Showing posts from November, 2015

UQ to welcome new Chancellor

The current Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Peter Varghese AO, will join The University of Queensland in July 2016 as UQ’s new Chancellor, following an election by the university’s Senate.

In statements issued Nov. 24, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop paid tribute to Mr Varghese.

Ms Bishop said Mr Varghese had had a distinguished career in Australia’s diplomatic service.

“Mr Varghese is one of Australia’s most esteemed public servants and diplomats, having served as Secretary since 2012, High Commissioner to India from 2009–2012 and Director-General of the Office of National Assessments from 2004–2009,” she said.

“Importantly, Mr Varghese has been a constant source of sage advice during a time of significant international challenges. I have personally benefited from his calm, competent and insightful counsel.”

University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said Mr Varghese had …

Study chiropractic science at Macquarie University!

In April 2013, Macquarie University alerted its current and future chiropractic students of the proposal to begin discussions with other interested higher education providers about the transfer of its chiropractic teaching by 2015.

After assessment of the Macquarie Department of Chiropractic, and many consultations with key stakeholder groups and interested parties, the university has approved a proposal for the continuation and development of teaching and research in the department.

The proposal outlined potential for greater and more rigorous research into the field, and highlighted the impact that such research could have on chiropractic around the world. In Australia, the chiropractic and osteopathic services market is valued at almost $1 billion annually. By applying evidence-based research practices to the study and curricular development of this field, the department can ensure that Australians experience the best possible care at the hands of highly qualified grad…

Koala genome reveals its secret

It has long been thought that low levels of koala genetic diversity is a reason for their declining populations and local extinctions, but James Cook University and University of Sydney researchers have found this is not the case.

For the first time, the genome of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) has been studied across the species range. Previous research has shown that many marsupials have low genetic diversity—often a sign of inbreeding and mating with kin, which is not unusual in animals with declining populations.

A new study by researchers at JCU and the University of Sydney, in partnership with the NGO Science for Wildlife organisation and San Diego Zoo, has used cutting-edge genetic technology to answer critical questions about koala conservation.

In the ground-breaking study, the group has applied whole-genome DNA sequencing to show that koalas still maintain higher levels of genetic diversity than originally thought.

JCU’s Associate Professor Kyall Zenger said th…

Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science studies early-age feline desexing

The traditional age for desexing cats is about six months but research published during the breeding season now shows the surgery can be done safely before two months old—with important implications for animal welfare and the environment.

The findings have been published recently in the peer-reviewed Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery Open Reports, which is an official journal of the International Society of Feline Medicine.

Cats have overtaken dogs as the number one pet in the United States, and in Australia, number three million out of seven million pets. Touching on the environmental impacts of abandoned cats becoming feral predators in national parks, which has been identified by Government as a national issue, the paper calls for a re-think about desexing.

Chief investigator for the project, Associate Professor Vanessa Barrs, from the Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science, said early-age desexing removes the responsibility from owners, who often fail to return cats fo…

Do you need protein supplements to get ripped?

Many people spend hours in the gym every week and fill up on protein supplements in the quest for a ripped physique, but could all that hard work and money spent on sweet tasting powder be in vain?

According to a University of Queensland physiology and nutrition expert, expensive supplements may be nothing more than a waste of money.

UQ School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences researcher Dr David Jenkins argues that more protein doesn’t necessarily mean more muscle.

“Because muscles are made of protein, there’s a misconception that if you eat more protein you get more muscle,” Dr Jenkins said.

“In principle this is true, but there are two considerations that override this.

“Provided you eat a healthy and balanced diet, you consume far more protein than you actually need.

“Any extra protein we consume is probably not going to have any additional effect.”

Dr Jenkins said timing meals around workouts was important for muscle growth.

“Having 20 grams of high-quality protein that…

Sugar-free drinks and candies are bad news for teeth say dentists

Scientists at the University of Melbourne’s Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre have warned about the damage sugar-free drinks can do to tooth enamel.

