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CSU helping feed members of the community in need

Thursday 8 Nov 2018

Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga is turning unused food left behind by students into meals for the vulnerable with its annual Move Out Cook Up event held on 13 November 2018.

Toby Perry, CSU Healthy Eating, Entertainment and Retail Services (CHEERS) coordinator, said when students move out of the University accommodation at the end of the year unused food is often left behind, creating an opportunity that they were putting to good use.

“The Charles Sturt University Department of Residence Life in Wagga Wagga was collecting dry goods and sending them to charity for several years, but in 2016 the CHEERS catering team expanded on the idea by using the frozen or perishable foods left behind to create a variety of frozen TV style dinners to be given to a food bank,” Mr Perry said.

Mr Perry said the food bank selected was OzHarvest, an organisation that distributes quality excess food to over 1300 charities nationally.

“In the first year the event was held the CHEERS team supplied 222 meals, this grew to 348 the following year.

“This year we’ve already exceeded our target by preparing 503 meals,” Mr Perry said.

With the departure of students the catering kitchen falls quiet and Mr Perry said the Move Out Cook Up is a way to use their time to do something good for the community.

“We also like to use it as a fun challenge between the chefs, to see who can make up the most varieties of meals from the many boxes of ingredients,” Mr Perry said.

Mr Perry said the Move Out Cook Up brings together various areas of CSU and is a positive experience for everyone who gets involved.

“The University reduces food waste going to landfill, we get people across departments collaborating with a common purpose,  our students are pleased to know that what they don’t want to take home is being used for people who need it and a lot of the work is already done for Oz Harvest, who only have to pick up all those finished meals from one spot and distribute them,” Mr Perry said.

Mr Perry added it was satisfying way to work with and engage with the local community.

“The event shows Charles Sturt University is living out its values and is having a positive impact on the lives of local and regional people, beyond just being a venue for higher education,” Mr Perry said.

Photo credit: CSU CHEERS working with OzHarvest Riverina volunteers.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Toby Perry.

Bathurst booming with creative opportunities for CSU graduates

Thursday 1 Nov 2018

* CSU theatre media alumni feature of Bathurst production The Climbing Tree

* CSU theatre media course a credit to local talent

* The Climbing Tree to premiere in Bathurst on Friday 2 November

A group of Charles Sturt University (CSU) theatre media alumni will this week be involved in local Bathurst production, The Climbing Tree – part play, part ghost story, and part musical examining what lies beneath the surface of Bathurst.

The Climbing Tree, to premiere this Friday 2 November at the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre (BMEC) will deliver one of many high-quality examples of what the region can produce.

CSU senior lecturer in theatre media in the CSU School of Communication and Creative Industries in Bathurst Dr Soseh Yekanians said the fact that the production features two current CSU theatre media students - Janda Nichols and Greygryn Holgate-Gorton, three CSU graduates -  Tim Hansen, Madelaine Osborn and Heidi Annand  and one current CSU staff member, Karl Shead reflects the vast range of opportunities the Bathurst region has to offer those who have completed the Bachelor of Theatre Media course. “Having worked in many capital cities, I have never seen quite the range of opportunity that theatre media graduates have available to them right here in Bathurst,” Dr Yekanians said.

“This is a testament to the degree itself and the advantages that being at a regional university can bring.

“Because of the University’s long-standing reputation in regional Australia, it has developed close relationships with major local organisations such as BMEC and Arts Out West, not to mention the ongoing connections we already have with our successful theatre media alumni around the world.”

Developed over three years, The Climbing Tree is the product of BMEC in partnership with the Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP), and with extensive community consultation has welcomed local talent to bring their range of skills to the production. Ms Heidi Annand, 2016 CSU theatre media graduate and Local Stages assistant producer at BMEC, will be working on the production as a stage manager. She said that studying the course at CSU really opened her eyes to the importance of regional arts for small communities.

“There seems to be this idea that when you finish university, you then have to move to the big smoke to cut your teeth,” Ms Annand said. “And as much as I see the value in that, I’m committed to skipping that step and focussing my career in regional Australia.

“Regional areas are perfect for emerging artists and exploring practice. Bathurst is fortunate to have a thriving arts community, in part thanks to Charles Sturt University, and many champions who advocate for us and fight for funding and support.”

The Climbing Tree showtimes below:
Date: 2 – 6 November
Location: BMEC, 105 William St Bathurst
Purchase tickets here

22 – 24 November
Riverside Theatres - corner of Church and Market Streets, Parramatta
Purchase tickets here

Featured in the picture from left to right: Tim Hansen, Janda Nichols, Heidi Annand (standing), Madelaine Osborn

Media Contact: Hilary Longhurst, 0498 578 541

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

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.

