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Conference to showcase CDU research

Hugh Kearns and Gavin Morris
Guest lecturer at the HDR Conference Dr Hugh Kearns and PhD candidate Gavin Morris. The conference is also an opportunity for the CDU research community to come together and develop friendships, networks and collaborations

Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) Higher Degree Research (HDR) will be under the microscope at the HDR Futures Conference on Casuarina campus next week (4-6 September).

The event will champion a sustainable future and showcase some of the university’s finest minds.

 Some 70 HDR students will present their research to around 150 peers, academics and industry partners. The conference will showcase the extraordinary contribution made by PhD candidates to Australia and the Asia-Pacific region and provide capacity-building and training opportunities for HDR students.

Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies Associate Professor Natasha Stacey said PhD candidates needed to be able to effectively explain and promote a complex body of work to the wider research and non-research community.

“The conference will provide an opportunity for students to practise and develop confidence in their presentation skills in a friendly environment before they find themselves on a larger stage,” Dr Stacey said.

“New candidates will be giving five-minute speed presentations. Candidates further along their project, who have a strong set of results and can show the outcomes of that research, will be doing longer presentations.”

Guest lecturer, Dr Hugh Kearns is working with students in the lead-up to the conference, providing intensive communication and presentation skills training. His areas of expertise include self-management, positive psychology, work-life balance, learning and creativity. 

At the pre-conference event, Dr Kearns will present ‘Supporting mental health: Cheer up and chill out isn’t enough’, which focuses on themes developed through his work with thousands of PhD candidates all over the world.

“One of the problems PhD students face is isolation and a conference is a really good way to overcome that because you’re meeting your colleagues and other people,” Dr Kearns said.

“It’s a chance to share, build networks and connections, and realise that you’re not the only one, that other people are finding things hard at various times as well.”

The conference will also feature the work of PhD candidate Gavin Morris and Honorary Doctor and Adjunct Dr Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, which explored Indigenous trauma and healing from a community perspective.

Mr Morris and Dr Rose investigated how traditional healing practices could be incorporated into mainstream health services to address intergenerational trauma at Nauiyu, about 220km southwest of Darwin.

The conference is also an opportunity for the CDU research community to come together and develop friendships, networks and collaborations. At the close of the conference, prizes will be awarded for outstanding presentations, including the People’s Choice Award.