hopefuls at a recent two-day clinic held at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga.

Held at the new equestrian centre and organised by the Equestrian Students Association, the clinic was attended by CSU students and local riders. CSU Animal and Veterinary Science student and ESA president Ms Belinda Flynn said the club was excited to bring someone of Mr Ryan’s reputation and standard to Wagga Wagga.

“Within 10 minutes of posting the clinic on Facebook, 77 people had signed up for one of the 25 places on offer,” Ms Flynn said, adding that the number grew to 380 expressions of interest.

The clinic Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 September attracted dressage and eventing competitors who were working their way to elite level, with some competing in Australia’s only four-star three-day event and FEI international dressage competitions.

Mr Ryan said he was very interested in seeing the CSU equestrian facilities and riders from the Riverina because of the enormous potential of the bush and its recent competition resurgence.

“I’m very interested to have a look and encourage them and let them know it’s not hopeless kicking away at this sport, in fact I believe it [being in rural Australia] is about to become a significant contributor to Australia winning gold,” Mr Ryan said.

He noted that Wagga Wagga had produced its fair-share of gold medal winning riders and horses in the past.

Mr Ryan described the CSU Equestrian Centre as international standard, saying he was “seriously impressed” with its facilities and that he was keen bring attention to it.

“It’s a wonderful launching facility in terms of riders and horses who want to compete internationally,” Mr Ryan said when talking about the high standard of the stables, show jumping and dressage arenas.

When asked about the clinic, CSU Senior Lecturer in Equine Studies Dr Petra Buckley said, “I believe it is super exciting for students and staff, and super important to have such well-respected, high profile industry people involved in sharing their expertise”.

She noted it was a good way to strengthen the bond between science and industry, and that it made CSU an ‘in touch’ kind of a place to study.

Photo: Heath Ryan and CSU Senior Technical Officer Marion Kater on day one of clinic.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

CSU reopens Riverina Playhouse

Wednesday 12 Sep 2018

  • CSU Riverina Playhouse re-opens Saturday 15 September after more than $3.5 million in improvements
  • Media are invited to tour the refurbished venue at 11am Friday 14 September
  • Improvements include seating, air-conditioning and improved facilities for theatre performance and presentation

A new act opens on the Charles Sturt University (CSU) Riverina Playhouse with its reopening on 15 September after building work completed to ensure its long-term future as a teaching and performance space.

CSU Division of Facilities Management (DFM) Executive Director Stephen Butt said prior to undertaking the work the University completed a significant review of the Playhouse where it identified over $3.5 million in improvements that were needed for the venue to continue for another 20 years.

“Charles Sturt University undertook a comprehensive review of the building by working closely with the community.

As a result of the review it became clear the Riverina Playhouse was a vital part of the Wagga Wagga creative community and a vital teaching resource for the University,” Mr Butt said.

CSU Riverina Playhouse Manager John Jones said the venue had a history and connection with the Wagga Wagga community as well as students.

“The Riverina Playhouse was opened in 1986 and for many locals it has become a venue that supports the Wagga Wagga performance community.

The refurbished building will strengthen its role in servicing the needs of the community, provide Charles Sturt University acting and design students with an industry quality teaching resource and it will be a home for the University Theatre Ensemble,” Mr Jones said.

Mr Jones said the completed works vastly improved the comfort of the venue with new seating and air conditioning, but most importantly too it enhanced the University’s performance and presentation ability.

“The improvements to the Riverina Playhouse will make it a more attractive venue for performances by CSU students and the Wagga Wagga community as well as ensure it meets compliance and licencing requirements,” Mr Jones said.

Media are invited to tour the refurbished venue at 11am Friday 14 September ahead of its opening on Saturday 15 September at 6.30pm.

Following its re-opening the CSU Riverina Playhouse is looking forward to a packed three months as the University Theatre Ensemble will stage three productions over six weeks. This will be followed by “In the Spotlight” a production throughout November to raise funds for the Specialist Medical Resources Foundation, Darren Coggan returns with another show that has almost sold out, American Ragtime pianist Adam Swanson, and LIOR in early December.