Academics at CSU in Port Macquarie recognised by Australian College of Educators

Wednesday 31 Oct 2018

Six academics at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Port Macquarie were recognised at the 2018 World Teachers’ Day Awards on Friday 26 October 2018.

The ceremony held in Port Macquarie honoured the teaching work and the impact of educators on students across the Mid North Coast.

The six CSU academics awarded were:

Award winner Mr Phillip Ebbs said the awards demonstrated the excellent work of the academic team at the University.

“We have a great team here in Port Macquarie who not only deliver great results, but they also take the time to recognise and encourage their peers,” Mr Ebbs said.

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) and Acting Head of Campus Professor Heather Cavanagh congratulated the award winners.

“This recognition demonstrates the positive impact Charles Sturt University is having on the Mid North Coast and our strengthening ties to the community,” Professor Cavanagh said.

Now in its thirteenth year, the World Teachers’ Day Awards presented by the Australian College of Educators recognise teachers and teaching across the professional range from early childhood learning through to university lecturers and programs.

World Teachers’ Day is celebrated in Australia on the last Friday of October, but on other dates in other countries.

Photo credit (left to right): Ms Kym Barry, Mr Phillip Ebbs, Dr Natalia Bilton, and Dr Prue Gonzalez.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

Social media sensation Tanya Hennessy headlining CSU student leadership conference

Tuesday 30 Oct 2018

* Tanya Hennessy will deliver an address and Q&A with CSU students

* Students will also hear from entrepreneur Penny Locaso and Orange dancer Emmanuel Rodriguez 

* 70 CSU student leaders expected to come together in two-day event to encourage development of leadership skills

Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Orange is hosting the 2018 CSU Student Leadership Conference with social media sensation and CSU Alumni, Tanya Hennessy, delivering a keynote address.

The two-day conference will host around 70 emerging student leaders from both on-campus and online courses with a primary focus on encouraging networking and turning ideas into action.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Students, Jenny Roberts said that the conference is an opportunity to bring together student leaders with a variety of experiences from different courses of study and campus locations.

“During the conference, students will participate in experiential learning activities, listen to guest speakers and come together for a networking and social event with the Vice-Chancellor’s leadership team,” Ms Roberts said.

“We’ve organised a talented line-up of keynote and guest speakers to present to gathered students. Each speaker will bring a diverse collection of skills and experience and will share their voices and life lessons.”

CSU Alumni Tanya Hennessy said she hopes students attending this week’s conference will leave feeling inspired and knowing that they hold the power to their success.

“I hope people hear my story and know that I’m not different, or special – I’m just a hard worker, and that’s what sets me apart.” Ms Hennessy said.

Ms Hennessy, an author, radio personality and social media influencer with more than 1 million Facebook followers, studied the Bachelor of Arts Theatre Media at CSU.

Reflecting on her time at CSU as one of the best experiences of her life, Tanya said her message to student leaders attending the conference and to current CSU students is “say yes to everything and make your own opportunities.”

“Don’t rest on your talent, everyone is talented – what makes you different?” Ms Hennessy said.

“Always stay strong, be resilient and your failures are lessons to work out what you do and don’t want to do.”

Joining Tanya as a speaker at the conference is Penny Locaso, founder of BKindred and one of the most influential Australian female entrepreneurs of 2018, as well as Orange local Emmanuel Rodriguez, a dancer who has competed on So You Think You Can Dance and Australia’s Got Talent. The pair will be covering diverse topics reflecting on their career paths including; humanising the future, goal-setting and personal passions.

The Student Leadership Conference is a CSU student-focused event and will run over Wednesday 31 October to Thursday, November 1.

Media Contact: Hilary Longhurst, 0498 578 541

Media Note:

Media are invited to speak with Jenny Roberts and Tanya Hennessy at 8.45am Wednesday, 31 October. Please contact CSU Media to arrange interviews

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.

International chef-entrepreneur Mark Brand to visit Wagga Wagga

Wednesday 24 Oct 2018

* CSU in Wagga Wagga in collaboration with the City of Sydney and Sydney School of Entrepreneurship will co-host international chef-entrepreneur Mark Brand

* Event on Tuesday 30 October is part of the City of Sydney’s Visiting Entrepreneur Program and Spark Festival

* The program focus will be on social impact, entrepreneurship, inclusive design and building better communities

Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga together with The City of Sydney and Sydney School of Entrepreneurship will next week co-host international entrepreneur Mark Brand (pictured).

Mr Brand will deliver a keynote address focusing on social impact and entrepreneurship, inclusive design, diversity and inclusivity within business startups, and building better communities through inclusive economic growth.

The sold-out event, to be held at Food I Am on the Nu-Lemeah property just outside Wagga Wagga, is part of the City of Sydney’s Visiting Entrepreneur Program and part of Spark Festival.

It will see Mr Brand reflect on his journey as a chef-entrepreneur to a Professor of Innovation and how discovering his guiding principles led him from helping one man to creating businesses built around those who struggle.

