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Student donation inspired by community spirit to help farmers

Thursday 26 Jul 2018

  • * CSU students raised over $4, 000 for local charity Riverina Bluebell
  • * Riverina Bluebell refers people, particularly farmers and their families, concerned with their mental health to local services.

Charles Sturt University (CSU) students in Wagga Wagga have demonstrated their community spirit when they donated over $4,000 today (Thursday 26 July) to local charity Riverina Bluebell.

Ms Breanna Carr is the Head Resident of the Hampden Village ResLIFE Team at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

The veterinary science student said she was very proud to be associated with such a positive initiative by the students getting together with the Wagga Wagga community.

“The donation comes from the proceeds of Hampden Village Ball for our students held in May this year,” Ms Carr said.

“Before the ball, we also approached local businesses for donations – not only did they give us prizes for a charity auction during the ball, but they donated over $1,500 cash for our designated charity, Riverina Bluebell. We were amazed at their generosity.

“I am also proud of my team of student leaders who worked tirelessly on the event and raised the money for the charity.”

Riverina Bluebell refers people, particularly farmers and their families, concerned with their mental health to local services able to attend to their needs.

Representatives from Riverina Bluebell were presented with the student donation this morning at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

Mr Nik Granger from the CSU Division of Student Services said that during 2017 CSU students donated $185,000 to charities, showing their commitment to helping those less fortunate in the community.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with student representative Ms Breanna Carr at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

Startup Weekend in Bathurst a ‘must’ for students with business ideas

Thursday 26 Jul 2018

* Weekend event to help CSU students learn first-hand about entrepreneurship

* Participants will get feedback on their business idea

* Entrepreneurship becoming a critical career skill for students in all disciplines

Do you have a business idea, or have you ever thought about being an entrepreneur?

How do you know if your business ideas can make a real difference?

CenWest Innovate at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst is working with the Upstairs Startup Hub to present a Student Startup Weekend in Bathurst on Friday evening 3 August and Saturday 4 August.

Professor of Entrepreneurship in the CSU School of Management and Marketing, Professor Morgan Miles, said, “The upcoming Student Startup Weekend organised jointly by the Upstairs Startup Hub (Bathurst) and CenWest Innovate and the CSU School of Management and Marketing in Bathurst is a ‘must go’ event for all students at the University who have interest in startups, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

“Entrepreneurship is becoming a critical career skill for students across all university disciplines, and employers are increasingly seeking new staff who have entrepreneurial skills.

“This Startup Weekend is designed to develop these important capabilities.”

Weekend Overview:

Friday night, participants meet at Rafters Bar at CSU from 5pm to 8pm for individuals to pitch their business idea, and join a team while socialising.

On Saturday morning participants will meet at CSU Engineering (building 1305) at 8.30am to commence workshops on Lean Canvas, idea testing, and finally pitching. Participants will be able to get feedback on their business idea and learn first-hand about entrepreneurship.

The feedback is provided by the workshop team led by Mr James Triggs, Expert-in-Residence at the Upstairs Startup Hub in Bathurst.

To book a place at the Student Startup Weekend, send an email to kassidy@upstairs.org.au, and mark ‘going’ on this event on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/285147458709364/

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

Life with chronic illness examined in new exhibition at CSU in Dubbo

Wednesday 25 Jul 2018

* New photographic exhibition at CSU in Dubbo from Wednesday 1 August to Friday 21 September

* Exhibition explores physical and mental illness, and themes including chronic pain, isolation, anxiety and loss of identity

* The images are storytelling tools to create an emotional impact to make others think about things that may not be commonplace in their lives

A new photographic art exhibition at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Dubbo from Wednesday 1 August to late September explores the emotions and experiences of being a chronically ill child, teenager and adult.

CSU nursing lecturer and researcher Associate Professor Rachel Rossiter in the CSU School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health will be the guest speaker at the exhibition opening at 6pm on Wednesday 1 August.

Professor Rossiter, who is undertaking research for Parkinson’s NSW, said, “This visual chronicle follows the artistic maturing of emerging artist Mr Tyler Grace, and tackles both the seen and unseen impacts of chronic illness.

