Achievements and Announcements

Tanya Monro joins board of Australia’s engine-room of science and innovation: CSIRO

Prestigious Ronald Dubner Research Prize for Tasha Stanton

First Papua New Guinean woman to receive APEC fellowship

Gear up for WOMADelaide

Placement leads to work for Media Arts students

Inaugural Dean: Academic for Health Sciences – Professor Rachel Gibson

Professor Christopher Saint appointed new ITEE Dean: Research and Innovation

Red Cross thanks UniSA community for blood donations

UniSA currently ‘the one’ for student eyeing off fame and fortune

Tanya Monro joins board of Australia’s engine-room of science and innovation: CSIRO

Professor Tanya MonroProfessor Tanya Monro has been appointed to the board of Australia’s leading science research organisation, the CSIRO.

Announcing her five-year appointment, the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne, said Prof Monro would bring a valuable mix of skills to the board with her broad knowledge of innovation.

“Professor Monro is an experienced board member and chairperson, whose membership on the Commonwealth Science Council and the South Australian Economic Development Board will be of great benefit to her role on the CSIRO Board,” he said.

UniSA Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Innovation, Prof Monro, is a top Australian physicist, a leader in higher education and an advocate for the power of valuable links between research and industry in support of innovation.

Prof Monro says she is delighted and honoured to serve on the board.

“From the time I was a school girl I have known CSIRO as Australia’s engine-room of science and innovation,” she says.

“I’m looking forward to making my contribution at a time when science and innovation are very much back on the national agenda and are more important than ever for Australia’s economic growth and the development of future industries.”

Chair of the Deputy Vice Chancellor Research Group of the Australian Technology Network of Universities and the National Youth Science Forum Council, Prof Monro was recently named in the Australian Chief Scientist’s Knowledge Nation 100 “star” innovators.

Prestigious Ronald Dubner Research Prize for Tasha Stanton

Dr Tasha Stanton.Dr Tasha Stanton, National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellow, from UniSA’s Body in Mind Research Group was recently announced as the prestigious Ronald Dubner Research Prize Winner for 2016.

The Prize is from the world’s premiere pain society – the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) and will be presented at the IASP World Congress in Yokohama, Japan in September.

Dr Stanton is a postdoctoral research fellow working with the Body in Mind Research Group both here at UniSA and in Sydney at Neuroscience Research Australia.

Professor Lorimer Moseley who leads the Body in Mind research group congratulated Dr Stanton for this “amazing and well deserved endorsement.”

“This prize was open to every post-doctoral fellow or equivalent, from any profession, doing any basic or clinical science research in the pain field, anywhere on the planet,” Prof Moseley said.

Dr Stanton says she is incredibly proud to receive this prize.

“It recognises hard work and high-quality research important to the field of pain and it is fantastic that IASP felt that I exemplified these things,” she says.

“There are so many things that I love about my job – the chance to ask and test the burning questions that I have, the chance to work with incredibly good people, and the chance to travel to conferences and collaborate with some of the best minds in the field – what is there not to love?”

“I think it is very important to recognise that getting these awards is not possible without an excellent team and an excellent work environment and the Body in Mind group at UniSA, led by Prof Moseley, certainly checks all these boxes!”

Dr Stanton won this award for a series of papers based on her work around perceptual dysfunction in osteoarthritis, her research in evidence synthesis in pain and her research in experimental pain science (effects of expectancy on pain).

First Papua New Guinean woman to receive APEC fellowship

UniSA researcher Dr Martha Yahimbu Mungkaje.UniSA researcher Dr Martha Yahimbu Mungkaje is one of 10 women from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) developing countries to win the 2015 Australia APEC-Women in Research Fellowship which she is using to further her research here in Adelaide this year.

As the first Papua New Guinean woman to win the APEC fellowship, Prof Mungkaje is now utilising this sponsorship for her research at UniSA under the supervision of Associate Professor John Hayball and within the Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory.

