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Twenty one years of whiz, fizz and bangs in chemistry

Friday 15 Feb 2019

* Riverina Year 12 students will have experienced 21 years of whizzes, fizzes and bangs when they participate in this year’s HSC Chemistry Days at CSU

* Students from far-flung high schools gather to complete parts of their Chemistry course that they cannot do in their school

* Students will visit CSU’s world-class facilities and learn about course and career options

Final year students from far-flung high schools will gather in Wagga Wagga next week to complete parts of their Chemistry course for the Higher School Certificate (HSC).

About 220 Year 12 students from 20 NSW high schools will travel up to 450 kilometres to Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga to undertake a series of experiments and practice their skills on equipment that is not available in their own schools.

While visiting the campus, they will also experience the CSU facilities and staff, and live a slice of University life.

“We want to show students, and teachers, some of what we have to offer science students, particularly the world-class facilities and equipment, as well as courses and career opportunities,” said CSU chemistry lecturer and course director Dr Celia Barril.

“This program has been running for 21 years in collaboration with the Eastern Riverina Science Teacher Association, with the aim of filling important requirements for Chemistry students in their HSC, while also promoting careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, particularly chemistry.”

Students will complete experiments on acidity and basicity of common household products, iron content of cereals, and water acidification during the week commencing Monday 18 February.

“Students take part to short activities demonstrating chemistry concepts and their application in our modern world.

“We will also discuss studies and career paths in chemistry and science in general. Everyone participates, the students and their teachers and CSU staff - it is a great program!,” Dr Barril said.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

The HSC Chemistry students andDr Celia Barril in Wagga Wagga will be available for pictures and interviews from 11.30am to 2.30pm on Thursday 21 or Friday 22 February. They will be in the NaLSH building (289), Nathan Cobb Drive on the Wagga Wagga campus, near Carpark P70.

To arrange interviews, contact Wes Ward at CSU Media on mobile 0417 125 795 or

Please note that visiting media will be required to wear enclosed, non-permeable shoes, as well as laboratory coats and safety goggles, in the laboratory.

Health program supports Ageing Well

Thursday 24 Jan 2019

* CSU research shows a regular 10-week fitness program has both physical and mental benefits for older regional Australians.

* Participants increased their ability to do daily activities and were more satisfied with their lives over the duration of the program.

* Participants received personalised attention from CSU allied health students who also received important intergenerational work experience during the program.

Charles Sturt University (CSU) researchers have shown that older people undertaking a regular wellness program have benefitted both physically and mentally from the ten-week program.

The research team will present preliminary results of the Ageing Well project at a morning tea reunion to start at 9.30am on Thursday 31 January in the Community Engagement and Wellness (CEW) Centre, CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

“The Ageing Well project aims to improve the health and wellbeing of older people living in regional and rural Australia,” said team leader, Dr Melissa Nott from the School of Community Health at CSU in Albury-Wodonga (pictured left).

“We targeted both the physical and cognitive abilities of older people in regular sessions, and also taught them strategies to use at home.”

The 2018 program included 37 participants aged between 61 and 89 years. Each person participated in ten sessions, either weekly or twice weekly, at the CEW Centre at Thurgoona.

“We found participants significantly improved their balance and outdoor walking, while all participants reported experiencing fewer cognitive difficulties after the program,” Dr Nott said.

“Participants also increased their abilities to do everyday activities in their home and community from 60 per cent before to 74 per cent after the program, while their satisfaction with their everyday lives increased from 54 per cent to 74 per cent.

“In addition, participants also appreciated the new friendships they formed during the program, while relatives also noticed the positive changes in the program participants.”

The wellness sessions were run by CSU students from the physiotherapy, occupational therapy and podiatry courses under supervision from CSU health academics and local clinicians, providing students with considerable intergenerational work experience.

Dr Nott noted that the upcoming reunion “allows us to speak with participants about the benefits and impact of the program on their lives.

“It also provides an opportunity to celebrate a unique and engaging program for older community members, whose thinking and mobility are challenged in a personalised and graded way.

“Overall, the initial results of this program are very promising, highlighting that everyday functioning and satisfaction can improve in older age,” Dr Nott said.

The Ageing Well program will be open to new participants in 2019. To enrol or for further information, contact Ms Tana Cuming on 02 6051 9266 or email

The next session is due to commence in April 2019.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media for interviews on the Ageing Well program with CSU health researchers Dr Melissa Nott or Dt Kristy Robson, both based at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

Media are welcome to attend the Ageing Well morning tea, which will commence at 9.30am on Thursday 31 January at the CEW Centre, CSU in Albury Wodonga, Ellis Street, Thurgoona, (behind the Thurgoona Plaza shopping centre). Park near the CEW Centre in carpark P8.

