Achievements and Announcements


Global #1 ranking for UniSA’s brand management research

Staff recognised for work on major projects

Prestigious award for CCB professor’s genome research

Top tier recognition for UniSA’s MBA

Staff and students recognised as young achievers

2017 Ralston Medal for Excellence in Physical Chemistry winners

Recognition for volunteer work to improve health of mums-to-be

Aged care team wins Governor’s Multicultural Award

UniSA students awarded scholarships for innovative research


UniSA director appointed to higher education standards advisory body


UniSA to lead project providing Australians with safer medicines

Aboriginal dance group wins UniSA Fringe festival award

Recognising William Westbury

UniSA to lead research and education into social enterprise


Global #1 ranking for UniSA’s brand management research

A global study of the impact of business research has ranked UniSA number one in the world for brand management, with the findings published in the Australian Financial Review BOSS Magazine this week.

Determined by the League of Scholars, the analysis reviewed the academic impact, output and influence of more than 100,000 business researchers worldwide, finding UniSA to be the top for its brand management research.

The study reinforces what many of the world’s marketers already know. Brands like PepsiCo, ESPN, Kellogg's, Westpac, Mars, and Carlsberg sponsor the research at UniSA’s Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science.

Professor Byron Sharp, Director of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, says the number one ranking shows that the world can look to Australia for world-class research.

“UniSA students are fortunate. They learn that marketing is a creative discipline, but that this creativity works best when you also have sound knowledge about how buyers actually buy and how to manage brands for the future,” Prof Sharp says.

“Science has transformed every discipline it has touched. It’s hardly surprising that it’s doing the same in marketing.”

The global rankings are available online.

Staff recognised for work on major projects

The teams behind a diverse range of university projects have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to the University through the Vice Chancellor's Awards for Professional Staff Excellence.

School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences Technical Services Manager Richard Bennett was recognised for his pivotal role in the design and implementation of a significant part of the infrastructure for the UniSA Cancer Research Institute. He established a new undergraduate chemistry laboratory in the Hetzel Building, and played a key role in planning and implementing the move out of the Reid Building. His award was in the Innovation in Infrastructure category.

Recruitment Central Team The Recruitment Central Team was recognised for providing outstanding service both inside and outside the University by streamlining the recruitment process. Team members include Michelle de Pasquale, Katrina Gilespie, Chloe Juniper, Miranda McDonald, Jade Windsor, Sarah Hart, Julie Bennett, Linda Burlison, Georgie Hart, Vanessa Detmar, Belinda Angus, Carey Singlewood, Amruta Das, Sarah Doyle and Lisa Whiley-Smith. Their award was in the Service Excellence Culture category.

UniSA Online Project TeamThe UniSA Online Project Team was recognised for establishing a complete new business specifically for online learning, dedicated to delivering high quality programs and support services in a fully online mode. Team members include Clare Caruana, Sophie Then, Kirsten James, Sarah Cutbush, Richard Lamb, Tony Dalwood and Girish Chauhan. Their award was in the Innovation in Infrastructure category.

UniSA Cancer Research Institute Construction Team The UniSA Cancer Research Institute Construction Team was recognised for the delivery of the largest capital project in UniSA’s history – the UniSA Cancer Research Institute. Team members include Christina Coleiro, Craig Hackney, Perry Solomon, Aida Stabile, Wayne Shore, Stephen Keech, Yen May Tang, Brett Heritage, David Sanderson, Marek Pokorny, Paul Doherty, Morris Ewings, Jos Petek, Thong Chau, Rob Lustri, Dominic Marafioti and Pauline Middleton. Their award was also in the Innovation in Infrastructure category.

Recipients will each receive professional development funds to be used for conferences and work-related short courses.

Prestigious award for CCB professor’s genome research

Professor Greg Goodall holding the Julian Wells Medal.Professor Greg Goodall holding the Julian Wells Medal.

Adjunct Professor Greg Goodall from the Centre for Cancer Biology (CCB) has been recognised for making a major contribution to genome research in Australia.

Prof Goodall was awarded the prestigious Julian Wells Medal at the 2018 Lorne Genome Conference. The annual award is given to a scientist who has made an outstanding contribution to the understanding of the organisation and expression of the genome, has made a major contribution to the development of this field of research in Australia.

SA Pathology  executive director Dr Glenn Edwards from says Prof Goodall has many accomplishments.

