Port Macquarie

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CSU students connect with local business

Tuesday 5 Feb 2019

* CSU students work with local business to solve problems

* Students apply their skills to gain valuable on-the-job experience

* CSU and Port Macquarie Hastings Council work together to help businesses grow

Students at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Port Macquarie have been working with local businesses to solve problems and grow.

The CSU Talent Hack-athon program was introduced in November 2018 to connect students and local businesses over the University summer break.

CSU student liaison officer Ms Clara Koch said the program was operated in coordination with the Port Macquarie Hastings Council (PMHC) who were able to reach out to local businesses.

“Twenty-two businesses responded to the Port Macquarie Hastings Council advertisement, with four selected to take on a student to help solve their problems.

“The students selected worked with the businesses over the summer to create everything from flyers to marketing plans,” Ms Koch said.

The Kendall Tennis Club was one organisation to take advantage of the program. Ms Wendy Hudson from the club said it was reliant on the support of volunteers who already give over 80 hours weekly to run it.

“The committee has very little time to spend on designing flyers, marketing and social media, and welcomes the creative knowledge and expertise brought by the international students to the club.

“They have been fantastic, already creating flyers for programs and assisting with website advice,” Ms Hudson said.

A further nine businesses with in-depth projects were contacted by CSU lecturer Dr Sabih Rehman from the School of Computing and Mathematics as potential student final-year projects.

The remaining businesses were contacted by the PMHC with the recommendation they hire a student as an intern to complete their nominated project.

International students at CSU in Port Macquarie were particularly interested as it gave them an opportunity to better connect with the local community and expanded their experience over the typically quiet summer break.

Ms Koch said it was the first year the program was run but they were happy with the enthusiasm of businesses and hope to run it again in 2019.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

CSU creative industries graduate takes a different path

Tuesday 18 Dec 2018

* CSU Creative Industries program leads to diverse career opportunities

* Student applying CSU learning to job

Charles Sturt University (CSU) graduate Layne Bayly expected her career would start in corporate graphic design team but the reality was very different.

In her final year of study, Ms Bayly was encouraged by a friend who worked at a tattoo studio to consider applying for an apprenticeship that was on offer. Ms Bayly walked into a Port Macquarie tattoo studio, portfolio in hand, to talk with the manager about starting an apprenticeship.

“The [tattooing] industry is a whole new ball game that has a lot of graphic design principles that you don’t expect,” Ms Bayly said.

Ms Bayly, who graduates in 2018 with a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Design and Visual Arts) degree from CSU in Port Macquarie, said aside from updating the studio’s website and managing social media she was also able to use design and technology.

“I take a design, work it up using an iPad and Photoshop to mock up the way it will wrap around the client and adjust the illustration. The photo is printed out, the artist traces it onto carbon paper adjusting as onto the skin when needed,” Ms Bayly said.

Ms Bayly said her job took in many aspects of design strategy and planning that had been taught as part of her degree.

“I’ve done lots of drawing to get ready for tattooing. You can’t get away with any errors and you need to be able to draw perfect circles and other shapes because there is no rubber or undo,” Ms Bayly said.

Ms Bayly said this is stressful but there are others who have been working for 10 to 20 years who still get stressed by certain designs.

Ms Bayly said she has been sharing her knowledge about the similarities between graphic design and tattooing with her graphic design lecturer, Willhemina Wahlin.

“I was able to submit my sketches and work as assessments and I think that showed Willhemina the similarities to what was being taught and my work,” Ms Bayly said.

Lecturer in graphic design in the CSU School of Communication and Creative Industries Ms Willhemina Wahlin said the University supported how students applied their learning to their careers.

“I think it’s important for students to be able to balance work and study as well as complement their skills on the job with what they learn in class.

It’s also great to see the students bringing that workplace knowledge back to class. We really encourage this because the creative industries are so diverse. It keeps it exciting and interesting.”

Photo credit: Top Ms Layne Bayly, middle and bottom tattoo art by Ms Bayly.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Ms Layne Bayly and Professor Willhemina Wahlin.

CSU paramedic student profile: Sam Ross

Monday 17 Dec 2018

* CSU student Sam Ross will graduate with a Bachelor of Paramedicine

* Has been offered a role with NSW Ambulance

* Volunteering and leadership roles helped him secure his first job

A chance encounter at a bus stop led Charles Sturt University (CSU) student to take on a career in paramedics and complete a Bachelor of Paramedicine.

While sitting at a bus stop, the then 15 year-old student Sam Ross noticed a man was behaving strangely and looked to be in need of help. Mr Ross wasted no time and ran to the local medical centre.

As he drew toward finishing high school Mr Ross began looking at universities and programs that were available to him before settling on CSU.

“My careers advisor suggested Charles Sturt University because it had a strong reputation for teaching and graduate job prospects,” Mr Ross said.

