Asian Correspondent » Charles Darwin University Asian Correspondent Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:16:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Climate change experts to headline Darwin Symposium Mon, 03 Oct 2011 01:50:46 +0000

At this year’s Charles Darwin Symposium, evidence will be presented that human-induced climate change is a reality and human adaptation is a necessity, as is the development of policy to prepare for the future impacts of climate change in the Territory.

Symposium Co-chair Professor Andrew Campbell says we need to develop responses to climate change that are tailored for the unique needs of northern and central Australia

The 2011 Symposium, an initiative of Charles Darwin University and the Northern Territory Government under their Partnership Agreement, will bring together some of Australia’s leading climate change experts to explore avenues for adapting to climate change.

CDU’s Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods Director and Symposium Co-chair Professor Andrew Campbell said that speakers would explore issues such as lessons for the built environment in the NT, and the converging insecurities of climate change on health, energy, food and water.

“We won’t just be talking about the issues and risks, but the implications of climate change and the need for all of us, through concerted joint action, to adapt to the impacts of climate change,” Professor Campbell said. “We need to develop responses that are tailored for our unique needs here in northern and central Australia, for climate change impacts that will play out during our lifetimes, and those of our kids.

To read the full story and to learn more about the Charles Darwin Symposium, please click here.

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CDU PhD candidate wins prestigious award Thu, 29 Sep 2011 22:52:49 +0000

A Charles Darwin University PhD candidate has won the prestigious Nature Conservancy Applied Conservation Award 2011 to help further her research into conserving some of Australia’s rare birds. 

CDU PhD candidate Gill Ainsworth is working to conserve some of Australia’s rare birds

The Nature Conservancy and the Ecological Society of Australia established the award to fund a postgraduate scholarship in the field of applied conservation science. For the past three years, a grant has been awarded to support research directed towards practical conservation.


Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods’ PhD candidate Gill Ainsworth said the award, valued at $4,300,  came at a crucial time and would be used to fund her final case study, which would explore the social values of the endangered Carnaby’s and Baudin’s cockatoos in south-west Western Australia. 

“What is so exciting about this award is that it supports my ambition to develop a creative communications strategy for distributing my research findings,” she said. 

Read the full story here 

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CDU celebrates great scholar Confucius Wed, 28 Sep 2011 06:31:10 +0000

Birthday celebrations for the influential Chinese scholar and philosopher Confucius have been held at Charles Darwin University as it prepares to become a hub of Chinese language and culture education in the NT.

Members of the Chinese community join the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sharon Bell (second from left), to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the philosopher Confucius. From left: Longwen (Sean) Xiao, Dr Jacques Hou, and Paula Chung joined the celebrations in the Chinese Gardens on Casuarina campus. The event also encouraged networking with the local Chinese community as CDU prepares to launch its Confucius Institute in 2012.

In April Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson joined CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover to celebrate an agreement that will see the establishment of a Confucius Institute at CDU’s Casuarina campus starting next year.

CDU Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Confucius Institute Director Professor Sharon Bell said the institute was a partnership between CDU and the Anhui Normal and Hainan universities in China, and would focus on teaching Chinese culture and language.

“The Confucius birthday celebration was a great opportunity to celebrate and strengthen ties with the local Chinese community,” Professor Bell said.

Read the full story

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Charles Darwin Symposium 2011 – Living with Climate Change Mon, 26 Sep 2011 23:15:22 +0000

The 2011 Northern Territory Climate Change Symposium aims to build knowledge and understanding and identify the challenges and strategies that will help us to respond and adapt to climate change.

 The Symposium intends to demonstrate that we are playing our part by showing leadership in government, with the CDU and with private sector partnerships to reduce the impact of climate change, and to improve our capacity to respond to extreme weather events.

This Charles Darwin Symposium offering is not just another chance to talk about the issues and risks but to demonstrate a clear understanding of the implications of climate change and the need for all of us to adapt to the consequences of climate change.

People from all walks of life will have the opportunity to hear from some of Australia’s leading climate change experts and to meet with local people showcasing northern Australian expertise, products and services.

The Symposium also provides the opportunity to explore the impacts of climate change – and investigate practical strategies for adaptation at home, at work, and at play.

