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Norm and Ahmed at the skate park

Monday 12 Mar 2018

Charles Sturt University (CSU) academics are joining forces with a local high school student to restage the play Norm and Ahmed in performances at the skate park in Wagga Wagga this week.

First performed 50 years ago, Norm and Ahmed by celebrated Australian playwright Alex Buzo deals with issues of identity, the fear of the unknown, and Australia’s suppressed xenophobia.

CSU lecturer in acting for stage and screen Dr Dominique Sweeney and Wagga Wagga High School student Abu Kebe will perform the play from 7pm from Wednesday 14 to Saturday 17 March at the skate park in Bolton Street in Wagga Wagga.

Directing the play is Dr Robert Lewis, also a CSU lecturer in acting for screen and stage.

The play is set late one night on a deserted street where Norm, a working class Anglo-Australian, stops a young international student, Ahmed. Norm asks for a light, strikes up a conversation and what evolves is an encounter that ends in a shocking and confronting way.

Tickets for the 60-minute play cost $17 for adults and $12 for concessions. Tickets can be booked www.civictheatre.com.au/whatson/norm-and-ahmed or at the venue.

The site-specific performance is produced by Persona Collective, an ensemble of experimental theatre artists. Norm and Ahmed builds upon the company's exploration in site-specific performances such as Two Houses (Iteration: Again (2011), Patricia Cornelius’s Savages (Junction Arts Festival (2014), and Residue (2016).

Norm and Ahmed is site-specific and promenade style, which means that there is no seating and audiences are required to walk and stand with the actors to various parts of the skate park. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear, as this is an outdoor performance. Audience members may bring their own deck chairs if they wish to sit throughout the performance.

Media Contact: Fiona Halloran , (02) 6933 2207

Media Note:

Dr Robert Lewis is a lecturer in the acting for screen and stage program in the School of Communication and Creative Industries at CSU in Wagga Wagga. He is available for interview. Contact CSU Media.

Norm and Ahmed will be performed at 7pm from Wednesday 14 to Saturday 17 March at the skate park in Bolton Street in Wagga Wagga.

Photo by Dr Robert Lewis.

CSU parent information evenings across NSW

Friday 9 Mar 2018

During March, Charles Sturt University (CSU) is hosting information evenings for parents of high school students in Years 11 and 12 who hope to attend university when they leave school.

The information sessions in CSU’s six main campus cities will help families to navigate the higher education system and prepare family members for university study.

CSU prospective student adviser Ms Katy Fardell said, “Charles Sturt University presents parent information evenings in our campus towns to provide parents of high school students with great information to help them prepare for university.

“We will be providing information on how to research and prepare, as well as how to support your child through to a successful start at university.

“Whether it be for parents of students who are the first in family to attend university, or if you just need a refresher, the information provided will be helpful for all parents of children looking at attending university in the next few years.”

The information evenings are free events. Participants can find out more information and will need to register at csu.edu.au/parents for these sessions:

Orange – 5.30pm Tuesday 13 March, at Orange Ex-Services Club (Tobruk Room), 231-242 Anson Street, Orange;

Bathurst – 5.30pm Wednesday 14 March, at Bathurst Panthers Club (Panorama Room), 132 Piper Street, Bathurst;

Wagga Wagga – 5.30pm Tuesday 20 March, at the Commercial Club (RJ Hall Function Room), 77 Gurwood Street, Wagga Wagga;

Albury-Wodonga – 5.30pm Wed 21 March, at Commercial Club (Stanley A Room) (Elizabeth St entrance), 618 Dean Street, Albury;

Dubbo – 5.30pm Thursday 22 March, at Dubbo RSL Club (Starlight Room), 178 Brisbane Street, Dubbo;

Port Macquarie – 5.30pm Thursday 22 March, at Charles Sturt University, 7 Major Innes Road, Port Macquarie.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with CSU prospective student adviser Ms Katy Fardell before and at each event.

Connecting CSU students and Bathurst employers

Thursday 8 Mar 2018

First-year Charles Sturt University (CSU) student Ms Elicia Dearsley is one of over 200 students to benefit from a new program that assists on-campus students to become job-ready and connect to local employers.

Having recently moved to Bathurst from the NSW South Coast to study a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary), Ms Dearsley (pictured) secured two casual jobs through the Earn As You Learn (EAYL) program.

“The program helped me prepare to find a job while studying by helping me create the best version of my resumé I could,” Ms Dearsley said. “They talked me through what employers would be looking for in a resumé and also in an interview situation so I could tailor my resumé to be more suitable for the work I was looking for and had some handy tips to take into my interviews.”

EAYL Coordinator in the CSU Division of Student Services, Ms Georgina Stuart explained that EAYL is a pilot program that assists new and current on-campus students at CSU in Bathurst to prepare for and find work that fits around their study schedule.

