Showing posts from August, 2015

Griffith students dive into Sustainability Week

Australia’s first vending machine to dispense reusable bottles has students at the Griffith University Gold Coast campus lining up for free chilled water.

The social venture called Water on Tap is an innovative social venture introduced by the Gold Coast Student Guild who partnered with not-for-profit organization Healthy Waterways to be one of only three locations across the country to trial it.

It has been running on campus in the lead up to Griffith’s Sustainability Week (August 31 – September 4) celebrations.

Student Guild President Cameron Harrison said plastic bottles constitute more than 22 per cent of waterway litter.

“The machine, which provides the option to bring your own bottle or invest in an exclusively designed reusable bottle, has been actively supported by the students,” he said.

And if you haven’t cycled in a while, now is the time to get back on your bike.

Griffith University is encouraging students at Nathan campus to complete a Back on your Bike course for …

UQ journalism students reap rewards of creating change

Ten journalism students from The University of Queensland have won the Communication and Media Achievement Award at the Queensland Multicultural Awards.

The students were recognised for Change Makers magazine, a project with Woodridge State High School which aimed to tell the real stories of the local community and debunk negative stereotypes.

UQ School of Communication and Arts Lecturer Dr Scott Downman said the award was terrific recognition for the students and the UQ journalism program.

Change Makers is an innovative project that combines cross-cultural reporting and the use of non-traditional newsgathering techniques. There is nothing else like it in Australia.” Dr Downman said.

Six students visited Woodridge State High School over five months to document stories and create the magazine, which was launched in October 2014.

Another four students joined the project in 2015.

Team member Alicja Rudz said working on Change Makers was extremely rewarding.

“The first time we visi…

Bond expands its Actuarial Science program

Bond University has appointed internationally experienced actuary Wilma Terblanche as it ramps up its Actuarial Science program, with a Masters degree to be delivered from September to cater for an increasing demand for graduates and a new partnership with Queensland Treasury secured.

Ms Terblanche’s appointment follows the appointment of Dr Gaurav Khemka earlier this year, with both academics working alongside one of Australia’s leading authorities in the field, Bond’s Head of Actuarial Science Professor Terry O’Neill, to deliver the programs.

Professor O’Neill said Ms Terblanche, a Fellow of the Australian Actuaries Institute, would bring an international business perspective to the program.

“Having worked in Australia, the UK and South Africa, Wilma has a wealth of experience and will be an invaluable member of our actuarial sciences team,” he said.

The new Master of Actuarial Science, which can be completed in four semesters, and Master of Actuarial Practice, a five se…

Griffith University Medicine and Dentistry Deans to hold information sessions in Canada

Have you considered studying medicine or dentistry at an Australian university?

OzTREKK is pleased to welcome Griffith Medical School Dean Prof Simon Broadley, Griffith Dental School Dean Prof Ward Massey, and Griffith Medical School Prof David Elwood to Canada where they will be holding information sessions for anyone interested in learning more about studying medicine and dentistry at Griffith University.

At the information sessions, the Griffith University Deans will speak about their respective faculties and about the medicine and dentistry programs offered. The Deans will be available for a question-and-answer period following the sessions. This is a great opportunity for future students to find out more about
Griffith University;the medical school and dental school;admissions requirements;program structure;application deadlines;accreditation;life on campus;and much more! Wondering about what it’s like to study in Australia at Griffith University? Don’t miss these informat…

JCU’s five-star jobs rating

James Cook University graduates continue to be in high demand, with the latest Good Universities Guide awarding the university a five star rating for getting a job.

For the fifth year in a row, the authoritative tertiary education guide has given JCU five out of five stars for job success.

The rating means JCU is in the top 20% of universities whose graduates (aged under 25) were able to find full-time work within four months of graduation.

Only six other Australian universities scored such a result.

JCU continues to record extremely strong results for the standard of its teaching, with the guide awarding the university four stars for “teaching quality.”

JCU also received four stars for the “generic skills” it teaches its students, and a four star rating for the proportion of its domestic students from a low socio-economic background. Four stars is the second highest possible rating.