The Symposium will explore the potential consequences for individuals, public, private and
not-for-profit organisations, northern Australia’s relaxed lifestyle and recreational interests, and northern Australian homes and home owners.

For more information, please visit:

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CDU expertise aids Solomon Islands health futures Mon, 26 Sep 2011 23:04:56 +0000

By Richmond Hodgson

(from left): Aaron Olofia, Dr Lester Thompson, Professor Daniela Stehlik and Linda Tupe

A collaborative learning exchange involving Charles Darwin University, the Northern Territory Government and Solomon Islands is set to improve the outlook for the country’s health and medical services.

Throughout August, CDU hosted the “Community of Learning” exchange between the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Service, the NT Department of Children and Families, and CDU’s The Northern Institute and School of Health.

In recognition of its desire to promote effective regional and community engagement, CDU’s Social Work and Community Studies theme arranged for Director of the Social Welfare Division Aaron Olofia and Child Protection Manager Linda Tupe to spend two weeks with the Department of Children and Families. In exchange, CDU Social Work lecturer Dr Lester Thompson examined responses to the child protection needs in the Solomon Islands and the NT.

Mr Olofia said that he was particularly pleased for the opportunity to be working collaboratively with CDU and the NTG on such an important body of work.

“There are so many common factors between the Northern Territory and Solomon Islands, and CDU has so much potential to help us with our learning needs,” he said.

“I am particularly keen to maintain our links with CDU’s Social Work and Community Studies and the NTG for future training and learning exchanges.”

Dr Thompson said the NT and Solomon Islands could learn much from each other by drawing on their close similarities.

Read the full story

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NT graduate nation’s top Indigenous legal professional Fri, 23 Sep 2011 04:07:13 +0000

A Charles Darwin University law graduate has been recognised as Australia’s pre-eminent Indigenous legal professional.

CDU graduate, Nigel Browne has been named the Indigenous Legal Professional of 2011

A 2001 graduate of CDU’s predecessor institution, the Northern Territory University, Nigel Browne was honoured as the National Indigenous Legal Professional of 2011 in winning the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Award as part of the recent 6th National Indigenous Legal Conference.

The Commonwealth Attorney-General’s award recognises the exceptional commitment of Indigenous legal professionals, not only in the field of law but also as members of their community and as champions of the rights of Indigenous people.

President of the Law Society Northern Territory, Matthew Storey said all Territory legal professionals were honoured by this national award being presented to one of their colleagues and a member of the Law Society Northern Territory Council.

Read the full story

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Research questions mandatory reporting impact on safety of NT women Fri, 23 Sep 2011 04:03:14 +0000

A new research project into the amendments to the Domestic and Family Violence Act 2007(NT) and its impact on the safety of Territory women questions whether the legislation is meeting its objectives.

 The project was a collaborative study between Dawn House Inc and Charles Darwin University, initiated by the NT Women’s Shelter Network after the introduction of the new Act.

CDU Associate Professor in social work Deborah West

 CDU Associate Professor in social work Deborah West worked with the NT Women’s Shelter Network to gather information from workers in women’s shelters and domestic violence services.

 “The NT is the only place in Australia where legislation has been passed making it law for everyone to report domestic violence,” Dr West said. 

 “These changes, which came into effect on 18 February 2009, included mandatory reporting of domestic violence within the community by professionals and members of the general public.”

 Dr West said she found that while overall it was too early in the process to be able to make assessments around the impact of the legislation, there was concern by workers about the legislation.

 Read the full story

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Leading law expert to enter into NT statehood debate Thu, 22 Sep 2011 01:36:56 +0000

One of Australia’s leading constitutional lawyers will deliver the second in a series of lectures to promote dialogue on the subject of Statehood for the NT in the lead up to the Constitutional Convention.

Professor George Williams AO will deliver the second in a series of lectures to promote dialogue on the subject of Statehood for the NT

The lecture will be hosted by the Northern Territory’s emerging “thinktank”, The Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University’s flagship research institute for social and public policy research, development and education, social sciences and humanities.

University of New South Wales Professor George Williams AO, an expert in constitutional law and reform, will speak on “The Path to Statehood: The Northern Territory as Australia’s Seventh State”.

