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Showing posts from August, 2014

An Hour with the Expert: University of Melbourne Facebook chat

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Are you wondering what it’s like to study at one of the world’s most highly ranked universities?
The University of Melbourne will be hosting hour-long Facebook chats—An Hour with the Expert!


This is a great way to find out more about the following programs:
Speech Pathology – Monday, Sept. 1 @ 3:15 p.m.Public Health – Tuesday, Sept. 2 @ 3:15 p.m.Audiology – Monday, Sept. 8 @ 3:15 p.m. Check out Time Zone Converter to find the time in your location: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

Speech Pathology Master of Speech Pathology program is designed to provide comprehensive training in all aspects of speech pathology and to produce graduates who are ready to enter the profession. The first year of the course provides the scientific background in anatomy and physiology, auditory and acoustic phonetics, linguistics, speech and language disorders, clinical practice and processes. The second year builds on the specialized knowledge acquired in first year, develops clinica…

UQ researchers’ water additive on the nose with concrete sewers

A team of University of Queensland researchers has found a way to save water providers hundreds of millions of dollars a year by reducing sewer corrosion. Team leader and Deputy Director of UQ Advanced Water Management Centre (AWMC) Professor Zhiguo Yuan said sewer systems were recognised as one of the most critical infrastructure assets for urban societies.

“Maintenance costs for these concrete sewers run into the billions of dollars a year across the world,’’ Professor Yuan said.

In a paper published in the leading international journal Science, the research team shows that a common coagulant added in the drinking water treatment, aluminium sulfate, can be a key contributor to the sulfate levels in sewage.

“This, in turn, is the primary source of hydrogen sulfide, which creates rapid concrete degradation and is the main cause of global sewer corrosion,” he said.


“This could be avoided by switching to sulfate-free coagulants at little or no extra cost compared with the large potenti…

Sydney Medical School students finish the race

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How long does it take to walk 100 km of Australian bushland—in the rain?


Two OzTREKK Sydney Medical School students decided to find out, and did it for a great cause!  Oxfam works to find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive. They save lives and help rebuild livelihoods when crisis strikes, and campaign so that the voices of the poor influence the local and global decisions that affect them. Oxfam works with partner organisations and alongside vulnerable women and men to end the injustices that cause poverty.


In order to assist people who live in poverty, Oxfam holds Trailwalker around the world. The Sydney Medical School students, Kate and Adam, along with two others, volunteered their time for this worthy cause and participated in the Oxfam Trailwalker Australia, Sydney.

While the weather wasn’t spectacular, the four med students pressed on, crossing New South Wales countryside and bushland in the rain and muck. When asked if …

Newcastle researchers look at new asthma therapy

A new therapy developed by Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) and UK-based respiratory researchers has recorded a marked reduction in acute asthma exacerbations triggered by the common cold. The international Phase 2 trial of a synthetic anti-viral "interferon," inhaled via a nebuliser, proved most effective in helping patients with more difficult asthma when they developed a virus or cold-induced attack.



Interferons are proteins that effectively 'interfere' with a virus's ability to interact with host cells and then spread. They also occur naturally as part of the body's immune response.

"We're not interested in curing the common cold—or rhinovirus as it's known—we want to limit the negative effect it has on asthma," Conjoint Professor Peter Wark, co-director of the University of Newcastle's Priority Research Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases, said.

"Around eighty per cent of acute exacerbations are triggered by res…

Partnership accelerates drug delivery research

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A recent visit by world-renowned polymer chemist Professor Sébastien Perrier was the latest step towards consolidating joint research in nanomedicine that is underpinned by the Monash Warwick Alliance.

Professor Perrier, who has been awarded four prestigious scientific awards spanning four continents in the past 12 months, visited Monash University in June to strengthen his research with Professor Tom Davis from the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences.


The long-term collaborators are both Monash Warwick Alliance Joint Professors. Professor Perrier is based at the University of Warwick’s Department of Chemistry while Professor Davis is based at MIPS. They spend considerable time at each other’s university.

Together they design, create and test nanomaterials that can deliver therapeutics drugs directly to a disease site. These materials, designed on a scale at 1/1,000,000 of a millimetre, are set to revolutionise how we diagnose and treat conditions from cancer to hear…

OzTREKK students review the Melbourne DVM

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Have you applied to the Melbourne Veterinary School? Wondering what the program is like? Don’t take our word for it! Read our student reviews about the Melbourne DVM! (P.S. Check out the star ratings—these students are serious!)