“This ongoing photographic self-portrait series takes the viewer inside the often unbearable world experienced by him, as well as many others who experience chronic illness.”

Mr Grace said, “This iteration of the exhibition also focuses on raising awareness for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), illnesses I suffer.

“The images in this exhibition explore both physical and mental illness, and specific themes include, but are not limited to chronic pain, isolation, anxiety and loss of identity.

“My aim for this exhibition is to not only tell my story, but for those stories to help those who don't suffer gain a small insight into what it can be like being chronically ill, and to also help others that do suffer with the topics covered realise that they aren’t alone, and that they can achieve their dreams despite their limitations.”

CEO of Parkinson’s NSW Ms Jo-Anne Reeves said, “Initiatives such as this art exhibition provide the opportunity to highlight the day-to-day struggles and realities experienced by people living with chronic illness.

“Parkinson’s NSW is pleased to be working in partnership with Charles Sturt University and Associate Professor Rachel Rossiter and the research team to highlight the need for specialist nurses in rural and regional areas of NSW.”

Professor Rossiter said the exhibition is free and open to the public and encourages people to see this visually stunning and thought-provoking exhibition.

Mr Grace explained that storytelling is something that has always been a part of his life, whether it be through photography, videos or writing.

“My images are the most important storytelling tool I have and I aim to create an emotional impact while making others think about things that may not be commonplace in their lives,” he said.

“I like to invoke emotions, explore thoughts and attempt to explain experiences through my imagery. Most of those thoughts, emotions and experiences come from my own life, such as my self-portraits, which tell stories of what I experience being chronically ill.

“I try to keep the stories I tell of my own life as raw and impactful as I possibly can, which includes using post-processing techniques such as adding textures and occasionally compositing images together to add extra impact to the final product.

“My images are dark and confronting, but I find that they create conversation, which I believe is important with my kind of work, as creating conversation leads to more awareness, which I hope leads to action to help or fix the issues that I raise in my imagery.

“Although my images come from a deep, dark and confusing world inside my head, I encourage viewers to find their own worlds inside my images and connect to them by attaching their own meanings or stories to them.

“I aim to keep on evolving as a photographic artist, and never let my health stop me from doing what I love doing the most, which is photography,” Mr Grace said.

Head of Campus at CSU in Dubbo Ms Cathy Maginnis said, “We support all artists to display their work for the public to view at the University in Dubbo, and invite members of the public to visit this exhibition”.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

The Tyler Grace Photography exhibition ‘The Chronic Diaries’ runs from Wednesday 1 August until Friday 29 September at CSU, Tony McGrane Place, Dubbo. Opening hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, with out-of-hours viewings possible by appointment.

Artist biography:

Mr Tyler Grace is a conceptual artist who uses photography as a medium to tell stories from both his life and the lives of others.

During his first two years as a photographer, he practiced glamour and fashion photography, but an event occurred in 2014 which would change the course of his photographic career forever. This event gave him the courage to finally make the giant leap into the dark storytelling style of photography that is now synonymous with his name.

2016 was the year that Tyler Grace’s passion of photography started turning into something more. He was selected as a finalist in the MAMA National Photography Prize 2016, and his career snowballed from there. Throughout the two years since, he has been a finalist in multiple national photographic and art competitions, won the Susan Moorhead Memorial Award in the MAMA Art Prize 2016, and won the Young Regional Artist Scholarship through Create NSW.

Mr Grace has also been a part of many group exhibitions, both within Australia, and overseas, including exhibitions in Orlando (Florida, USA) at the CityArts Factory and the ImageNation Paris International Photo Expo in Paris.

He also held his first solo exhibition at MAMA in Albury in 2017. His exhibition, ‘The Chronic Diaries’ was then toured to the Sydney Fringe Festival where it won one of five Critics Pick awards out of the 350 shows that were held at the festival. His current goals are to keep creating new work, keep exhibiting in group exhibitions, and tour ‘The Chronic Diaries’ world-wide.

