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CSU Graduation: PhD examines gluten-free choices

Monday 10 Dec 2018

* PhD uncovers new information on non-prescribed gluten avoidance

* The research shows a complex relationship between bodily symptoms and psychology

* It’s hoped the research will provide infromation for medical professionals

A Charles Sturt University (CSU) PhD graduate hopes her research will provide doctors with insight on why people without a diagnosed condition choose to avoid gluten in their diets.

Dr Kyah Hester (pictured) from the Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Functional Grains will be awarded her PhD during a ceremony at CSU in Wagga Wagga on Monday 10 December 2018.

Dr Hester’s PhD titled ‘Gluten avoidance – trendy food fad, or insight into complex psycho-physiological interactions?’ helps to identify the drivers of non-prescribed gluten avoidance.

“Up to 20 per cent of the population is estimated to take part in gluten avoidance behaviours, far exceeding the number of people with gluten-related disorders such as coeliac disease,” Dr Hester said.

“My research involved an in-depth study of non-prescribed gluten avoiders to measure participants’ perceptions, determinants of food choice, interpersonal experiences relating to their diets and a wide range of psychological variables, including personality traits.”

“This research is the first to establish clear and distinct symptomology relating to non-gluten foods, indicating that this population is more accurately characterised by their response to all foods, not just gluten alone.

”Gluten avoiders also exhibited distinct personality features that are likely to manipulate their attention to and interpretation of internal sensations. These findings are particularly important for health practitioners to consider both in the diagnosis and treatment phase of these individuals.”

Research supervisor, Professor Anthony Saliba from the CSU School of Psychology said the research points to an underlying mechanism that is an interaction between food consumption and psychology.

“This is further evidence that different people need to consume different foods, there is no ‘one size fits all’ advice you can give people on what to eat.

“Avoiding gluten does not reduce symptoms, suggesting that further research is needed on the causes of these uncomfortable symptoms that some people experience. We will be continuing this work by looking into whether Psychological treatment might assist.

“This work has been vital to show that people who avoid gluten are not currently being supported and given the seriousness of the symptoms and prevalence, continuing work in this area is a priority,” Professor Saliba said.

Media Contact: Hilary Longhurst, 0498 578 541

Media Note:

Dr Kyah Hester and Professor Anthony Saliba will be available for interview at 10 am on Tuesday 11 December at CSU in Wagga Wagga, contact Graham Centre communications officer Ms Emily Malone on 0439 552 385 or email emalone@csu.edu.au

Dr Hester  will graduate in a ceremony at 6pm on Monday 10 December at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

Dr Hester was awarded a scholarship by the Functional Grains Centre. Funded by the Australian Government through the ARCIndustrial Transformation Training Centres scheme, the FGC is administered by CSU and is an initiative of the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation.

The Graham Centre is a research alliance between Charles Sturt University (CSU) and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI)

CSU Graduation: Championing Australian Ag

Monday 10 Dec 2018

* Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) graduate Matt Champness to be presented with Agricultural Science Medal

* Mr Champness is co-founder of a initiaitive to share stories of food and fibre production with consumers

* Mr Champness has built strong links with industry to add to his study at CSU

Promoting Australian food and fibre production is close to the heart of the 2018 Charles Sturt University (CSU) Agricultural Science medalist Mr Matt Champness.

From Hamilton in western Victoria, Mr Champness (pictured) is the co-founder of ‘This is Aus Ag’, a grassroots initiaitive that aims to build trust between consumers and farmers by sharing stories through podcasts and social media.

He said the project came from his participation in the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) 2030 Leadership Program.

“Agriculture is quite vulnerable to social licence issues and I think if we can build trust people will understand that their food is safe and why we undertake certain practices to ensure we can continue to feed Australians and meet overseas markets,” said Mr Champness.

“It’s a great time to be in agriculture, there’s a big focus on young people in agriculture, there is a lot of new technologies which is exciting, and although we are going through a tough season in the eastern states commodity prices are pretty good.”

“The NFF has a target of growing Australian Farm gate output to $100 billion by 2030 and it makes you think what can I do to help our industry get there.”

Mr Champness’ enthusiasm for primary production is evident in the impressive list of scholarship, training and leaderhsip programs he’s undertaken during his four years of study at CSU.