2014 Intake Reviews
“Love my program and the weather so far! I will definitely add more favourites to my list. Love the program, very hands on and the professors are very personal. Melb uni has an amazing teaching staff. I am already getting a lot I hands on experience and am able to talk to every professor on a one on one basis.”


“Program, weather, Canadian students. Dislike- New & there are many things to get used to. Like- set number of students for program, and instructors/prof. all seemed to be consider students and subjects carefully. I would recommend Melbourne if anyone is interested in Vet Medicine.”

“I like the new culture, the weather and the Australian plants, trees, and animals! Everyone here is super friendly, as well and helpful w…

Australian Hearing Hub celebrates Hearing Awareness Week

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To celebrate Hearing Awareness Week (Aug. 24 – 30), the partner organisations of the Australian Hearing Hub (AHH) hosted an open house event on Saturday, August 23.


As 1 in 6 Australians are impacted by hearing loss, the open house focused on healthy hearing, with opportunities for the local community to explore the amazing features of the North Ryde facility, arrange free hearing screening tests and a range of other hearing-related services offered within the hub.

The day was designed for all ages, with everything from a jumping castle to tours of the hub’s anechoic chamber, a purpose-built room not often open to the public, where sound is completely absorbed to provide true silence.

As this event is one of the first for Hearing Awareness week, The Hon Jillian Skinner MP will open the festivities at midday. A range of short talks will also explore different topics, including stories from local ‘Hearing heroes’, such as Macquarie University student Leah McConnell.

Leah’s jou…

Sydney Engineering researchers study recycling to benefit agriculture

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Urine could be successfully recycled to fertilise crops according to University of Sydney civil engineering researchers who have examined the effectiveness of reusing nutrients from the human waste.


Dr Federico Maggi, senior lecturer in the Sydney School of Civil Engineering and expert in environmental modelling says there is growing evidence that the use of human urine in agriculture is completely viable.

“Our preliminary results indicate that human urine can be effectively used extensively in agriculture to reduce the production and use of mineral commercial fertilisers.

“It contains the highest levels of nutrients among all the human excreta and yields considerable amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These are the most essential nutrients for the growth of plants, and substantially all micronutrients plants need for healthy growth,” the Sydney Engineering lecturer explained.

The researchers believe the model they have developed could be used to increase the effect…

JCU Medical School students form Surgical Interest Group

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The Surgical Interest Group (SIG) at JCU Medical School was formed in 2014 by a group of surgically-minded students.

The SIG is now linked to a wider Australian university network of student surgical groups and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. It aims to organise events and information sessions for medical students in all years of the course who are interested in finding out more about the specialty.


The collaborative group has already hosted two events in 2014—a careers night and surgical skills competition—and wants to bring more surgical opportunities and knowledge to JCU medical students.

At present, the group has no formal governance structure and is organised by a group of nine students interested in surgery.

One of the committee members, Tom O’Donohoe, said the group is by no means exclusive to students in clinical years and encouraged all medical students to get involved in the group’s events.

“We were pleasantly surprised with the success of our first event,…

UQ establishes Algae Energy Farm and helps feed beef cattle

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Beef producers could soon benefit from a protein-rich and sustainable livestock feed supplement in the form of microalgae.

The University of Queensland has established an Algae Energy Farm to cultivate and harvest microalgae for a range of uses, including as a feed supplement for beef cattle.


The Algae Energy Farm, established by the UQ School of Agriculture and Food Sciences with assistance from Meat and Livestock Australia, is an off-grid 250,000-litre demonstration farm at UQ’s Pinjarra Hills campus.

Lead researcher Professor Peer Schenk said the farm showed that algae could be grown easily in Australian conditions, leveraging feed and fuel, and without competing for arable land needed for food production.

“We are working closely with Australian primary producers to produce protein-rich feed to meet the nutritional needs of cattle and other livestock,” Professor Schenk said.

Such a feed source would help mitigate large seasonal variations in pasture nutritive value and boost…

Bond Law scoops second teaching awards

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Bond Law School has scooped the Australasian Law Teachers’ Association (ALTA) / Lexis Nexis Early Career Award for the second year in a row, placing its law program firmly at the top of the field for teaching excellence.


Assistant Professor Francina Cantatore received the accolade for 2014, following in the footsteps of colleague Danielle Ireland-Piper who was the 2013 recipient.

