- Charles Sturt student named Best Presenter at National Innovation Games
A Charles Sturt University student is proving location is no barrier when it comes to making a difference in the community.
Ms Willow Aliento is studying a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management (with specialisations in Climate Change and Sustainability) in the Charles Sturt School of Environmental Sciences and lives in Wiradjuri Country as a self-employed communications consultant and researcher.
She returned to study at the age of 50, via mixed mode through classes online and in Albury-Wodonga. She was inspired to obtain a degree that would be a verifiable credential and gain skills in spatial sciences, data analysis and field work.
“The School of Environmental Sciences walks the walk of sustainability and the University has integrated First Nations perspectives and made them fundamental to every subject,” Ms Aliento said.
“The research produced by teaching staff is outstanding, and the established online learning approach combined with the opportunity to attend class in-person works really well.”
Ms Aliento was one of two Charles Sturt students to enter the National Innovation Games, a competition funded by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and delivered by Paddl Co. and COSBOA.
She participated in the virtual challenge ‘Community Engagement for Business Growth’ and was named Best Presenter.
“I was stunned … I’ve reached the age where most women generally become quite invisible,” she said.
“One of the highlights was virtually meeting some great people and playing with big ideas in a shared way to develop a workable outcome.”
Ms Aliento was part of the Wagga Wagga Warriors team, which developed a micro-targeted news concept that would overcome issues about the relevance of content to people in the towns comprising the local newspaper readership, including Wagga Wagga, Junee, Lockhart, Tumbarumba, Temora and Narrandera.
The team collaborated over remote working apps and platforms Slack, Zoom and Miro to develop the idea.
“I had heard about hackathons and similar events but since I was based in a rural location with multiple responsibilities, I had not been able to be a part of one,” she said.
“This one being virtual made it accessible.”
The Best Presenter award recognises a standout student participant who was considered best speaker at the Games.
It is awarded to the individual who communicates in an engaging manner, demonstrates creativity in their delivery and shows a strong understanding of the solution.