“They also told me the University was building a campus in Port Macquarie so I pretty much moved up there straight out of high school.”

Mr Ross said he was impressed with CSU’s facilities in Port Macquarie and also the small size of the campus meant he “didn’t feel like a number”.

“Lecturers knew students by their names and would also put on extra classes and sessions to help us.

“We felt like they put in the extra effort to help us succeed, especially for subjects there were harder and more technical,” Mr Ross said.

At the suggestion of a first-year lecturer, Mr Ross got involved in CSU Student Paramedics Australasia (SPA) a group that provides first aid services to community events and hosts guest speakers to share knowledge.

Eventually Mr Ross became President of the SPA, a position he said allowed him to further gain experience that would help with his job prospects following graduation.

“It was also a useful way to revise what I’d learnt and to pass knowledge to first- and second-year students,” Mr Ross said.

Leaving SPA, Mr Ross said the group had raised $5,000 that would be donated to local charities to support the Port Macquarie community.

In early January 2019 Mr Ross will take-up a role with the NSW Ambulance Service; this was his first professional job application.

Mr Ross graduated on Monday 17 December 2018 at a CSU graduation ceremony at The Glasshouse in Port Macquarie.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Mr Sam Ross.

CSU in Port Macquarie congratulates 2018 graduates

Wednesday 12 Dec 2018

* CSU at Port Macquarie celebrates 131 graduating students on Monday 17 December

* Family and friends invited to celebrate CSU graduands at graduation ceremonies

Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Port Macquarie congratulates the 131 students who will graduate at ceremonies held at the Glasshouse on Monday 17 December.

CSU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) Professor Heather Cavanagh will preside over the two ceremonies.

Professor Cavanagh said graduation is one of the highlights of the academic year and that she looked forward to welcoming graduates, their families, friends, and the community to celebrate this special event.

"I congratulate our graduating professionals on the successful completion of their studies with us,” Professor Cavanagh said.

Professor Cavanagh said the University in Port Macquarie was growing and it was exciting to welcome more graduates from the region.

“It’s rewarding to be involved in the education of the next generation who will stay on in the region and enrich their local community,” Professor Cavanagh said.

CSU Bachelor of Criminal Justice graduate Ms Grace Stevens said graduation was the satisfying culmination of years spent studying, at a University with a personal touch.

“With the smaller classes we got to have a closer relationship with our lecturers, so we were more comfortable asking questions and sitting down with them for one-on-one sessions,” Ms Stevens said.

Guest Mr Neville Parsons will give the Occasional Address to the Faculty of Arts and Education ceremony. Mr Parsons is CEO and Director of the Holiday Coast Credit Union and is a Board Member and Deputy Chairman of the Mid North Coast Local Health District, as well as a Board member of NSW Life Education.

Guest Mr Alan Morrison will give his Occasional Address to the Faculty of Science, and Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences ceremony. Mr Morrison is currently the Director Education for NSW Ambulance and Director of the Paramedic Education Program Accreditation Scheme for the Council of Ambulance Authorities.

Local Aboriginal Elder Uncle Bill O’Brien (OAM) will conduct a Welcome to Country at both graduation ceremonies.

Ceremonies location and timing

The graduation ceremonies will commence:

* Faculty of Arts and Education - 9.30am

* Faculty of Science and Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences – 2pm

The Glasshouse is located at 30-42 Clarence Street, Port Macquarie.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with CSU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) Professor Heather Cavanagh.

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 supports Hastings Sustainability Showcase in Port Macquarie

Tuesday 13 Nov 2018

* Major Mid North Coast sustainability public event in March 2019

* Exhibitors and sponsors enquiries welcome

* Sustainability will affect the future quality of life for us all

Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Port Macquarie is a major sponsor and co-host of the Hastings Sustainability Showcase to be staged on the Mid North Coast in early March 2019.

The Port Macquarie Hastings Sustainability Network is staging the event at the Port Macquarie Racecourse on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 March 2019 with the sponsorship support of Port Macquarie Hastings Council, Holiday Coast Credit Union, and CSU Green.

Dr Nigel Urwin (pictured), senior lecturer in genetics and gene technologies in the CSU School of Biomedical Sciences in Port Macquarie said, “This event aims to educate, inform and inspire individuals and businesses on the latest ideas, products, and trends in sustainability.

“It’s important to remember that ‘sustainability’ is not a fad or buzz-word, but should be the goal of all Australians,” Dr Urwin said.

“Sustainability is the enlightened concept of how we can all live more responsibly and shape a better community in this region, in Australia and the world, in response to global environmental and population challenges confronting the planet.

“While the Hastings Sustainability Showcase is not until early next year, we welcome enquiries from potential exhibitors and sponsors for this significant free public event. Not-for-profit organisations can exhibit for free.”