CSU’s Research Partnerships Manager Ms Annette Davies said that the event is an opportunity for local entrepreneurs, producers and members of the community to network and listen to one of the world’s most recognised entrepreneurs.

“Mark Brand is one of North America’s foremost social entrepreneurs,” Ms Davies said. “He is internationally recognised for his eleven businesses and his unique form of leadership which encompasses good in every step.

“Attendees will gain insight into his innovative efforts and systems design, which deliver a unique balance between business and purpose.”

Guests will also hear stories from Mr Brand about his projects such as Save On Meats and The Token Program, a cashless system which has fed over 100,000 people in need.

To learn more about Mark Brand, watch the NowThis video here.

Media Contact: Hilary Longhurst, 0498 578 541

Media Note:

There will be a media call at 11.30am at Food I Am (29 Kunzea Pl, Springvale NSW) where all media are welcome to interview Mr Brand. Please contact CSU media to arrange this prior to Tuesday 30 October.

CSU to host distinguished professor in Wagga Wagga

Tuesday 23 Oct 2018

* CSU in Wagga Wagga to host Distinguished Professor of Biology

* The free event on Tuesday 30 October will provide early career researchers, staff and students with
insight on how science can impact global policy

* Visit comes at a topical time with the recently released IPCC report from the United Nations

The Charles Sturt University (CSU) Postdoctoral Society (PdCSU) will next week host Distinguished Professor of Biology Lesley Hughes (pictured) in Wagga Wagga to speak with young and early career researchers (ECRs) and students about how to make their mark in research and science.

PdCSU’s central aim is to support ECRs at CSU and to enhance research culture with the University. As part of this aim, the Society identifies influential people in science, politics and society and invites them to speak to staff and students.

The PdCSU committee invited Professor Hughes to address the Postdoctoral Society and University staff and students due to her notoriety as an advocate for diversity and gender equity in science, for supporting ECRs, and for her impact as an influential scientist.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Adam Frew said that Professor Hughes will highlight some valuable lessons she has learnt from her career path, and attendees will gain a unique insight into how science can impact global policy.

“Professor Hughes was a former lead author on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released report.  She is also a councillor with the Climate Council of Australia and a director for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF),” Dr Frew said.

“Attendees will hear about Professor Hughes’s own research as an ecologist, how she became involved in climate change and environmental advocacy, and in policy development.”

The upcoming visit from Professor Hughes not only demonstrates her support for students and researchers at CSU, but more broadly looks to enhance the quality of life in the long-term for people in Australia.

All CSU staff and postgraduate students are encouraged to attend.

Event details:

PdCSU presents Distinguished Professor Lesley Hughes
Time and date:
2pm on Tuesday 30 October
Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, building 229, room 182.
Video conference rooms have also been booked across some of CSU’s other campuses
Cost: FREE

Media Contact: Hilary Longhurst, 0498 578 541

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

The Exchange explained, in free public lecture at CSU in Dubbo

Monday 22 Oct 2018

* Free CSU event 'An Evening with The Exchange' on Thursday 1 November to boost local business startups

* CSU keen to share its facilities to help business strengthen the local economy

* Event will help forge new business connections and business growth

The next Explorations Series public lecture at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Dubbo on Thursday 1 November will examine the role of the social impact organisation The Exchange and its newly forged relationship with the University.

Head of Campus at CSU in Dubbo Ms Cathy Maginnis (pictured) encouraged anyone wanting to start a business in the Dubbo region to attend ‘An Evening with The Exchange’ to learn more and make connections.

“While The Exchange’s story began years ago, it took flight after the AgriFutures Australia Rural Women’s Award backed an initiative to research the needs of all business owners in regional NSW.

“I’m delighted that through a unique partnership, The Exchange now calls Charles Sturt University in Dubbo, home,” Ms Maginnis said.

“The Exchange is a social impact organisation, here to give opportunity to people in regional Australia who are ready to get started and launch their own business.

“Through the partnership agreement with The Exchange, the University is keen to share its facilities to assist start-up businesses to achieve their business goals and make a positive impact on the local economy.”

Ms Maginnis said this event is more than a public lecture, rather an opportunity to meet The Exchange founder Ms Jillian Kilby, listen to her story and learn about her journey before launching The Exchange.

“Meet some of the businesses who have taken the leap, launched and who are thriving through The Exchange, and also talk honestly about some of the challenges and the fears which start-up businesses work to overcome,” she said.

More information and registration to attend the free event is here:


The free ‘Explorations Series: An Evening with The Exchange’ public lecture is at 6pm Thursday 1 November at CSU in room 121, building 901, Tony McGrane Place, Dubbo.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Head of Campus at CSU in Dubbo Ms Cathy Maginnis.

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.

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