Biography of Associate Professor Rachel Rossiter:

Associate Professor Rachel Rossiter has over 30 years clinical experience in primary health care, public health, general practice and mental health settings both in urban and rural areas of NSW and in countries such as Madagascar and the Solomon Islands. This has given her a deep understanding of the key role that nurses play in the provision of health care around the world. This clinical experience, twelve years of which were spent working at an advanced practice level with people living with chronic and disabling autoimmune conditions and a further ten years in specialist mental health practice, informs her work as an academic and researcher.

A strong focus on developing capacity for advanced nursing practice has enabled Professor Rossiter to develop and implement advanced practice nursing programs at the University of Newcastle, University of Sharjah (United Arab Emirates), and at Charles Sturt University.  Her expertise in curriculum development and ability to work trans-culturally has led to international consultant engagements with the Aga Khan Development Network and University in Egypt and East Africa, and ongoing research activities in the United Arab Emirates. As a researcher with CSU, her activities continue to focus on the role of nurses in the provision of specialist care, especially in the rural and regional areas of NSW.

CSU Albury-Wodonga celebrates NAIDOC week, Because Of Her We Can

Friday 13 Jul 2018

* CSU Albury-Wodonga presented two 2018 Charles Sturt University NAIDOC Awards

* The National NAIDOC theme this year is Because Of Her We Can

* Today we celebrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their active and significant roles across the Albury-Wodonga region

Charles Sturt University (CSU) is proud to recognise women as part of the National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week theme this year, Because of Her We Can.

Head of Campus at CSU in Albury-Wodonga Dr Jennifer Munday said, “Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people have kept the oldest continuing culture on the planet strong, and the women have been strong partners with their men in maintaining this cultural connection through generations”.

Two women from the Albury-Wodonga region were awarded with CSU NAIDOC week awards at a ceremony on campus today. Past and present CSU staff and students and community members attended.

Ms Liz Heta is a Senior Advisor, Aboriginal Engagement and Outcomes (Department of Health and Human Services), and this year spoke to the first year occupational therapy students at CSU in Albury-Wodonga about her thoughts on the impact of racism on occupational choice and engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Ms Heta’s presentation was a balance of being factual, honest and confronting as well as being personal, considered and sensitive to the needs to the first year students. Instead of being paid for her time, the money was used to purchase resources for a local preschool that provides education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Aunty Nancy Rooke is an Elder who has played an important role in the wider community.

She was a pioneer in bringing the Aboriginal community of Albury into TAFE and is a passionate advocate for education with her people.

The nomination noted, ‘because of her we can, as non-Indigenous people teach CSU students with confidence on how to connect with community’.

“Today we have celebrated just a few of the women who contribute, who work in a variety of ways, and are influencing and shaping our community,” Dr Munday said.

“We also acknowledge that there are many, many more local women that should be recognised, in addition to those whose stories we shared today.

“Charles Sturt University is so proud to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of our Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander staff, students and community members.

“It was delightful and an honour to be able to acknowledge and present awards to all these fabulous women making an impact across our communities.”

Media Contact: Kate Fotheringham, 0447 737 948

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

CSU Dubbo celebrating NAIDOC week, Because Of Her We Can

Friday 13 Jul 2018

* CSU Dubbo presented two 2018 CSU NAIDOC Awards

* The NAIDOC theme this year is Because Of Her We Can

* Today we celebrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and the active and significant roles they play across the Dubbo region

Charles Sturt University (CSU) is proud to be recognising women, as part of the National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week theme this year, Because of Her We Can.

Head of Campus at CSU in Dubbo Ms Cathy Maginnis said, “Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people have kept the oldest continuing culture on the planet strong and the women have been strong partners with their men in maintaining this cultural connection through generations”.

“Today we have celebrated just a few of the women who continue that work in a variety of ways, and are influencing and shaping our community.

“We also acknowledge that there are many, many more local women who should be recognised, in addition to those whose stories we shared today.”

Two wonderful women were given awards from the Dubbo region including a CSU staff member and key community member.

Associate Professor Jay Phillips has shown outstanding leadership in the development of Indigenous cultural competence within curriculum at CSU. She is also the Chair of the Indigenous Board of Studies and has been critical to the cultivation of best practice incorporating Indigenous histories, cultures and contemporary social realities across CSU’s main subjects.

