Achievements and Announcements
UniSA’s Hawke Research Institute has strengthened its international ties with two Memoranda of Understanding being finalised last month.
UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd travelled to his former institution, Trinity College Dublin, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with its Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute.
Both institutes are considered leaders in the field of humanities, history and sociology research.
“The MOU will deliver exciting new research collaborations across the hemispheres,” Prof Lloyd said.
“There are some strong synergies, not only in what our researchers are exploring at each institution, but also in our outlook and our drive to take on some of the big cultural and sociological issues that fuel change and innovation, and challenge global communities and society.”
The Hawke Research Institute then signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Keio University, considered the “Harvard” of Japan for collaboration in the social sciences.
“The Keio MOU will facilitate research collaboration in the field of social theory and cultural studies,” said Hawke Research Institute Director, Professor Anthony Elliott.
“Japanese science and social science research is some of the strongest and most innovative in the world and we are delighted with this agreement to strengthen ties with Keio.
“The connections with Trinity Dublin College and Keio University add to the growing international relevance and breadth of the research we are undertaking at the Hawke Institute, which is now one of the largest social science research institutes in Australia.”
Rob Short elected fellow
The prestigious appointment will see Prof Short, who is a leading materials scientist, contribute to the national research conversation on smart technologies and innovations.
Prof Short says he is deeply honoured to have been elected to the Academy at this time in his career.
“This is probably the highest honour you can achieve in your career so I am delighted to have been acknowledged in this way and at this stage,” he says.
“I hope to make a valuable contribution to the Academy.”
ATSE is made up of some of Australia’s leading thinkers in technology and engineering.
For more details see the UniSA media release.
Samstag scholars announced
Madison Bycroft, whom UniSA News featured in the May edition about her art residency in Beijing, is one of two recipients of the 2014 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship.
Bycroft graduated from UniSA at the end of last year, and is an artist to watch. Following her art residency in Beijing, made possible through a grant from the Helpmann Academy and Carclew Youth Arts, she was awarded another Helpmann Academy residency (for New York) and the 2013 Fleurieu Art Prize Youth Commission for Sculpture, currently on display at Wirra Wirra Winery in McLaren Vale until 15 November 2013.
Bycroft intends to use the scholarship to develop the potential of sculpture as part of her practice.
The other recipient of the prestigious Samstag scholarship is Linda Tegg, a Victorian artist who uses photography, video, installation and performance to create works of art that challenge the act of viewing and being viewed.
The scholarship will enable Tegg to further her interest in interdisciplinary practice by working within a world-leading postgraduate program that actively links artistic, design and scientific research.
Both artists will receive a 12-month living allowance of US$43,000 as well as travel expenses and the cost of study fees at the destination of their choice.
The Samstag Scholarships have now been awarded for more than 20 years. They are awarded on behalf of the Trustee of the estate of Gordon Samstag, a celebrated American artist who taught at the South Australian School of Art in the 1960s.
A total of 132 scholarships have been awarded since 1992.
UniSA graduates shine at teaching awards
Two University of South Australia alumni have been recognised in this year’s South Australia Public Teaching Awards.
Evan Polymeneas (pictured right), who teaches at Salisbury High School, has taken out Secondary School Teacher of the Year. The UniSA graduate was praised for his ‘take a walk in their shoes’ teaching philosophy, where he encourages his students to empathise with people from different cultural and social backgrounds.
Polymeneas said that while he is honoured to receive the award, his goal has always been to improve the lives of the students he teaches.
“It feels good to get that recognition from my peers but at the end of the day, it’s all about the kids, it’s about learning and it’s about creating accessible education,” Polymeneas said.
“Teaching is a career where you can have a positive impact on young people’s lives. While it’s constantly challenging and always changing, you know you’re doing something that really matters and that’s what I enjoy about it.”
Loxton High School teacher and UniSA graduate Jane Garrard (pictured right), was also honoured, receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award. Teaching at Loxton High School since 1983, Garrard was commended for her passion for the profession and her ability to use this to motivate students, as well as to mentor student teachers.
Garrard said her award was a chance to reflect both on her own career and the contribution teachers make across the state.
“I was honoured to receive the award. To me, it was representative of all the people out there in the education field who are doing so much and giving so much back to the school communities they work within. Teaching is not a 9 to 5 job, you really have to be passionate and live and breathe it,” Garrard said.