Dr Cantatore commenced teaching at Bond Law School three years ago, adding to her successful career practicing commercial law as a solicitor and barrister, specialising in IP law, Property Law, Consumer Credit Law and Media Law.

She also facilitates the Bond Law Clinic—a pro-bono clinic that offers free legal advice to the community on a range of matters.

Dr Cantatore said the award was a great honour and an inspiration to continue improving on her teaching initiatives.

“From my perspective a practice-based learning approach makes commercial law subjects much more vivid and gives students an insight …

Melbourne named world’s most liveable city—again!

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Well, it’s official: Melbourne has once again been named the world’s most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Survey—for the fourth year in a row!


Another bonus? Melbourne was also pronounced the world’s friendliest city by Conde Nast Traveller magazine.

So what makes Melbourne so special, you ask? Pull up a chair and grab a primo coffee and we’ll fill you in!

About the city
Melbourne is the capital of Victoria and home to nearly four million people. It is the second-largest and most cosmopolitan city in Australia. Here are some Melbourne fast facts:
Melbourne was judged as the Most Liveable City in the world in 2014 for a fourth consecutive year by the Economist Intelligence Unit (as we’ve just pointed out!).Melbourne has been ranked the sixth most student-friendly city in the world in the QS Best Student City Rankings in 2013.Melbourne has been recognized as a UNESCO City of Literature—they have more bookshops per head of population than anywhere…

Monash appoints new Sustainability Institute head

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Renowned Monash University water researcher Professor Rebekah Brown has been appointed Director of the Monash Sustainability Institute (MSI).


Professor Brown is recognised internationally for her scientific innovation and world-leading research in urban water and sustainability. She will be taking over the position from Professor Dave Griggs, who is moving to a more research-focused role within the institute.

Monash University Provost and Senior Vice-President Professor Edwina Cornish said the appointment was a great outcome for the university.

“Rebekah has an outstanding record of scholarship, a great record of research impact and an outstanding ability to lead interdisciplinary research with industry,” Professor Cornish said. “I am very pleased to have such an acclaimed and accomplished researcher leading one of the university’s stand-out institutes.”

MSI Chair Professor John Thwaites said he was excited by the unique skills and exemplary industry engagement experience Profes…

Sydney Conservatorium of Music: more to a skilled ear in music

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“That was a great performance, but you were a little ‘pitchy.’”

Um, pardon me?

What exactly is “pitchy,” anyway? Is it a real word, or is it a newfangled addition to the urban dictionary being slung around by television program “judges” who—let’s be honest—most of the time are not truly qualified to judge a true musician or singer? We suspect it’s no longer just an adjective.

The first pilot study in Australia to give musicians the skills and training to critically assess music by what they hear rather than what they see began this month at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. The study aims to address a lack of skill and formal training in the industry that enables music judges to critically assess sound—an important skill when it comes to auditions and judging music in the real world.


Leading the research is Dr Helen Mitchell, a senior lecturer in musicology at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, following a grant received by the Federal Government in June this year.

The st…

Melbourne ranked 44th in Academic Ranking of World Universities

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The University of Melbourne recently received welcome news of the 2014 Academic Rankings of World Universities from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. This year Melbourne is placed at number 44. This is the first time an Australian institution has been numbered below 50 on the ARWU list of best research universities in the world.


Such a strong result reflects the extraordinary academic contribution of researchers at the University of Melbourne, and excellent research partnerships with institutes, hospitals, companies, think tanks, government agencies and community organisations.

The University of Melbourne has worked hard to encourage an ecosystem of organisations committed to research collaboration, working closely together to address the grand challenges of our times.

The latest ARWU ranking is a collective achievement that celebrates great research for the benefit of our city, state and nation. It also reinforces the importance of the vision of Believe – the Campaign for th…

Sydney Faculty of Pharmacy research studies safe use of NSAIDs

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Research by the Sydney Faculty of Pharmacy has found that older Australians are taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for too long and without sufficient precautions to minimise harmful side-effects.


NSAIDs are commonly used to treat pain and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders. In Australia, NSAIDs include both prescription and over-the-counter medicines, such as celecoxib (Celebrex), ibuprofen (Nurofen) and diclofenac (Voltaren).

Despite guidelines recommending the short-term use of NSAIDs, the study of 1,700 older Australian men aged 70 years and older reports that patients were prescribed these drugs for five years on average.

