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Health program supports Ageing Well

Thursday 24 Jan 2019

* CSU research shows a regular 10-week fitness program has both physical and mental benefits for older regional Australians.

* Participants increased their ability to do daily activities and were more satisfied with their lives over the duration of the program.

* Participants received personalised attention from CSU allied health students who also received important intergenerational work experience during the program.

Charles Sturt University (CSU) researchers have shown that older people undertaking a regular wellness program have benefitted both physically and mentally from the ten-week program.

The research team will present preliminary results of the Ageing Well project at a morning tea reunion to start at 9.30am on Thursday 31 January in the Community Engagement and Wellness (CEW) Centre, CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

“The Ageing Well project aims to improve the health and wellbeing of older people living in regional and rural Australia,” said team leader, Dr Melissa Nott from the School of Community Health at CSU in Albury-Wodonga (pictured left).

“We targeted both the physical and cognitive abilities of older people in regular sessions, and also taught them strategies to use at home.”

The 2018 program included 37 participants aged between 61 and 89 years. Each person participated in ten sessions, either weekly or twice weekly, at the CEW Centre at Thurgoona.

“We found participants significantly improved their balance and outdoor walking, while all participants reported experiencing fewer cognitive difficulties after the program,” Dr Nott said.

“Participants also increased their abilities to do everyday activities in their home and community from 60 per cent before to 74 per cent after the program, while their satisfaction with their everyday lives increased from 54 per cent to 74 per cent.

“In addition, participants also appreciated the new friendships they formed during the program, while relatives also noticed the positive changes in the program participants.”

The wellness sessions were run by CSU students from the physiotherapy, occupational therapy and podiatry courses under supervision from CSU health academics and local clinicians, providing students with considerable intergenerational work experience.

Dr Nott noted that the upcoming reunion “allows us to speak with participants about the benefits and impact of the program on their lives.

“It also provides an opportunity to celebrate a unique and engaging program for older community members, whose thinking and mobility are challenged in a personalised and graded way.

“Overall, the initial results of this program are very promising, highlighting that everyday functioning and satisfaction can improve in older age,” Dr Nott said.

The Ageing Well program will be open to new participants in 2019. To enrol or for further information, contact Ms Tana Cuming on 02 6051 9266 or email

The next session is due to commence in April 2019.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media for interviews on the Ageing Well program with CSU health researchers Dr Melissa Nott or Dt Kristy Robson, both based at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

Media are welcome to attend the Ageing Well morning tea, which will commence at 9.30am on Thursday 31 January at the CEW Centre, CSU in Albury Wodonga, Ellis Street, Thurgoona, (behind the Thurgoona Plaza shopping centre). Park near the CEW Centre in carpark P8.

Three CSU graduation ceremonies in Albury this week

Monday 17 Dec 2018

Charles Sturt University (CSU) will host three graduation ceremonies in Albury this week, Wednesday 19 December.

These are part of the wider graduation season during December across all main campuses as well as in Parramatta and the two CSU Study Centres in Sydney and Melbourne. The season concludes in Albury-Wodonga.

More than 370 students will be present to graduate across all the Albury ceremonies in Albury which are for graduands based at CSU in Albury-Wodonga. In addition, thousands of family members and friends will celebrate the achievements of these graduands.

Head of Campus at CSU in Albury Wodonga, Dr Jennifer Munday said, “Over 370 graduates will receive their testamurs from the University in Albury this year, and we congratulate our graduating professionals on the successful completion of their studies.

“Sometimes we can get caught up with the busy-ness of the end of the year, so it’s wonderful to be able to stop and take the time to reflect and congratulate the many students who are graduating, and celebrate their achievements.

“Anyone who has completed a long-term project or achieved a long-awaited goal will understand the sheer joy and excitement of a graduate at the moment they shake the hand of the Vice-Chancellor and receive their hard earned testamur.