JCU Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said it’s very pleasing that JCU graduates ar…

Generous donation to support Farmbot for the People project

Anonymous $1.5-million donation to robotics research aims to make technology accessible to the average Australian farmer.

Project coordinator Salah Sukkarieh Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems and Director of Research and Innovation at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics says the affordable farmbots will give farmers a tool to help better manage their farms.

“It will also help them reduce the time spent on laborious farm duties, crop and animal monitoring, as well as invasive pest management,” he said.

“The technology will provide our farming community with low-cost platforms that can be adapted easily to meet the farmer’s individual needs.

“The new technology will assist agriculturalists in taking their farms into the future as well as provide an education tool for the next generation of growers.

“We will develop two low-cost Farmbot devices – the EmuBot™ and the KangaBot™. The platforms will be rugged, robust, battery and solar powered, energy efficient, s…

Griffith University climbs again in 2015 world rankings

Griffith University continues to improve its international standing with the latest release of the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities.

The ARWU ranks Griffith among the Top 500 universities worldwide. There are more than 10,000 institutions globally.

Griffith has been ranked highly by the ARWU for several years and is now one of only three southeast Queensland universities ranked in the top 500.

Queensland University of Technology entered the AWRU Top 500 rankings for the first time today, joining Griffith and University of Queensland.

Vice Chancellor and President Professor Ian O’Connor said the rankings affirmed Griffith’s now well-established international reputation.

“The Academic Ranking of World Universities is regarded as one of the more prestigious measures of excellence and we are happy to be recognized in this way,” says Professor O’Connor.

“We also welcome QUT into this index as a clear sign of the research strength of universities in southeast Queensland.

JCU researchers study high-altitude climate change

Australian scientists have discovered many tropical mountaintop plants won’t survive global warming, even under the best-case climate scenario.

James Cook University and Australian Tropical Herbarium researchers say their climate change modelling of mountaintop plants in the tropics has produced an “alarming” finding.

They found many of the species they studied will likely not be able to survive in their current locations past 2080 as their high-altitude climate changes.

The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area in Queensland, Australia is predicted to almost completely lose its ability to host the endemic plants that grow 1,000 metres or more above sea level.

Lead researcher Dr Craig Costion says the findings have important implications for some rare and ancient species. “They already live on mountaintops, they have no other place to go,” he says.

The scientists looked at 19 plant species in the tropics found at least 1,000 metres above sea level. They modelled three climate change…

University of Newcastle secures project funding

The University of Newcastle has successfully secured funding for 14 projects under the 2016 New Colombo Plan Scholarships and Student Mobility Grant Projects which will see more than 130 students travel internationally to take part in study, internships and mentorships, practicums and research.

Winnie Eley reflects on her own experience as a young student abroad when announcing that another 14 University of Newcastle (UON) projects will be funded by the New Colombo Plan (NCP) to send students to study overseas to further their education in law, creative arts, speech pathology, nursing and oral health.

“I call it a ‘come alive moment’—it’s like learning a second language. I remember when I went to the UK for my university education. After all those years of learning and studying, suddenly it all came alive for me.”

Now the PVC International and Advancement at UON, Winnie Eley’s leadership at the university is deeply concerned with international engagement for both students …

Student Q&A: Studying the Master of Information Systems at the University of Melbourne

Originally from India, Sukirtha Aruna was working as an analyst for a top business management consulting firm, but aspired to enhance her understanding of information technology. Now she studies the Master of Information Systems at Melbourne. In this special Q&A, Sukirtha reveals what graduate IT is really like.

What is information technology?
Information technology is more than a bunch of computers sitting in the back room of an organisation; it is the very backbone of any organisation in today’s world! Studying IT is like understanding all the work that goes into making a movie—which is more than picking the right cast, director and cameraman. A big part of understanding IT is recognising its role in business strategy implementation.

Why did you choose the Master of Information Systems?
Prior to my Masters I worked as an analyst at a business management consulting firm, but had no background in information systems. It was like a treasure hunt—I lacked the skills and kno…

Griffith research on barnacles may help find MH370

Marine research conducted by Griffith University PhD candidate Ryan Pearson has given fresh hope to investigators trying to solve the mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

After confirmation that a wing fragment washed ashore at Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean is indeed from MH370, Mr Pearson says analysis of barnacles encrusted on the debris could narrow the search area for the missing aircraft.