Wiradjuri  man Lewis Burns and NAIDOC Week award nominee Dawn TowneyMs Dawn Towney works for the Department of Human Services, working in both Lightning Ridge and Dubbo. Throughout her career Ms Towney has developed a strong connection and networks in Lightning Ridge, Walgett and Dubbo. She speaks openly and honestly with the Indigenous community members when discussing options available to them.

Ms Towney is heavily involved in a number of interagency committees, including the Dubbo Koori Interagency Network. The nomination notes, ‘Dawn is a kind empathetic, straightforward individual who strives to create a more inclusive, respectful environment for herself, her kids, and her family and for the community.

“Charles Sturt University is so proud to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, students and community members,” Ms Maginnis said.

“It was delightful and an honour to be able to acknowledge and present awards to all these fabulous women who are making an impact across our communities.”

Media Contact: Kate Fotheringham, 63386251

Media Note:

CSU Bathurst celebrating NAIDOC week, Because Of Her We Can

Friday 13 Jul 2018

* CSU Bathurst presented nine 2018 Charles Sturt University NAIDOC Awards

* The National NAIDOC theme this year is Because Of Her We Can

* Today we celebrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and the active and significant roles they play across the Bathurst region

Charles Sturt University (CSU) is proud to recognise women as part of the National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week. The theme this year is Because of Her We Can.

Acting Head of Campus at CSU in Bathurst Mr Peter Fraser said, “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have kept the oldest continuing culture on the planet strong, and the women have been strong partners with their men in maintaining this cultural connection through generations”.

Nine women from the Bathurst region were presented with CSU NAIDOC week awards at a ceremony on campus today. Past and present CSU staff and students and community members attended the presentation.

Wiradyuri Elder and former CSU staff member Werribee Leanna Carr-Smith works tirelessly as a community advocate and educator. Werribee is an outstanding leader and has been responsible for embedding Wiradyuri content and wisdom into the local education sector, including language programs and cultural orientation immersions.

Dindima Gloria Rogers or ‘Aunty Gloria’, has been involved in the education and teaching of Wiradyuri culture and language. She also regularly conducts Welcome to Country in the Bathurst Wiradyuri area. She has been involved with CSU and the wider Bathurst community in a cultural advisory capacity for many years, giving her time and insight to many projects and initiatives.

Aunty Jill and CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew VannAunty Jill(Gunhimudha which means ‘mother to many’) is a local Elder who has fostered many, many children, not just Aboriginal children, over the last 20 plus years.

Aunty Jill has worked for her community behind the scenes for over 30 years in this area.  She holds Traditional Knowledge of Wiradyuri Country and is an accepted Wiradyuri Elder.  Aunty Jill has been one of the Elders keeping Councils and other community leaders accountable to their community and is a fierce community advocate.

Tracey Gale is a proud Wiradjuri woman who, through her personal values and strong work ethic, has made a positive impact in the local community. During her previous employment at CSU Tracey travelled the country gathering and collating research into businesses run by local Indigenous people and through this role gathered information in order to apply this knowledge at a local community level.  Tracey is a wealth of knowledge on how successful businesses are run and imparts this knowledge to local businesses to ensure future success.

Mrs Wyn Allen played   an instrumental role in setting up Wammarra in the early 1980’s when CSU was called Mitchell College of Advanced Education. She was the head of Wammarra for four years. She then moved to Canberra as a member of the House of Representatives Committee On Aboriginal Affairs. Later, she returned to Bathurst to work with the NSW Department of Fair Trading.  Mrs Allen has now retired and teaches Wiradyuri language at CSU.

Maureen Bates-Mckay and CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew VannMs Maureen Bates-McKay is a lawyer with legal aid and has demonstrated outstanding leadership in increasing access to justice in the Central West. Maureen works passionately for social justice and the community.

Ms Annette Gainsford has demonstrated outstanding leadership through the development of CSU Bachelor of Laws. The course is internationally unique in building the Indigenous cultural competence of its graduates.