Mr Champness attended the 2018 Crawford Fund Conference , took part in an exchange program to Texas Tech University in the United States, Syngenta connections Vietnam program, participated in the Agrihack and AWI tech eChallenge,  was awarded an AgriFutres Australia Horizon Scholarship and is an Australian Rural Leadership Foundation graduate.

“It’s really important to get out there and meet with people in the industry to stay up-to-date and have a good understanding of what’s happening now and where we are headed in the future,” Mr Champness said.

Mr Champness Honours research was supported by a scholarship from the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation and investigated the use of salt supplementation to increase live weight gain of lambs grazing lucerne.

He will be awarded a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) and the Agricultural Science Medal in a graducation ceremony at CSU in Wagga Wagga at 2pm on Monday 10 December.

After graduation Mr Champness plans to volunteer in Lao PDR as a weeds agronomist in rice, part of a project to improve weed management in rice production to boost agricultural capacity in the developing country. This project is supported by the Crawford Fund and Australian Volunteers Program.

Listen to the 'This is Aus Ag' podcast here: https://www.thisisausag.com/podcast.html

Media Contact: Hilary Longhurst, 0498 578 541

Media Note:

To arrange interviews contact Graham Centre communications officer Ms Emily Malone 0439 552 385 or emalone@csu.edu.au

High resolution images will be available after the ceremony on Monday.

The Graham Centre is a research alliance between Charles Sturt University (CSU) and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI)

Six graduation ceremonies at CSU in Wagga Wagga next week

Wednesday 5 Dec 2018

* Thousands to visit Wagga Wagga for six CSU 2018 graduation ceremonies on Monday 10 and Tuesday 11 December

* Nearly 800 graduates from 15 Schools in three CSU Faculties to be celebrated

Charles Sturt University (CSU) will host six graduation ceremonies in Wagga Wagga on Monday 10 and Tuesday 11 December.

These are part of the wider graduation season during December across all main campuses as well as in Parramatta (for School of Theology) and the two CSU Study Centres in Sydney and Melbourne.

The season starts on Monday 10 December in Wagga Wagga, and concludes in Albury-Wodonga on Wednesday 19 December.

Approximately 795 students will graduate across all ceremonies at CSU in Wagga Wagga, and thousands of family members and friends will celebrate the achievements of the students.

Acting Head of Campus at CSU in Wagga Wagga Mr Aaron McDonnell said, “Nearly 800 graduates will receive their testamurs from the University in Wagga Wagga this year, and we congratulate our graduating professionals on the successful completion of their studies.

“Sometimes we can get caught up with the busy-ness of the end of the year, so it’s wonderful to be able to stop and take the time to reflect and congratulate the many students who are graduating, and celebrate their achievements.

“Anyone who has completed a long-term project or achieved a long-awaited goal will understand the sheer joy and excitement of a graduates at the moment they shake the hand of the Vice-Chancellor and receive their hard earned testamur.

“The testamur our graduates will receive at the graduation ceremonies is their key to future success. Not only is it an important marker in their lives, an achievement they should be proud of, but it will unlock new opportunities for them. For some it will mean a new career, others it will mean they are one of many CSU graduates who will earn the highest paying salary of any graduate in the nation.”

The schedule of graduations at CSU in Wagga Wagga is:

Monday 10 December:

Wagga Wagga at Joyes Hall at CSU

9.30am - 207 graduates in the Faculty of Science; School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health, School of Dentistry and Health Sciences, School of Community Health, School of Exercise Science, Sport and Health.

2pm - 126 graduates in the Faculty of Science; School of Biomedical Sciences, and School of Exercise Science, Sport and Health, School of Environmental Sciences, School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences, General Science.

6pm - 114 graduates in the Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences; School of Computing and Mathematics, School of Accounting and Finance, School of Management and Marketing, School of Psychology, School of Policing Studies, the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies, the Centre for Law and Justice, and the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security.

Tuesday 11 December:

Wagga Wagga at Joyes Hall at CSU

9.30am - 137 graduates in the Faculty of Arts and Education; School of Indigenous Australian Studies, School of Information Studies, School of Teacher Education, and School of Education.