Prof Goodall is a Section Leader in the Centre for Cancer Biology and co-director of the CCB Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) Cancer Genomics Facility at SA Pathology, an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow and an Adjunct Professor of UniSA.

“His recent work has focused on microRNAs and circular RNAs involved in cell invasion and cancer metastasis,” Dr Edwards says.

Prof Goodall says he is proud of his team and their work at the CCB.

“This medal is the result of the great work done by my team and collaborators at the CCB. They have helped open up new areas of understanding of gene regulation involved in cancer metastasis,” Prof Goodall says.

Top tier recognition for UniSA’s MBA

UniSA’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) has achieved top-tier rankings in three categories of the newly released CEO Magazine’s 2018 Global MBA Rankings.

The accolades recognise UniSA’s MBA as a Tier 1 MBA worldwide – the highest ranking given by the magazine. It also acknowledges UniSA’s MBA as being the highest ranked online MBA in Australia, and ninth in the world in the online MBA category.

Released in March, CEO Magazine’s ranking system is geared and weighted to fact-based criteria, delivering performance-based benchmarks for more than 270 programs across North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

UniSA Executive Director for MBA and Executive Education, Peter Stevens, says the ranking is wonderful recognition for UniSA’s world-class program.

“Our MBA is consistently ranked among the world’s best­ and this accolade is further testament to the outstanding quality of our program,” he says.

Stevens says the team is particularly proud of the MBA’s online results.

“Our MBA has been available online for many years, however this is the first time we have entered an online ranking category,” Stevens says.

“This top ten global result demonstrates our success in not only the online category but also the flexibility of our program to study face-to-face, online and in a flexible blended mode.

“Plus, to be recognised in Australia as the number one MBA in the online category is a terrific achievement.”

The accomplishment follows on from a Top 10 ranking in the Australian Financial Review Boss Survey and a five-star rating from the Graduate Management Association of Australia (GMAA) for ten consecutive years.

A full list of the 2018 CEO Magazine rankings is available on the CEO Magazine website.

Staff and students recognised as young achievers

Young Achiever Award logoA number of UniSA students have been recognised in this year’s Channel 9 Young Achiever Awards which acknowledge, encourage and promote the positive achievements of young people (up to age 29) throughout South Australia.

In the 12 categories, 40 finalists have been chosen including 11 UniSA students.

  • Multicultural Youth South Australian Spirit of Resilience Award
    Shamsiya Mohammadi (student)

  • Rural Doctors Workforce Agency Rural Health Award
    Diana Calic (student)
    Stephen Fantinel (student)

  • First National Real Estate Innovation Award
    Tahnee Dening (student)
    Pascal Ward (student)

  • The Coffee Club Arts and Fashion Award
    Mia van den Bos (student)

  • The STEM Award
    Franke Agenbag (student)

  • Websters Lawyers Service to the Community Award
    Damien Walker (student)

  • Worldwide Printing Solutions Sports Award
    Sasha Glasgow (student)
    Kurtis Marschall (student)

  • WFI Insurance Small Business Achiever Award
    Phoebe Hunter (student).

A number of other UniSA staff and students were also named as semi-finalists.

The awards will be presented at a gala presentation on Friday 11 May.

2017 Ralston Medal for Excellence in Physical Chemistry winners

Three UniSA researchers are part of a team who have been awarded a medal recognising an outstanding journal article about using flotation to recover valuable mineral particles.

The winning paper, Critical contact angle for coarse sphalerite flotation in a fluidiised-bed separator vs. a mechanically agitated cell, highlighted the challenges of recovering valuable mineral, coarse-sized particles by flotation.

Professor Bill Skinner, Associate Professor Max Zanin and Dr Bellson Awatey, from UniSA, as well as Dr Jaisen N. Kohmuench and Homie Thanasekaran from the Eriez Flotation Division, were awarded the 2017 Ralston Medal for Excellence in Physical Chemistry by the Future Industries Institute.

The Ralston Medal is named in honour of one of Australia’s most prominent physical chemists, Emeritus Laureate Professor John Ralston, the founder and director for 18 years of the Ian Wark Research Institute at UniSA – the precursor of the Future Industries Institute.

The prestigious medal is awarded biannually to the most outstanding journal article by staff, students or alumni of the Future Industries Institute published in the past five years exemplifying excellence and innovative research benefitting the minerals and pharmaceutical industries.

The paper was published in Mineral Engineering.