Researchers in the centre tested 23 different types of drink, including soft drinks and sports drinks, and found drinks that contain acidic additives and with low pH levels cause measurable damage to dental enamel, even if the drink is sugar-free.

“Many people are not aware that while reducing your sugar intake does reduce your risk of dental decay, the chemical mix of acids in some foods and drinks can cause the equally damaging condition of dental erosion,” Melbourne Laureate Professor Eric Reynolds, CEO of the Oral Health CRC, said.

“Dental erosion occurs when acid dissolves the hard tissues of the tooth. In its early stages erosion strips away the surface layers of tooth enamel. If it progresses to an advanced stage it can expose the soft pulp inside the tooth.”

Early dental erosion can usually be reversed by oral heal…

University of Sydney pharmacy advantage

The Sydney Faculty of Pharmacy is consistently ranked among the world’s best educators in pharmacy. Here’s why…

Superior graduate satisfaction Sydney Pharmacy School graduates rank their experience with the course and the faculty as extremely satisfying and rewarding.

The Australian Graduate Survey is an annual survey used by Graduate Careers Australia to compile information from graduates of all Australian universities. It incorporates the Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) which gathers data about the graduate’s perceptions of their higher education experience. Participants have scored the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney an overall satisfaction rank of 97 percent.

Connect with health care peers Mirroring the real-life health care landscape, the Faculty of Pharmacy is a core member of a broader health division within the University.

Engagement with Sydney Medical School and Faculties of Dentistry and Nursing & Midwifery creates an extensive multi-disci…

Bond dual law degree appeals

An increasing number of students are studying law to give them an edge in their chosen profession, according to Bond University Executive Dean of Law, Professor Nick James.

Professor James said many students study law not to become legal practitioners, but to set them apart from their fellow graduates in disciplines such as commerce, business, arts and international relations.

He said a growing number were also studying law as part of non-traditional dual degree combinations, such as health sciences and law. Bond has recently launched an actuarial science and law dual degree program.

“The majority of law students study law as part of a dual degree, and many of these students are more interested in pursuing the career that flows from the other degree,” he said.

“A lot of students want to keep their options open while at university, and they appreciate that the knowledge and skills that come from a law degree, whether or not they chose to become a legal practitioner, will sign…

University of Sydney celebrating outstanding contributions to student learning

University of Sydney Associate Professor Jaime Gongora (Faculty of Veterinary Science), and Associate Professor Alyson Simpson (Faculty of Education and Social Work) have received 2015 Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.

Jaime was recognised for innovatively embedding cultural competence into the veterinary curriculum and promoting an environment that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Alyson was recognised for her passionate commitment to dialogic pedagogy that inspires students to become literacy educators who teach critically and creatively with children’s literature.

“I want learners to be imaginative in their thinking and have found over the years that children’s literature is a great way to encourage that,” said Alyson after the award ceremony.

“The OLT recognition is very important to me, as the risk is high of teachers avoiding creative ways of teaching due to an emphasis on reductionist models of learning and narrow me…

JCU medical researchers receive AUS$2.8M grant to develop malaria vaccine

Professor Louis Schofield, Director of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) at James Cook University in North Queensland has received a $2.8M grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to pursue the pre-clinical development of a vaccine aimed at the goal of malaria eradication.

The research will be conducted in collaboration with researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, and other colleagues and institutions in the USA.

Speaking at the Northern Australia Investment Forum in Darwin, the Australian Trade Minister, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP congratulated Prof Schofield on the awarding of the Gates Grant, in particular as it could lead to the commercialisation of a life-saving malaria vaccine.

“This is a further major endorsement of the outstanding work undertaken by JCU and AITHM in tropical medical research,” Mr Robb said.

The funding will enable the team of researchers from North Queensland and Victoria to develop a …

Lifetime award for Griffith School of Environment professor

Professor Lex Brown, from the Griffith School of Environment, has received the UK Noise Abatement Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his international work in environmental acoustics.

The award was presented at the recent John Connell Awards 2015 Ceremony, held in the Palace of Westminster in London.