Three CSU graduation ceremonies in Albury this week

Monday 17 Dec 2018

Charles Sturt University (CSU) will host three graduation ceremonies in Albury this week, Wednesday 19 December.

These are part of the wider graduation season during December across all main campuses as well as in Parramatta and the two CSU Study Centres in Sydney and Melbourne. The season concludes in Albury-Wodonga.

More than 370 students will be present to graduate across all the Albury ceremonies in Albury which are for graduands based at CSU in Albury-Wodonga. In addition, thousands of family members and friends will celebrate the achievements of these graduands.

Head of Campus at CSU in Albury Wodonga, Dr Jennifer Munday said, “Over 370 graduates will receive their testamurs from the University in Albury 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 graduate 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, for others it will mean they are one of many CSU graduates who will earn the highest starting salary of any graduate in New South Wales,” Dr Munday said.

In recognition of their impact on their professions in regional Australia, three CSU alumni who are professional leaders and entrepreneurs will give the occasional addresses to graduates in all three ceremonies listed below. These graduation ceremonies will be held in the Albury Entertainment Centre, Swift St in Albury:

9.30am - 136 graduates present in the Faculty of Science ceremony, from the Schools of Community Health, Environmental Science, Agriculture & Wine Science, Animal & Veterinary Sciences and General Science.

Occasional speaker: Ms Leah Wiseman.

2pm - 140 graduates present in the Faculty of Science ceremony, from the Schools of Nursing, Midwifery & Indigenous Health, Biomedical Science, Dentistry & Health Science, Exercise Science Sport & Health and Human Movement Studies; and from all schools of the Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences.

Occasional speaker: Mr Ty Seaton, Chief Radiographer of The X-Ray Group.

6pm - 96 graduates from all schools of the Faculty of Arts and Education, including the Schools of Education, and Humanities & Social Sciences.

Occasional speaker: Ms Jo Palmer, educator, networker and business entrepreneur, based in regional NSW.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to help arrange interviews with graduates and various speakers and dignitaries.

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.

Tickets available for public lecture by celebrity fish expert

Wednesday 31 Oct 2018

Fish expert and celebrity television host Dr Zeb Hogan (pictured left) will deliver a public lecture on Wednesday 12 December during the international Fish Passage 2018 conference to be held in Albury between 10 and 14 December 2018.

The lecture is part of the week-long Fish Passage 2018 conference, which will be hosted by the Charles Sturt University (CSU).Institute for Land, Water and Society, and NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

The meeting gathers experts from around the world to discuss the latest technologies to help migrating fish such as the iconic Murray cod to negotiate dam walls and barrages and reach important breeding grounds.

The conference co-chair, Dr Lee Baumgartner, is recognised throughout Australia and South East Asia for his work in adapting fish passages to the needs of native fish and the local people who depend on these fisheries for food and recreation.

“A number of significant issues are affecting native fish populations in rivers in the Riverina, including the blocking of migration routes by dams and weirs,” Dr Baumgartner said.

“This conference will focus on how we can help our native species avoid or overcome some of these issues using smart technologies such as fishways, also known as or fish ladders.

The conference will also showcase innovative technologies used to monitor fish migrations like radio tags, acoustic tags, microchips and the “Salmon Cannon” from Whoosh Innovation. All will be on display during the conference and at the public lecture by Dr Hogan.

“Dr Hogan has long advocated for maintaining fish migration routes, which are essential for spawning and feeding. He is supporting our cause by showing off some of Australia’s megafish such as the Murray cod which have previously featured on his National Geographic show, Monster Fish,” Dr Baumgartner said, pictured left.

“Dr Hogan has caught megafish across the globe. He will take the audience on a journey on the importance of big fish and how migrations are essential for their long term survival.

“Entry is free and open to the public, and families are especially welcome. It will be a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to connect with all things fish.”

Tickets to hear about Dr Zeb’s amazing adventures with big fish are now available from the Albury Entertainment Centre, which will host the free lecture between 7 and 9 pm. A ticket will be required to gain entry and the event will open to the public from 6pm.

In addition to Dr Hogan, attendees will be able to view the scientific poster display and chat with exhibitors on a range of innovations related to fish.

Book here to attend the free Zeb Hogan lecture.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Lee Baumgartner, who is based at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

For details on the upcoming Fish Passage 2018 conference in Albury, go to the conference website.

Bootcamp to exercise innovators’ business brains

Wednesday 24 Oct 2018

* Innovative ideas from CSU-Hume Bank Life Tech Challenge 2018 have been invited to a CSU Bootcamp to advance business ideas

* Challenge entries were judged on creativity, use of technology, and impact on people

* CSU’s mission is to build skills and knowledge in its regions

Charles Sturt University (CSU) is hosting a weekend-long innovation boot camp for all finalists in the Hume Bank’s Life Tech Challenge 2018, starting on Friday 26 October.