“The testamur our graduates will receive at the graduation ceremonies is their key to future success. Not only is it an important marker in their lives, an achievement they should be proud of, but it will unlock new opportunities for them. For some it will mean a new career, for others it will mean they are one of many CSU graduates who will earn the highest starting salary of any graduate in New South Wales,” Dr Munday said.

In recognition of their impact on their professions in regional Australia, three CSU alumni who are professional leaders and entrepreneurs will give the occasional addresses to graduates in all three ceremonies listed below. These graduation ceremonies will be held in the Albury Entertainment Centre, Swift St in Albury:

9.30am - 136 graduates present in the Faculty of Science ceremony, from the Schools of Community Health, Environmental Science, Agriculture & Wine Science, Animal & Veterinary Sciences and General Science.

Occasional speaker: Ms Leah Wiseman.

2pm - 140 graduates present in the Faculty of Science ceremony, from the Schools of Nursing, Midwifery & Indigenous Health, Biomedical Science, Dentistry & Health Science, Exercise Science Sport & Health and Human Movement Studies; and from all schools of the Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences.

Occasional speaker: Mr Ty Seaton, Chief Radiographer of The X-Ray Group.

6pm - 96 graduates from all schools of the Faculty of Arts and Education, including the Schools of Education, and Humanities & Social Sciences.

Occasional speaker: Ms Jo Palmer, educator, networker and business entrepreneur, based in regional NSW.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to help arrange interviews with graduates and various speakers and dignitaries.

Tickets available for public lecture by celebrity fish expert

Wednesday 31 Oct 2018

Fish expert and celebrity television host Dr Zeb Hogan (pictured left) will deliver a public lecture on Wednesday 12 December during the international Fish Passage 2018 conference to be held in Albury between 10 and 14 December 2018.

The lecture is part of the week-long Fish Passage 2018 conference, which will be hosted by the Charles Sturt University (CSU).Institute for Land, Water and Society, and NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

The meeting gathers experts from around the world to discuss the latest technologies to help migrating fish such as the iconic Murray cod to negotiate dam walls and barrages and reach important breeding grounds.

The conference co-chair, Dr Lee Baumgartner, is recognised throughout Australia and South East Asia for his work in adapting fish passages to the needs of native fish and the local people who depend on these fisheries for food and recreation.

“A number of significant issues are affecting native fish populations in rivers in the Riverina, including the blocking of migration routes by dams and weirs,” Dr Baumgartner said.

“This conference will focus on how we can help our native species avoid or overcome some of these issues using smart technologies such as fishways, also known as or fish ladders.

The conference will also showcase innovative technologies used to monitor fish migrations like radio tags, acoustic tags, microchips and the “Salmon Cannon” from Whoosh Innovation. All will be on display during the conference and at the public lecture by Dr Hogan.

“Dr Hogan has long advocated for maintaining fish migration routes, which are essential for spawning and feeding. He is supporting our cause by showing off some of Australia’s megafish such as the Murray cod which have previously featured on his National Geographic show, Monster Fish,” Dr Baumgartner said, pictured left.

“Dr Hogan has caught megafish across the globe. He will take the audience on a journey on the importance of big fish and how migrations are essential for their long term survival.

“Entry is free and open to the public, and families are especially welcome. It will be a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to connect with all things fish.”

Tickets to hear about Dr Zeb’s amazing adventures with big fish are now available from the Albury Entertainment Centre, which will host the free lecture between 7 and 9 pm. A ticket will be required to gain entry and the event will open to the public from 6pm.

In addition to Dr Hogan, attendees will be able to view the scientific poster display and chat with exhibitors on a range of innovations related to fish.

Book here to attend the free Zeb Hogan lecture.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Lee Baumgartner, who is based at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

For details on the upcoming Fish Passage 2018 conference in Albury, go to the conference website.

Bootcamp to exercise innovators’ business brains

Wednesday 24 Oct 2018

* Innovative ideas from CSU-Hume Bank Life Tech Challenge 2018 have been invited to a CSU Bootcamp to advance business ideas

* Challenge entries were judged on creativity, use of technology, and impact on people

* CSU’s mission is to build skills and knowledge in its regions

Charles Sturt University (CSU) is hosting a weekend-long innovation boot camp for all finalists in the Hume Bank’s Life Tech Challenge 2018, starting on Friday 26 October.

