Local News

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Students learn to teach science to students

Wednesday 8 Nov 2017

Twelve Year 9 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Canobolas Rural Technology High School spent Monday 6 November at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Orange learning fun hands-on and engaging science experiments from CSU academic staff.

The activity was part of the CSU Future Moves program to bring the National Indigenous Science Education Program (NISEP) to Canobolas Rural Technology High School and Glenroi Heights Public School.

On Tuesday 7 November, the Canobolas High students took their new found knowledge and enthusiasm to their own school where they became the experts teaching 30 visiting Year 6 students from Glenroi Heights Public School.

The two days provided the students with a memorable, exciting and interactive first-hand experience of science and career possibilities available with science while they explored ideas for their futures.

Mrs Renae Symons, Future Moves school outreach officer for CSU in the central west, said, "This is a great opportunity for the Year 9 students to step up and show leadership skills, science knowledge. It was also a fantastic transition activity for the Year 6 students, given many will be attending Canobolas Rural Technology High School next year."

Future Moves is a federally funded initiative, run through Charles Sturt University and aligned with the Australian Blueprint for Career Development.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews, or phone Future Moves program coordinator Mr Ben Morris on 0427 714 807.

NISEP was developed by Macquarie University and has now expanded after partnering with CSU Future Moves. Future Moves was developed to encourage aspiration for higher education among students in rural and remote NSW. By introducing young people to the world of university study we hope to encourage them to become more engaged in school studies and more confident in considering tertiary study as a realistic option. Future Moves is directed at students who have the potential to succeed in tertiary education and who come from families with little or no experience of higher education. The popularity of the program has seen it continue to grow and reach out to more schools due to the positive feedback received over the past five years.

CSU student petitions for horse crossing in Wagga Wagga

Tuesday 7 Nov 2017

 Scott Cox petitions for horse crossingA Charles Sturt University (CSU) student is using his studies to push for a new horse crossing in Wagga Wagga to improve community safety.

Working as a track work rider to support his studies, Mr Scott Cox had identified a need to construct a horse crossing near the Murrumbidgee Turf Club to ensure horse and riders crossed the road safely.

Currently, the section of road where riders and handlers cross with their horses is zoned as 60 kilometres per hour. There have been a number of incidents as the horses become easily spooked due to the speed of traffic.

As part of his Bachelor of Teaching, Mr Cox undertook an assessment that identified a civic issue which he then discussed within his class and wrote a plan to bring about change. Mr Cox saw this as an opportunity and took it a step further by creating an online petition. He called for signatures so that he could lobby the local council to create the horse crossing.

Mr Cox said basing his assessment on a real-world example was not only beneficial to his study but also reflected the strong community ethos of Charles Sturt University.

"The University encourages us to be involved in the community, so it was a perfect opportunity to put my learning into practice," Mr Cox said.

Mr Cox's lecturer in the CSU School of Humanities and Social Sciences  Ms Elise Rosser, said that the University placed an emphasis on student learning being applied to the communities they lived in.

Pointing to Mr Cox's project as an excellent example of humanities studies making a valuable contribution to the local community, Ms Rosser said, "Charles Sturt University encourages students to make a contribution to the community.

"The program gives young people an opportunity to understand local government and participate in change that helps build stronger regional communities."    

Mr Cox agreed, saying that now he's received 1600 signatures the next step will be to submit it to Wagga Wagga City Council.

"I set myself a goal of 1500 signatures, and now that's been exceeded I will write the letter to local council, with the help of Elise, to lobby for the horse crossing," Mr Cox said.

Ms Rosser said the success of Mr Cox to exceed his signature target, along with Wagga Wagga's younger population, was just one example of their strong community spirit and desire to bring about change that benefited the whole community.

The petition is still open, sign it here.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0447 757 066

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews Mr Scott Cox and with Ms Elise Rosser from the CSU School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

CSU cyber security workshops for businesses in central west

Friday 3 Nov 2017

Entrepreneur & laptopIn mid-November CenWest Innovate at Charles Sturt University (CSU) is offering cybersecurity workshops for small to medium sized enterprises in Dubbo, Orange, and Bathurst.

Professor Mark Morrison from CSU's CenWest Innovate said, "Cyber security for small to medium enterprises (SMEs)' workshops will help businesses identify threats and prevent attacks."

"CenWest Innovate is bringing together expert panellists Mr William Ulyate from cyber security advisors Content Security, and Dr Peter White an adjunct lecturer at the University and manager of research and development at the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI) Spatial Services."