The Hume Bank Life Tech Challenge 2018 gathered innovative people who have an idea to improve a standard of living through technology.

The CSU Innovation Bootcamp will be held at CSU in Albury-Wodonga from the afternoon of Friday 26 to Sunday 28 October. It is designed to take participants through the essential steps to propel their business ideas forward.

Director of Knowledge Exchange and Engagement in the CSU Research Office, Dr Laura Dan, said the initiative builds on the University’s long-term strategic commitment to the growth and development in the regions and communities across NSW.

“The Charles Sturt University innovation agenda supports the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem across its footprint, encourages interaction between small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the University, supports business innovation, and encourages jobs growth in the region.

“We were delighted to sponsor the Hume Bank Life Tech Challenge by providing access to the innovation boot camp, which is based on the successful CenWest Innovate model developed by the University.”

CSU has established three highly focussed incubators: the AgriTech Incubator in Wagga Wagga; CenWest Innovate in Bathurst; and the Walan Mayinygu Indigenous Entrepreneurship Pop Up Hub Program.

“Through these programs, Charles Sturt University provides tailored programs and technical support for growth, as well as business networking and training events which will be facilitated at a number of the University’s campus locations around NSW,” Dr Dan concluded.

Event details:

When: Friday 26 October from 6 to 8pm, Saturday 27 October from 9am to 5pm, and Sunday 28 October from 9am to 2pm.

Venue: Building 751, Room 112, CSU in Albury-Wodonga, off Elizabeth Mitchell Drive, Thurgoona (park in Carpark P2).

Media Contact: Wes Ward,

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Laura Dan, who is travelling from CSU in Wagga Wagga.

CSU students explore occupational therapy for Indigenous Australians

Friday 19 Oct 2018

In their final activity at Charles Sturt University (CSU), fourth year students will explore the possibilities of their new careers as occupational therapists in a two day conference starting Wednesday 24 October at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

The CSU students will present papers on contemporary practice issues relevant to the provision of occupational therapy services to regional, rural and remote communities with a specific focus on Indigenous Australian people.

In her final year of the occupational therapy course, student Ms Gemma Wall hailed the conference initiative as an excellent way to showcase how far the students had progressed after four years of university study.

“During my course I learned much about the importance of culturally competent care and the impact this can have on improving health outcomes when working with culturally diverse clients such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Ms Wall said.

In her conference presentation, Ms Wall is considering how to successfully implement a culturally sensitive self-management program for stroke rehabilitation in an Indigenous Australian community.

Ms Wall will draw from the Best Evidence for Stroke Therapy study being conducted at CSU in partnership with Albury Wodonga Health and Wagga Wagga Base Hospital.

Fellow student Ms Rachel Ralph said the conference was particularly relevant as new national standards for cultural competency in occupational therapy become effective in January 2019.

“The conference is important as it allows us to educate each other on how we can better our practice with Indigenous people,” Ms Ralph said.

Discipline Lead of the occupational therapy program in the CSU School of Community Health, Dr Tracey Parnell, said the conference allowed students to demonstrate what they had learned from their studies, and the intellectual rigour they can offer to the health of regional, rural and Indigenous Australians.

“The conference is the culmination of the four year course for these students. It provides an opportunity for them to show the breadth and depth of their knowledge in various areas of contemporary practice.”

“This year we also challenged the students to examine their chosen topic in relation to Indigenous Australians.”

Dr Parnell will welcome participants and students to the conference from 8.30 am on Wednesday 24 October at Room 101, Building 667 at CSU in Albury-Wodonga, Broomfield Court, Thurgoona.

The 26 student presentations include:

  • * Addressing Indigenous health inequality and the role of occupational health in ‘closing the gap’;
  • * Ageing in place in Indigenous Australian communities;
  • * The mental health implication of leaving the land;
  • * Challenges in accessing stroke rehabilitation in rural and remote areas; and
  • * Chronic pain and its impact on mental health.

The conference will be closed after 2pm on Thursday 25 October by the Head of the School of Community Health, Associate Professor Michael Curtin. The event coincides with national Occupational Therapy Week.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Tracey Parnell, conference coordinator Ms Rhiannon Memery and CSU occupational therapy students Ms Rachel Ralph and Ms Gemma Wall, all based at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

Foot health clinic for Albury-Wodonga residents

Friday 19 Oct 2018

Charles Sturt University (CSU) students and staff will promote the need for good foot health to Albury-Wodonga residents during an education day at the Community Engagement and Wellness (CEW) Centre on Wednesday 31 October at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

Held as part of the annual October Foot Health Month run by the Australian Podiatry Council, the CSU podiatry team will provide an education session on foot health and a free foot health screening for all participants in the morning and afternoon sessions.