It honours key individuals who have made outstanding contributions to raising the profile of noise pollution as a critical environmental issue, and who have worked tirelessly over the course of their careers to effect solutions for the public benefit.

The award is the latest in a series of honours for Professor Brown, who since joining Griffith University in 1980 has led the emphasis on integrated assessment, namely the adaptation of environmental assessment tools to effectively integrate with planning activities including project development, plan-making, policy development and international development assistance.

In 2014, Professor Brown travelled to Chile to receive the …

JCU University Council elects next Chancellor

James Cook University’s governing body, the University Council, has elected Bill Tweddell as JCU’s next Chancellor.

Mr Tweddell will replace the current Chancellor, Lt. Gen. John Grey AC (Retired), who has previously announced he will retire from the position at the completion of his current term on March 25, 2016.

The University Council met to consider two candidates for the position of Chancellor.

Bill Tweddell has been elected as Chancellor for a five-year term, beginning March 26th 2016. He will be the university’s fifth Chancellor, and the first alumnus to be elected to the role.

Mr Tweddell has enjoyed a distinguished career in Australia’s diplomatic service spanning four decades. He is currently Australia’s Ambassador to the Philippines, having served in the position since 2012.

Other career highlights include serving as Ambassador to Vietnam, Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Deputy High Commissioner to India, and High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and t…

Upcoming Bond Law School information sessions in Canada

It’s no secret that Bond Law School has strong links with Canada and has been training Canadian lawyers for over 20 years. Did you know that there are currently more than 150 Canadian students studying law at Bond University and an active Canadian Law Students’ Association? And there is a rapidly expanding group of Bond Law Canadian alumni working as partners and senior practitioners in Canada and worldwide!

If you’re wondering about studying law at Bond, we’ve got great news: Bond University will be holding four info sessions for anyone interested in learning more about the university, the law school, and the Juris Doctor program!

Bond Law School Information SessionsToronto
Sunday, 29 November 2015
5:30 – 7 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Toronto, 370 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario

Monday, 30 November 2015
7 – 9 p.m.
Sheraton Eau Claire Hotel
255 Barclay Parade SW, Calgary, Alberta

Wednesday, 2 December 2015
7 – 9 p.m.
The Westin Edmonton
10135 100th Street, Edmonton, A…

Melbourne School of Design collects multiple awards

The Institute Of Structural Engineers, based in London, recently announced that the Melbourne School of Design won best education project at the Structural Awards 2015. This is a significant award as it covers several categories, and is awarded “for excellence in the structural design of buildings… which either facilitate learning or support healthcare…”

The award follows the 2015 National Architecture Awards on Nov. 5, at which the Melbourne School of Design won The Daryl Jackson Award for Educational Architecture. It’s the first time the Australian Institute of Architects has given the award. The awards tally for the new home of the Melbourne Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning is now at 13,  significant recognition to a building that has only been open to students for less than a year.

At the Structural Awards, the judges commented that they were “struck by this unusual building which was designed specifically to teach the students about design, structure and co…

Artist’s 100 images win UQ’s $50,000 National Self-Portrait Prize

Victorian artist Fiona McMonagle has been awarded one of Australia’s most prestigious art prizes, The University of Queensland’s National Self-Portrait Prize 2015.

The award was judged by QAGOMA Curatorial Manager of Australian Art Jason Smith.

The winner was announced at the opening of the National Self-Portrait Prize exhibition at the UQ Art Museum on Nov. 13.

Fiona McMonagle’s winning artwork, One hundred days at 7pm 2015, is a single-channel, 16-second video animation of 100 self-portraits. The artist painted a single portrait at 7 p.m. every day over 100 days.

“To me, ‘becoming’ is the process of change and moving forward, and I wanted to translate these ideas into an artwork that had a fluidity about it,” she said.

“As a medium, watercolour lends itself very nicely to the moving image, but the challenge was to keep my self-portraits as consistent as possible by using a restricted palette and a restricted number of brushes.