Professor Williams said he would talk about why the NT should become a state and how to get there.

“Territorians can use the lessons learned from the previous attempt in 1998 to lead them down the right path this time,” Professor Williams said.

He said he also would discuss the rules of successful constitutional reform, the subject of his latest book entitled People Power: The History and Future of the Referendum in Australia.

“People power is the key,” Professor Williams said. “Any attempt towards Statehood without community involvement and understanding is doomed to fail…

Read the full story here

Want to study at CDU or learn more about us?

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CDU researcher helping Alice Springs prepare for climate change Thu, 22 Sep 2011 01:30:45 +0000

Charles Darwin University’s The Northern Institute will play a key role in a national research project that will examine the likely impact of climate change on regional towns including Alice Springs.

Professorial Research Fellow Rolf Gerritsen

Professorial Research Fellow Rolf Gerritsen next year will seek to establish how economically and socially vulnerable Alice Springs is to the effects of climate change, based on modelling by the CSIRO.

“Essentially we’re gathering data to help Australians adapt to a hotter world,” he said.

“The research will underpin the assembly of a toolkit to assist governments and communities to manage the potential consequences.”

Professor Gerritsen said the research would take the point of view that climate change would affect different inland communities in various ways and that a “best practice” plan-of-action would reduce its impact…

Read the full story here

CDU International

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Work starts on CDU’s oil and gas hub Mon, 19 Sep 2011 23:20:59 +0000

The first sod was turned today on Charles Darwin University’s response to the oil and gas expansion in the Northern Territory and to Australia’s north.

Chief Minister Paul Henderson joined CDU Vice-Chancellor Barney Glover to mark the start of construction of the $6 million, cutting edge research and training facility

Chief Minister Paul Henderson joined CDU Vice-Chancellor Barney Glover to mark the start of construction of the $6 million North Australia Centre for Oil and Gas, a cutting edge research and training facility that will support the developing sector.

With support from the Northern Territory Government and the oil and gas industry, the centre is being built at CDU’s Casuarina campus within the School of Engineering and Information Technology.

CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover said the centre would be a hub for training and education programs (both on campus and externally through distance learning) together with research capabilities targeted at the specific needs of oil and gas operations and developments in the region.

“Darwin sits adjacent to major offshore gas, oil and condensate reserves and is already a substantial gas processing, supply and service hub for projects off northern and north-western Australia,” Professor Glover said.

“A range of engineering and VET courses relevant to the oil and gas industry are already available at CDU, along with new courses such as the Associate Degree in Process Engineering, designed in consultation with industry…

To read more: click here

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CDU history professor collects prestigious literary award Mon, 19 Sep 2011 23:13:04 +0000

Charles Darwin University Emeritus Professor in History Alan Powell has won a $15,000 prize in one of Australia’s leading literary awards programs.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh (centre) and UQ Professor Nancy Wright present Alan Powell with a certificate acknowledging his win at the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards

Professor Powell’s Northern Voyagers: Australia’s monsoon coast in maritime history was the judge’s choice in the History Book – Faculty of Arts, University of Queensland category at the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards in Brisbane last week.

The judges commented that Professor Powell rebalanced the narrative of Australian history with his focus on northern Australia.

“This is a great work enlivened by recent developments in race relations and wartime historiography that challenges the reader to understand Australian history within a wider framework of world and regional history,” the judges’ report said.

Professor Powell was up against a previous winner Tim Bonyhady, and Penny Russell whose Savage or Civilised won this year’s NSW Premier’s History Award.

“It’s very gratifying to win against such high-powered competition,” Professor Powell said…

Read More…

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CDU business international student wins Chief Minister’s prize Sun, 18 Sep 2011 22:49:47 +0000

A Charles Darwin University student from Germany has won the International Business Student of the Year prize at the Chief Minister’s Northern Territory Export and Industry Awards.

Natalie Mundle, who arrived in Darwin in February just as Tropical Cyclone Carlos was bearing down on the city, described the certificate she received at the Convention Centre ceremony on September 1 as her most precious possession.

Business Administration student Natalie Mundle with the certificate she received at the Export and Industry Award ceremony in Darwin

“It is the first award I have won and the first real recognition of my work,” she said.

