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In brief

Smart ideas on work and life

In the first results to be delivered by the Australian Work Life Index (AWALI) it looks as though Australians are feeling the pinch at work. More than 60 per cent of the more than 1400 surveyed felt work regularly kept them from spending the amount of time they would like with family or friends (view the full report).

The research, led by research Chair and Director of UniSA’s Centre for Work + Life, Professor Barbara Pocock, will help to build baseline data to inform policy on work and life issues.

Recently named 2007 winner of The Bulletin magazine’s 100 Smart Australians in the Society category, Prof Pocock is determined to contribute to positive changes for working Australians.

"The survey confirms that work/life pressures are widespread," she said. "It seems that many Australians are willing to deal with a certain amount of spillover from work to life outside work, but for one in four it is a real problem, especially for those working long hours and many working mothers."

Defence research takes off

SA’s Centre of Excellence in Defence and Industry Systems (CEDISC) is teaming up with Tenix Aerospace and Defence to develop software systems that will ensure existing defence industry systems evolve and improve.

The focus for the more than $1million project will be safety critical systems for airborne defence. With strong support from Air Operations Division of the DSTO, three senior systems engineering researchers from UniSA’s Defence Institute will work with their equivalents from Tenix and DSTO to develop new techniques to cost effectively improve software safety systems.

"This project will build on global best practice by developing new techniques, processes and tools that can enhance and extend critical software systems in the defence context," UniSA’s Defence Institute Director, Stephen Cook said.

"The partnership will also offer a unique opportunity for three research students to work in this exciting industry context."

Post-tsunami partnerships

A post-tsunami workshop held last month put the spotlight on valuable academic collaborations between UniSA’s Centre for Building and Planning Studies and partner universities in India
and Indonesia.

Since the tragic 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, academic collaborations to support reconstruction in some of the worst affected regions have blossomed. Urban and regional planners from Adelaide have worked on aid projects in Aceh or in the Planning Institute of Australia’s volunteer program in Sri Lanka
and a number of people have been participants in India in the Habitat for Humanity program, which builds simple and affordable houses in partnership with low income families

Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, Stephen Hamnett, convened the workshop which featured presentations from leading researchers at Madras Christian College; Anna University, Chenai; Syiah Kuala University, Aceh; UniSA; the Monash Asia Institute and RMIT.