2pm - 90 graduates in the Faculty of Science; School of Animal and Veterinary Science.

6pm - 121 graduates in the Faculty of Arts and Education; School of Communication and Creative Industries, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Division of Student Learning, and the Academic Success Unit.

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

Plastic an environmental threat to wildlife: CSU ‘Trash talk’ seminar

Tuesday 4 Dec 2018

* UK expert to speak at CSU in Albury-Wodonga

* Plastic in the environment a huge and growing problem, with plastic ingestion by marine wildlife lethal

* Plastic rapidly accumulating in the most remote regions of the world

Dr Maggie Watson, lecturer in ornithology and seabird researcher in the CSU School of Environment Sciences and researcher in the Institute for Land, Water and Society (ILWS) is hosting a seminar by a leading international expert.

Dr Watson announced that Dr Alex Bond (pictured left), Senior Curator in Charge of Birds at the Natural History Museum in London will present a seminar at 3pm Wednesday 5 December at the School of Environmental Sciences at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

The seminar is titled ‘Trash talk: The story of the shearwater and the bottle cap’.

Dr Watson explained that plastics are a long-lasting and increasingly problematic man-made problem in the environment which is injuring and killing increasing numbers of wildlife.

“There are an estimated five trillion pieces of plastic floating on and in the world’s oceans,” Dr Watson said.

“Increasingly, plastic that has broken down into very small pieces – microplastics − are contaminating the food chain.

“Plastic is extremely durable in the environment, but the very qualities that make plastics desirable materials for manufacturing have dire consequences for the environment, and each year more than 8 million items end up in the world’s oceans.

“Once there, these plastics act as sponges to absorb hydrophobic contaminants from the surrounding water, and are then often ingested by marine animals.

“Over the last decade, Dr Bond’s research has demonstrated the severity of the problem for some of the most affected species, the consequences of plastic ingestion for marine wildlife, and the rapid accumulation of plastic in the most remote regions of the world.”

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Maggie Watson and Dr Alex Bond.

The seminar ‘Trash talk: The story of the shearwater and the bottle cap’ by Dr Alex Bond is at 3pm Wednesday 5 December at the School of Environmental Sciences (building 760, in the Tea Room) at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

CSU CenWest Innovate helping business prosper

Friday 30 Nov 2018

* Next Stage Growth program helps refine products and develop business skills

* Expert guidance and fellow businesses provide insights and refinements

* Program offers flexibility and potential to seek export markets

Charles Sturt University’s (CSU) CenWest Innovate has helped a former farmer develop his technology company through the Next Stage Growth program.

Mr Hamish Munro is an unlikely tech entrepreneur, coming to it from a life on the land, but alongside business partner Mr Robbie Scott, the two are growing a business with eyes fixed on offering cloud-based technology solutions.

With their business based in Central West NSW, Mr Munro found out about CenWest Innovate and decided to apply for the Next Stage Growth program to help him refine one of his products and to develop his business skills.

“Coming off the farm I needed to understand marketing, social media, networking, customer management and even human resources ,” Mr Munro said.

“We launched Zipmin and two other products which we are still trying to get off the ground but because it is expensive to tweak the products, I decided to apply for the program to help guide me in refining them.”

Six months on and after completing Next Stage Growth, Mr Munro said it helped him evaluate the business model he was operating with and to “smooth out the rough edges”, especially when he turned his attention to the other less developed products he was offering.

During the program Mr Munro and others completing it would meet on the first Thursday evening and full-day first Friday of each month so they could talk about a particular issue.

“Over the eight-hour workshop a speaker would talk to us in-depth about a topic, like pricing or consumer insights, that I could apply to the business.

“I struggled with pricing in the past, so now I am toying around with different models to find the one that gets the greatest acceptance,” Mr Munro said when talking about one of the topics that stood out for him.

“On top of the mentoring we also got to know one another’s business and were comfortable in offering advice or a perspective that we may not have considered.

“People spoke freely. Someone would throw in an idea or decision they thought of doing in their business which the collective thoughts of the group could then refine,” Mr Munro said.

An added benefit of the program according to Mr Munro was its flexibility, and that it had the potential for helping him look at export markets.