"The experts will coach businesses on cyber security threats and mitigation, and businesses can discover what common cyber threats and attacks small and medium enterprises face, and what they can do to prevent them," Professor Morrison said.

Photo of a computer keyboardThe experts will guide participants through:
* business-focused cyber threats and issues
* show participants how to start mitigating any cyber security issues in their own business
* conduct their own risk assessment
* apply the Australian Security Directorate's Essential 8 guidelines.

The workshop schedule is:

Dubbo - Tuesday 14 November at 7.00am for 7.30am to 10.00am at Charles Sturt University, Building 901 Room 121, Tony McGrane Place, Dubbo. Cost FREE - Book your ticket now

Orange - Tuesday 14 November at 5.30pm for 6.00pm to 8.30pm at the Hotel Canobolas, Summer St, Orange. Cost FREE - Book your ticket now

Bathurst - Wednesday 15 November at 5.30pm for 6.00pm to 8.30pm at City Hall, Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, William St, Bathurst. Cost FREE - Book your ticket now

These events are proudly supported by Dubbo Regional Council, Dubbo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Orange City Council, and Bathurst Regional Council.

CSU's delivery of these events is supported through the NSW Government's Boosting Business Innovation Program which is providing $18 million to the state's 11 universities and CSIRO – including $1.5 million to CSU – to help businesses innovate.

Through the Boosting Business Innovation Program CSU has established CenWest Innovate in Bathurst, an AgriTech Incubator Hubin Wagga Wagga, and the Walan Mayinygu Indigenous Entrepreneurship 'Pop-up' Innovation Hub to help businesses.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Professor Mark Morrison, Program Leader of CenWest Innovate in Bathurst, and a member of the CSU Institute for Land, Water and Society (ILWS).

CSU students share Create NSW scholarships

Tuesday 31 Oct 2017

student Ben RodwellThree Charles Sturt University (CSU) theatre/media students are among nine NSW young artists selected to undertake professional development programs under Create NSW Young Regional Artist Scholarships.

Each year the Create NSW Young Regional Artist Scholarship initiative rewards 25 artists aged 18 to 25 years across the state. The initiative coves all art forms – from dance, design, digital arts, history, Aboriginal arts, literature, music, theatre, screen and curatorial to the visual arts.

Arts OutWest assisted the three successful theatre/media students in the CSU School of Communication and Creative Industries in Bathurst to write their applications.

The selected nine artists from the first round this year span a diverse range of art forms including circus, music, film, theatre and the visual arts. Each will receive a $10 000 grant to support a self-directed program.

Third-year student Mr Jesse Alston will develop a unique artistic theatre practice and a new body of work through the study of practical animation and professional mentorship from modern theatre practitioner Nel Kentish.

Recent graduate Mr Ben Rodwell (pictured above) will develop a directing practice through a week-long directing course and combine with knowledge from working with international and nationally-based children's theatre companies to create a short development with the support and mentorship of regionally-based artists.

Ms Johanna Williams will develop her skills as a playwright/dramaturge through internships and attendance at arts festivals and conferences, to develop new work that will involve creative development and mentorships in Bathurst.

The scholarships will officially commence on Wednesday 1 November when the group convenes for a two-day professional development training workshop at Carriageworks in Eveleigh curated by Create NSW, before they each embark on their own chosen programs.

During the workshop the students will receive expert advice, business management lessons and networking opportunities with a range of leading industry figures, visit arts organisations, and meet the NSW Minster for the Arts, the Hon. Mr Don Harwin, MLC.

For information on how to apply for the next round of scholarships, visit www.create.nsw.gov.au or email arts.funding@create.nsw.gov.au

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

Photo shows recent CSU graduate and Create NSW scholarship recipient Mr Ben Rodwell (right) with the Executive Officer of Arts OutWest Ms Tracey Callinan.

CSU students gather in Dubbo for annual leadership conference

Tuesday 31 Oct 2017

CSU Students_250x150More than 60 Charles Sturt University (CSU) students will gather at the University in Dubbo on Wednesday 1 November for the third annual Student Leadership Conference and the inaugural Indigenous Student Conference.

The students come from a range of disciplines and from all CSU campuses.

The conference theme is 'CSU values student leadership'.

Conference organiser Ms Kerry Silverson, said the conference shows the dedication of CSU to improving educational outcomes for students in regional Australia.