“I also didn’t allow myself to view the previous…

Monash computer technology a finalist in “The Australian” Innovation Awards

Computer technology designed to assist children with developmental disabilities, created by Monash researchers, has been chosen as a finalist in the annual The Australian Innovation Challenge awards, to be announced Nov. 28.

The world first tablet technology—designed to assist children with developmental disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorders and Down syndrome, stay focused is aimed at facilitating learning and inclusion within the school environment. The technology, called the TALI Attention Training Program, is a finalist in the Educations and Community Services category of the awards. The research has been funded by an ARC Linkage grant to Monash University, Grey Innovation and Torus Games.

Professor Kim Cornish, Director of the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, said that the awards recognised how technologies can revolutionise the ways all children are taught. “TALI is a real game changer as it assists children with developmental disabi…

University of Sydney fundraising campaign reaches $600 million target two years early

Launched in 2008, the 10-year fundraising campaign was the first and most ambitious of its kind in Australian higher education. With its original goal now realised, INSPIRED’snewtarget has been revised to $750 million by the end of 2017.

“We’ve reached this goal thanks to more than 43,000 generous supporters who have donated to the university since the campaign began,” said Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney.

“Reaching our goal more than two years early demonstrates a common belief that the University is at the forefront of meaningful change to our society, pursuing ideas that will shape our future.

“The impact that we can make with $600 million is already being seen on a local, national and global scale. Setting a new target gives us the opportunity to do even more.”

Donations this year to INSPIRED include
$33.7 million, the largest single research donation in the University of Sydney's history, from Barry and Joy Lambert, to resea…

New biological teaching laboratories at Macquarie University

Last week saw the successful official opening of three new state-of-the-art, interconnected biological teaching laboratories in Building E8C at Macquarie University.

The new labs, part of ongoing renovations within the Macquarie Faculty of Science and Engineering, will enable undergraduate biology students access to modern, cutting-edge equipment, bringing them up to the world-class standard of the university’s other digital learning environments.

Aside from the state-of-the-art microscopes, the three labs also sport large internal and external display windows, featuring interesting relevant teaching materials that will complement the class activities.

These new look labs allow teachers and students to work together using the latest integrated technologies. The microscopy instruments’ integration system give students the opportunity to develop critical, analytical, and integrative thinking through their investigations—turning their laboratory sessions into targeted, intell…

Melbourne law student wins scholarship

University of Melbourne student Matthew Pierri has been awarded the 2016 Victorian Rhodes Scholarship for postgraduate study at the University of Oxford.

Mr Pierri completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Media and Communications and Chinese Language at the University of Melbourne with First Class Honours and is due to complete a Juris Doctor degree at the Melbourne Law School this year. He hopes to study a Master of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.

Mr Pierri said he was thrilled to receive the scholarship, which will allow him to further his ambition to achieve social change at a systemic level.

“Over the last few years, I have advocated to change the perception and treatment of people with spinal cord injuries and I strongly believe that progressive and practical public policy is needed to address increasingly complex and multi-faceted social problems,” he said.

“By encouraging a positive, open-minded approach to disability, I beli…

Scope of the Dental Aptitude Test

Many pre-dentistry students will be writing the Canadian Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) this February. We have compiled some information from the Canadian Dental Association website about the DAT in order to help students in their preparation to plan to write the DAT, and to give a little bit of background information to students considering applying to an Australian dental school in the future.

Upcoming test dates:
Saturday, February 20, 2016 (Must register before January 15, 2016 23:59:59 EST)Saturday, November 5, 2016SCOPE OF DENTAL APTITUDE TEST (DAT)ComponentNumber of QuestionsTime allottedManual Dexterity TestN/A30 minutesSurvey of Natural Sciences70 questions ( Biology 1-40 chemistry 41-70)60 minutesPerceptual Ability Test90 questions60 minutesReading Comprehension Test50 questions50 minutes
There are 4 examinations included in the English DAT and 3 examinations included in the French DAT. The tests are administered over one half day and include the following:

1. Manual Dexterity…

Meet Ms Jacqueline Bond from the UQ School of Pharmacy

Meet UQ School of Pharmacy Lecturer Jacqueline Bond
Jacqueline has been widely recognised as an excellent pharmacy educator by both her students and colleagues. Her passion for experimenting with and evaluating innovative teaching and eLearning approaches over the last 13 years has led to curricular reform that engages students, inspires them to learn and prepares them for their future roles as ‘medicines experts’ in an evolving healthcare system.