Assoc Prof Hayball says Prof Mungkaje is a highly ambitious self-starter and it is astonishing what she has achieved to get to where she is.

“This fellowship is actually the third funding source contributing to her research at UniSA which began in January with at least a six month tenure and hopes of an extension,” says Assoc Prof Hayball.

Prof Mungkaje’s work investigates the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects of kino – the name of a plant gum or sap produced by various plants and trees, particularly eucalyptus. There are no records of medicinal uses for kino from Papua New Guinean eucalyptus species. In contrast, the kino has been widely used by Indigenous Australian communities for the relief of pain, arthritis, fever and gastrointestinal infections for many years and Prof Mungkaje is looking into a comparison of kino from Australian and Papua New Guinean eucalyptus species.

She is working in conjunction with Senior Research Fellow Dr Susan Semple who has a background in pharmacy and natural products chemistry and research interests in Australian medicinal plants and complementary medicines.

A second sponsorship supporting Prof Mungkaje’s research is the Allision Sudradjat Award (ASA) managed by the Australian Government’s AusAid program. And thirdly, in February Assoc Prof Hayball and Prof Mungkaje also won a Commonwealth Science Follow-on Grant from the Royal Society UK.

Gear up for WOMADelaide

Last year’s winning photo entry at WOMADelaide.Last year’s winning photo entry at WOMADelaide.

If you’re heading to the WOMADelaide music festival this weekend, keep an eye out for the UniSA Tea Bar and while you are there, enter our photo competition.

For your chance to win, simply upload a photo of your WOMADelaide experience using #UniSAWOMAD to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram by midnight on March 14.

First prize will be a $200 voucher for WOMADelaide 2017.

See our photo competition YouTube clip for more details.

UniSA is a proud sponsor of the WOMADelaide Planet Talks series which will explore new ideas and discover how we can live more sustainably and harmoniously on our planet.

UniSA PhD researcher Georgina Pollard will lead a workshop about different methods of transforming organic waste into compost; while the University’s Professor John Boland will be involved in a workshop about designing and maintaining a sustainable garden.

UniSA Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation, Professor Tanya Monro will be part of a session on Monday, March 14 with Dr Karl Kruszelnicki which will explore the question: should we trust scientists?.

See the UniSA Planet Talks web page for more details of the program.

The Tea Bar area will feature furniture and a solar phone charging station which has been designed and built by UniSA industrial design and engineering students. It’s a great place to buy a cup of tea and relax while at WOMADelaide.

Find out more about the furniture projects in our YouTube clips or read our UniSA News article.

Placement leads to work for Media Arts students

UniSA graduates Kurt Debens, Benjamin Holen and Nick Beins.UniSA graduates Kurt Debens, Benjamin Holen and Nick Beins.

Three UniSA graduates have secured full time jobs at Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) after taking part in a work placement with the company last year as part of their studies.

Kurt Debens, Benjamin Holen and Nick Beins completed their Bachelor of Media Arts programs at the end of 2015 and are now settling into their professional roles as junior artists with RSP and looking forward to their first big movie project.

In August 2015, RSP partnered with UniSA to create the 10-week Media Placement program for third-year students undertaking a Bachelor of Media Arts.

Ten students trained in a studio environment using animation software such as VFX in Houdini with artists Dan Wills and Thomas Cant, whose collective credits include such films as Gravity, The Hunger Games and X-Men: Days of the Future Past.

Kurt says the placement opportunity took what he had learned about Houdini at UniSA and allowed him to expand that knowledge dramatically.

“Not only did we gain huge insights into Houdini, we were taught basic Nuke compositing skills essential for visual effects artists,” he says.

Kurt is now focused on learning as much as he can and continuing his progress. His advice to other prospective artists is to follow his example by “working hard and taking advantage of opportunities that arise.”

Ben said he really enjoyed the placement experience, which included some great advice about applying for jobs and insights into what recruiters wanted to see.