The Hume Bank Life Tech Challenge 2018 gathered innovative people who have an idea to improve a standard of living through technology.

The CSU Innovation Bootcamp will be held at CSU in Albury-Wodonga from the afternoon of Friday 26 to Sunday 28 October. It is designed to take participants through the essential steps to propel their business ideas forward.

Director of Knowledge Exchange and Engagement in the CSU Research Office, Dr Laura Dan, said the initiative builds on the University’s long-term strategic commitment to the growth and development in the regions and communities across NSW.

“The Charles Sturt University innovation agenda supports the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem across its footprint, encourages interaction between small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the University, supports business innovation, and encourages jobs growth in the region.

“We were delighted to sponsor the Hume Bank Life Tech Challenge by providing access to the innovation boot camp, which is based on the successful CenWest Innovate model developed by the University.”

CSU has established three highly focussed incubators: the AgriTech Incubator in Wagga Wagga; CenWest Innovate in Bathurst; and the Walan Mayinygu Indigenous Entrepreneurship Pop Up Hub Program.

“Through these programs, Charles Sturt University provides tailored programs and technical support for growth, as well as business networking and training events which will be facilitated at a number of the University’s campus locations around NSW,” Dr Dan concluded.

Event details:

When: Friday 26 October from 6 to 8pm, Saturday 27 October from 9am to 5pm, and Sunday 28 October from 9am to 2pm.

Venue: Building 751, Room 112, CSU in Albury-Wodonga, off Elizabeth Mitchell Drive, Thurgoona (park in Carpark P2).

Media Contact: Wes Ward,

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Laura Dan, who is travelling from CSU in Wagga Wagga.

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.

Foot health clinic for Albury-Wodonga residents

Friday 19 Oct 2018

Charles Sturt University (CSU) students and staff will promote the need for good foot health to Albury-Wodonga residents during an education day at the Community Engagement and Wellness (CEW) Centre on Wednesday 31 October at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

Held as part of the annual October Foot Health Month run by the Australian Podiatry Council, the CSU podiatry team will provide an education session on foot health and a free foot health screening for all participants in the morning and afternoon sessions.

“Foot health is important not only because the feet are a key part of mobility, but feet are also the site of many early warning signs for conditions such as diabetes and vascular disease,” said CSU podiatry academic Associate Professor Caroline Robinson, pictured left.

“We need podiatrists in regional Australia to educate our aging population about the health of their feet and lower limbs, and encourage members of the community to take a more active role in maintaining their own foot health.”

The screenings during each education session will be provided by the final year podiatry students, supervised by the experienced staff in the CSU School of Community Health.

“Our podiatry students are especially prepared to work in regional Australia, and recognise and understand the needs of people living in remote and rural area,” Professor Robinson said.

Members of the public, particularly those aged over 50 years, can book a place in either the morning session (starting 9.30 am) or afternoon session (starting 1.30 pm) on telephone (02) 6051 9299. Bookings must be made by 5pm on Monday 29 October.

The session will be held in the CEW (building 715), in Ellis Street, Thurgoona (behind the Thurgoona Plaza shopping centre). Participants can park in Carpark P8 off Ellis Street.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Associate Professor Caroline Robinson, who is based at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

Women in regional trades: have your say on the Border

Wednesday 3 Oct 2018

* CSU researchers investigate shortage of women in trades in Border region

* Business and industry consultation in Albury-Wodonga on Friday 12 October

* A range of trades to be examined, and all welcome to contribute

A lack of skilled workers in traditionally male-dominated trades has become a major problem in regional Victoria and NSW, and a team of Charles Sturt University (CSU) researchers is investigating how women can help address the problem.

The team is holding a half-day Women in Regional Trades consultation at CSU in Albury-Wodonga on Friday 12 October to address the problem with the region’s business and industry community.