The Hastings Sustainability Showcase will focus on:

* Natural environment

* Built environment

* Goods and services

* Food and agriculture

* Transport and infrastructure

* Energy

* Waste and recycling

* Health and well-being

* Tourism

* Ethical investment

For more information and direct enquiries, including the prospectus and booking agreement form for your convenience, please refer to pmhsn.org.au/hastings-sustainability-showcase

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Nigel Urwin who is based at CSU in Port Macquarie.

The Port Macquarie Hastings Sustainability Network is staging the event at the Port Macquarie Racecourse on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 March 2019.

CSU student promotes PANDA Day in Port Macquarie

Friday 9 Nov 2018

* 2018 PANDA Day promotes awareness of antenatal and perinatal mental health

* Organisations offer a range of support options for mothers and fathers

* It’s OK to not be OK, and to seek support and guidance

A Charles Sturt University (CSU) student is an advocate for greater awareness about and support for women and men experiencing mental health conditions arising from pregnancy.

Mr Daniel Pye (pictured), a social work student in the CSU School of Humanities and Social Sciences in Port Macquarie, has a special interest in perinatal and infant mental health and is involved in the 2018 Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week (11-17 November) and the PANDA Day on Tuesday 13 November in Port Macquarie.

“As a mature-age student and a father of five children, this issue is close to my heart,” Mr Pye said.

“Perinatal anxiety and depression is more serious and common than many people realise.

“I feel strongly that during pregnancy and after, there is a lack of educational supports for men, and new fathers can be impacted by stigmas and stereotypes. Mental health concerns can arise that affect everyone in the family.”

He said the PANDA Day promotional activities will be located on the Town Green in Port Macquarie from 9.30am to 12pm to offer information and contact details about a range of support services.

“There are many avenues for support available to people who might be anxious, depressed or struggling to cope,” Mr Pye said.

“Early childhood nurses and other areas of the Local Health District will be present, and we will have educational materials from organisations such Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA), the Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE), and the Gidget Foundation.

“We have information on face-to-face support that are available, as well as ‘tele’ supports, including men’s services that can be accessed through phone or skype services, such as SMS4Dads and Fathers Group Inc.”

The PANDA Day will feature guest speakers, and several other non-government and health organizations will attend the event to promote healthy living, raise awareness, and provide advice about support options within the antenatal/perinatal period.

Mr Pye’s work experience placement with the Mid North Coast Local Health District has been under the supervision of Ms Louise Finnegan who is Mid North Coast perinatal and infant mental health consultant and clinician.

“My placement has focussed on men’s mental health issues where men are either ill or they are supporting a partner in the antenatal / perinatal periods, with the main focus being postnatal depressive illnesses,” Mr Pye said.

“Becoming a parent is a huge transition in life, so if mothers and fathers feel they are struggling, I urge them to seek help and support, so they can support each other at this important time.

“Men need to understand the signs of depression that their partner may be displaying, and it is just as important for men to look for the signs within themselves.

“It’s OK to not be OK. Seek support, seek guidance about being a supportive partner and father.”

Media Contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with CSU social work student Mr Daniel Pye.

The Mid North Coast Local Health District PANDA Day on Tuesday 13 November will be on the Town Green in Port Macquarie from 9.30am to 12pm.

Academics at CSU in Port Macquarie recognised by Australian College of Educators

Wednesday 31 Oct 2018

Six academics at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Port Macquarie were recognised at the 2018 World Teachers’ Day Awards on Friday 26 October 2018.

The ceremony held in Port Macquarie honoured the teaching work and the impact of educators on students across the Mid North Coast.

The six CSU academics awarded were:

Award winner Mr Phillip Ebbs said the awards demonstrated the excellent work of the academic team at the University.

“We have a great team here in Port Macquarie who not only deliver great results, but they also take the time to recognise and encourage their peers,” Mr Ebbs said.

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) and Acting Head of Campus Professor Heather Cavanagh congratulated the award winners.

“This recognition demonstrates the positive impact Charles Sturt University is having on the Mid North Coast and our strengthening ties to the community,” Professor Cavanagh said.

Now in its thirteenth year, the World Teachers’ Day Awards presented by the Australian College of Educators recognise teachers and teaching across the professional range from early childhood learning through to university lecturers and programs.

World Teachers’ Day is celebrated in Australia on the last Friday of October, but on other dates in other countries.

Photo credit (left to right): Ms Kym Barry, Mr Phillip Ebbs, Dr Natalia Bilton, and Dr Prue Gonzalez.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

CSU announces builder for Stage Two development in Port Macquarie

Wednesday 17 Oct 2018

* CSU names Lahey Constructions to build Stage Two in Port Macquarie

* Strong community support and student enrolment growth assures future higher education demand in region

* $40 million project completion due by mid-2020

Charles Sturt University (CSU) today announced that Lahey Constructions has been awarded the construction contract of Stage Two of the state-of-the-art campus in Port Macquarie.