“As we offer a cloud-technology product we aren’t restricted to the Central West or Australia,” Mr Munro said.

CenWest Innovate program coordinator Ms Christine Sweeney who is involved in Next Stage Growth program said Mr Munro was a great example of the type of people and businesses who benefit from the program.

“Hamish had an innovative product but didn’t have the knowledge or the confidence needed to promote and sell it,” Ms Sweeney said.

Next Stage Growth works well in these situations because business owners can tap into the resources and network made available to fill the gaps and build the confidence they need to promote their business.”

Ms Sweeney said the CenWest Innovate incubator had been developed with the NSW Department of Innovation and funding from the NSW Government.

“The Next Stage Growth program works with a variety of businesses, from small, to large manufacturers, construction, and machinery, and small tech.

“Businesses in the regions are even more reliant on innovation for growth than those in metropolitan areas because the stakes are a lot higher if they lose a customer or income stream,” Ms Sweeney said.

Ms Sweeney said CenWest Innovate and the program had received state funding for two years and that it had been extended another two through to 2020, its success and the confidence in the program.

Aside from CenWest Innovate, CSU operates an AgriTech Incubator in Wagga Wagga, and the Walan Mayinygu Indigenous Entrepreneurship program.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:

Annual central west small schools sports day at CSU in Bathurst

Thursday 29 Nov 2018

* Six small schools and 125 students expected to participate

* Presentation assembly will recognise students’ 2018 sporting achievements across the small schools

* Day will feature indoor and gymnasium sports and a barbeque lunch

Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst will host the annual 2018 Small Schools Gala Sports day on Friday 30 November.

Participating schools are from Sofala, Wattle Flat, Rockley, Black Springs, Meadow Flat and O’Connell.

Approximately 125 students, 10 teachers and 20 parents are expected to attend.

The students, teachers and parents will be welcomed to CSU at the presentation ceremony by Mr James Brann, Director, Engagement, in the CSU Division of Student Services.

Mr Brann said, “Charles Sturt University has a long standing reputation not only in Bathurst, but across its footprint for working with local communities, forming partnerships and encouraging an interest in higher education. What better way to do this by inviting primary school students onto our campus and be exposed to the University through a key unifier of participation in sport.”

Program for the 2018 Small Schools Gala Sports Day:

* 9.45am – School students arrive at CSU in Bathurst

* 10am - Presentation assembly recognising sporting achievements across the small schools for the year. Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country by Mr James Brann from Division of Student Services atCSU; held in building 1292, lecture room 223.

* 11am - Recess

* 11.15am - Ball games held in the CD Blake Auditorium (the gym, building 1220)

* 11am - 12.30pm - Sports rotations, in the gym or on the oval.

* 12.30pm - 1pm - Barbeque lunch held behind the CD Blake Auditorium

* 1pm - 2pm - Sports rotations, in the gym or on the oval

* 2pm - Event concludes

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

CSU Indigenous Access Program open for applicants

Wednesday 28 Nov 2018

* Students who complete the program achieve an average 75 percent progression rate.

* Majority of students completing the program offered CSU course placement.

* Program supporting more Indigenous students to access higher education.

The Charles Sturt University (CSU) Indigenous Access Program is assisting more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders into tertiary education.

The five-day program that will be held at CSU in Port Macquarie from 3 to 7 December includes a range of activities aimed at building confidence and providing students with practical steps they can take to get into their chosen course.

CSU Indigenous Programs Officer Leslie Lyons said the Indigenous Access Program provided a successful transition to university.

“Students who complete the Indigenous Access Program achieve a 75 percent progress rate compared to 68 percent for those who don’t,” Ms Lyons said.

Ms Lyons added the majority of students who complete the program were more confident they would succeed at university.

In describing the program, Ms Lyons said the students are given assessments against their preferred course to understand their strengths and what needed to be improved.

“Students are either offered a placement or are given an alternative pathway into their chosen program,” Ms Lyons said.

CSU Manager of Indigenous Student Centres Blake Dunn said the program provided Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students the support and access to the University’s Indigenous study resources to help them succeed.