"A range of speakers across a spectrum of disciplines will share their expertise and experiences with students who will gain valuable insights into being a leader in a changing world," Ms Silverson said.

During the conference the keynote speaker, Indigenous journalist, author and social commentator Dr Stan Grant Junior, will also address a special workshop (from 11am to 12pm) for CSU Indigenous emerging leaders. Dr Grant is also Chair of Indigenous Affairs at CSU.

Dr Grant will be available for media interviews at 9am to 9.20am at the University, before delivering his keynote address to students. He will be joined at the media opportunity by CSU Dean of Students Professor Julia Coyle; the Head of Campus of CSU in Dubbo Ms Cathy Maginnis; and CSU student leader Mr Brenton Hawken.

Dean of Students in the CSU Division of Student Services Professor Julia Coyle said, "We are delighted to host the inaugural Charles Student University Indigenous Student Conference.

Learning Commons Dubbo"The conference will bring Indigenous students from across Australia to the University in Dubbo to participate in a range of workshops to collaboratively develop with staff programs to enhance Indigenous Student leadership and to strengthen the Indigenous student voice at Charles Sturt University.

"The students will also engage with Indigenous Elders and our key note speaker Dr Stan Grant Junior on enhancing Indigenous student success. As the inaugural Indigenous Student Conference will be occurring at the same time as the annual Student Leadership Conference, Indigenous students will have a valuable opportunity to participate in shared sessions that build their personal leadership skills through insights imparted by the leadership speakers."

Mr Nathan Peckham, manager of CSU Indigenous Student Centres, said, "The inaugural Indigenous Student Conference is a fantastic opportunity to bring Indigenous students together to discuss the issues that matter to them. Combined with the annual Student Leadership Conference, we are excited to create a collaborative space where students can work together on common goals to improve the student voice at Charles Sturt University."

The students will be welcomed to CSU in Dubbo at an event at 6pm on Tuesday 31 October.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Stan Grant Junior; CSU Dean of Students Professor Julia Coyle; the Head of Campus of CSU in Dubbo Ms Cathy Maginnis; and CSU student leader Mr Brenton Hawken.

Riverina Playhouse to undergo major facelift

Monday 23 Oct 2017

A well-known cultural facility, the Riverina Playhouse will soon be temporarily closed to enable much needed refurbishments to be undertaken.

Announcing the temporary closure today, Charles Sturt University Director of Facilities Management, Mr Stephen Butt said the closure of the Playhouse will be a necessary inconvenience but the end results will be worth the wait.

"We recognise the closure will cause some disruption for not only staff and students of CSU but also those community groups who make use of the facility," Mr Butt said.

"However, the work that will be carried out to the Playhouse during this down time will ensure the facility is state-of-the art and even better able to service the needs of the creative arts into the future."

Mr Butt was joined at the announcement today by Associate Professor Sue Wood, Head of School for Communication and Creative Industries at CSU as well as the refurbishment project officer Mr Neal Molineaux and representatives of ICG, the successful builder selected to carry out the project.

According to Mr Molineaux, the refurbishment will cost an estimated $3 million and deliver upgraded amenities to ensure the Playhouse includes disabled access and facilities, upgrades to the theatre seating, new lighting grid systems, wall and floor furnishings, new auditorium layout with new theatre chairs providing generous leg room, new emergency and exit lighting and a re-organised foyer area.

"I know the enhancements to the Playhouse will be enjoyed by those who perform in the theatre and those who attend performances alike," Mr Molineaux said.

"The environment will also benefit from some of the upgrades, with a key focus on sustainability features. The mechanical systems and lighting to be installed will be energy efficient and water saving fittings will be added to the hydraulic systems".

Stephen Butt and Susan Wood

Associate Professor Sue Wood welcomed the news of the refurbishments and said that staff and students from the School of Communication and Creative Industries were very excited about the anticipated upgrades and looking forward to performing in the newly refurbished facility when it reopened in 2018.

The Riverina Playhouse was established in 1986 and has had limited improvements since that time. It will be closed from 28 October 2017 until 9 July 2018 and CSU students will be using alternative venues at the Boorooma Campus and other community facilities during this period.

Media Contact: Aaron McDonnell, 0427 845 830

Media Note:

CSU to celebrate its key education role in Wagga Wagga

Thursday 19 Oct 2017

It's hoped that heads will turn and the attention of Wagga Wagga locals will focus on the colour and movement of the Charles Sturt University (CSU) Town and Gown parade on Wednesday 25 October.