Nick said that the students received “countless networking opportunities and first hand insight into how a VFX house operates”.

RSP’s Education and Training Manager, Kirsty Parkin said the program came about because the company wanted to help students build on the skills they had learned at university, and provide them with intensive training offered in the context of a working visual effects studio.

“Students are taught by experienced professionals and master skills they will need to land jobs in the industry and build productive careers,” she said.

Meanwhile, two current students in the Graduate Certificate in Visual Effects are now working while completing their studies.

Tim Fagan has a FX internship at AnimalLogic Sydney; while Joseph Roberts is working with Rising Sun Pictures as a junior modeller on X-Men: Apocalypse, which he is fitting in around his studies.

Parkin said it’s a tribute to the success of the program that current students are gaining employment while still completing their study, in what can be a very competitive industry.

Inaugural Dean: Academic for Health Sciences – Professor Rachel Gibson

Professor Rachel Gibson.Professor Rachel Gibson has taken up the role of inaugural Dean: Academic within the Division of Health Sciences.

Prof Gibson joins UniSA from the University of Adelaide, where she was Associate Professor and Head of the Gut Microbiome Group within the School of Medicine.

In welcoming Prof Gibson to the role, Pro Vice Chancellor: Health Sciences Professor Robert Vink said she was a passionate educator with significant experience in teaching and learning across a number of health disciplines, including Nursing and Health Sciences. Prof Vink said Prof Gibson’s expertise in leading faculty-wide initiatives relating to curriculum innovation, improving student outcomes and introducing e-learning approaches, including the University of Adelaide’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), will be instrumental in achieving the University’s Crossing the Horizon objectives within the Division.

“Focusing on implementing the University’s Digital Learning Strategy, Prof Gibson will develop and implement a strategic plan for the Division’s teaching and learning agenda,” Prof Vink said

“Prof Gibson will provide dynamic and strategic leadership to the rapidly evolving internal and external Health Sciences environment.

Prof Gibson completed her Bachelor of Health Sciences (First Class Honours) and PhD at the University of Adelaide, before being awarded a Cancer Council SA Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

In her role as head of the Gut Microbiome Group, Prof Gibson has managed an internationally-recognised laboratory which investigates the toxic effects of chemotherapy on the gut microbiome of cancer patients. Her work in this area has resulted in 76 publications and attracted external grant and industry funding, including a current ARC Linkage Grant.

In 2010, she was a finalist in the Telstra South Australian Young Business Woman of the Year Awards.

Professor Christopher Saint appointed new ITEE Dean: Research and Innovation

Professor Christopher Saint.Professor Christopher Saint has been appointed as the new Dean: Research and Innovation in the Division of Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment (ITEE).

ITEE Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Beecham says Prof Saint will be familiar to many in the University from his recent role as Director of the Centre for Water Management and Reuse.

He is currently Research Director in the School of Natural and Built Environments, where he has led the initiative to establish a new school-wide centre, the Natural & Built Environments Research Centre (NBERC).

“Prof Saint is a highly accomplished researcher who has personally attracted over $16m in external research funds, has published over 150 scientific papers and is Chief Editor of Water Conservation Science & Engineering and an editor of the Journal of Applied Microbiology and Letters in Applied Microbiology,” says Prof Beecham

“He has also been an invited speaker at many international conferences and I am confident that he will play a pivotal role in driving ITEE’s research performance over the coming years.”

Prof Saint is a current member of the ARC College of Experts and has been the recipient of several scientific awards. He has strong collaborative links in the USA, China, UK, Malaysia, Austria and Ireland and holds external professorial positions at the University of Adelaide and at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, in Beijing, China.

Prior to joining UniSA, Prof Saint managed the Research and Development portfolio at SA Water’s Australian Water Quality Centre where he also established an internationally recognised water microbiology research group. He has provided high level advice on water related issues to government and industry organisations and brokered several key research and development alliances and linkages.