“The Indigenous Access Program provides an entry pathway for our students into university studies. It demonstrates the support that is accessible throughout their university life and connects them with the full range of services we offer Indigenous students,” said Mr Dunn.

The Indigenous Access Program is open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school-leavers or mature-aged wanting to gain access to CSU.

CSU is currently taking further bookings for our February program being held from the 4th to the 8th of February 2019. Applications can be completed online via the Indigenous Access Program website.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

CSU tour and book launch reflects on Village Way

Tuesday 27 Nov 2018

* CSU tour and book launch commence 3.20pm Tuesday 27 November

* History of Village Way cottages recognised

Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga will reflect on the history of 18 accommodation cottages (pictured) for staff and students on Village Way on campus at an event on Tuesday 27 November.

The event includes a self-guided tour and the launch of Clothesline Full of Nappies, a book by Mrs Sherry Morris of photos and stories from past students and staff that reflect on life in the cottages along Village Way.

CSU Division of Facilities Management (DFM) Executive Director Mr Stephen Butt said the event and book acknowledged the significance of the cottages.

“The event and book Clothesline Full of Nappies reflect the history of the cottages and that they hold sensitive and significant memories for many members of the University community,” Mr Butt said.

Mr Butt also said the University recognised the history of the cottages and the preservation of the memories attached to them was important to the future of CSU.

The event will commence from 3.20pm with people invited to walk through the cottages and will be followed by the unveiling of an interactive sign, book launch and speeches.

The Cottages will be opened for 30 minutes, with the formal proceedings to commence at 4pm at building 230 (The Deck Bar). Guests are invited to drive from Village Way and park in car park 75.

Media are welcome to attend the event and interview staff and guests at 4.35pm. The event ends at 5pm.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies , 0439 068 752

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

CSU in Orange assists local school during renovations

Monday 26 Nov 2018

* 242 OAGS students to relocate to CSU in Orange due to renovations

* CSU makes 12 lecture rooms and facilities available for three days

CSU in Orange is assisting fellow education institution Orange Anglican Grammar School (OAGS) during its current major redevelopment.

Head of Campus at CSU in Orange Dr Heather Robinson said the staff and students of OAGS would be welcomed on campus for three days during some major construction developments at their school from Monday 26 to Wednesday 28 November, when all OAGS students need to be offsite.

“The University is pleased to assist and it’s fortunate that we have finished on-campus teaching sessions for the year and the University’s students aren’t using lecture rooms and other facilities at this time,” Dr Robinson said.

“The University will make available 12 lecture rooms to accommodate 242 students, aged between eight to 16 years of age, for OAGS’s teachers to conduct lessons and supervise.

“During this period prospective student advisor Ms Hilary Matchett will conduct a campus tour and information session for OAGS students in Years 10 and 11 about courses at the University.”

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

CSU Indigenous Access Program open for applicants

Wednesday 14 Nov 2018

The Charles Sturt University (CSU) Indigenous Access Program is assisting more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders into tertiary education.

The five-day program that will be held at CSU in Wagga Wagga from 19 to 23 November includes a range of activities aimed at building confidence and providing students with practical steps they can take to get into their chosen course.

CSU Indigenous Programs Officer Leslie Lyons said the Indigenous Access Program provided a successful transition to university.

“Students who complete the Indigenous Access Program achieve a 75 percent progress rate compared to 68 percent for those who don’t,” Ms Lyons said.

Ms Lyons added the majority of students who complete the program were more confident they would succeed at university.

In describing the program, Ms Lyons said the students are given assessments against their preferred course to understand their strengths and what needed to be improved.

“Students are either offered a placement or are given an alternative pathway into their chosen program,” Ms Lyons said.

CSU Manager of Indigenous Student Centres Blake Dunn said the program provided Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students the support and access to the University’s Indigenous study resources to help them succeed.

“The Indigenous Access Program provides an entry pathway for our students into university studies. It demonstrates the support that is accessible throughout their university life and connects them with the full range of services we offer Indigenous students,” said Mr Dunn.

The Indigenous Access Program is open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school-leavers or mature-aged wanting to gain access to CSU.

CSU is currently taking further bookings for our February program being held from the 4th to the 8th of February 2019. Applications can be completed online via the Indigenous Access Program website.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439068752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

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