“Foot health is important not only because the feet are a key part of mobility, but feet are also the site of many early warning signs for conditions such as diabetes and vascular disease,” said CSU podiatry academic Associate Professor Caroline Robinson, pictured left.

“We need podiatrists in regional Australia to educate our aging population about the health of their feet and lower limbs, and encourage members of the community to take a more active role in maintaining their own foot health.”

The screenings during each education session will be provided by the final year podiatry students, supervised by the experienced staff in the CSU School of Community Health.

“Our podiatry students are especially prepared to work in regional Australia, and recognise and understand the needs of people living in remote and rural area,” Professor Robinson said.

Members of the public, particularly those aged over 50 years, can book a place in either the morning session (starting 9.30 am) or afternoon session (starting 1.30 pm) on telephone (02) 6051 9299. Bookings must be made by 5pm on Monday 29 October.

The session will be held in the CEW (building 715), in Ellis Street, Thurgoona (behind the Thurgoona Plaza shopping centre). Participants can park in Carpark P8 off Ellis Street.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Associate Professor Caroline Robinson, who is based at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

ILWS to host UN sustainable development goals workshop

Tuesday 16 Oct 2018

* CSU researchers to explore how to advance sustainable development goals

* UNAA representative to speak at workshop in Albury-Wodonga on Thursday 18 October

The Charles Sturt University (CSU) Institute for Land, Water and Society (ILWS) will host a one-day workshop in Albury-Wodonga on Thursday 18 October to explore ways to engage with and support the sustainable development goals of the United Nations.

Professor in Social Work and Human Services, Manohar Pawar (pictured), in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the ILWS, will lead the ‘Engaging with Sustainable Development Goals’ workshop.

Professor Pawar said that the special guest presenter at the workshop will be Ms Patricia Garcia, AO, National Program Manager for UN Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA).

“Ms Garcia will deliver a presentation about the current state of the sustainable development goals, and opportunities for networking, research and engagement in Australia,” Professor Pawar said.

“The ILWS’s work is closely linked to the 17 sustainable development goals.

“It is important to build awareness and capacity to significantly engage in the achievement of the sustainable development goals.

“At the workshop and thereafter, interdisciplinary scholars at Charles Sturt University will explore the potential ways they can engage with the sustainable development goals.”

The ILWS ‘Engaging with Sustainable Development Goals’ workshop will be held at the Gordon Beavan Building (building 673, level 4, room 410) at CSU in Albury-Wodonga from 9am to 4pm on Thursday 18 October.

Find out more about the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals here:

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Professor Manohar Pawar.

CSU ‘Walkability’ research in Albury

Wednesday 10 Oct 2018

* CSU research aims to make Albury city more walkable for residents

* Volunteers aged 65+ needed to assist research

* Walking improves health and wellbeing and increases access to social and economic life

People aged over 65 and living in Albury have extra incentive to pound the city’s pavements in coming weeks with new research being run by Charles Sturt University (CSU).

Working in collaboration with Albury City Council, CSU researchers Dr Rachel Whitsed and Dr Ana Horta from the CSU Institute for Land, Water and Society are measuring the ‘walkability’ of the city, specifically for older people.

“Extensive research tells us that walking improves health and wellbeing and allows increased access to social and economic life,” said Dr Whitsed, the team’s lead researcher.

“Now we want your help to make Albury city more walkable for you.”

As part of the project, the researchers are seeking participants aged over 65 to wear a small global positioning system (GPS) device for two weeks.

“We will be able to use this GPS data to map and measure walkability of Albury through the eyes, and shoes, of older people.”

Albury City councillor and Lavington resident Councillor David Thurley is helping promote the project to fellow residents.

“Walking is an important part of my life as an older person,” Councillor Thurley said.

“Albury City is keen to find out who is using the city’s paths and where, and why they are using them – and why not.

“It would be great to get as many people aged over 65 years as possible to take part in this project, as this will help the Council to improve facilities for use by all our citizens, including our older residents.”

This project might also be of interest to the carers and relatives of people living in Albury who are aged over 65 years. Find more information on the project website.

In addition, any Albury resident can complete a ‘Have a Say’ survey form on walkability in the city, available on the AlburyCity website.

To participate in the project, contact Ms Kris Gibbs on 6051 9992, or email

The Walkability Project will be launched at CSU in Albury-Wodonga at 10am on Thursday 11 October.

The project is supported by AlburyCity and the NSW government.

Media Contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Rachel Whitsed.

Media can meet with Dr Whitsed, Dr Horta and Cr Thurley on Thursday 11 October to get interviews and see the GPS tracking system at work. The event will start at 10am near the School of Environmental Sciences building (go to car park P4), CSU in Albury-Wodonga, off Elizabeth Mitchell Drive, Thurgoona.

Social: @Thurl1947 #walkabilityCSU

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