Recognition for volunteer work to improve health of mums-to-be

Thousands of expectant mothers across rural and remote Australia are unable to access potentially life-saving antenatal ultrasounds because of a lack of trained health practitioners.

Associate Professor Dr Nayana Parange (Middle).Associate Professor Dr Nayana Parange (Middle).

UniSA Online’s Associate Dean, Associate Professor Dr Nayana Parange is working towards addressing this gap to improve the health and wellbeing of mothers and their babies.

Dr Parange has received a 2017 Governor’s Multicultural Award for volunteer work in developing ultrasound services, as well as upskilling health professionals in rural, remote and Indigenous communities. This has involved providing quality point-of-care obstetric and gynaecological ultrasound training to reduce perinatal mortality and morbidity.

Dr Parange won the volunteer category of the Governor’s Multicultural Awards. The annual awards celebrate South Australians who promote multiculturalism and increase understanding of the benefits of cultural diversity in the community.

She says there are too many rural and remote communities in Australia, as well as overseas, without access to qualified professionals available to conduct antenatal ultrasounds.

“This is an essential process that helps to identify a myriad of life threatening conditions in the mother and their baby during the pregnancy,” Dr Parange says.

“By making ultrasounds more accessible, we can help to reduce morbidity and mortality rates in mothers and babies in the long run. Through our work, women in these areas can access a range of services, in a culturally acceptable manner, without uprooting them from their community.”

Dr Parange leads the 100 per cent online health degrees for UniSA Online, but she says she’s gained a lot from her volunteering work.

“Volunteering gives me a sense of purpose and deep satisfaction. It keeps me grounded, and connected to the communities. Through my work, I’ve connected with like-minded people and professionals across various sectors in the industry who are passionate and enthusiastic about sharing their time, skills and efforts, and work tirelessly to achieve a sustainable impact on community."

Aged care team wins Governor’s Multicultural Award

Dr Jonathan Crichton receiving the award. Also pictured are Helen Smith (Southern Cross Care), Megan Corlis (Helping Hand Aged Care) and the Governor.Dr Jonathan Crichton receiving the award. Also pictured are Helen Smith (Southern Cross Care), Megan Corlis (Helping Hand Aged Care) and the Governor.

Three UniSA researchers have won a 2017 Governor’s Multicultural Award for an interactive aged care learning resource that equips staff for communicating and working in linguistic, cultural and faith-based diversity.

Associate Professor Angela Scarino, Dr Jonathan Crichton and Dr Fiona O’Neill from the Research Centre for Languages and Cultures were recognised at a ceremony at Government House.

Their resource aims to enable staff working in aged care to improve the communication of care and safety in diverse aged care settings. It was developed following in-depth interviews with nurses and care workers.

“Aged care staff and clients bring together diverse languages, cultures and faiths to communicating care and safety,” Dr O’Neill says. “When those receiving care have complex health profiles such as dementia, communication becomes even more complex.”

Dr O’Neill says the resource draws on the existing expertise of nurses and care workers, and encourages reflection and exchange of their diverse perspectives and experiences. The innovative, intercultural approach taken in the resource supports the transformation of understandings and practices.

The resource was developed in collaboration with industry partners, Helping Hand Aged Care and Southern Cross Care, and Dr O’Neill says, was made possible with an Innovation Practice Grant from SafeWork SA.

“The Innovative Practice Grant enabled us to build on a previous study with Helping Hand in which we explored the implications of escalating linguistic, cultural and faith-based diversity in aged care.

“Thanks to the grant we were able to expand our industry engagement and create a resource with immediate relevance in the aged care sector with the potential for further impact in other industries beyond aged care.“We are delighted that the award allows us to share an approach that goes beyond understanding diversity simply as something that ‘others’ have – we all contribute to diversity.”

UniSA students awarded scholarships for innovative research

(L-R) Playford Trust Board member, Bunty Parsons, UniSA Honours Scholarship recipients, Andrew Vorrasi, Kara Paxton, Sarah Graham and Tanya Charlson, and Professor Allan Evans. Photo by Julius Zieleniecki.(L-R) Playford Trust Board member, Bunty Parsons, UniSA Honours Scholarship recipients, Andrew Vorrasi, Kara Paxton, Sarah Graham and Tanya Charlson, and Professor Allan Evans. Photo by Julius Zieleniecki.

Six UniSA students were among the high-achieving South Australians to receive a prestigious Playford Memorial Trust Scholarship, awarded at a ceremony this month.