Fluent in German, French and English, Natalie enrolled at CDU through the Study Abroad Program and is working towards a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration.

One of my professional aims is to increase cultural awareness in the workplace, especially for international businesses. The basis of international business is cross-cultural management and for that you need an awareness and respect for cultural differences,” she said.

For more on this story, click here.

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CDU students excel at NT Training Awards Sun, 18 Sep 2011 22:45:07 +0000

Trainee of the Year and School-based Apprentice of the Year are among the awards won by Charles Darwin University students at the 2011 NT Training Awards.

Trainee of the Year Melissa Agnew recently completed a Certificate II in Animal Studies at Crocodylus Park through CDU, working with the crocodile production team to capture and move hundreds of crocodiles between enclosures.

Ms Agnew, who now works for the park, is continuing her studies with CDU. She is currently completing her Certificate III in Animal Studies and is considering undertaking a university degree.

CDU Certificate III Electrotechnology Systems Electrician student Rebecca Langley won the Austin Asche Apprentice of the Year.

Ms Langley took up an electrical apprenticeship after 10 years in the hospitality industry. She did not have any experience in the field before her apprenticeship, and said she counted becoming an electrician as her proudest achievement to date.

Winner of the School Based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year and Darwin High School student Connor Reid is currently studying a Certificate III Automotive Technology (Heavy) through CDU and hopes to become a diesel mechanic.

He first enrolled in an Industry Placement plan in grade nine, which led to him being offered a school-based apprenticeship with the company the following year.

Vocational Student of the Year Carine Kapiamba arrived in the NT three years ago as a refugee from Congo.

The mother of four has successfully completed a Diploma of Business to improve her English and business skills and is now enrolled at CDU in a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Management.

CDU was well represented by a number of students, trainers and initiatives at this year’s awards.

Some 11 CDU students were among 40 of the Territory’s top apprentices, trainees, and vocational students announced as finalists, with several receiving runner up awards.

For more information and details of the category finalists and category sponsors, visit:

For more exciting CDU News:

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Early language support for Indigenous school learning success Tue, 06 Sep 2011 05:41:53 +0000

Early language support for Indigenous school learning success

Almost three-quarters of the 1300 Aboriginal children who enter Northern Territory schools each year are from families where languages other than English are spoken in the home.

A review by Charles Darwin University’s Menzies School of Health Research highlights the importance of additional language support in the early years to enable success in the school learning of Aboriginal children.

Menzies Professor Sven Silburn said there was evidence that both bilingual and English Second Language (ESL) instructional approaches could be effective but the most effective approach for a specific community depended on the availability of local language speakers, community preferences and the availability of suitably trained staff and other school resources.

“There is also a growing body of evidence suggesting that there are cognitive, social and educational benefits for children exposed to two languages from early in life,” Professor Silburn said.

“The commonly held belief that children will become confused if they are exposed to more than one language in their initial years of schooling is challenged by recent evidence showing that the optimum time for children to commence second language learning is at the same time they begin learning their first language.”

Professor Silburn said commitment and resources were needed for communities to support the introduction of English in the earlier years. These need to cater for the diversity of Indigenous languages across the NT and within some communities.

The review also found clear evidence that children from Indigenous language backgrounds who began their primary schooling with some proficiency in English are advantaged in terms of their effective participation and success in the formal education system as well as within their own communities and wider society.

Menzies researchers reviewed the evidence from Australian and international studies on the best ways of supporting the early learning and language development of Aboriginal students.

A total of 243 eligible studies were located for review, and studies found that a consistent feature of successful Indigenous literacy and English learning support programs was that they were delivered with the close involvement and perceived relevance to family, school and community.

The Menzies review was conducted on behalf of the Department of Education and Training.

A full text PDF of the report can be downloaded from:

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Culture immersion fast-tracks language learning Tue, 06 Sep 2011 05:40:22 +0000

Sally-Anne Hodgetts with Bu Arum and Pak Ari

Sally-Anne Hodgetts (middle) with language lecturers Bu Arum (left) and Pak Ari

By Leanne Coleman

CDU’s manager of international projects and operations Sally-Anne Hodgetts has fine-tuned her Indonesian language skills through an in-country immersion program.