Ms Gainsford led the development of Indigenous cultural competence of her colleagues within the CSU Centre for Law and Justice and contributed nationally to scholarships that recognise the place of Indigenous knowledge, cultures and histories within higher education.

Ms Julie Bennett has been nominated by her CSU students for showing them tremendous support. She is a mentor and an advocate who is always there for her students. They say, “Because of her, we can”.

Ms Jayarna Kay, a CSU student support officer at Wammarra Student Centre at CSU in Bathurst,was nominated via a specially produced video. The video said Ms Kay is a strong, confident and independent Aboriginal woman and is always empowering all females in all parts of her life, from work to her captaincy of the Orange Women’s Tigers AFL team.

Last year Jayarma was instrumental in developing CSU’s first Indigenous student conference in Dubbo, which included several workshops on leadership, which helped Indigenous students to excel in their studies and took on feedback to improve services for Indigenous students across CSU. The video nomination was also shown during the ceremony.

“Today we have celebrated just a few of the women who contribute, that work in a variety of ways, and are influencing and shaping our community,” Mr Fraser said.

“We also acknowledge that there are many, many more local women that should be recognised, in addition to those whose stories we shared today.”

“Charles Sturt University is so proud to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, students and community members.

“It was delightful and an honour to be able to acknowledge and present awards to all these fabulous women who are making an impact across our communities.”

Today’s event started with a smoking ceremony and also featured a talented local Aboriginal youth dance troupe.

Media Contact: Kate Fotheringham, 63386251

Media Note:

CSU Albury-Wodonga NAIDOC Scholar Award to PhD student

Thursday 12 Jul 2018

* PhD research explores why Aboriginal men of Albury-Wodonga under-utilise the local Aboriginal Health Service

* Culturally appropriate exercise and health education program achieved an 85 per cent attendance rate for the 10-week program

* Aim is for program to be transferable to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

A Charles Sturt University (CSU) student and academic has been awarded the CSU Albury-Wodonga 2018 NAIDOC Scholar of the Year Award for his PhD research project.

Mr Brett Biles (pictured), a PhD student and lecturer in Indigenous health in the CSU School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health in Albury-Wodonga, received the award for his PhD research project titled, ‘An exploration of a tailored cardiovascular exercise and education program for Aboriginal men in a regional centre’.

“It is humbling to receive this award as recognition for community-driven research,” Mr Biles said.

“It has been an amazing experience to research within my community and privilege the voices of local Aboriginal men.”

The award citation notes the three-pronged research was developed to explore the reasons why Aboriginal men of Albury-Wodonga under-utilise the local Aboriginal Health Service, to evaluate the effectiveness of a cardiovascular exercise and health education program, and to explore the men’s experience of this program.

As background, the citation notes that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major health problem within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

It states Mr Biles’ research has developed a culturally appropriate and respectful tailored exercise and health education program, that achieved an 85 per cent attendance rate for the 10-week exercise and health education program, which highlights the cultural appropriateness of the program.

Mr Biles aims for his culturally-appropriate and respectful tailored exercise and health education program to be transferable into other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The research is in its final stages of his PhD and Mr Biles looks forward to disseminating the findings of the research.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Mr Brett Biles who is abased at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

CSU Port Macquarie celebrates NAIDOC week, Because Of Her We Can

Wednesday 11 Jul 2018

* CSU in Port Macquarie has opened its nominations for the 2018 Charles Sturt University NAIDOC Awards

* The NAIDOC theme this year is Because Of Her We Can

* The awards celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and the active and significant roles they play across the Port Macquarie region

Charles Sturt University (CSU) is proud to recognise Indigenous women, as part of the National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week theme this year, Because of Her We Can.

Acting Head of Campus at CSU in Port Macquarie Mr Peter Fraser said, “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have kept the oldest continuing culture on the planet strong, and the women have been strong partners with their men in maintaining this cultural connection through generations”.

A lunchtime launch was held at CSU in Port Macquarie today at the Indigenous Student Centre. The nominations close on Wednesday 25 July with a ceremony to be held in August.