“The program is free and aims to alleviate any financial concerns students may have around starting university”, Ms Stuart said. “They simply register online and we meet with them one-on-one to find out about their skills and interests. We review their resumé and experience. We then match students to local employers registered in the program”.

Bathurst local Ms Olive Lockett, a second-year Bachelor of Business (Marketing) student, already had some part-time work at a local supermarket but was looking for some industry-related experience that would give her the skills she needed for graduate employment. Through the EAYL program Ms Lockett has secured a job managing the social media accounts for a new fashion boutique that has opened in Bathurst, ‘Sunday Thistle’.

Ms Lockett said, “EAYL has given me the opportunity to gain a job that is relevant to my degree and in an area I’m genuinely passionate about. The program has been an amazing help to my overall career, having the opportunity to sit down and perfect my resumé for my line of work.

“I would highly recommend signing up for EAYL if you are looking for job that is going to help you gain experience and earn money while at university.”

Owner/manager of Sunday Thistle and Ms Lockett’s new boss, Ms Shylo Land, is impressed with the program and with Ms Lockett’s marketing skills.

“The EAYL service has worked perfectly for me. The friendly team provided me with potential candidates the same day that I lodged my request and I was able to recruit Olive immediately. I would highly recommend this service to other businesses in Bathurst looking for casual employees,” Ms Land said.

The ‘Earn As You Learn’ program will be trialled in Bathurst initially, with the aim to extend it across the University.

Students can learn more at: http://student.csu.edu.au/services-support/careers, or by contacting earnasyoulearn@csu.edu.au

Background for employers

Local employers also benefit from the EAYL program by gaining:

- free access to local job-ready students looking for casual and part-time work;

- a shortlist of suitable candidates from CSU’s database of job-ready students;

- the opportunity to gain a fresh perspective in their workplace, fill short-term contracts, provide holiday backfill, or cover for busy periods;

- access to the specialty skills of CSU students, such as marketing and communications, accounting, and IT.

Employers have to be within 50 kilometres of Bathurst, and can only log jobs of up to 20 hours per week.

Employers can find out more here: http://www.csu.edu.au/contacts/promote-jobs-to-csu-students/earn-as-you-learn

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

Rube Goldberg fever strikes CSU Engineering

Wednesday 7 Mar 2018

First-year student engineers at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst are facing their first challenge this week in problem solving and team work.

The annual Rube Goldberg event challenges the 18 students to build an overly complex solution to a simple problem – this year, it is to cut a cake with a large knife.

“Working in teams of three, the students have to design and build at least four steps in the machine,” said CSU Professor of Engineering, Euan Lindsay.

“This year they have incorporated tambourines, Jenga blocks, a party popper and a flying dog into their project.

“They have to work together with the rest of the group to make a single machine, building a sense of shared responsibility and cooperation in the group to make the machine work.

“The Challenge embodies the non-traditional, problem-based approach of the Charles Sturt University course. We are committed to developing student engineers who have entrepreneurial communication skills and understand the power of diversity.”

Last year, the CSU Engineering degree was recognised by the leading Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a world leader in engineering education.

This year’s completed ‘machine’ will be activated by a global leader in engineering education, Professor Anetta Kolmos from the University of Aalborg, Denmark.

The machine will ‘go live’ at 3pm on Thursday 8 March in the foyer of the award-winning CSU Engineering building, CSU in Bathurst.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews / Wes Ward, 0418 669 362/ 0417 125 795

Media Note:

For interviews with Professor Kolmos and Professor Lindsay before the Rube Goldberg machine is activated, contact CSU Media.

Celebrating women at AgriTech Incubator

Wednesday 7 Mar 2018

International Women’s Day 2018 offers an opportunity to reflect on the vital contributions of women to the start-up scene in the Riverina region, recognising that still more can be done to encourage more women and girls into technological and entrepreneurial activities.

With this in mind, the AgriTech Incubator at Charles Sturt University (CSU) is delivering its second Incubator Program with six out of the eight budding entrepreneurs being women.

Ms Louise Freckelton from Highfield Farm and Woodland, a small farm combining conservation with ethical food production, is participating in the Incubator Program.  She is looking to gourmet mushroom production to boost their farm income and add a unique food to the region.

Ms Freckelton will be pitching her business idea to the audience along with the other program participants on Monday 26 March at the AgriTech Incubator at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

The AgriTech Incubator team will also host their second coding event on Thursday 17 May 2018 to encourage Year 8 girls from the region into technology careers. During the event, they will create a rainbow predictor using the program Python and tiny computer Raspberry Pi.

Interested Riverina high schools wanting their Year 8 female students to attend this event should contact project officer Ms Siobhain Howard on email sihoward@csu.edu.au for further information and bookings.