The scholarships, worth almost $500,000 in total, focus on students working in areas of strategic importance to the future of South Australia and were awarded in a ceremony at UniSA’s Allan Scott Auditorium.

Four UniSA students received Playford Trust Honours Scholarships:

  • Tanya Charlson, Bachelor of Sustainable Environments (Honours), is focused on the conservation of genetic diversity and will collaborate with the South Australia Seed Conservation Centre to complete her Honours project.

  • Sarah Graham, Bachelor of Biomedical Research (Honours), aims to develop a series of biocompatible thermo-responsive polymers based on polysaccharides that can be used for a variety of biomedical applications.

  • Kara Paxton, Bachelor of Biomedical Research (Honours), is working on the development of a formulation to improve the absorption of the antipsychotic Risperidone.

  • Andrew Vorrasi, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechatronic), is working on robotics and automation with Adelaide-based tech start-up My Sky Technologies on his final-year project.

The UniSA recipient of the Chartwells / St Ann’s College / Playford Trust Residential Scholarship was:

  • Brianna Schaefer, Bachelor of Environmental Science, worked over the summer as a grain harvester operator for collaborative farm Bulla Burra and has taken on a leadership position at St Ann’s College.

The UniSA recipient of the Thyne Reid Foundation/Playford Trust PhD Scholarship was:

  • Alexander De Vries Van Leeuwen from the School of Natural and Built Environments, who’s PhD project is focused on understanding the distribution and partitioning of elements during high-temperature metamorphic processes.

2015 UniSA PhD Scholarship winner, Hannah Thomas, was a guest speaker at the ceremony. She outlined her research seeking to reduce the number of diabetic wounds that lead to amputation.


UniSA director appointed to higher education standards advisory body

Adrienne NieuwenhuisThe Director of UniSA’s Office of the Vice Chancellor and Strategic Programs, Adrienne Nieuwenhuis, has been appointed to the legislative body responsible for providing advice to government on how to maintain the quality and standards of Australia’s higher education system.

Adrienne Nieuwenhuis is one of five new members appointed to The Higher Education Standards Panel (HESP).  She was previously a member of the inaugural Higher Education Standards Panel (2012-2014).

Education Minister Simon Birmingham says he is looking forward to working with the panel to strengthen Australia’s higher education system.

“The panel members’ experience and expertise will continue to help develop and guide Australian higher education policies and practices,” Birmingham says.

As part of an initial work plan, the Federal Government has asked the panel to:

  • Oversee a review of the higher education Provider Category Standards

  • Work with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) to further improve its regulatory approach

  • Assess the effectiveness of the Higher Education Standards Framework for the regulation of overseas campuses of Australian institutions

  • Consider whether credit transfer policies and standards in higher education are adequately meeting the needs of students and institutions

  • Provide input to the Review of the Australian Qualifications Framework

  • Monitor and receive reports from the QILT Working Group and the Higher Education Data Committee’s efforts to reduce duplication in higher education reporting requirements; and

  • Identify other deregulatory opportunities in higher education.


UniSA to lead project providing Australians with safer medicines

UniSA will play a key role in a new $200 million cooperative research centre to improve the health of Australians using digital technology.

Professor Libby Roughead from UniSA’s School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences is leading one of the themes – targeted at curbing medication errors and adverse drug reactions, which costs the health system $1.2 billion a year.

The Federal Government is investing $55 million in the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), in addition to significant cash and in-kind funding from partners.

Sixteen Australian universities are involved in the seven-year project, along with 40 commercial and government organisations in the health, care and disability sectors and a range of technology start-up companies.

Professor Roughead, an expert in unsafe medication practices, says there are an estimated 230,000 medication-related hospital admissions a year which are preventable.

“Adverse drug reactions result in 400,000 GP visits a year and are responsible for 30 per cent of emergency hospital admissions in the elderly,” Prof Roughead says.

“As many as two million people a year have problems with their medicines,” she says. “And if you walked into a hospital in Australia today, there is a 10 per cent probability that you would experience an error in the way your medicines were given.”

Professor Roughead will collaborate with a range of experts spanning the health, internet technology, software and mathematical fields across Australia, including colleagues within UniSA’s Institute for Choice and the Advanced Computing Research Centre.