“Charles Sturt University is so proud to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, students and community members,” Mr Fraser said.

“Charles Sturt University encourages everyone to nominate Indigenous or Torres Strait Islander women they know who are influencing and shaping our community.

“As pillars of our society, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played and continue to play, active and significant roles at all levels of our community. Charles Sturt University is delighted and proud to be supporting these women.”

Nomination forms can be found here.

Media Contact: Kate Fotheringham, 63386251

Media Note:

Active Living Longer project in Bathurst seeks participants

Tuesday 10 Jul 2018

* CSU exercise research program in Bathurst seeks participants aged 50+

* Program supports long-term active and healthy lifestyles

* 22 per cent of Australian population will be aged 65 years and over by 2056

* CSU gym in Bathurst open to community members

The Active Living Longer (ALLong) program at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst seeks men and women aged 50 years and over to participate in its ongoing wellbeing and exercise research.

Dr Eevon Stott (pictured), adjunct research fellow in the CSU School of Exercise Science, Sport and Health in Bathurst, said the (ALLong) program aims to help adults aged 50 years and over to pursue long-term active lifestyle through applied science, education, and technology.

“The broad aim of Active Living Longer is to empower the community to get healthier, and we have started with group exercise sessions at the gym at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst as a safe and supportive environment,” Dr Stott said.

“Statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare project that 22 per cent of the population will be aged 65 years and over by 2056. ALLong aims to assist this group to remain independent for longer.

“One of the exciting elements of this program for me is being able to test over time if a wellbeing program can not only assist with obvious improvements in physical ability, but if it can also affect mental or cognitive performance positively in older people. This is all about improving the overall quality of life as we age.”

There are three elements to the ALLong program:

Group Exercise Sessions: Guided by an exercise scientist and modified for each person to suit to their capabilities.

Research: Participants in the Group Exercise Sessions can opt to participate in research comprising physical, physiological, balance, and wellbeing measures.

Education: Since physical function is only a part of the equation of active and healthy ageing, the ALLong program will expand its offerings to include workshops covering topics about nutrition, and cognitive and mental health.

Participants pay a small fee to attend, and the funds generated go towards maintaining sustainability of the sessions. Those who opt in for the research component will be able to use their results from the research to track their own progress over time.

“My current participants paid for an eight-session pass to the group exercise sessions, but already two have ‘graduated’ to joining the gym,” Dr Stott said.

“In time we will offer Tai Chi classes at a cost of a gold coin donation, and an ‘Exercise 101’ theory and practical course.

“Further on, Active Living Longer hopes to collaborate with nutritionists to deliver workshops about eating for older adults, and I also plan to have an annual calendar of events to coincide with existing public awareness campaigns such as Seniors’ Week, Falls Prevention Week, and so on.”

“The research is longitudinal, and I take a set of measurements to provide to participants so their results motivate them to remain accountable to themselves as much as possible. The aim is to get them to repeat the measurement process every six months.”

Gym supervisor CSU in Bathurst, Mr Stephen Howell, commended the ALLong program saying, “It’s fantastic to see more and more people using this great facility. The gym staff have done a lot of work to improve the environment, plus we have purchased a lot more new equipment. The new extended opening hours have really hit a great note with our community patrons, and we can’t wait to get more members.”

ALLong begins in Bathurst, but the model will be expanded to include other Charles Sturt University campuses and regional communities in time.

For more information or to enrol in the ALLong program contact Dr Eevon Stott on 0408 721 752 or email estott@csu.edu.au

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Eevon Stott.

CSU Wagga Wagga celebrating NAIDOC week, Because Of Her We Can

Tuesday 10 Jul 2018

* CSU Wagga Wagga presented 11  2018 Charles Sturt University NAIDOC Awards

* The NAIDOC theme this year is Because Of Her We Can

* Today we celebrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and the active and significant roles they play across the Wagga Wagga region

Charles Sturt University (CSU) is proud to be recognising women, as part of the National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week theme this year, Because of Her We Can.

Head of Campus at CSU in Wagga Wagga Ms Miriam Dayhew said, “For at least 65,000 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have been strong partners with their men in maintaining this cultural connection through generations.