The AgriTech Incubator is funded by the NSW Department of Industry with significant additional funding from CSU. The Incubator is also available for use as a co-working, meeting and event space.

Media Contact: Fiona Halloran, (02) 6933 2207

Media Note:

AgriTech Incubator project officer Ms Siobhain Howard is available on email sihoward@csu.edu.au.

CSU Professor John Mawson, Project Lead, who is based at CSU in Wagga Wagga, is available for interview to discuss the AgriTech Incubator.

Photo: Ms Louise Freckelton from Highfield Farm & Woodland at Adelong.

2018 CSU inter-campus blood donation challenge

Wednesday 7 Mar 2018

At the recent Orientation Week Market Day at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst, new students signed up to become blood donors in time for the annual 2018 CSU Inter-Campus Blood Challenge.

During the Inter-Campus Blood Challenge from Thursday 1 March to Sunday 1 July, eligible students and staff at all CSU campuses compete to donate the most blood.

In 2017, CSU staff and students made a total of 768 donations, with the most donations (n = 348) from CSU in Wagga Wagga, while the highest proportion of donations was from CSU in Port Macquarie (17.5 per cent of staff and students donated).

Mr John Feist, Australian Red Cross Blood Service NSW/ACT Community Relations Officer, said this was a great effort but more blood is always needed and he urged all CSU staff and students to donate blood.

“The Australian Red Cross Blood Service appreciates every blood donation it receives, and thanks all its donors for taking the time to donate,” Mr Feist said.

“Each donation can save three lives, so the University’s donations in 2017 saved over 2 300 lives. That’s outstanding.”

The Red Cross mobile blood unit will be at CSU in Bathurst from Monday 12 to Wednesday 14 March.

CSU in Bathurst student liaison officer Mr Scott Hatch said, “Wherever students and staff donate, as long as they are registered as a member of the ‘CSU Bathurst’ Red25 group then their donation will count in the challenge. They can register online at the Red Cross website or via staff at the mobile unit on the day of donation.

“To book an appointment students can call 13 1495 or go to www.donateblood.com.au. If they can’t make the visit on campus, the mobile unit is in Bathurst every month at the McDonald’s car park on Durham Street, and will be back on campus in May.”

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

Photos show some of the new CSU students who signed up to be blood donors for the annual 2018 CSU Inter-Campus Blood Challenge.

Albury launch for writing handbook

Tuesday 6 Mar 2018

A leading education researcher at Charles Sturt University (CSU) will launch a new book this week that recognises that young writers need support from a very early age.

Associate Professor Noella Mackenzie in the CSU School of Education located in Albury-Wodonga is the lead editor of the book and either wrote or co-authored 6 or the 13 book chapters in Understanding and supporting Young Writers from Birth to 8.
The book explores what it means to be a young child learning to write in the 21st Century.

“Writing has possibly eclipsed reading as the critical literacy skill for children to learn,” Professor Mackenzie said.

“The book fills a gap in literacy education, and provides practitioners such as early childhood and primary school teachers with the skills and knowledge they need to effectively support young children as they learn to write.”

The book will be launched by one of the NSW Directors of School Education in Albury, Dr Brad Russell, and CSU’s Head of the School of Education, Associate Professor David Smith.

Teachers, educators and interested members of the community from both sides of the border have been invited to the afternoon event. The launch will be hosted by the Albury Library Museum and sponsored by the local chapter of the Australian Literacy Educator’s Association.

In addition, the launch event will be attended by other co-authors of the book, who are all based at CSU in Albury-Wodonga, as well as some of the children who took part in research and provided pictures for the book.

  • Event details
    Where: Albury Library Museum, Kiewa St, Albury
    When: starting 4.30pm on Thursday 8 March

Read and hear further details here on the book Understanding and supporting Young Writers from Birth to 8.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

As well as attending the launch, Associate Professor Noella Mackenzie, who is based at CSU in Albury-Wodonga, is available for interviews between 9 and 10am on Thursday 8 March through CSU Media.

Free lecture celebrates our universal right to communicate

Monday 5 Mar 2018

A free public lecture celebrating the universal right to be able to communicate and the 20th year of speech pathology at Charles Sturt University (CSU) will be hosted by CSU in Albury-Wodonga next Wednesday evening, 7 March.

Award winning educator and CSU Professor of Speech and Language Acquisition Sharynne McLeod will present the lecture titled Communication as a Human Right, which will also celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Professor Sharynne McLeod has a long association with the CSU speech pathology program which commenced 20 years ago as part of the CSU School of Community Health in Albury. Professor McLeod is now with the School of Teacher Education in Bathurst.

Professor McLeod has also dedicated her life to upholding Article 19 of the UN Human Rights convention, which states:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression: this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

As part of the lecture, Professor McLeod will present her own work in this area.