This development follows the official opening of the campus in 2016 which has been widely supported by Port Macquarie and the Mid North Coast region and has attracted significant numbers of international and out-of-region students.

CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann said the University was excited to announce the expansion of the campus and to award it to a Mid North Coast construction firm.

“Our student numbers and forecasts show the current facility will be nearing capacity by the end of next year, which gives us the confidence the expansion is both needed and will be welcomed,” Professor Vann said.

“Charles Sturt University is also pleased to support a local firm which will lead the design finalisation, programming cost management, and delivery of the $40 million project.”

Executive Director of the CSU Division of Facilities Management Mr Stephen Butt said Lahey Constructions’ tender was impressive, and the firm has a strong reputation.

“Lahey impressed the University with its key values and hands-on approach,” Mr Butt said.

“The alignment between the two organisations to work to deliver a second stage reflective of the form and ethos of the initial development is very strong.

“Lahey is well known within the Mid North Coast region and have a number of their key team members residing in the region who have delivered local projects. They bring a ‘one team’ approach, working with the client in a collaborative partnership in order to achieve the best possible outcome."

Mr Butt said CSU expected the expanded campus will be operational by the start of second semester 2020.

Lahey Constructions Executive Director Mr Phil Lahey said the firm had experience successfully delivering tertiary education projects in regional and isolated locations.

“Lahey Constructions brings experience in tertiary education projects and has successfully delivered these in both regional and isolated locations across Australia and takes pride in defect-free handovers to our clients,” Mr Lahey said.

“We are also committed to sharing our knowledge, life experiences and expertise with the next generation, making sure there is a sustainable future for the construction industry. We have committed to employing two Charles Sturt University postgraduates in cadet roles for the duration of this project.”

The new development will support an additional 1800 students over the existing 1000 at CSU in Port Macquarie.

The Stage Two development flows from the existing campus via a link way across the adjacent reserve and is intended to be used by students, staff, and the wider community.

The new development will include additional learning and teaching spaces (flat floored and tiered), a laboratory, breakout and meeting spaces, student kitchen and facilities, a space for small events, and additional car parking.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

CSU partners with community to produce the Comboyne Cookbook

Tuesday 9 Oct 2018

Charles Sturt University (CSU) with the Comboyne Community Association and the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will launch the Comboyne Cookbook on Monday 15 October to highlight the town’s local food treasures.

The cookbook, designed by four CSU third-year graphic design students – Ms Abby Artuso, Mr Thomas Brown, Ms Beka Dennis and Ms Mel Streater – features local Comboyne businesses, famous local recipes, and some well-known personalities.

Lecturer in graphic design in the CSU School of Communication and Creative Industries Ms Willhemina Wahlin said the book was a perfect example of the University working with the community.

“The book celebrates the close partnerships Charles Sturt University and our students built up with the Comboyne community while they worked on the book, and also the close ties of the University with the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council,” Ms Wahlin said.

Ms Wahlin explained that the students were involved from the beginning of the Comboyne Cookbook’s production to the final result.

“The book really demonstrates the diversity of talent the students have,” Ms Wahlin said. They styled the food, took amazingly rich photographs, created the illustrations, and undertook the layout of the entire 174 pages. It was a huge effort and they have done an outstanding job.

Ms Wahlin added this type of collaborative work with community provides a unique experience for students on all aspects of project management, and is a very valuable addition to their graduating portfolios.

“There are a lot of soft skills that designers need in addition to the processes of design, and one of the most important of these is building good client relationships.,” Ms Wahlin said.

“Designers work in a wide range of organisations, both within the creative industries and beyond, so it’s important that they are prepared for a range of employment options.”

The Comboyne Cookbook is part of the region’s Port Macquarie Bicentennial, and is a project funded and supported by the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.

The community are invited to attend the launch that will be held at the Comboyne Showgrounds in Comboyne and will be attended by the Mayor, Councillor Peta Pinson, as well as students and Ms Wahlin.

“These events are a great opportunity for students to meet the community and foster potential career opportunities ahead of their graduation,” Ms Wahlin said.

Student Ms Mel Streater said that she is excited to see the book in its physical form and celebrate its success with the community.

“We’re all very proud to be part of the book’s launch,” Ms Streater said.

The Comboyne Cookbook is available from the Comboyne Community Centre (phone: 6550 4289) retailing at $50. For those attending the event, limited copies of the book will available or orders can be placed for delivery in early November.

Following the event, students will hold another networking and engagement opportunity when they hold the graduate exhibition, ‘Metamorphosis’, at CSU in Port Macquarie on Friday 7 December from 6pm.

Media Contact: Chris Gillies, 0439 068 752

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

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