Local News

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Computing degree to fill local needs

Tuesday 16 May 2017

A Master's degree in information technology to be offered this year by Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Port Macquarie aims to fill the needs of local and international students, and businesses.

Coordinator of the Master of Information Technology at CSU in Port Macquarie Dr Sabih Rehman said the course would be offered for the first time on-campus to local students and international students coming to Port Macquarie to study and live.

"The program enables students to better understand modern concepts of information technology so they can contribute to the development of IT solutions for the region," said Dr Rehman, who is moving from CSU in Wagga Wagga to teach and coordinate the course at CSU in Port Macquarie.

"The Mid North Coast is one of Australia's most diverse regional economies, boasting a range of industries including retail, construction, transport, tourism, information media, and telecommunication. 

"The course will fulfil the needs of local industry and their employees who are particularly looking to develop specialised information technology skills.

"In addition, students from various parts of the world will also call Port Macquarie home while they complete the two-year course."

Port Macquarie local Mr Rowan Smith started a Bachelor of Information Technology with CSU Online while working in remote Western Australia as an industrial electrician.

Mr Smith originally aimed to improve his understanding of automation technology and has since gained valuable technical skills from the degree, from administration and design to business communication and critical thinking.

"I now want to pursue knowledge and understanding in current thinking in such specialist topics as cloud computing, information security, and the 'internet of things', which I hope to achieve through postgraduate study," Mr Smith said.

"Fortunately for me, Charles Sturt University is offering its Master's degree in Port Macquarie to start in July. I can now improve and apply existing knowledge to reach academic and professional goals with the bonus of living in a place I love."

Enrolments are still open for the Master of Information Technology to be offered at CSU in Port Macquarie from July this year.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:
To contact the Master of Information Technology course coordinator Dr Sabih Rehman and CSU student Mr Rowan Smith, contact CSU Media.

Hamlet opens 16 May at CSU Riverina Playhouse

Tuesday 16 May 2017

Hamlet UTE May 2017The University Theatre Ensemble (UTE) production of William Shakespeare's Hamlet opens on Tuesday 16 May for five nights at the Riverina Playhouse at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga.

Hamlet is the first production of UTE's 2017 season and is directed by Dr Robert Lewis, a lecturer in acting for stage and screen in the CSU School of Communication and Creative Industries in Wagga Wagga.

"Hamlet is arguably one of the world's most famous tragedies," Dr Lewis said. "It is set in the Kingdom of Denmark, a country on the brink of war, and is a story about a family and a man torn apart by murder, revenge, madness and living in a world of other people's appearances.

"This adaptation of Hamlet is performed by Charles Sturt University second-year Bachelor of Stage and Screen (Acting) students. The character of Hamlet is performed by a chorus, with each of chorus member representing an aspect of Hamlet's psyche such as lust, ambition, greed, revenge and torment.

"Our students are so lucky to have the CSU Riverina Playhouse as their performance venue," Dr Lewis said.

"UTE is unique in the fact that it is not only the performance arm of the Bachelor of Stage and Screen, it is also a vehicle for assessment, where students learn the craft of acting, take risks, and perform in challenging works."

Hamlet opens at the CSU Riverina Playhouse on Tuesday 16 May at 7.30pm, then plays Wednesday 17 to Saturday 20 May at 7.30pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2pm.

Tickets can be booked at the Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre Booking Office, telephone 6926 9688, or are available at the door. The University continues its policy of providing excellent value for money with tickets prices of $20 full price, $18 for groups (5 or more), $15 concession, and $12.50 for students. Book online at http://www.civictheatre.com.au/

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Robert Lewis.

Publicity image of the 2017 UTE production of Hamlet - photo credit: Rachel Baird

CSU student fundraising assists medical research

Wednesday 10 May 2017

Students at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga have again shown their support for the community after raising more than $800 for the Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI).

As part of the Jeans for Genes fundraising program, the University's Residence Life student leaders hosted a 'Double Denim' event on campus on Wednesday 3 May.

Students donated a gold coin to attend the barbeque to raise money for research to cure and treat childhood diseases.

A cheque for $873 was presented to the Institute's Ms Helen Chamberlain on Wednesday 10 May by Head Resident and veterinary science student Mr Hughie Ryan (left). He was accompanied by fellow students Mr Luke Schulz and Mr Hamish Pennington and CSU assistant catering manager Mr Mike Bailey (far right).

Media Contact: Fiona Halloran , (02) 6933 2207

Media Note:
Through Residence Life, CSU offers a range of accommodation and support for students living on campus. Read more here.