“Prescribing doctors are not adhering to the specific guidelines for the safe use of NSAIDs in older people” said lead author of the paper Dr Danijela Gnjidic from the Sydney Faculty of Pharmacy.

“Australian and international guidelines suggest NSAIDS should be used for short-term …

New executive dean to lead medical faculty at Macquarie University

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Professor H Patrick McNeil has been appointed inaugural Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Macquarie University. He will commence in the role on November 3.


Professor McNeil currently leads a research team within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of New South Wales. He is also Executive Clinical Director of Liverpool Hospital, and Chair of Arthritis Australia.

He has been a continuous Chief Investigator on NHMRC or ARC project grants since 1995, has published more than 90 articles and has supervised 21 higher degree research students. His academic expertise is in the areas of cellular immunology, rheumatology and arthritis; however, he has also published extensively in the field of medical education.

Vice-Chancellor of Macquarie University, Professor S Bruce Dowton, said Professor McNeil’s appointment marked a pivotal moment in the university’s history.

“In our fiftieth year it is extremely exciting to announce the formation of a new medica…

Sydney nursing students a vital resource in Vietnam

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Thanks to Học Mãi, the Australia Vietnam Medical Foundation, two Master of Nursing graduates, Kate Murchie and Susi Summers, were given the incredible opportunity to travel to Vietnam over the summer to undertake an additional clinical placement. The placement gave them the opportunity to gain invaluable nursing experience and a deeper understanding of issues in the developing world.

How was this placement arranged?
KATE: The Hoc Mai placement and scholarship was offered to Sydney Nursing School students through the Hoc Mai Foundation and Sydney University. The application included an interview, an essay on why I wanted to apply, and details of my academic achievements.


SUSI: The Hoc Mai Foundation offered a scholarship and arranged our placements—working alongside fellow student nurses from the University of Sydney—as well as our peers in other health-related disciplines.

What motivated you to apply for this placement?
SUSI: I was interested in the program because I would eve…

Monash Faculty of Law celebrates 50th Anniversary

The Grand Hyatt Melbourne came to life recently as the Monash Faculty of Law celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gala dinner.

There was much joy and exuberance among the 400-plus attendees as those from the first and subsequent decades reacquainted themselves with old classmates and fellow alumni from the faculty.

The MC for the night was ABC broadcaster and Monash University alumnus Jon Faine, whose wit and honesty captivated the ballroom. He shared many Monash memories and also donated to the live auction his Fan of the High Court of Australia T-shirt, which he wore as a law student activist at the 1980 opening of Australia’s High Court building.

Also present for the celebrations were Chief Justice Marilyn Warren AC and Chief Justice Robert French AC, who spoke fondly about their time at Monash. Justice French also shared his interpretation of the history of the Monash Faculty of Law, as he launched Pericleans, Plumbers and Practitioners,the First Fifty Years of the Monash Law Sc…

JCUHealth clinic opens in Townsville

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The innovative and modern health facilities at JCU Health allied health clinics opened to the public for the first time on Sunday, Aug. 24 during JCU’s Open Day in Townsville.


The facility offers a wide range of health services, including General Practice, Physiotherapy, Exercise Physiology, Occupational Therapy, an Inter-professional Clinic, Speech Pathology and Psychology.

Many of the clinics relocated into James Cook University’s Clinical Practice Building (CPB) at the end of 2013, and the last two clinics moved in April this year.

Associate Professor Bev Raasch, Clinical Director, JCUHealth said Sunday would be an exciting day, with a variety of information sessions, free health assessments, tours and displays available to the public.

“We would really encourage the public, JCU staff, students and prospective JCU students to take this opportunity to walk around the JCUHealth clinics which are spread across two floors in the CPB,” Associate Professor Raasch said. “The clinics…

Monash Master of Teaching

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The Monash Master of Teaching is a graduate-entry course that prepares you for a career as an educator in the early childhood sector, primary schools or secondary schools—or even a combination of these.


The course is suited to applicants who have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline and are seeking a teaching qualification. The Monash Master of Teaching prepares students for leadership in education by building their
professional knowledge of education systems, theories of learning and teaching, and curriculum content;professional skills and abilities to teach, organise and manage classrooms, assess and report learning, reflection and develop evidence-based practice; andprofessional values to be a compassionate, collaborative, ethical leader committed to lifelong learning. The Monash University Master of Teaching builds your knowledge of teaching and learning by immersing you in a minimum of 60 days of teaching practice throughout the course in urban, rural, remote or internati…