Critical workforces need our help! New Charles Sturt podcast series explores skills shortages


Critical workforces need our help! New Charles Sturt podcast series explores skills shortages

Hear from highly esteemed experts in nursing, aged care, teaching, agriculture, cybersecurity and more.

  • The Charles Sturt University 2022 podcast series focuses on skills shortages in critical workforces
  • Episodes cover nursing, aged care, teaching, agriculture, cybersecurity and more
  • Hear from experts at the helm of their industry

A new Charles Sturt University podcast series explores the nation’s critical skills shortages and taps into decades of experience and expertise to ask and answer: how can Australia generate more essential workers?

The 2022 Charles Sturt podcast series, Critical Workforces, features commentary from experts at the top of their fields, with episodes exploring nursing; aged care; teaching; agriculture; cybersecurity; cultural competency for working with First Nations; and intersectionality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Experts share decades of wisdom and experience on what it is like working in these essential industries, giving first-hand accounts of the workforce satisfaction, but also the dire need for more people to join these sectors which are already at breaking point.

Charles Sturt University’s Associate Professor of Nursing, Maree Bernoth offered her expert insights during the Aged Care episode. Associate Professor Bernoth has been involved with the residential aged care sector as a registered nurse and academic for more than 37 years.

“There’s never been a more important time to promote our essential workforces,” Associate Professor Bernoth said.

“There’s roughly a 35,000-person shortfall of aged care workers each year. In my episode, I wanted to share a very real depiction of how rewarding and empowering it is to work with older people to motivate people to join the sector and reduce this workforce gap.

“Aged care work is constantly evolving and really challenges you. As an aged care nurse, you make a tremendous difference in the lives of the residents and clients as you are largely an autonomous practitioner.”

Charles Sturt’s Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, Dr Libbey Murray, said the podcast series was a fantastic way to consolidate years of experience and tips from senior practitioners representing some of society’s most essential industries.

“I focus on the teachers’ shortage and how Charles Sturt is helping teacher’s aides to become qualified teachers sooner, through the Collaborative Teacher’s Aide Pathway (CTAP),” Dr Murray said.

“This pathway recognises the previous experience of teachers’ aides from time already spent in the classroom, by giving credit for various subjects which fast-tracks obtaining a teaching degree at Charles Sturt, without compromising the credentials of our graduates.”

Research Professor of Agriculture in the Charles Sturt School of Agricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences Professor Jim Pratley has over fifty years in the agricultural industry and has seen it transform into what it is today.

“I was very happy to participate in this series to give all those considering a career in agriculture a first-hand account of the modern-day agricultural sector and all the exciting and lucrative career opportunities,” Professor Pratley said.

“Many don’t realise that jobs on farms represent only about one-quarter of the jobs in the sector!

“There are thousands of jobs that are based in big cities and within regional centres, and with the skills shortage there are at least three to four jobs available for every agriculture graduate, and the average starting salary is $70,000 or above!” Professor Pratley said.

Associate Professor in Computing in the Charles Sturt School of Computing, Mathematics and Engineering, and Leader of the Cybersecurity Research Group, Dr Rafiqul Islam said the shift of many workforces working from home since the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly increased the urgency for more cybersecurity professionals.

“Cybersecurity is a very fast-paced industry, with both hackers and security providers competing to outwit each other,” Dr Islam said.

“Working from home poses new cybersecurity risks, because home offices are frequently less protected than centralised offices in terms of secure firewalls, routers, and access management usually managed by IT security teams, which cyber criminals adapt their tactics to exploit.”

There are seven episodes within the Charles Sturt 2022 Critical Workforces podcast series. The episodes and guests featured include:

Episode 1. ‘Addressing the Aged Care Crisis,’ featuring:

Episode 2. ‘Fast-tracking teachers,’ featuring:

Episode 3. More AI than RMs; ‘lucrative careers in agriculture,’ featuring:

Episode 4. ‘Helping nurses save lives,’ featuring:

Episode 5. ‘Stereotypes sting. Understanding intersectionality, diversity and inclusion,’ featuring:

Episode 6. ‘Developing cultural competency for working with First Nations, featuring:

Episode 7. ‘Call the help desk, we’re under attack - cybersecurity,’ featuring:

The complete series is available here from Wednesday 28 September 2022.


Media Note:

For more information or interviews please contact Trease Clarke at Charles Sturt Media on 0409 741 789 or

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