You, Us, Here, Now in Albury-Wodonga

Wednesday 10 May 2017

Local community organisations, future needs for professionals in a sustainable world and a vulnerable frog all feature in a Sustainability Day being hosted at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Albury-Wodonga on Thursday 11 May.

Organiser Ms Kerry Read said the theme 'You, Us, Here, Now!' focuses on how to address sustainability at three levels: as individuals, as an organisation and in the community.

"We want to show how we as individuals can be more sustainable in our everyday lives, highlight to Charles Sturt University students and staff what we do about sustainability as an organisation, and create awareness of opportunities and organisations available in the local community that are focused on sustainability," Ms Read said.

Running from 10am to 2pm at 'The Gums', the day will include information stalls with advice on how to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, how we can use sustainable practices in our careers, volunteering opportunities with local organisations, and details about the Sloane's Froglet, a vulnerable species that calls CSU in Albury-Wodonga home.

"Even our food has been selected with sustainability in mind, based on minimal packaging and lower associated carbon emissions," Ms Read said. The day also has local entertainment and a trivia event.

President of the local student representative council, Ms Claire Garner, said Sustainability Day aimed to show CSU students the roles they could play in a sustainable world.

"We all struggle to be sustainable in our lives. This festival showcases ways we can improve the sustainability in our daily activities, in ways we may not have previously known, and to become more aware of unsustainable practices," Ms Garner said.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

For interviews with event organiser Ms Kerry Read and student representative Ms Claire Garner, contact CSU Media.

The 'You, Us, Here, Now!' festival runs from 10am to 2pm on Thursday 11 May at the Gums Café, CSU in Albury-Wodonga, off Elizabeth Mitchell Drive, Thurgoona.

Calling householders to Power Down

Monday 8 May 2017

Low energy light bulbsA project coordinated by Charles Sturt University (CSU) researchers is helping local householders in the Lavington and North Albury areas reduce their power costs.

Working with Albury City Council and the NSW Environment Trust, the 'Powering Down' program will deliver $15 000 in assistance and advice to lower income families to curb the incidence of power disconnections in these areas.

Project leader Dr Helen Masterman-Smith, in CSU's School of Humanities and Social Sciences, said, "Power disconnections in these suburbs are above the national average. An older resident told me that it's too expensive to stay at home these days. She said many people go to shopping centres and public places because of the high cost of heating and cooling.

"Low-income households have to be the most frugal electricity users, yet they spend a higher proportion of their income on energy costs."

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, lowest income households consume 31 per cent less electricity than the national average. Yet in the same households, energy costs absorb seven per cent of their income compared to the national average of two per cent.

"The up-front costs of energy efficient appliances or fittings are one part of the problem. They are considered luxuries in many low-income households," Dr Masterman-Smith said.

To address these costs, the program will provide the first 50 low-income households who register with Powering Down with energy efficient items worth $300, as well as advice on how to further reduce their bills.

Any North Albury and Lavington resident can also compete for the 'Powering Down Cup', which includes large gift vouchers for the 'Biggest Losers and the Lowest Users of Electricity'.

"We believe that by addressing people's electricity use, we can reduce stress on people's budgets and the environment," Dr Masterman-Smith said.

In addition, the project team will commence a household survey in the suburbs to draw a clearer picture of energy security and stress in this community.

To participate in the Powering Down project, phone 6040 7813 or visit the Global Village Community Co-operative at 1076 Mate St, North Albury.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

For interviews with Dr Helen Masterman-Smith, call CSU Media or Dr Masterman-Smith on mobile 0403 766 996.

More information on the Powering Down project is available here.

Posthumous honours for Geoff Honey

Saturday 6 May 2017

Charles Sturt University (CSU) will hold a dedication ceremony on Monday 8 May to posthumously honour the life of Mr Geoff Honey, Executive Director of Student Administration. 

The ceremony from 10am under the Chinese elm tree at CSU in Wagga Wagga will mark the first anniversary of the 51 year old's sudden death on Sunday 8 May, 2016.

A plaque has been organised by the Wagga Wagga High School classmates of Mr Honey and CSU.

In addition, a Charles Sturt University Foundation scholarship has been established in his name. 

The annual Geoff Honey Memorial Scholarship provides valuable support to a new CSU student experiencing financial hardship.

Mr Honey's widow Cheryl Honey, who also works at CSU, said she was very touched her husband would be remembered in this way.

"Geoff would be delighted with this honour and would wish me to thank everyone involved," Mrs Honey said.

CSU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) Professor Ken Dillon said the scholarship was something that Geoff would have liked.

