Charles Sturt University (CSU) researchers have won nationally competitive research funds to examine the balance between the survival of an endangered parrot and commercial agriculture, and the question of what life is like for infants in childcare.
The two projects will receive over $416 000 from the Australian Research Council (ARC) over the next four years, starting in July 2008.
These ARC Linkage Grants also closely involve other organisations, including private companies, which have pledged at least $925 000 in support for the CSU projects.
“Winning these prestigious and highly competitive research grants highlights two areas of applied research expertise at Charles Sturt University – applied ecology and sustainability, and education,” said CSU Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Ian Goulter.
“These grants demonstrate the strength of the University in applied and strategic research, and the national and international standard of the staff who won these grants.”
The successful projects are:
- Managing agricultural landscapes to maximise biodiversity gains: the case of the Regent Parrot
The project looks at how to develop sustainable agriculture while protecting the biological resources on which it depends. It hopes to achieve this by linking production targets and conservation trade‑offs with agricultural landscape design and management. It was developed by Dr Peter Spooner; Associate Professor David Watson and Associate Professor Gary Luck, from CSU’s Institute for Land, Water and Society, in collaboration with almond producer Select Harvests Limited, based in Mildura, Victoria, and the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment. The research aims to develop policies that improve the environmental performance of Australian agriculture, ensure farming enterprises maximise benefits obtained from native ecosystems, and guarantee profitable and viable rural industries.
- What is life like for babies and toddlers in childcare? Understanding the 'lived experience' of infants through innovative mosaic methodology.
High quality childcare provision is a continuing policy challenge for the Australian Government. Lack of public confidence in childcare contributes to Australia's relatively low female workforce participation and constrains economic growth. In this study developed by Professor Jennifer Sumsion, Associate Professor Linda Harrison, Ms Frances Press, Associate Professor Sharynne McLeod and Professor Ben Bradley from CSU, together with Family Day Care Australia and KU Children's Services, aims to increase public, professional and parental knowledge of what life in childcare is like for infants. This will help parents make informed choices about childcare; enhance carers' professional practice and provide guidance to the National Childcare Accreditation Council and relevant government departments about how to improve the quality of infant childcare. It will also lead to better outcomes for infants and help to ensure their healthy start to life.