Her educational philosophy, that constructively aligned learning objectives, learning activities and assessment must be authentic and relevant to professional practice, has guided the re-design of courses in medicinal chemistry and pharmacy practice. Jacqui takes a scholarly approach to teaching and learning design that is informed by an understanding of the higher education literature, as well as her own original research in pharmacy education, along with that of her research students.

Jacqui’s deep respect for the development …

New ranking boost for Griffith MBA

The Griffith MBA’s reputation as one of the country’s leading programs has been reinforced with the Graduate Management Association of Australia (GMAA) 5-Star rankings for 2015.

Griffith Business School is one of seven in Australia to receive top billing in the annual rankings.

This follows the September announcement that the Griffith MBA was rated number four in Australia in the 2015 Financial Review BOSS Magazine MBA survey.

“The GMAA rating is based upon a detailed independent quality assessment of the top business schools in Australia,” Griffith MBA Director Associate Professor Chris Fleming said.

“It provides insight to prospective MBA students about the quality of the program and maintains our position of being nationally recognised as one of the best MBAs in the country, reaffirming our recent BOSS Magazine result.”

GMAA carries out an assessment of the top business schools in Australia as part of its mission to promote the standing of and enhance the value of MBA, DBA…

Sydney Nursing School at the heart of cardiovascular research

Top researchers from the University of Sydney Nursing School have been awarded a $200,000 grant to further their research in preventing stroke through early detection of atrial fibrillation via technologies such as smartphones.

Dr Lis Neubeck, Professor Robyn Gallagher, and Dr Nicole Lowres from Sydney Nursing School, and Professor Ben Freedman, Sydney Medical School, were awarded the grant at the NSW Cardiovascular Research Network State of the Heart Showcase and Awards ceremony this week hosted by NSW Minister for Health, the Hon. Jillian Skinner MP.

Led by Dr Lis Neubeck, their research focuses on diagnosing an irregular heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation), which causes blood clots to form in the heart and travel to the brain to cause a stroke.

“It’s been shown that strokes can be prevented through early identification of atrial fibrillation (AF) and up to two-thirds of people with AF don’t know they have it,” Dr Neubeck explains.

“We need a way to find people who have as…

JCU and rangers track climate change

James Cook University scientists and Land and Sea Rangers from the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) have installed scientific instruments to measure the impact of climate change in Australia’s northern-most islands.

TSRA and JCU staff have deployed water monitoring equipment to measure the intrusion of sea water across the wetland swamps on Boigu and Saibai islands in the Torres Strait.

The rate of sea level rise around Saibai and Boigu is predicted to be twice the global average. The impacts of climate change in this region will be particularly harshly felt, with the islands being only a few metres above sea level. Freshwater wetlands on these islands are at risk as the wet season and summer king tides approach.

“A concern here is sea level rise, and the potential intrusion of saltwater into freshwater swamps,” said Senior Ranger Dimas Toby, “which will mean the loss of freshwater fish, turtles and potentially important feeding areas for migratory birds that visit o…

UON a leader in workplace gender equality

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency recently announced the 2015 WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOGCE) citation holders and the University of Newcastle is proud to be recognised as an Employer of Choice for Workplace Gender Equality.

UON is one of only 90 organisations Australia-wide to be recognised for taking a whole-of-organisation approach to supporting equality of participation in all levels of the workplace.

The citation recognises employer commitment and best practice in promoting gender equity in the workplace.

This year’s applicants were required to consult with employees to demonstrate that gender equality initiatives translated into lived experience.

UON Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Caroline McMillen said that the achievement reflects the range of policies and procedures UON has in place to ensure that staff at UON can thrive in their work.

“This citation also acknowledges the improvements we have recorded since last year in working to ach…