Recently returning from completing a three-week study period as part of the In-country Indonesian Language Program 2011 in Lombok, Ms Hodgetts said she enrolled in Bahasa Indonesia studies at CDU because of her role at the university.

“I engage with academic and administrative staff from a number of universities throughout Indonesia,” she said. “With Darwin’s proximity to Indonesia, the in-country program provides a great opportunity for professional development.”

Ms Hodgetts said having spent two semesters studying as a mature-age student on CDU’s Casuarina campus, the opportunity to study in-country allowed her to immerse herself in the culture and language, and build her confidence.

“Living in the country I not only accelerated my language learning, in particular my confidence to speak the language, but I also formed a special relationship with my homestay family, where I was welcomed and treated as a family member,” she said.

Hosted by Universitas Mataram, Lombok, the program is in cooperation with CDU, the University of the Sunshine Coast, the University of New England and the University of Tasmania.

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Advancing Indigenous Australia through knowledge engagement Tue, 06 Sep 2011 00:04:46 +0000

CDU Alice Springs staff

Charles Darwin University Professor of Governance Don Fuller believes the need for two-way knowledge engagement has never been greater

By Richie Hodgson

Far more needs to be demanded of service deliverers and people responsible for interacting with Indigenous communities to facilitate cultural understanding, according to a Northern Territory academic.

Charles Darwin University Professor of Governance Don Fuller has co-authored a paper illustrating the need for two-way knowledge engagement between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Published in the Journal of Socio and Economic Policy, “Aboriginal Economic and Human Development in the Northern Territory of Australia: A Clash of Non-Indigenous Beliefs”, has been co-authored with Scott Holmes, Jeremy Buultjens and CDU’s Susan Bandias.

Professor Fuller said raising the living standards of Indigenous Australians, especially in Northern Territory remote communities, was one of the major challenges facing Australia today.

“There are a large number of people living in communities typified by conditions of poverty, poor health, high crime, alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse,” he said.

“Research suggests that welfare payments have placed many Indigenous Australians in a poverty trap undermining culturally acceptable norms of behaviour and traditional values and relationships within Indigenous communities.”

Professor Fuller said it was necessary that Indigenous people be seen as more than just “clients” by public and private deliverers of goods and services.

“Those who deal with Indigenous communities should be chosen because they are interested in Indigenous people and have empathy and a willingness to learn and understand Indigenous values, cultural practices and understandings,” he said.

“There needs to be a heightened preparedness to be involved in ‘two-way’ cultural understandings, shared knowledge and communication across the range of employment, sporting, social and cultural activities regarded as important by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.”

Professor Fuller said he believed the task required far more organisational and individual intellectual commitment, interest, involvement and understanding than was occurring presently.

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CDU academic in the running to co-chair national Indigenous body Tue, 06 Sep 2011 00:04:28 +0000

CDU academic in the running to co-chair national Indigenous body

CDU Alice Springs staff

CDU’s Rhonda Gilchrist is among the final round of candidates in the running to co-chair the National Congress

By Richie Hodgson

A Charles Darwin University (CDU) academic is among the final round of candidates in the running to co-chair Australia’s premier representative body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Nursing lecturer with CDU’s School of Health, Rhonda Gilchrist is one of 10 Indigenous candidates standing for election to the position of co-chair of the National Congress.

An experienced registered nursing manager, Ms Gilchrist has extensive experience in the provision of remote area community health and wellness care.

She has spent many years in adult education and training, with particular emphasis on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander higher education, employment and organisational engagement.

In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Ms Gilchrist also provides academic support for Indigenous and international students in CDU’s Bachelor of Nursing.

The National Congress will elect two co-chairs to head the national representative body.

Current Congress co-chairs Sam Jeffries and Josephine Bourne said there was a great field of experience, expertise and skills among the candidates and that they were confident the Congress would be well led, regardless of who was successful.

“The first elected co-chairs have an extraordinary responsibility on their shoulders,” Mr Jeffries said.

“They will lead us over the next two years as the Congress establishes itself as a powerful voice for our members.”

For details about the candidates and for more information on the National Conference visit

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Bombing of Darwin’s forgotten casualty a tourism hot spot Sun, 04 Sep 2011 22:53:50 +0000

By Richie Hodgson

Darwin could become Australia’s “Mecca” for aviation archeologists and enthusiasts nationally and internationally, according to a Territory maritime archaeologist.

