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Rube Goldberg fever strikes CSU Engineering

Wednesday 7 Mar 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media Note:

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

Celebrating women at AgriTech Incubator

Wednesday 7 Mar 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media Contact: Fiona Halloran, (02) 6933 2207

Media Note:

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

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

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

2018 CSU inter-campus blood donation challenge

Wednesday 7 Mar 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

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

Albury launch for writing handbook

Tuesday 6 Mar 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

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

Free lecture celebrates our universal right to communicate

Monday 5 Mar 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Refreshments will be provided after the lecture.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Big Day In at CSU in Wagga Wagga

Monday 5 Mar 2018

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

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

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

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

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

The Big Day In 2018 program can be found here.

Media Contact: Fiona Halloran , (02) 6933 2207

Media Note:

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

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

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

Exhibition reflects on ‘Stations of the Cross’

Friday 2 Mar 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The full online catalogue can be viewed here:

https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/b9aa5a40-52ca-4af5-97f5-5aaf7c557b8b

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

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

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

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

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

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

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

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

Public lecture at CSU by acclaimed filmmaker

Wednesday 28 Feb 2018

Internationally acclaimed filmmaker, writer, producer and director Mr Alrick Brown will present a free public lecture at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga on Monday 5 March.

His collective works have screened in over 65 festivals worldwide, earning several honours. This includes the HBO Life Through Your Lens Emerging Filmmaker Award for the critically acclaimed documentary, Death of Two Sons.

He is also Assistant Professor of Undergraduate Film and Television at New York University (NYU).

The NYU academic’s first feature, Kinyarwanda, was recipient of the prestigious World Cinema Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

Mr Brown’s credits include the small screen as director, producer and writer on a variety of projects – ABC’s Final Witness, ESPN’s short documentary series Spike Lee’s Lil’ Joint and Investigative Discoveries Emmy-Award winning series, A Crime Two Remember.

His published works have appeared in the Huffington Post as well as the New Jersey English Journal.

The public lecture will be held in the Wal Fife Theatre, building 14, CSU in Wagga Wagga on Monday 5March from 5:30pm until 7pm.

Head of the CSU School of Communication and Creative Industries Associate Professor Sue Wood said, “We’re delighted to welcome Alrick to Charles Sturt University to share his knowledge and expertise of the film and television industry as well as a glimpse at his life as an internationally acclaimed producer and writer.”

Media Contact: Fiona Halloran , (02) 6933 2207

Media Note:

Mr Alrick Brown is available for interview. Contact CSU Media.

CSU celebrates IWD with a live-streamed Sydney Opera House event

Tuesday 27 Feb 2018

Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Albury-Wodonga will celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) by co-hosting an event in conjunction with the Sydney Opera House.

Head of Campus at CSU in Albury-Wodonga Dr Jenni Munday (pictured) said CSU in Albury-Wodonga will host a live-streaming satellite event from 12.30pm on Sunday 4 March.

“The annual All About Women (AAW) event on Sunday 4 March is one of Sydney Opera House’s flagship festivals and is a prelude to International Women’s Day on Thursday 8 March,” Dr Munday said.

“This year the Sydney Opera House will be streaming three headline sessions and an exclusive backstage Q&A with a key speaker.

“It is a full afternoon of talks and discussions about ideas that matter to women, and provides an important platform for women’s voices.”

CSU Albury-Wodonga will stream the whole program, so attendees can choose to stay for one session or the entire afternoon.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Jennifer Munday.

The All About Women satellite event will be live-streamed from 12.30pm to 6pm on Sunday 4 March 2018 at the CD Blake Theatre at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

The full program for the All About Women event at the Sydney Opera House is available at https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/events/whats-on/all-about-women-home/satellite-all-about-women.html

Multi book launch at CSU in Albury-Wodonga

Monday 26 Feb 2018

Charles Sturt University (CSU) will celebrate the launch on Tuesday 27 February of six books written and edited by members of the CSU Institute for Land, Water and Society (ILWS).

With topics ranging from healthy ageing, freshwater ecosystems in protected areas, and Pacific politics to empowering social workers, the books are encompassed by the ILWS mission to ‘undertake internationally recognised integrated environmental, social and economic research for rural and regional areas’.

ILWS director Professor Max Finlayson (pictured) said, “These books from a range of disciplines highlight the variety and depth of work undertaken by Institute members.

“Many books contain chapters written by other ILWS members, demonstrating the breadth of expertise available in ILWS for regional Australia.”

One author, Associate Professor Rik Thwaites, said his book on the current state and future of community forestry in the Himalayan nation of Nepal was the culmination of years of work by himself and four former students who have graduated with PhDs from CSU in recent years.

“Nepal is seen as a model and a laboratory for how community forest can be achieved, managed and implemented. But it is not without its problems, especially as the nation and its people change in the modern world, as we discuss in our book,” Professor Thwaites said.

The books to be launched are:

* Bernoth, M., & Winkler, D. (2017) (eds.) Healthy ageing and aged care. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

* Finlayson, C.M., Arthington, A.H., Pittock, J. (eds.) (2017) Freshwater Ecosystems in Protected Areas, Conservation and Management. Routledge.

* Midgley, J. & Pawar, M. (eds.) (2017) Future Directions in Social Development, New York. Palgrave Macmillan.

* O’Sullivan, D. (2017) Indigeneity: A politics of potential – Australia, Fiji and New Zealand. PolicyPress, University of Bristol.

* Pawar, M., Hugman, R., Alexandra, A., Anscombe, A.W.B. (eds.) (2017) Empowering Social workers. Virtuous practitioners. Springer.

* Thwaites, R., Fisher, R. & Poudel, M. (eds.) (2018) Community Forestry in Nepal: Adapting to a Changing World. Earthscan from Routledge.

The event will commence at 10.30am on Tuesday 27 February in the Gums Café, CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

Many of the authors and editors will attend the event, which will be followed by a morning tea and conversations with them.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

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