“Today we have celebrated just a few of the women who continue that work in a variety of ways, and are influencing and shaping our community.

“We also acknowledge that there are many, many more local women that should be recognised, in addition to those whose stories we shared today,”

Eleven wonderful women were given awards from the Wagga Wagga region including CSU staff, students and former students, and key community members.

Dr Faye McMillan is an inspiration to all Indigenous women and mothers. She was the first registered Australian Aboriginal Pharmacist, and was a founding member of Indigenous Allied Health Australia. Dr McMillan sits on many allied health boards, and is the Director of the Djirruwang Program Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health).

Ms Catherine Maxwell has led the development of the Reconciliation Action Plan at CSU and has shown outstanding leadership in working with stakeholders from within the University and the wider community.

Aunty Kath Withers has supported educators in early childhood services to build their capacity and confidence to implement inclusive practices. This has included sharing her experiences and knowledge with educators through team meetings, Yarning circles, weaving workshops and service visits.

Aunty Isobel Reid is a survivor of the Stolen Generation. She was taken from her family at the age of seven and sent to the Cootamundra Domestic Training Home for Aboriginal Girls.

Aunty Isobel now Chairs the Coota Girls’ Corporation, and has been instrumental in the work for the survivors of the Stolen Generation. She has also been actively involved with the University and wider community through presenting her experiences as part of consultative processes.

Ms Ella Havelka is a descendant of the Wiradjuri people and a graduate of The Australian Ballet School.  In 2009 Ella made her first appearance with Bangarra Dance Theatre and continued dancing with the company for three years. A documentary centring on Ella and her dance journey was released in 2016 at the International Film Festival. Ella’s mother, a former CSU staff member, accepted her daughter’s award on her behalf.

Ms Tenayah Kelly has shown strong leadership while on secondment in the role of Programs Officer (Indigenous) in the Away from Base team, in the CSU Division of Student Services. Tenayah is continually working to improve the Indigenous student’s experience.

Ms Letetia Harris is a Wiradjuri woman who has worked relentlessly towards the restoration of the Wiradjuri language. Letetia is committed to her students, developing strong relationships, to provide each of them with encouragement, guidance and shares her cultural connection, the Wiradjuri language. The work Letetia does is described by her students as “deadly”.

Aunty Robyn McMillan has recently retired from CSU as an associate lecturer in the Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health), where she taught and mentored an all-Indigenous cohort in Aboriginal culture, Aboriginal health and mental health. Aunty Robyn was also a mature age student when she completed her studies, inspiring mature age women with families who want to study and have a career.

Ms Kristy Wickey is a mother of three, and has just graduated from a Bachelor of Nursing and is going on to do further studies to become an Indigenous midwife. It was no easy feat, however Kristy managed study and children, and never complained and always had a smile on her face. Kristy is a leading example of what is possible.

Aunty Gail Manderson completed the Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage a few years ago as a mature age student. Since completing the certificate she is giving back to her community by working in local primary schools helping to keep the Wiradjuri language alive by teaching it.

Aunty Gail is also very involved in the University. She delivers ‘Welcomes to Country’, visits the Indigenous Student Centre, and holds workshops on cooking and weaving.

The final award recipient was Edna May ‘Mumma’ Jones who opened Ngungilanna, the CSU Wagga Campus Indigenous Student Centre in September 1994. Since its opening 723 Indigenous students have graduated from CSU in Wagga Wagga.

As part of the ceremony ‘Mumma’ Jones’s family accepted her posthumous award for her contribution to the academic success of so many CSU in Wagga Wagga students, and gave a heart-warming speech about the impact she had on so many lives.

A short student video was also shown about ‘what NAIDOC means to me’.

After the formal ceremony, people took part in a weaving class facilitated by Aunty Gail, and a barbecue hosted by the Student Representative Council.

“Charles Sturt University is so proud to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, students and community members,” Ms Dayhew said.

“It was delightful and an honour to be able to acknowledge and present awards to all these fabulous women who are making an impact across our communities.”

Media Contact: Kate Fotheringham, 63386251

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews

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