Dr Silvano Jung, a PhD graduate with Charles Darwin University, said that it was important for people to recognise the rich underwater aviation history right on our doorstep.

“Darwin’s East Arm is quite literally an underwater flying boat museum,” he said.

In 2009, Dr Jung completed a six-year study of the Japanese air attack in the Battle of Broome, which killed more than 100 people and left 15 flying boats on the seabed. His study, one of the most comprehensive studies of the World War II air attack, provided closure to the air raid survivors by linking them to the flying boats that brought them to Australia 69 years ago.

In his earlier Masters thesis entitled: ‘Wings beneath the sea: the aviation archaeology of Catalina flying boats in Darwin Harbour’, he makes predictions regarding the then missing wreck site.

Dr Jung said he believed that the discovery of a rare PBY-4 Catalina flying boat in 2008 during the Inpex Environmental Impact Study was, for aviation enthusiasts, the equivalent of discovering HMAS Sydney and HSK Kormoran.

“The United States Navy commissioned the production of 33 PBY-4s in 1937. Only two of these aircraft survived the Japanese onslaught and reached Australia. One of these was converted into a houseboat on the Murray River called ‘Paddlecat’. The fate of the other is unknown, but it is exciting that we have two confirmed wrecksites in East Arm, in the archaeological record,” he said.

“Three men were on board, servicing one of the machines: Ed Aeschilman, Tom Anderson and Herb Casey. They dived overboard when bullets from strafing Zeros riddled their Catalina.

“All of the Catalina flying boats recorded to have been lost in East Arm are still there, and we have the complete set which is extremely rare.”

So rare are the submerged aircraft that no other complete PBY-4s survive as either flying examples or as museum objects in the world.

Dr Jung said the site represented a huge tourism opportunity, perhaps as part of an underwater heritage trial at East Arm.

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Giant telescope built on CDU campus Sun, 04 Sep 2011 22:52:58 +0000

Giant telescope built on CDU campus

giant Telescope

By Leanne Coleman

The University of Tasmania (UTAS) radio telescope located on the Katherine campus has reached an important milestone- it’s first “fringes”.

These first interferometric fringes are a very important milestone and mean the telescope is working properly and also communicating with the Mount Pleasant telescope in Hobart.

The telescopes are part of the AuScope Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) Project, which comprises the construction and operation of three new radio telescopes by UTAS and partners including CDU.

The other telescopes in the network are located at Mount Pleasant in Hobart and Yarragadee in Western Australia.

VLBI is an astronomical technique that uses widely spaced radio telescopes to create the effect of one huge telescope.

When completed, the three-telescope network along with GPS receivers will have the strength of a giant telescope the size of Australia. It will enable accurate positions for real-time vehicle and aircraft positioning and navigation, techniques to better identify and study regions of seismic risk, especially those associated with populated areas and mining, and precise measurement of variations in sea level.

For more information see: 

Regular updates on the AuScope VLBI project are published at

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Research receives high praise Thu, 01 Sep 2011 00:44:14 +0000

Research receives high praise

Research praise

Quality of research at CDU is again recognised

By Richie Hodgson

The quality of research at Charles Darwin University has again been recognised, this time through the Federal Government’s Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative.

The ERA initiative, illustrating exactly how Australia’s research efforts compare to the rest of the world, saw CDU receive scores of four out of a maximum of five in several research areas.

Environmental Science and Management, Zoology, Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, Medical Microbiology and Clinical Sciences all received performance rankings above the world standard.

At a broad discipline level, CDU was ranked at or above world average on 50 per cent of the research disciplines for which it was assessed.

CDU was also ranked by the Australian Research Council as one of the top 10 universities in Australia in Environmental Science and Management, Zoology, Agricultural and Veterinary Science and Medical Microbiology.

CDU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and International, Professor Bob Wasson said the result highlighted both the productivity of the university’s researchers and the high quality of their work.

“The ERA rankings reinforce the university’s strategy of focusing resources in areas of strength, a strategy consistent with the policy of the Federal Government,” he said.