The parade of academics and students will be led by the Mayor of Wagga Wagga, Councillor Greg Conkey and the leadership team of CSU including Chancellor Dr Michele Allan, Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann, members of the University Council, and other distinguished guests.

town and gown 2015 

Speaking about the colourful event, Head of Campus at CSU in Wagga Wagga, Ms Miriam Dayhew said how important it was to recognise the role education played in the life of the city of Wagga Wagga.

"Wagga Wagga is an education city and the Town and Gown procession highlights the importance of this sector to the local economy and the social and cultural fabric of the community," Ms Dayhew said.

"The procession has grown over the years, originally being an event to coincide with graduation ceremonies for the University, it has now expanded to become a public celebration of the role education plays in the region.

"The public celebration embraces participants from predecessor institutions of the University with alumni of the WWTCA (the former Teachers College) as well as other educational institutions including TAFE, the Medical School of Notre Dame University (Australia), educators from the Defence Forces, Australian Airline Pilot Academy, and local primary and secondary schools, accompanied by the Kapooka Army Band and the Riverina Concert Band."

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

"The parade is a little different, but importantly acknowledges the place of education and research in the life of Wagga Wagga, and allows the public the opportunity to encourage and thank those who teach and support those who are studying, no matter what institution they attend," Ms Dayhew said.

"We hope that the long and well established relationship Charles Sturt University has with Wagga Wagga continues long into the future, and we look forward to welcoming and encouraging the public to line Baylis Street as the parade passes by next Wednesday."

The Town and Gown Parade will commence at 4.30pm next Wednesday 25 October, proceed along Baylis Street, and conclude at the Civic Theatre precinct with speeches and a brief public reception.

Media Contact: Aaron McDonnell, 0427 845 830

Media Note:

Riverina-Murray literacy educators on the move

Tuesday 17 Oct 2017

Noella MackenzieLiteracy educators and parents in Albury-Wodonga and surrounding areas need to note two events and dates relevant to children's development of literacy and writing skills.

The Riverina-Murray Local Council of the Australian Literacy Educators' Association (ALEA) has recently relocated to Albury-Wodonga and will hold events for teachers in Albury-Wodonga on Wednesday 18 October and for parents/guardians at 7pm to 8.30pm on Wednesday 1 November.

The president of the new local council of ALEA Riverina Murray, Dr Noella Mackenzie (pictured), who is also senior lecturer in the School of Education in Albury-Wodonga, said the event on Wednesday 18 October is to launch the ALEA Riverina-Murray council. The launch will be at the Albury Library Museum from 4.30pm to 5.30pm, and this workshop is for primary and secondary teachers.

The free parent forum titled 'Helping young children to draw and write' will be held at Wodonga Primary School from 7pm to 8.30pm on Wednesday 1 November.

As a literacy development researcher, Dr Mackenzie will discuss the important drawing and writing milestones for children; the links between early drawing, writing and reading; some of the issues of writing in modern times such as hand writing and keyboarding; and ways for parents to support children as they learn to draw and write.

Dr Mackenzie said, "The teaching of writing and approaches to support children's development, have changed over time, reflecting shifts in theoretical models and perspectives of teaching and learning.

"Young children begin their writing journey creating meaning by combining talking, drawing, singing and role-playing, long before they engage in the mature written forms of their culture.

"If children see an advantage in being able to write, they will apply the same focused attention to learning how to write that they applied to learning to be oral language users.

"If we encourage and value drawing and talking, we can build a bridge between children's prior-to-school experiences, current systems of meaning-making, and the new system of writing. In this way, writing becomes a parallel means of meaning-making rather than a replacement for the drawing and talking they already do so well when they arrive at school.

"Children who are encouraged to draw, talk, write and share become confident, flexible writers who create more complex texts than when they are restricted to just writing," Dr Mackenzie said.

Dr Mackenzie explained that teaching handwriting and keyboarding has changed dramatically in the last decade with the rise of 'keyboarding', and it is this topic that she will discuss with teachers on Wednesday.

"Twenty or perhaps only ten years ago, learning to write by hand was an important milestone associated with starting school," she said. "Handwriting instruction began with pencils and printing (manuscript), with children graduating to pen and cursive script as they moved into the fourth year of school.

"According to the Australian Curriculum (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, ACARA, 2016a) this is still the expectation of Australian schools.