Working around the University Theatre Ensemble and CSU teaching program the Riverina Playhouse has interest for local and touring performances over 2019 and as far out as 2020.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

New AgriTech innovators to pitch their initiatives in Wagga Wagga

Friday 7 Sep 2018

* New entrepreneurs will present their initiatives at a ‘Pitch Evening’ at CSU AgriTech Incubator on Monday 10 September in Wagga Wagga

* Media opportunity at 10am with founder of Outback Wings which will provide animal health care and 24-hour emergency vet services across a 7.69 million square-kilometre area

* Guest speaker at the ‘Pitch Night’ is an internationally recognized food systems innovation expert and CEO of AgThentic, a global food and agriculture strategy firm

Six more emerging entrepreneurs from across the Riverina will present their initiatives at a ‘Pitch Evening’ at the Charles Sturt University (CSU) AgriTech Incubator on Monday 10 September in Wagga Wagga.

Earlier that day a media opportunity at 10am at the AgriTech Incubator, building 6, CSU Wagga Wagga (car park 11) is available to meet AgriTech Incubator participant and founder of Outback Wings, Ms Mackenzie Bond, a first-year CSU student studying a Bachelor of Animal Science.

AgriTech Incubator project officer Ms Siobhain Howard said, “The emerging entrepreneurs have been developing their business ideas at the third CSU AgriTech Incubator program.

“The AgriTech Incubator aims to spark innovation and economic development in the Riverina region by supporting the development of start-up companies and facilitating innovation within small-to-medium-sized enterprises by providing access to University expertise and facilities.

“While the AgriTech Incubator specifically encourages start-ups seeking to leverage new technologies from ‘farm to fork’, it is open to participation by any ‘tech-enabled’ regional start-up.

“The current cohort of start-up founders have been refining their business concept in a supportive and collaborative environment at the University in Wagga Wagga.

“Participants have been working on a number of diverse ideas, ranging from food labelling to a disruptive insurance platform and veterinary services for the outback.

“The Incubator Program concludes with a ‘Pitch Evening’ on 10 September, with participants having five minutes to pitch their business idea to the audience.”

The guest speaker at the ‘Pitch Night’ is Ms Sarah Nolet, an internationally recognized food systems innovation expert and the CEO of AgThentic, a global food and agriculture strategy firm. Ms Nolet has been instrumental in building the early stage agtech ecosystem in Australia. She has advised dozens of start-ups, designed accelerator programs, and consulted to established agribusinesses, as well as helping industry, universities, and government to develop and implement forward-looking initiatives in food system innovation.

Agritech Incubator participant Ms Mackenzie Bond (pictured left), a first year CSU student studying a bachelor of Animal Science, is the founder of Outback Wings. Outback Wings will aim to provide animal health care and reliable 24-hour emergency vet services across a 7.69 million square-kilometre area and is inspired by the Royal Flying Doctors Service of Australia. The services will aid sustainable crop and stock feed production, as well as growth in commercial livestock enterprises. Outback Wings is dedicated to improving animal health and biosecurity in rural and remote regions of Australia.

More information can be found at: http://innovate.csu.edu.au/incubators/agritech

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

The CSU AgriTech Incubator was enabled by the generous financial support of the New South Wales Government through the Department of Industry’s, Boosting Business Innovation Program with co-investment by the University.

The AgriTech Incubator is just one of CSU’s initiatives supporting entrepreneurship in regional New South Wales, along with the CenWest Innovate in Bathurst and the Walan Mayinygu Indigenous Entrepreneurship Pop-Up Innovation Hub in Albury-Wodonga.

CSU event in Wagga invites you to imagine your digital life

Thursday 6 Sep 2018

* CSU forum to explore new technologies that shape people’s digital lives

* Speakers include industry experts renowned in their fields

Charles Sturt University (CSU) will present the second in a series of community forums in Wagga Wagga to explore technologies that are already part of our daily digital lives and how they will continue to shape society

The ‘Your Digital Life – can you imagine?’ forum is presented by the uImagine team in the CSU Division of Learning and Teaching in Wagga Wagga on Wednesday 12 September.

uImagine’s Mr Tim Klapdor said the event was opens to adults, business people, educators and the broader community of the Riverina region.