CDU Director Office of Research and Innovation, Dr Jenny Carter said she was extremely pleased with the extent of high quality research underway at CDU.

“CDU researchers collaborate across disciplines to develop strong research teams to tackle complex issues,” she said.

“We also place a high priority on research collaboration with universities and industry partners both in Australia and internationally.”

Dr Carter also pointed to the great work continually being undertaken by the Menzies School of Health Research as a key contributor to the quality and capacity of research at CDU.

Menzies Director, Professor Jonathan Carapetis said: “The results in the Medical and Health Sciences from CDU, the majority of which come from research at Menzies, place CDU at or above world standard in almost every health field we work in, and show that we definitely punch above our weight nationally”.

The latest ranking comes on the back of CDU being recognised in the top five Australian universities in active research by the Spain-based SCImago Institutions 2009 World Report, and its result in Australia’s Good Universities Guide 2011 which saw the institution receive the highest possible rating of five stars for research intensivity.

ERA outcomes will inform the allocation of funding through the Sustainable Research Excellence program and will be included as a key measure of research performance in the Government’s Compacts negotiations with universities.

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Humanitarian expert services devastated Central Africa Thu, 01 Sep 2011 00:42:41 +0000

Humanitarian expert services devastated Central Africa

Dan Baschiera

Lecturer in Humanitarian Studies, Dan Baschiera returns from Niger in Central Africa

By Richie Hodgson

A leading Northern Territory humanitarian expert has returned from his deployment to meningitis-ravaged Niger for Medicine Sans Frontier (MSF).

Lecturer in Humanitarian Studies with Charles Darwin University, Dan Baschiera is back in familiar surroundings after spending three weeks in Central Africa leading a large meningitis inoculation campaign in the remote districts of Bobeye and Dosso.

Mr Baschiera joined aid workers from around the world as part of a MSF (‘Doctors Without Borders’) bid to end the meningitis epidemic.

The team distributed a massive amount of vaccine against the deadly disease, and Mr Baschiera also helped repair an old ice factory in Niamey after a truck strike stopped supplies from being imported.

Conditions in the region did not come as a surprise for Mr Baschiera, who was born and raised in Tanzania and has extensive experience in the region.

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Business savvy inspires African adventure Mon, 29 Aug 2011 23:07:49 +0000

Business savvy inspires African adventure  

CDU Alice Springs campus

From left: Georgette Mofalesi, Annie Biongo, Bev Luke, and Carine Kapiamba at The African Shop

By Richie Hodgson
Three African refugees have proved that a new country and new a language are not barriers to realising their entrepreneurial dreams.

Georgette Mofalesi, Carine Kapiamba and Annie Biongo recently opened their own boutique business, The African Shop, after studying business and administration through Charles Darwin University.

Team Leader Business General (Top End) Bev Luke said that with training from CDU’s Crocodylus World Virtual Enterprise (CWVE), the women had learnt the necessary skills in a virtual trading environment to translate into the real business world.

Mrs Kapiamba said the challenges of a changing environment, learning a new language and culture, were significantly helped by studying at CWVE.

“I want to thank everyone at CWVE for all their help and time they invest into each student,” she said.

“The program provides students with a comfortable and practical environment in which students have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.” 

After successfully completing Certificates II, III, IV in Business and Diploma in Business Administration, Mrs Kapiamba is now studying for a Bachelor of Commerce at CDU.

She has been awarded a Chief Minister’s Study Scholarship for Women in Vocational Education and Training and the Charles See Kee Leadership Scholarship.

Crocodylus World Virtual Enterprise is a simulated business environment with its real business partner of Crocodylus Park.

The business is also associated with the worldwide organisation of Virtual Enterprise Australia, which allows students to trade nationally and internationally on a virtual basis.

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Tiwi students look towards future in conservation Mon, 29 Aug 2011 23:07:32 +0000

Tiwi students look towards future in conservation

CDU Alice Springs campus

VET lecturer Adrian Hendry teaches the Tiwi senior boys how to identify plants as part of their Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management

By Leanne Coleman

After delays due to cyclones and washed out roads, Tiwi College senior boys are off to a great start to becoming future conservation and land managers through CDU’s VET program.