"But in the last five or so years things have changed rapidly, as tablets and smart phones have become commonplace in many homes, with computers more visible in early childhood education settings and early years classrooms, and with the curriculum increasingly crowded. The accountability agenda that has resulted from high-stakes testing has also impacted what teachers in schools prioritise.

"However, to be literate in 21st century society requires the ability to flexibly create and interpret both print and digital texts. Most people use both keyboarding and handwriting at some stage throughout their day, as well as texting on their phone and/or using a touch screen on a digital tablet."

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Noella Mackenzie, senior lecturer in the School of Education in Albury-Wodonga.

CSU and Denison College enhance teacher education

Tuesday 17 Oct 2017

CSU Bathurst gateway 5 flagsAcademics at Charles Sturt University (CSU) and high school teachers at Denison College will launch The Hub project at the Kelso High School campus in Bathurst at 1pm on Wednesday 18 October.

Sub Dean for Workplace Learning and Associate Head of the CSU School of Teacher Education in Bathurst Dr Matt Winslade said The Hub initiative aimed to provide CSU initial teacher education students with the most practical experience and perspectives on current and future classroom practice.

"This is all about bridging the theory-practice gap for our students" Dr Winslade said.

"We appreciate the opportunity to work so closely with teaching colleagues at the two campuses of Denison College in Bathurst, and aim to ensure an enhanced learning experience for our students."

HT Teacher Mentor at Denison College Ms Jacqui Hood said, "By building a collaborative partnership between Charles Sturt University and Denison College, we are in a stronger position to be preparing our teachers of the future for success."

The Hub launch will be held in the library at the Kelso High Campus, Boyd Street, Bathurst, at 1pm on Wednesday 18 October. CSU practicum students will be teaching a Year 8 class.

CSU academics will speak about partnerships, stronger connections, process improvement, communications, change in course structures, best practice, reflection, improving graduate success. Senior Denison College educators will be available for interview, including the principal of Kelso High Mr Mick Sloan who will discuss the CSU Mentor Program. The principal of Bathurst High School Mr Ken Barwick who will discuss 'Great Teaching Inspired Learning' (GTIL), professional teaching standards, modules, professional learning, staffing schools, improving future teachers state-wide.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Matt Winslade, the Sub Dean for Workplace Learning and Associate Head of the CSU School of Teacher Education.

The CSU Faculty of Arts and Education workplace learning coordinator Ms Kelly Tribolet and senior lecturer Dr Deb Clarke will also be available for interview. Ms Tribolet provides the link between CSU and schools in the Bathurst area. Dr Clarke has facilitated the first of the joint subject delivery projects working with teachers from Denison College to deliver an integrated program to fourth year initial teacher education students, culminating in a series of professional preparation interviews with Principals from Denison College. Other CSU staff involved in The HUB initiative include Associate Professor Lucie Zundans, Associate Professor Will Letts, and professional experience lecturer Ms Alison Ayrton.

CSU hosts Indigenous staff conference

Tuesday 17 Oct 2017

Indigenous staff from Charles Sturt University (CSU) will meet in Wagga Wagga this week for an annual conference to engage in professional development and networking.

Nguluway, the Wiradjuri for 'meeting with each other', will be held on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 October at the CSU Convention Centre.

With up to 30 staff expected to attend the conference from across the University, the event will start with a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony at 12.45pm on Tuesday 17 October.

The conference will hear from the University's senior leadership team, with a question and answer session on Wednesday 18 October.

CSU's Indigenous Employment Coordinator Ms Catherine Maxwell said, "Staff attending the conference will give staff a great opportunity to talk directly with Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann and meet his team in a relaxed and comfortable space. 

"During Nguluway, Indigenous Australian staff come together and meet, some for the first time, to develop professional and personal relationships across campuses and work areas.

"The conference is an important annual event as it helps to create a sense of community and support within the University for Indigenous Australians, as well as providing relevant professional development specific to Charles Sturt University," Ms Maxwell said.

The full Nguluway conference program can be found here.

Media Contact: Aaron McDonnell, 0427 845 830

Media Note:

The media is invited to attend a Cultural Session with Indigenous staff and the Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann from 8.50am to 9.50am on Wednesday 18 October at Yindyamarra Reconciliation Site, near car park 7, across Darnell Smith Drive, CSU in Wagga Wagga.

The conference runs from 12.45pm Tuesday 17 October to 12.30pm Wednesday 18 October at the Convention Centre, building 230, near car park 69, Jingellic Place, CSU in Wagga Wagga.

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