“The advent of digital technologies is impacting many aspects of our lives now and in the future,” Mr Klapdor said. “This forum is designed to create an awareness of how drones, augmented reality, and virtual reality can impact the way we learn, live, and participate in the world around us.”

“Participants will be guided by industry experts renowned in their fields. These specialists will explore how our lives are being impacted in ways most of us never imagined.”

The ‘Your Digital Life – can you imagine?’ event offers the opportunity to:

* learn about new technologies that can shape people’s digital lives

* experience virtual reality, and try augmented reality

* see different types of drones and how they are used

Mr Klapdor said that if people can’t attend in person but would like to experience the forum online they can register at Eventbrite to watch the livestreamed event.

Register at https://tinyurl.com/YourDigitalLife

Watch the Livestream via http://waggawagga.tv/

This uImagine forum is supported by community partners, including Wagga Wagga City Council; Wagga Wagga TV; The Wagga Weekly; Jar Aero-Space; Essential Energy; Awe Media; and the CSU AgriTech Incubator.

The ‘Your Digital Life – can you imagine?’ event is from 4.30pm to 8.30pm at Wagga Wagga Council Chambers, corner of Baylis and Morrow Streets, Wagga Wagga.

Find out more about uImagine events here: https://uimagine.edu.au/events/

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

Veterinary expertise boosts school sheep stud

Wednesday 29 Aug 2018

Charles Sturt University (CSU) vets have put their expertise to good use, helping Kooringal High School in Wagga Wagga develop its sheep breeding program.

The school’s award-winning Poll Dorset flock now has three new lambs, thanks to an artificial insemination (AI) program made possible by the work of Dr Allan Gunn and post graduate research student Dr Liz Jones from the CSU School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences.

Dr Gunn said, “The school wanted to show their agriculture students that advanced reproduction techniques, such as synchronisation and AI, is an option to breeding in both the cattle and sheep industry. The animal reproduction unit from Charles Sturt University had synchronised and bred the school Jersey cow earlier in the year, and then bred the ewes with semen donated by a Poll Dorset stud.

“Supporting our regional communities is an important part of the University’s ethos. We are pleased to showcase our expertise and enthusiasm to a new generation of agricultural scientists, to encourage sustainable and welfare friendly production of food in the future.”

Kooringal High School agriculture teacher Mr Stephen Reynolds said, “Charles Sturt University has been invaluable for our agricultural department over the last few years with their veterinary skills and a willingness to educate our students about reproduction techniques associated with Artificial Insemination.

“This association has been instrumental as a teaching tool for myself and as a learning objective for our senior students. Reproduction techniques are part of the two unit senior agriculture curriculum and this has given students the opportunity to see it first-hand,” Mr Reynolds said.

A veterinarian, Dr Jones is studying for her professional doctorate and her research is focused on reproduction in sheep, specifically the impact of a hormone found in the gut of the animals.

“Taking part in this program was an opportunity to link the theory with real life practice and to be able to develop my skills in advanced reproductive techniques such as laparoscopic AI,” Dr Jones said.

“My research is examining a hormone produced in the gut called GLP-1, in sheep. It is a hormonal signal that suppresses appetite in response to feed intake.

“We suspect it also influences reproduction, but very little research has been done on this possible link, and none in ruminants.

“A better understanding of this relationship may will shed light on why underfed animals have poorer fertility than those that are well-fed and in good condition.

“This research is also of interest to human health, as the obesity epidemic has led to GLP-1-like drugs being used for weight management, including in people of child-bearing age, with little information on its relationship with reproduction and fertility.”

Dr Gunn and Dr Jones are members of the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, a research alliance between CSU and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

The Veterinary Clinical Centre (VCC) at CSU provides animal reproductive services including semen examination, artificial insemination, embryo transfer and infertility investigations.

Media Contact: Toni Nugent, 0418 974 775

Media Note:

Media are invited to get footage and interviews with Dr Liz Jones from CSU, agriculture teacher Mr Stephen Reynolds and Kooringal High School students at 10 am on Thursday 30 August, at Kooringal High School, Zeigler Avenue, Kooringal. Meet at the school office.

To attend contact Graham Centre Partnerships and Engagement Manager Ms Toni Nugent 0418 974 775 or email tnugent@csu.edu.au

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