Prof Saint takes up the new role in April.

Red Cross thanks UniSA community for blood donations

(L-R) UniSA Student Volunteering Coordinator Froukje Jongsma, Billy the Blood Drop and Australian Red Cross Blood Service donor services SA/NT manager Lawry Sancilio, at the Red25 awards ceremony in Adelaide on February 18.(L-R) UniSA Student Volunteering Coordinator Froukje Jongsma, Billy the Blood Drop and Australian Red Cross Blood Service donor services SA/NT manager Lawry Sancilio, at the Red25 awards ceremony in Adelaide on February 18.

UniSA was named the second highest blood donation group in South Australia for 2015 at the Australian Red Cross Blood Services’ annual Red25 awards presentation.

As reported in UniSA News last month, University staff and students made 1040 donations last year as part of the Red25 annual challenge held by the Blood Service. This total was just 144 donations shy of the state’s highest donation group, Flinders University.

Australian Red Cross Blood Service donor services SA/NT manager Lawry Sancilio said the UniSA donations had saved the lives of 3552 people needing blood products, including much needed plasma.

“Red25 is the donation program of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service which aims to rally corporate and community organisations and groups together to achieve 25 per cent of the annual blood donations needed by Australians,” he said.

Last year more than 1000 Red25 groups from South Australia made 38,000 donations, collectively saving the lives of 114,000 people needing blood products for cancer treatment and blood loss during childbirth.

UniSA Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd, says the University has now set a new target of 1200 donations for 2016.

“I am pleased to support UniSA’s involvement in this challenge, and thank all of those community members who helped us reach last year’s target,” says Prof Lloyd.

The Red Cross Mobile Donation Unit regularly visits the Mawson Lakes campus and the Whyalla and Mount Gambier regions; while city donors can visit their closest donation centre. When signing up to be a donor, make sure your donor ID is linked to UniSA’s Red25 program.

UniSA currently ‘the one’ for student eyeing off fame and fortune

UniSA student Siqun ‘Queenie’ Dong recently starred on the world’s most popular TV dating show, If You Are The One.UniSA student Siqun ‘Queenie’ Dong recently starred on the world’s most popular TV dating show, If You Are The One.

While watching TV with friends may not be the most romantic of Valentine’s Day dates, it steps up a notch when you are watching yourself star on the world’s most popular TV dating show, If You Are The One.

Second year Master of Social Work student, Siqun ‘Queenie’ Dong, was the only Adelaide contestant on the hit Chinese show’s two-part Australian special which aired on SBS on Valentine’s Day.

The special edition of the spectacularly successful reality series featured 18 women and 10 men — all fluent Mandarin speakers living in Australia — competing to find their own perfect match.

Despite having lots of fun on the show, Queenie says the odds of her actually finding her perfect match weren’t stacked in her favour.

“With just 10 guys in the Australian special and limited time, we didn’t get to know each other so it wasn’t easy for girls to find true love on the show,” Queenie says.

Despite not having found her perfect match on the show, Queenie has plenty of UniSA admirers and friends who spent Valentine’s Day with her watching the Chinese dating show that has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon, on the big screen in the Student Lounge at the City West campus.

“I worked during the day and then joined in the party held by the Alumni International and Special Projects team at night,” Queenie says.

“I really like Adelaide since it is a beautiful city with lots of beaches and nice people who have become my local friends while I have been studying.

“I speak to friends and family and the media in China all of the time about how much I like learning here at UniSA.”

Before moving to Adelaide to study at UniSA, Queenie was a lawyer. Just like reality television contestants here in Australia, she is keen to forge an entertainment career in China but also has her heart set on becoming an immigration lawyer or a politician.

“I have achieved a Chinese lawyer licence and thought I would pursue a law degree so I could deal with international cases,” Queenie says.

Who knows what the future holds for Queenie who is enjoying studying at UniSA but is still looking for ‘the one’.