"Geoff was a long serving Executive Director of Student Administration and I think he would be a bit chuffed with this new scholarship offered through the Charles Sturt University Foundation," Professor Dillon said.

"We all miss Geoff and this dedication will help us remember his significant personal and professional contributions to the University and the Wagga Wagga community."

During graduation at CSU in Wagga Wagga in December 2016, the University Council posthumously conferred the title of Doctor of Business (honoris causa) on Mr Geoff Honey.

Media Contact: Fiona Halloran , 0439 475 315

Media Note:

The media is invited to attend the dedication ceremony for the late Mr Geoff Honey from 10am on Monday 8 May under the Chinese elm tree outside the Graham Building (number 229) near Joyes Hall, Albert Pugsley Place, CSU in Wagga Wagga.

The Charles Sturt University Foundation provides scholarships to CSU students. The scholarships are made available through the generous donations provided by individuals, companies and organisations.

Spectacular Egyptian textiles in Wagga

Thursday 4 May 2017

Sam Bowker with textileOnly a few days remain to see a unique example of Egyptian art at the HR Gallop Gallery (building 21) at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga.

Dr Sam Bowker (pictured with the textile), lecturer in art history and visual culture in the CSU School of Communication and Creative Industries in Wagga Wagga, said the exhibit of a very rare and spectacular example of 19th century Egyptian tentmaker applique – known as Khedival khayamiya – is part of the exhibition 'Have Poets Left a Patch to Sew?' at the gallery.

The show includes new digital animations and soundscapes by Rachel Walls and Dr Damian Candusso, recreating the 'Street of the Tentmakers' in Cairo, as well as new poems from the Booranga Writer's Centre.

"These art works represent a meeting of the contemporary high-tech and the historic handmade," Dr Bowker said.

"The two elements overlap between two teaching and research strengths of Charles Sturt University ─ our innovative approaches to both photography and Islamic art.

"This exhibit is called the Thatcher Panel. It was made around 1900, and it's enormous; it fills the whole wall with intricate geometric patterns, exquisite sewing and complex calligraphy. It's on loan from a collection in the UK, and has never been displayed in Australia. This is your only chance to see it in person before we digitise it."

This week CSU's Mr Timothy Crutchett will take a series of high-tech gigapan photographs of the exhibit. His previous 'gigapan khayamiya' can be seen here - http://scci.csu.edu.au/gigapixelproject/ 

Egyptian textile 1 closeupJust click on an example, view it on full screen, then zoom in slowly.

"The resolution on these digital images is mind-blowing," Dr Bowker said. "It allows the viewer to see individual stitches from many metres away. These 'gigapans' help to preserve this endangered Egyptian textile art by letting huge or fragile textiles be studied online, accessible to anyone who wants to see them."

Dr Bowker explained that the significance of the exhibit is not that the textile is temporarily available for view, but rather it is the actual CSU project of hi-tech digitisation of this textile.

"This is significant because we're breaking new ground with photographic technology using a remarkable Egyptian textile," Dr Bowker said. "The time it spends on the wall is only intended to be brief, because the photographs through the gigapan system at Charles Sturt University are extraordinary.

"These kinds of photographs are usually used for large-scale landscape panoramas, not textile surfaces. The Google Cultural Institute uses a similar technology, but we're using it for Egyptian khayamiya."

The exhibit finishes after 4pm on Friday 5 May.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Samuel Bowker or phone him on 0414 659 631.

BEST evidence for stroke patients

Tuesday 2 May 2017

Charles Sturt University (CSU) researchers are working with local health services to improve the rehabilitation of adults who have had strokes in southern NSW.

CSU's Dr Melissa Nott and Dr Leah Wiseman from Albury Wodonga Health are seeking to improve the uptake and use of evidence-based guidelines from the National Stroke Foundation to help people who have had a stroke in a single comprehensive website.

The website was developed in collaboration between CSU, Murrumbidgee Local Health District and Albury-Wodonga Health as part of the Best Evidence for Stroke Therapies (BEST) project.

"We developed the BEST website to encourage people with stroke to drive their own recovery with assistance from their carers and local clinicians," said Dr Nott, a researcher and occupational therapy lecturer with the School of Community Health at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

['Cheryl' from Wagga Wagga tells her story here on the importance of a team approach to her rehabilitation after a stroke.]

Resources available for patients and carers on the website include 'step-by-step' guides, information and instructions sheets and videos, home activity records and goal setting worksheets. On the same site, clinicians can access 'how-to' videos, implementation checklists and evidence summaries to help them implement and evaluate their stroke-related care.