The Boeing 777 was carrying 239 passengers and crew when it disappeared in March last year. All attempts to find the aircraft have failed.

However, the recent discovery of a section of wing called a flaperon, and now identified as belonging to the missing plane, has lifted hopes of a resolution to the mystery.

Mr Pearson, from Griffith’s Australian Rivers Institute, says barnacle shells can provide information about the water conditions under which they are formed and through which they have passed. Accordingly, examination of barnacles attached to the wing piece can help de…

Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science Australian Rhino Project

From Africa to Australia – a project of global significance A pressing aim of The Australian Rhino Project is to establish a breeding herd of black and white rhinos in Australia as an “insurance population” in the event of extinction of the species in the wild. The plan is to import 80 rhinos from South Africa to Australia over a four-year period, commencing in 2015, with the ultimate goal of reintroducing the rhinos and their progeny to their natural habitat in Africa.

Underpinning the breeding program are three high priority areas for captive rhino research. Led by Professor David Raubenheimer, the Leonard P Ullmann Chair in Nutritional Ecology, the research will be conducted by a team of zoologists, veterinarians and biological experts from the Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science.

This research will not only be critical to the health and survival of the 80 rhinos, it will help inform the successful translocation of rhinos across the world.

The Sydney Faculty of Veterin…

Bond University delivers the best in educational experience

Bond University has once again ranked among Australia’s highest rated universities for Educational Experience in the latest edition of the Good Universities Guide, considered the most comprehensive independent source of information on higher education providers in Australia.

For the tenth consecutive year, Bond was awarded five stars—the highest possible rating—in the areas of staff-student ratio, teaching quality, overall satisfaction and generic skills, and scored four stars for staff qualifications.

Bond also rated very highly in the Graduate Outcomes category, with four stars in the two benchmarks assessed: starting salary and getting a full-time job.

The Good Universities Guide, by education solutions provider Hobsons, is an independent consumer guide to university performance and provides ratings, rankings, comment and information about all Australian higher education institutions.

Bond University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Tim Brailsford, said Bond del…

Thursday Island community inspires UQ medical student

Third-year UQ medical student Mr Charles Bligh has been inspired by the embrace of the Thursday Island community and  given a fresh outlook on remote and indigenous medicine.

He admits the time he spent on this small island in the Torres Strait as part of his six-week rural clinical rotation was often challenging but it was also deeply rewarding.

Working out of the Thursday Island Hospital and GP clinic that serve the greater Torres Strait region of 274 islands, 17 of which are permanently inhabited, he found himself in a busy and very different new environment.

“I was very green to everything and quite overwhelmed during the first week as I learnt the ropes in the hospital,” he said.

The region has a population of about 10,000 with about 90 per cent of people identifying themselves as Indigenous Australians.

Mr Bligh said he was impressed by the Torres Strait Island people he met and was given a warm welcome wherever he went.

“One of my fondest memories was after a day at the…

University of Sydney astronomer helps discover Earth’s bigger cousin

On July 24, an international team of astronomers from NASA’s Kepler mission announced the discovery of a near-Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star.

Dr Daniel Huber from the University of Sydney School of Physics is part of the team which made the discovery with NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope.

The planet named Kepler-452b is 60 per cent larger than Earth and orbits a Sun-like star with an orbital period of 385 days.

The mere 20-day difference between the planet’s orbital period and that of Earth’s makes it the closest analogue to Earth ever discovered. It also places the planet within the habitable zone, defined as the range of distance from a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of an orbiting planet.

The research paper reporting the finding, led by Jon Jenkins from NASA’s Ames Research Centre, has been accepted for publication in The Astronomical Journal.

Co-author Dr Huber contributed to the characterisation of the host star which is crucia…

JCU professor is inaugural Mindset Scholar

James Cook University’s Professor Peter Leggat AM is the inaugural Mindset Scholar hosted by the University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus (UNMC), based in Kuala Lumpur.