The CSU Women in Trades team is led by Dr Donna Bridges from the CSU School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and comprises Dr Stacey Jenkins, Associate Professor Branka Krivokapic-Skoko, and Dr Larissa Bamberry from the CSU School of Management and Marketing.

“We are inviting representatives from industry, government and education providers to help us understand more about the recruitment and retention of women in the ‘traditional’ trades in regional NSW and Victoria,” said Dr Bamberry, pictured left.

“We particularly want to talk about targeting regional skill shortages in trades; understand and learn about removing barriers to women’s recruitment and retention in these trades; understand more about women who thrive and are successful in the trades; and learn how to better support young women to find trade careers and stay in regional Australia.

“We’ll focus mainly on the automotive, construction, electrical, horticultural, agricultural and plumbing industries in the region, however representatives from other industries are welcome to join us.”

The team has previously held similar events in Bathurst and Wagga Wagga, and is now particularly keen to hear from business owners and industry and training leaders on the Border and in North East Victoria.

The consultation are part of a research project aimed at retraining and growing the trades in regional Australia. Read more here

See more here.

Event details

When: 12 noon to 3 pm, Friday 12 October 2018.

Where: Room 106, Building 754, CSU in Albury-Wodonga, off Elizabeth Mitchell Drive, Thurgoona, NSW.

RSVP to Ms Elizabeth Wulff on email or mobile 0400 326 084, or Dr Larissa Bamberry on email or phone (02) 6051 9843.

Free lunch and afternoon tea are provided on the day.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Larissa Bamberry, who is based in Albury-Wodonga, or Dr Donna Bridges, based in Bathurst, contact CSU Media.

Waiting for speech pathology: CSU research

Thursday 13 Sep 2018

Are you concerned with the time it takes for your child to get speech pathology services in the Goulburn Valley?

Charles Sturt University (CSU) doctoral student, Mrs Nicole McGill, is seeking your help in exploring how to best support children and families who are waiting for speech therapy.

“Children in the Goulburn Valley often wait up to 12 months to see a speech pathologist in the public system, and they can miss out on the benefits of early detection and intervention for speech and language difficulties,” said Mrs McGill, who also lives and works in the region as a speech pathologist.

In her research study, Mrs McGill is investigating the effectiveness of offering speech pathology assessments earlier for children aged between three and six years, rather than waiting up to 12 months for an assessment by a speech pathologist.

“As part of the study, we offer an assessment, a report, and a 6-month follow up assessment for eligible children while they are on the waiting list for speech therapy.  This means families can find out how well their child’s speech sounds and language skills are developing, far sooner than they usually would at the community health centre.

“We acknowledge that people on waiting lists for health care, including speech pathology, can experience feelings of stress, uncertainty and powerlessness. We want to know what the experience is like for families and how we can best support children and families while they wait for speech therapy.”

“We are looking for children aged between three and six years whose parents are concerned about their speech or language development. This may include children who are hard to understand and have difficulty producing clear speech sounds, or children who have trouble putting sentences together and following instructions.”

Mrs McGill noted, however, that there are some children who are not eligible to participate in her study.

“Children with complex communication and developmental needs or diagnoses such as autism spectrum disorder or a diagnosed hearing loss are not eligible to participate in the research,” she said.

“And children must live within the Goulburn Valley Health catchment area, which includes Shepparton, Tatura, Numurkah, Euroa, Murchison, and Nathalia.”

To take part in the study, please call Ms Catherine Teskera at Community Health Speech Pathology, Goulburn Valley Health, on 1800 222 582 to make a referral. Enquiries can also be directed to Mrs Nicole McGill via email Recruitment for this study closes on 30 September.

The assessments as part of this study are completed at the community health centre in Shepparton.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Mrs Nicole McGill, who is based in Shepparton, Victoria.

Read a past story on the project here.

Photo of Nicole McGill by Kellie Crosier Photography.