The free lecture will be held on Wednesday 7 March, starting at 6pm. It will be held in the CD Blake Lecture Theatre (Building 751 Room 104), CSU in Albury-Wodonga, off Elizabeth Mitchell Drive, Thurgoona.

Refreshments will be provided after the lecture.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Big Day In at CSU in Wagga Wagga

Monday 5 Mar 2018

Charles Sturt University (CSU) and the Australian Computer Society (ACS) Foundation are again joining forces to host the Big Day In from 9am to 2.30pm on Wednesday 7 March in Wagga Wagga.

The Big Day In at CSU in Wagga Wagga is an information technology (IT) careers fair aimed at school students in Years 9 to 12, as well as university students interested in IT careers.

More than 500 students and teachers will be officially welcomed to the Big Day In at 9am by Associate Head of the CSU School of Computing and Mathematics Mr Jason Howarth and Mayor of Wagga Wagga Councillor Greg Conkey, OAM.

In addition to a range of exhibitors, a number speakers from organisations such as Adobe, FARMpay, Professional Data Kinetics, and Westpac, will address the students about where an IT career can take them.

Kooringal High School student and founder of EduKits International, Mr Michael Nixon will also speak from 1.30pm at the Big Day In about his creation of an electronics and code learning kit. He recently toured Silicon Valley in the USA as part of his prize for winning the national Regional Pitchfest 2017 for The Amazing Annoyatron.

The Big Day In 2018 program can be found here.

Media Contact: Fiona Halloran , (02) 6933 2207

Media Note:

For further information, contact Ms Kerrie Bisaro from the ACS Foundation on 0417 409 069.

The Big Day In will be held from 9am to 2.30pm, Wednesday 7 March in Joyes Hall, Pine Gully Road, CSU in Wagga Wagga.

CSU Associate Professor Jason Howarth and ACS Foundation Executive Director Mr John Ridge are available for interview during Big Day In 2018.

Exhibition reflects on ‘Stations of the Cross’

Friday 2 Mar 2018

An emotionally engaging art exhibition inspired by the ‘Stations of the Cross’ will open at the Charles Sturt University (CSU) Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (ACC&C) in Canberra on Friday evening 2 March.

Executive Director of the ACC&C Reverend Professor Stephen Pickard (pictured) said, “The Centre has a special focus on creativity through the arts and culture, and is delighted to host the annual ‘Stations of the Cross 2018’ art exhibition in Canberra.

“The ‘Stations of the Cross 2018’ exhibition takes the original story of Jesus’ tortured progress along the Via Delorosa in Jerusalem, from Him being sentenced to death, to His crucifixion and then resurrection.

“Sixteen artists were given a different Station of the Cross to reflect on and produce an artwork.

“The 16 works in a range of materials and styles, including sculpture, are inspiring, challenging and engaging. They are a wonderful media through which the important issues and questions are raised about life, faith and meaning in today’s world.

“I encourage all people who are interested in considering the meaning of life to view the exhibition and reflect on the questions it raises for them.”

The exhibition is curated by Reverend Dr Douglas Purnell, OAM, and Mr Christopher Auckett from Northmead Creative and Performing Arts High School.

The exhibition at the ACC&C Chapel, corner Kings Avenue and Blackall Street in Barton, ACT, will be officially opened at 6pm on Friday 2 March by Emeritus Professor Sasha Grishin, AM, and is open from 10am to 4pm daily from Sunday 4 to Thursday 15 March.

The full online catalogue can be viewed here:


Related events at the ACC&C in Canberra include an introduction to the artworks for registered guests by curator Rev. Dr Douglas Purnell from 9.30am to 1pm on Saturday 3 March. The exhibition will be open to the public from 1pm to 4pm that day.

A free public lecture on ‘Spirituality and Art’ will be presented by Emeritus Professor Sasha Grishin, AM, FAHA, at 7.30pm on Wednesday 7 March at the exhibition.

More information can be found here or by phoning (02) 6272 6201.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Reverend Professor Stephen Pickard.

Image: Station 15 ‘In the Presence of the Risen Lord’ by John Forrester-Clack (charcoal and acrylic on paper, 95.5cm x 70.5cm).

The ‘Stations of the Cross 2018’ exhibition is at the ACC&C Chapel, corner Kings Avenue and Blackall Street in Barton, ACT, from 10am to 4pm daily from Saturday 3 March to Friday 16 March.

The annual ‘Stations of the Cross’ art exhibition is a cooperative venture between Northmead Creative and Performing Arts High School in Sydney, Northmead Uniting Church, and the CSU ACC&C in Canberra. The first contemporary ‘Stations of the Cross’ art exhibition was held at St Ives Uniting Church (Sydney) in 2007.

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