Professor Leggat took up his first scholarship stint at UNMC late last month, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.

“I have to thank Associate Profesor Tuong-Thuy Vu in the School of Geography, and Assistant Professor Aini Hamid in the Department of Biomedical Sciences for developing the proposal for this scholarship,” Professor Leggat said. “We are working on how geospatial technologies, such as satellites, can be applied in public health aspects of disaster management,” he added.

The collaboration stems from participation by Drs Vu and Leggat in a United Nations Platform for space-based information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER), organised by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs in Bonn, Germany, in 2009.

“Professor Leggat and I share a common research in…

New specialisation for Master of Business at Monash University

Monash Business School is now offering a sustainability specialisation as part of their Master of Business program.

The sustainability specialisation focuses on current and emerging strategies for improving corporate sustainability. The units within the stream will provide insights into sustainability from the perspectives of governance, ethics marketing and management.

This specialisation is suited to students who want to enhance their knowledge and skills in both business and sustainability issues and who seek employment in environmental governance or corporate sustainability management. It will also suit those who want to enable organisational and individual change towards more sustainable practices.

The sustainability stream is one of 9 areas of specialisation offered in the Master of Business:
Information TechnologyLaw and Responsible BusinessManaging Human CapitalMarketingRisk ManagementProject ManagementResponsible ManagementSupply Chain Management
About Monash Business S…

UQ leaps ahead among world’s finest universities

The University of Queensland has jumped higher in the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities, to rank 77th globally and equal second in Australia.

UQ’s leap to 77 from 85 is the strongest improvement of any of the four Australian universities in the top 100, and comes on the back of UQ’s top 50 placings in other global rankings. It is UQ’s best result since the annual ranking began in 2003.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the dramatic improvement reflected the dedication to excellence of UQ staff and alumni.

“This is an independent, objective testament to UQ’s outstanding quality,” Professor Høj said.

“It bears out the distinctive excellence of our staff and global alumni, particularly those published in Nature and Science.

“This is an exceptionally good result for UQ and for Australia, especially in light of the vigorous competition from universities in countries such as China that benefit from massive and strategic investments in higher edu…

Griffith program puts spotlight on domestic violence

Federal Member for Griffith Ms Terri Butler last week launched the new Griffith University program – Project Safe Space – which provides journalism students with an intensive learning experience in reporting domestic and family violence.

An initiative of Griffith School of Humanities’ journalism program, Project Safe Space sees journalism and law students working together with victims and stakeholder groups to facilitate change.

Ms Butler said, “It is really wonderful to see Griffith University is engaging in two very important ways of facing up to domestic and family violence in our community, and that’s the way we talk about it and the action we take from it.”

“Project Safe Space aims to educate the community about issues surrounding domestic violence and provide a voice for victims,’’ says journalism lecturer Ms Faith Valencia.

“At the same time, it will provide journalism students with training in best-practice reporting and a better understanding of domestic violence i…

Australian Hearing Hub opens its doors for Hearing Awareness Week

To celebrate Hearing Awareness Week (Aug. 23–29), the Australian Hearing Hub (AHH) hosted an open house event on Saturday, Aug. 22.

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, learn about hearing prevention, hearing technologies and the services available at 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.

The opening address was made at midday by Senator the Hon. Marise Payne, Minister for Human Services.

A range of short talks explored different topics, including knowing your risk and take action to prevent hearing loss; learn about hearing loss and advancements in hearing technology; and, supporting children with dyslexia, language difficulties and anxiet…

Griffith dentistry international placements

Hands-on experience: Griffith dentistry international placements Griffith Dental School students receive extensive practical experience as they work under and alongside qualified oral health professionals in the university’s modern dental clinic and commercial laboratory. From the first year of study, students will have the opportunity to undertake placements, from state schools, rural and remote to indigenous and aged care, allowing them to apply learned skills and develop valuable contacts.