CSU Green tackles e-waste at Wangaratta STEM Careers Expo

Monday 13 Aug 2018

* CSU exhibits at STEM Careers Expo at the Galen Catholic College Stadium in Wangaratta on Wednesday 15 August

* CSU Green champions ‘e-waste’ as a valuable resource, to deflect harmful materials from landfill

* CSU is committed to reducing waste across the University from all sources including e-waste

The environmental problem that is electronic waste (e-waste) will be on show at a Charles Sturt University (CSU) display at the National Science Week STEM Careers Expo event in Wangaratta on Wednesday 15 August.

Coordinator for Partnerships with CSU Green Ms Michelle Wilkinson said, “We will show that old televisions, computers, and mobiles are a waste problem that needs solutions from science, as well as by changing people’s behaviours.

“While this so-called ‘e-waste’ has valuable resources that can be extracted, it can also be a source of harmful materials that takes up valuable space in landfill sites.

“This is a problem across Australia. For example, in the year to June 2018, nearly 80,000 old televisions were delivered to the Albury Waste Management Centre, and over 41,000 were disposed of in Wodonga. At the same time, nearly 40,000 old computers and mobiles were delivered to the two centres.”

Ms Wilkinson said that CSU is committed to reducing waste across the University from all sources, including e-waste, and like many regional businesses e-waste is a large proportion of its waste stream.

“Our display at the Wangaratta event will highlight to high school students and the wider community that we have to stop seeing superseded and disposed electronic devices as ‘waste’ and start seeing them as a source of resources, creativity, and even business opportunities! And we can do this through creative science,” Ms Wilkinson said.

“While Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) courses are often responsible for generating e-waste, they can also produce solutions, and Charles Sturt University wants to be part of the solution.”

Ms Wilkinson will attend the CSU Green display as part of the STEM Careers Expo which starts for high school students at 12pm on Wednesday 15 August in the Galen Catholic College Stadium in Wangaratta, and at 4 pm for the whole community.

The display will also include information about STEM courses at CSU, including agricultural sciences, health sciences, environmental sciences, information technology, mathematics, and engineering.

Media Contact: Jessica Mansour-Nahra, 0447 737 948

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with CSU Green's Ms Michelle Wilkinson.

Home-based mindfulness program to alleviate PTSD symptoms

Wednesday 8 Aug 2018

  • * Researchers are looking for at least 40 participants to test if mindfulness practice can alleviate symptoms of PTSD
  • * Each year 1.5 million Australians are diagnosed with symptoms of PTSD
  • * Participants will undertake a one week home-based mindfulness program to determine the effect on PTSD symptoms

A research team led by a Charles Sturt University medical researcher will assess the effectiveness of mindfulness practices such as breathing practices and self-compassion to alleviate the symptoms of a debilitating mental health issue.

“Each year 1.5 million Australians are diagnosed with symptoms of PTSD, or Post-traumatic Stress Disorder,” Said research team leader Associate Professor Herbert Jelinek.

“Current approaches for treating symptoms of PTSD include cognitive-behavioural therapies and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy, and stress-inoculation training which uses controlled breathing, muscle relaxation and positive self-talk.

“Recently, mindful emotion labelling has demonstrated benefit for PTSD. Even brief mindfulness interventions over one week seem likely to foster improved wellbeing and reduced PTSD symptoms.

“We want to put these claims to the test in a scientific trial.”

Professor Jelinek is collaborating with Monash University researchers Mr Darius Rountree-Harrison and Dr Dominic Hosemans for the study, which is aiming for at least 40 participants aged over 18 years old, at least 20 of whom were diagnosed with PTSD in the past year and 20 without PTSD.

Each participant will receive free mindfulness training in two one-hour sessions over the course of two consecutive weeks.

Participants will learn simple skills that can be easily applied in daily life to help manage the symptoms of PTSD. They will also be in a draw to win a $150 Westmead shopping voucher.

For more information on or to participate in the PTSD study, contact Herbert Jelinek on 0427 681 754 or email, or Darius Rountree-Harrison on 0421 821 978 or email

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Associate Professor Herbert Jelinek.

This study has received approval from the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee, number 11313.

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