The Public Teaching Awards acknowledge the inspiring leaders who are making a difference to the lives of young South Australians.
Professor Geraldine Castleton, Head of School and Dean of Education at UniSA, said the achievements represent the impact UniSA education graduates are having in classrooms across the state.
“We are thrilled that two of our graduates have been recognised in this year’s awards. It reaffirms the valuable contributions our graduates are making to society,” Prof Castleton said.
“Teachers play a vital role in the development of young people, which is why it is so important that our graduates leave UniSA equipped with the necessary skills to be innovative, inspirational leaders. I extend congratulations on behalf of the School of Education to Evan and Jane at their well-deserved success in their in education careers.”
Another award on the scoreboard for Football United
The University of South Australia’s Football United®-UniSA (FUn-UniSA) program has received a City of Playford Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle (OPAL) Award for the second year in a row. The program, which uses football as a vehicle for building stronger, more cohesive communities, was recognised at an award ceremony last month.
FUn-UniSA won the ‘Supporting Children and Families to Be Active’ category, which is awarded to an organisation or group that has developed an initiative that supports children and/or families to be more physically active.
UniSA’s manager of the program, Dr Edoardo Rosso, said the award highlighted the importance of sport in the community.
“Not only does team sport have fantastic benefits for physical health but it also plays an important role in developing a sense of community,” Dr Rosso said.
“That’s where FUn-UniSA comes in. We use the power of football to create harmonious communities by bringing people from a diverse range of backgrounds together in a positive, friendly environment.
“In 2013, we were able to greatly expand our program to include five primary schools in the northern suburbs, so we are thrilled that our program has been acknowledged for a second year in a row for having a positive impact on children and families in the City of Playford area.”
FUn-UniSA currently runs eight programs in primary schools, high schools and communities across South Australia and is conducted by passionate UniSA staff and volunteers.
3MT just grand for Demi
The University’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) winner Demi Gao has put in a grand performance in the Trans-Tasman 3MT competition, finishing in the top eight in the grand final among PhD and Masters students from across Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
Demi made it through the Trans-Tasman semi-finals for a coveted place as one of just eight finalists in the grand final of the event (out of 44 semi-finalists), held at the University of Western Sydney’s Parramatta campus.
She summed up her research as a PhD student with the Institute for Telecommunications Research (ITR) into improving the performance of cochlear implants in three succinct minutes.
Demi says she was pleasantly surprised and honoured with her result and received good support from colleagues in ITR and the Graduate Research Centre.
“I have only been in Australia for a year so this competition has given me a lot of confidence with my communication skills,” Demi says.
“3MT has been a great experience and I’d encourage all higher degree research students to take part.”
In the 3MT, higher degree research students communicate the significance of their research to a non-specialist audience in three minutes, with just one simple PowerPoint slide.
UniSA Dean of Graduate Studies Professor Phil Weinstein says the UniSA community is proud of Demi’s achievement.
“Demi presented a compelling oration on her research and its significance and her participation has been inspirational,” Prof Weinstein says.
CPR Pharma Services wins SA export award
A UniSA spin-off company has been named South Australia’s top exporter of the year at the recent 2013 SA Business Export Awards.
CPR Pharma Services was awarded the ‘health and biotechnology’ category at the export awards and went on to claim the Business SA Chairman’s award from 12 category winners.
CPR Pharma Services is a premier provider of early phase clinical trial services in the Asia-Pacific region.
It was founded in 2009 on the back of research from UniSA.
UniSA Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Professor Allan Evans, who was instrumental in establishing the CPR as a business unit within UniSA, says it’s a great result for the UniSA spin-off.
The winning pitch
UniSA students Alexandra Babyska and Claire Raggatt (pictured right), have won the trans-tasman The Drinking Pitch competition by developing a campaign that challenged university students to think about how alcohol affects them.
Sponsored by Pernod Ricard Winemakers, the competition required students to create and pitch a campaign that encourages safe consumption of alcohol among university students.
Alexandra and Claire came up with the concept of ‘Drunkeyes’, a campaign that revolves around four sets of different coloured eyes which each represent a negative behaviour that excessive alcohol consumption can bring on.