Make a difference to the health of individuals and the community. Working in an oral health team with fellow students (dental, oral health therapy and dental technology students), you will have the opportunity to undertake a research project that identifies an oral health issue and solutions to the issue. Previous students projects have taken them to far North Queensland, PNG, and Vanuatu where their research and identified solutions are improving the oral health of these communities…

JCU’s landmark ‘The Science Place’ moving ahead

JCU’s landmark ‘The Science Place’ project is one step closer, with the announcement of the construction company that will build the $85-million joint teaching and research facility on the university’s Townsville campus.

The Science Place is a JCU- and federally funded project that will transform the way tertiary education is delivered across north Queensland.

It’s the biggest project ever undertaken on the Townsville campus. The building will be longer than a football field, and if all the floors are laid out side by side, they would cover more than two football fields.

Lend Lease has won a tender process for the $64-million construction contract, and signed the agreement at James Cook University’s Townsville campus last week.

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources, Tricia Brand said she’s delighted Lend Lease will build the innovative building.

“The Science Place will revolutionise the teaching of science in North Queensland.

“The aim of the building is to promote t…

For this Bachelor, it’s all about the chemistry

Australia’s most desired bachelors are those dispensing professional health advice—not roses—according to a University of Queensland professor.

UQ School of Pharmacy Head Peter Little made the comment as Health at UQ launched a tongue-in-cheek promotion titled The Bachelor of Pharmacy ahead of Pharmacy Experience day.

“A Bachelor of Pharmacy at UQ has one of the highest graduate employment rates of any bachelor degree in Australia, so it clearly makes you a wanted person,” Professor Little said.

The promotion featuring an anonymous student in a series of images,  plays on the themes of commitment, passion, chemistry and caring. “The pursuit of knowledge and dedication to a career can be very attractive qualities,” Professor Little said.

“Obviously we are having some fun with this, but I think there is a strong underlying message.

“We should admire and promote people who make our community safer and healthier through accepting the challenge of a specialist education.”

UQ is home …

Melbourne reaffirms its place among the world’s top 50 universities

The University of Melbourne has retained its position of 44th in the world according to the latest Academic Ranking of World Universities results, released Aug. 15.

It is also now the fifth year in a row that the university has been ranked first in Australia according to the ARWU, and the second time Melbourne has ranked in the top 50.

The rankings emphasise the quality and output of research from institutions, and while more than 1200 universities are ranked each year, only the top 500 are published.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis said that to be recognized as among the 50 best research universities in the world is a testament to hard work by the entire university community, both those on campus and our partners beyond. “It’s a remarkable result to remain a top 50 university given the intense competition in the global higher education sector to gain greater reputation through research excellence.

“During what has been quite a tumultuous time for research in Australia,…

Fall Study in Australia Fairs coming soon!

Upcoming OzTREKK Study in Australia Fairs—meet representatives from world-class Australian universities! Have you ever wondered what it’s like to study in Australia? Would you like more information about studying medicine, dentistry, law, pharmacy, or physiotherapy in Australia?

Each fall, we travel across Canada to meet with Canadian students interested in pursuing their career dreams in Australia. We bring the information to them, making it easy to access the answers needed when considering studies in Australia.

Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 30 in Vancouver, OzTREKK’s Australian universities will be participating in the fairs, sending staff from Australia to Canada to advise students (and their parents!) about their study options in Australia. These fairs are free of charge and everyone is welcome to attend!

Staff will be available to speak to you about program options, accommodation, scholarships available, and so much more! At the fairs, you can find out more about

Schools compete in national moot at Bond Law School

Students from 14 schools from around Australia argued their cases before some of Australia’s most respected legal figures recently, after making the grand final of a prestigious national mooting competition.

The Honourable Justice Robert Gotterson AO of the Supreme Court of Queensland, retired District Court of Queensland Judge John Newton and Bond Law School’s Assistant Professor Louise Parsons, were among the judging panel for the Bond University High School Mooting Competition finals, held on the Gold Coast on Aug. 1, 2015.

The competition is the only one of its kind in Australia, with more than 120 schools from across the country entering their best and brightest Year 11 and 12 students.

The mooting competition introduces students to the courtroom environment and gives them insight into the workings of the Australian legal system, with two opposing teams conducting a legal argument involving the application of legal rules to factual situations similar to those dealt wi…