"We wanted to provide all the information that would be needed by both patients and clinicians so that clinicians feel more confident to implement the National Stroke Guidelines and that patients receive the best quality care," Dr Nott said.

"Geographical distance from health services can make it difficult for patients in regional NSW to access outpatient services once they have been discharged from hospital. This website offers an alternative way to ensure all patients can access the highest quality rehabilitation."

Stroke is associated with cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death and disease burden in Australia. The rate of cardiovascular disease in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District is significantly higher than the NSW average and is a priority area for the region.

The BEST project uses the website as part of an investigation into how to improve outcomes for people who have had a stroke in regional and remote areas of Australia.

The project and website will be officially launched in Wagga Wagga at the Acute Stroke Unit, Wagga Wagga Rural Referral Hospital, at 12.30pm on Thursday 4 May.

Results from the project are due in June 2018. The project is funded by NSW Health and its Translational Research Grant Scheme.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:
For interviews with Dr Melissa Nott, contact CSU Media.

FACTS Day at CSU Bathurst for high school students

Monday 1 May 2017

Flags CSU Bathurst gatewayAn estimated 800 senior high school students from the NSW Central West will attend the annual Facts About Careers and Tertiary Study (FACTS) Day at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst on Thursday 4 May.

CSU prospective student adviser Ms Melinda Negus said, "The FACTS Day provides students the opportunity to speak to and hear from a range of career-offering organisations and higher education providers.

"This is an important time in the students' lives as they approach the Higher School Certificate and end of secondary school and are considering their next moves and career paths. The information and insights on offer can help to make their decisions about their futures less daunting."

Organised by the Central West Careers Advisers Association and hosted by CSU, the day will be divided into two sessions: Session 1 from 10.30am to 11.30am, and Session 2 from 11.45am to 12.45 pm.

Speakers at the event will include Ms Hilary Matchett ( Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) graduate), Mr Jake Mayhew (current Bachelor of Physiotherapy student), and Mr Jarryd De Castro ( Bachelor of Justice Studies (Policing) graduate).

Participating schools include Kandos High School, Orange Christian School, Orange High School, The Scots School (Bathurst), St Stanislaus College (Bathurst), All Saints College (Bathurst), James Sheahan Catholic High School (Orange), Cowra High School, Bathurst High School, Blayney High School, Canobolas High School (Orange), MacKillop College (Bathurst), Oberon High School, St Raphael's Catholic School (Cowra), Molong Central School, and Canowindra High School.

Some of the exhibitors at the FACTS Day include University Admissions Centre (UAC), Sydney University, Newcastle University, the Australian Defence Force, and Centennial Coal.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with CSU prospective student advisor Ms Melinda Negus. Mr Des Crawford, President of Central West Careers Adviser Association, Denison College/Bathurst Campus is available for interview on 0422 822 926.

Report launch for child-safe, child-friendly Bathurst

Friday 28 Apr 2017

Bathurst child safe report launchThe evaluation report about initiatives to create a child-safe, child-friendly environment in Bathurst has been launched at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst on Thursday 27th April.

The report, prepared by CSU researchers Dr Sandie Wong and Dr Tamara Cumming, evaluated the effectiveness of the Bathurst Child and Family Network 2016 workforce development approach to the 'building child-safe, child-friendly communities initiative'.

Ms Annette Meyers, the facilitator of the Bathurst Early Learning Support (BELS) and chair of Bathurst Child and Family Network (BCFN), said, "The quest of the BCFN is to help create a world where children are active, engaged and valued citizens.

"The purpose of the of the child-safe, child-friendly initiative was to provide opportunities and resources for organisations working with children and families to increase knowledge and awareness, make changes, and share their experiences and expertise in developing and implementing child-safe, child-friendly policies and practices.

"The launch promotes community awareness of the report through local and regional media, and aims to engage all early childhood and government agencies and schools in the region to inspire them to take action to embrace a child-safe, child-friendly environment in their organisation."

Key findings of the report and future directions of the Bathurst Child and Family Network were outlined at the launch at The Grange at CSU in Bathurst at 10am Thursday 27 April.

The initiative was evaluated through a CSU Community-University Partnership Grant.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Ms Annette Meyers the facilitator of the Bathurst Early Learning Support (BELS), or with CSU researchers Dr Sandie Wong and Dr Tamara Cumming.

Photo, front row (left to right): Mayor of Bathurst Councillor Graeme Hanger, Ms Annette Meyers, Dr Sandie Wong and Dr Tamara Cumming, with guests at the launch behind them.

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