Alexandra said the competition was a good opportunity for herself and Claire to put theory to practice as they prepare to finish their Bachelor of Marketing and Communications degree.
“Because I’m getting towards the end of my studies, I really wanted to take advantage of any opportunity that came my way,” Alexandra said.
“I thought it was about time for a challenge. I wanted to test myself and put everything I have learnt over the past three years to the test.
“Claire and I both felt really proud of ourselves after winning The Drinking Pitch. The most rewarding thing was realising that we can do it and that when we leave university, we will be okay as we know what we are doing.”
UniSA Marketing Head of School and Pro-Vice Chancellor of Strategic Coordination, Professor Larry Lockshin said the ‘Drunkeyes’ campaign impressed the judges.
“Based on creativity, cut through, practicality, and fitting within the stated budget, ‘Drunkeyes’ was the clear winner,” he said.
The team won the South Australian leg of the competition last month and have gone on this month to win the trans-tasman competition, beating out teams from New South Wales and New Zealand. Alexandra and Claire will now be involved in developing and launching their campaign at all the participating universities.
Staff service awards
UniSA staff who have been with the University for 25 or 40 years were recently recognised for their contribution at a Staff Service Award event.
More than 50 people were recognised for reaching the 25 year or 40 year service milestones.
At the event, UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd thanked the staff for their commitment to the University.
“Thank you for all that you’ve done to date, the part you’ve played in the UniSA’s remarkable development, and for all that you will continue to contribute,” Prof Lloyd said.
“You fully deserve the accolades and the awards you will be receiving today, and I look forward to working with you to achieve our shared aspirations for the future.
“It’s important to have these occasions that recognise and reward the dedication, loyalty and contribution of our people.”
The staff recognised for their service were:
(L-R bottom) Grazia De Palma, Anne Townsend, Avonne Newton and Shirley Chappel
Sue Hallam, Business Analyst: Academic Structures and Program Approval
Colin Lambert, Courier/Liaison Officer
Lynne Haine, Team Leader: Accounts Payable
David Kraft, Technical Officer
Grazia De Palma, PA and Administration Coordinator
Anne Townsend, Administrative Officer
Avonne Newton, Repository & Archive Services Coordinator
Shirley Chappel, Adjunct Lecturer
Abhary Kazem, Associate Professor in Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering
Di Barrett, Program Director: Visual Arts
Maria Bonfiglio, Estimator Planner
George Bredon, Senior Lecturer
Don Cameron, Senior Lecturer
Shawn Carpenter, Manager: Information Technology BUE
Vicki Clark, Academic Officer: Program Development
Lorraine Connor, School Manager
Christine Cother, Manager, Academic Library Services
Sophie Diamandi, Program Director
Ron Donato, Program Director
Irene Doskatsch, Deputy Director, Academic Library Services
Erina Dyson, Service Desk Librarian
Warren Einarson, Director: Assurance Services
Trevor Feder, Lecturer
Kerry Ferguson, Senior Academic Services Officer (Innovation Studio)
Rodney Fopp, Senior Lecturer
Sue Gilbert-Hunt, Senior Lecturer
Ziggy Gniadek, Technical Officer: OHS & Equipment
Colin Gordon, Lecturer
Cath Hall, Lecturer
Stefan Hornlund, Lecturer
David Kearney, Associate Professor
Gunter Klass, Senior Lecturer
Robert Lacina, Senior Information Technologist
Jane Lawrence, Senior Lecturer
Rosie Le Cornu, Associate Professor
Cathy Mahar, Academic Librarian
Faye McCallum, Senior Lecturer
David Morris, Senior Lecturer
Meg Napper (Phillips), Lecturer
Elaine Rankin, Lecturer
Lorraine Sheppard, Associate Professor
Colleen Smith, Associate Head of School: Academic
Tangi Steen, Senior Lecturer
Jyothi Thalluri, Senior Lecturer
Fiona Thomson, Academic Librarian
Teresa Tong, Division Accountant
Paul Triandafylos, Senior Despatch Officer
Diane Wade, Team Leader: ProMaster
Andrew Welch, Lecturer
Marie Williams, Associate Head of School: Academic
Sharron Zuodar, Infrastructure & Metadata Services Coordinator
Natalie McEwan, Library Assistant
Morgan Smith, Lecturer