School of Indigenous Knowledge Systems VET lecturer Adrian Hendry said that this year would see the first ever delivery of the Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management course on the Tiwi Islands.

“Despite a few battles with the weather, we kicked off a big training session last month in collaboration with CSIRO and the Tiwi Rangers,” Mr Hendry said.

“As part of the course the students learnt how to prepare for the work place in fields of conservation and land management such as horticulture, forestry or within a local ranger group.”

Mr Hendry said that this group of boys, who came from the four communities on the Tiwi Islands, have chosen Conservation and Land Management as their VET in Schools component.

“This group of boys is really motivated to work outdoors so most of the course is practical based with students undertaking a range of field activities to complement their classroom theory,” he said.

Mr Hendry will travel to the Tiwi Islands each month to deliver components to the students as part of the Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management due for completion in October.

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Indigenous graduates robe up in style Sun, 28 Aug 2011 22:52:15 +0000
Indigenous graduates robe up in style

CDU Alice Springs campus

Dr Jack Ah Kit presents Natalee Waterton with her stole


By Richie Hodgson

Charles Darwin University’s has recognised the academic achievements of its Indigenous higher education graduates with the presentation of special stoles.

Under the direction of Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership, CDU presented traditionally styled stoles to all Indigenous higher education graduands at a recent valedictory ceremony.

The stole initiative is a symbolic gesture to recognise the achievements of the university’s Indigenous graduates and to celebrate the cultural richness they represent in the university community.

The inaugural presentation was attended by over 60 people who witnessed 14 Indigenous graduands being presented their stoles by Chair of the Vice-Chancellors Indigenous Advisory Council, Dr Jack Ah Kit.
Included in the inaugural group of stole recipients were the first cohort of Bachelor of Teaching and Learning graduates within the ‘Growing Our Own’ program.

The program, a joint venture between Catholic Education NT and the University, is built around the strong foundations of the Catholic Education’s 100 year history within remote communities and the university’s expertise and commitment to providing flexible on-site delivery that meets the aspirations and needs of remote community Indigenous people.

Bishop Eugene Hurley acknowledged the commitment and hard work of the graduates from the Diocese’s remote community schools at the presentation.

“I’d like to personally thank the University for its on-going work with this cohort of students and the new body commencing their studies in 2011,” he said.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership, Professor Steve Larkin said that the university had committed itself to becoming a leader amongst Australian universities in relation to Indigenous participation at a vocational and tertiary level.

“We recognise that post-secondary education is crucial to ensuring that Indigenous people can access improved employment opportunities as well as significantly contributing to their social and cultural wellbeing,” he said.


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NT voice calls for strong governance for Indigenous Australians Sun, 28 Aug 2011 22:51:29 +0000

NT voice calls for strong governance for Indigenous Australians

CDU Alice Springs campus

CDU’s Dr Ram Vemuri is working towards improving Indigenous economic development


By Leanne Coleman

An expert with more than 22 years experience in applying Indigenous knowledge to achieving Indigenous economic improvement and sustainable development has addressed a conference in Sydney.

CDU’s Associate Professor of Economics, Dr Sivaram (Ram) Vemuri has worked on several research and consultancy projects related to Indigenous economic development and will speak at the 2nd Annual Indigenous Governance for Sustained Development.

Dr Vemuri said Australians were obliged to ask the inevitable question: where are we headed in terms of Indigenous Australia?

“If we ignore this fundamental question and maintain the status quo, tensions and conflicts will result that may be difficult to redress adequately, efficiently and equitably in the not too distant future,” he said.

Dr Vemuri will present his theoretical framework around developing functional Indigenous governance, oriented at maintaining Indigenous identity in the context of sustained development in Australia.

“A holistic framework accommodating different perceptions is needed to facilitate the evaluation of alternate policies for addressing both Indigenous and non-Indigenous concerns to develop strong governance,” Dr Vemuri said.

Four influential aspects of functional governance need to be explored while developing the framework.

They are: policy making, leadership, managerial styles and institutional architecture.

Dr Vemuri’s work over the past 30 years has involved applying economic expertise to issues of community concern.

Dr Vemuri addressed the 2nd Annual Indigenous Governance for Sustained Development – Implementing mutual accountability for long-term social and economic outcomes. 

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