Consortium chair Professor Christine Bennett says digital health solutions have the potential to improve people’s health and wellbeing, reduce waste in the health system and build businesses and jobs in the rapidly growing digital health sector.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also listed patient safety as one of its key global challenges, in the wake of figures showing that medication errors cost the global healthcare system US$42 billion each year.

The Digital Health CRC will have at least $111 million in cash funding and $118 million in-kind funding to invest over its seven-year life and is expected to create at least 1000 new jobs.

Read more about the new CRC on its website.

Aboriginal dance group wins UniSA Fringe festival award

The overall 2018 UniSA Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Creative Arts went to Djuki Mala.The overall 2018 UniSA Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Creative Arts went to Djuki Mala.

With a commitment to providing a platform for new and upcoming talent to share and grow their skills, UniSA joined the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2018 as a partner.

As part of its support for the festival and helping to showcase its diverse arts and cultural events with the wider community, UniSA sponsored the Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Creative Arts.

The following shows received the weekly awards over a three-week period before the overall winner was decided:

  • Week 1: Driftwood used traditional and contemporary circus techniques to bring together a spectacular display of choreography, acrobatics, trapeze and aerial stunts

  • Week 2: The traditional Aboriginal Culture Festival, Dupang Festival was held at the Coorong waterfront

  • Week 3: Djuki Mala, a high energy show that fused traditional Yolngu, pop culture and dance storytelling.

The overall 2018 UniSA Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Creative Arts went to Djuki Mala.

Recognising William Westbury

William Westbury (far right).William Westbury (far right).

On the 82nd anniversary of his death, Aboriginal war veteran William Westbury’s memorial was re-dedicated to reflect the full measure of his service in both World War One (WWI) and the Boer War.

With a commitment to the re-creation and commemoration of Aboriginal history in South Australia, the dedication was sponsored by UniSA.

A Boandik man, Westbury is South Australia’s only Aboriginal veteran to serve in both the Boer War and WWI.

Despite no military training or experience before joining the army to serve his country, he survived the horrors of the Boer War and 14 years later was one of the first soldiers to land at Gallipoli and one of the last to leave in December 1915.

He went on to serve in France and returned to Australia at 40-years-old. Suffering from rheumatism, he discharged in August 1917. He was awarded the 1914/15 Star, the British Service Medal, and the Victory Medal for his service.

Westbury returned to family and friends in Mt Gambier and later moved to Pinnaroo where the dryer conditions were better for his health.

He found work there and was a well-respected and well-liked member of the community. He died at age 58 in 1936.

His memorial at Pinnaroo now reflects the true and entire service of William Westbury.

“Serving Country” William Charles Westbury (1879-1936), a booklet prepared by author Peter Bakker for the rededication (Feb 2018, 12pp) is available for purchase by emailing:

UniSA to lead research and education into social enterprise

Professor Muhammad Yunus and UniSA Pro Vice Chancellor (Business and Law) Professor Marie Wilson.Professor Muhammad Yunus and UniSA Pro Vice Chancellor (Business and Law) Professor Marie Wilson.

UniSA has signed an agreement to establish a Yunus Social Business Centre at UniSA, affiliated with the global organisation Yunus Social Business.

Named for its co-founder and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Professor Muhammad Yunus,  Yunus Social Business was established in 2011 following the success of Prof Yunus’s Grameen bank in creating a micro-finance model to support the development of small businesses, a model now successfully applied in some of the poorest communities around the world.

Prof Yunus was in South Australia in March to formally sign the agreement with UniSA and to promote the work of Yunus Social Business.

Unlike a charity, social businesses generate profit and aim to be financially self-sustaining.

Social businesses either create income for the poor or provide them with essential products and services like healthcare, clean water or clean energy to support their creation. One hundred per cent of the company profits are reinvested in continuing the company’s social mission.

UniSA Acting Vice Chancellor (at the time of the announcement), Prof Allan Evans says the Yunus Social Business Centre at UniSA will provide a unique opportunity for students to learn how business principles can be applied to support the most marginalised groups move out of poverty.

“This relationship will open opportunities for new research across disciplines, harnessing our strengths in business, education and the social sciences to develop research relevant to poor or marginalised Australian communities and to marginalised people in the Asia-Pacific region,” Prof Evans says.

“It will also open up the whole area of social enterprise, microfinance and social business for our students and lead to placement opportunities where they can see this vital work in action.

“We are delighted to have made this important connection with Prof Yunus, one of the most innovative minds working to alleviate poverty in the world today, and to the team behind Yunus Social Business and Grameen bank and its work.”