MACE-Media

Issue 12
Monday, 31 July 2017
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Lecturer in Philosophy Dr Nicolas Bullot
Lecturer in Philosophy Dr Nicolas Bullot

Thinkers draw on hotbed of ideas to explain love of art

By Patrick Nelson

Charles Darwin University will discuss a new and hotly contested field of research that explores how the human brain reacts to art and beauty, at an international symposium in Darwin this week.

Lecturer in Philosophy Dr Nicolas Bullot and visiting American Professor of Neurology Anjan Chatterjee will unpack some of the latest findings in brain theory, psychology and historical scholarship and what they have to say about art.

“We will co-present the session ‘Foundations of the Science of Art’ in which we will explain how some of these ground-breaking scientific theories challenge our ordinary understanding of art,” Dr Bullot said.

“Professor Chatterjee is a leader in neuroaesthetics, an emerging discipline that applies discoveries about the human brain to better understand why we love beauty and art.”

Dr Bullot said the new discipline had its critics.

“Some are sceptical that art can serve as a window into the workings of the human brain, but in this session we will present a new understanding of art, health and the human mind.”

Dr Bullot said that in broad terms the symposium would seek ways for artists and humanities scholars to collaborate with scientists. 

“What contributions has science made to our understanding of art, music and culture? How can we bridge the divide between science and the humanities in a way that satisfies grievances and advance understanding?

“If we take our opportunities to think about things in new and different ways we may inspire an artist to develop more creative work, or expand the potential for new scientific theory,” he said. 

Symposium: Creativity in the Borderland between Art and Science will be held on Casuarina campus, building Blue 1.1.01 Theatre, on 3-4 August. To RSVP, E: cahadmin@cdu.edu.au

Issue 12
Monday, 31 July 2017
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Dr Kerstin Zander has received a prestigious award to undertake research in Germany
Dr Kerstin Zander has received a prestigious award to undertake research in Germany

First NT researcher receives prestigious fellowship

By Leanne Miles

A Charles Darwin University academic is the first Northern Territory-based researcher to be awarded a prestigious Humboldt Fellowship to further her research into climate change impacts and adaptation.

Northern Institute senior research fellow Dr Kerstin Zander was one of about 500 scientists and scholars world-wide to receive the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship this year to conduct research in Germany in 2018/2019.

The fellowship will enable her to carry out research for 12 months in Germany and collaborate with researchers in Bonn and Berlin.

“My main host for the Fellowship will be Professor Dirk Messner, Director of the German Development Institute in Bonn, where I will continue my research into the economic and social impacts of climate and people’s adaptation strategies,” Dr Zander said.

She also will spend two months working with Professor Hermann Lotze-Campen at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the think tank in Europe for climate change modelling, impacts and adaptation.

“My research is particularly focused on migration as a response to extreme heat, worldwide and in Europe,” she said.

“Drawing on my experience and research findings from Australia, I will be looking at the extent to which increasing heat is contributing to national and international migration. I hope that my research will help in the development of policy for managing the effects of climate change on migration.”

The Humboldt network includes 28,000 scientists and scholars worldwide, including nearly 50 Nobel Laureates, from all disciplines in more than 140 countries.



Issue 12
Monday, 31 July 2017
Charles Darwin University
E-news

Mapping for positive social change

Participatory Mapping/GIS 2017 Conference
Who: Rohan Fisher
When: 2-3 Aug
Where: California Polytechnic State University, USA
More: Mr Fisher will present: Raster analysis tools to converging with the aspirations of participatory GIS: case studies from eastern Indonesia, and run the workshop “Free geospatial tools for natural resource management, disaster risk and development planning: an introduction to SAGA-GIS”.
URL:  Conference website

The International Conference on Language Studies
Who: Allison Stewart (Strategic Priority Projects Manager), Rosemary Gundjarranbuy, Lorraine Sushames and Mirrmirryun Beulah Munyarryun 
When: 9-10 Aug
Where: Kuching, Malaysia
More: Ms Stewart and colleagues will present the paper “Advancing Indigenous Adult English Literacy and Numeracy in northern Australia’s remote regions; breaking through the barriers”.
URL: Conference website

Issue 12
Monday, 31 July 2017
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Professor of Political Science Wayne Cristaudo
Professor of Political Science Wayne Cristaudo

Social philosopher’s magnum opus now in English

By Patrick Nelson

A Charles Darwin University professor has reworked a German-language masterpiece in social philosophy into a text suitable for modern English audiences.

Professor of Political Science Wayne Cristaudo is general editor of the just-released “In the Cross of Reality: The Hegemony of Spaces”, an abridged edition of the first volume of Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy’s 1956 publication, “Soziologie”. 

He also wrote the Introduction.

“I consider ‘Soziologie’ to be one of the 20th Century’s works of genius,” Professor Cristaudo said.

“It is full of bold, imaginative and profound insights on society, history and the human condition that is no less deserving of an audience than the works of Kant and Nietzsche.

“Rosenstock explores the interplay between time and the spaces that govern human life, of freedom, suffering and the power of speech, to provide an astute and alternative view of social reality.”

Professor Cristaudo said the newly translated edition was slightly shorter than the original but that the four essential parts of the book and the sequences of chapters had been retained.

“We reflected and analysed the translation sentence by sentence. We believe we’ve maintained the clarity, meaning and philosophical substance but at the same time enhanced readability. 

“It’s tremendously satisfying to see the culmination of a solid nine years work, although the idea for our volume dates back many more years than that.”

Co-editor Frances Huessy is a descendant through marriage of Eugen Rosentock-Huessy. The translation was done by Jürgen Lawrenz.

Issue 12
Monday, 31 July 2017
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Praveen Rodrigo and cookery student Billy Wilkes with their winning meal
Praveen Rodrigo and cookery student Billy Wilkes with their winning meal

Pressure helps student cook golden treat

By Patrick Nelson

Cookery student Billy Wilkes has qualified to represent the Territory in the finals of two national culinary competitions.

The Certificate III in Commercial Cookery student said he was looking forward to representing the Territory, along with DoubleTree by Hilton work colleague Praveen Rodrigo, at the Nestle Golden Chef’s Hat Awards in Sydney this September.

He also will put his culinary prowess to the test in the Australian Culinary Federation Fonterra Foodservice National Apprentice final, a competition in which he won a silver medal last year.

“These are high-pressure environments competing against Australia’s best junior chefs,” Billy said.

“But I thrive under pressure; it’s an industry where you go-go-go once the orders come in.”

Billy said the secret to success was practise and training. 

“If you understand your dish, you’ll do well,” he said.

Billy and Praveen Rodrigo won the right to compete in the Golden Chef final by winning the NT cook-off against six other teams at Palmerston campus this month.

Their gold-winning menu included a main course of deconstructed lamb wellington on a smear of carrot puree accompanied by a rosemary, leek and thyme lamb fillet, butter-tossed beans, turned potatoes, yellow zucchini, oven-roasted charred leek with a choi sum mash and shiraz jus.

Australia’s longest running culinary competition, the Golden Chef Hat competition helps junior and apprentice chefs develop their cooking skills and broaden their culinary horizons.

Issue 12
Monday, 31 July 2017
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Research partners Kathryn McGuigan (left) and Dr Lisa Papatraianou
Research partners Kathryn McGuigan (left) and Dr Lisa Papatraianou

Researchers explore lives of diverse students

By Patrick Nelson

A desire to better understand how young people from different backgrounds manage the tensions between school and home has sparked a new research project for CDU’s Adelaide-based education lecturer.

Senior Lecturer in Education Dr Lisa Papatraianou said the project would explore the challenges that Indigenous, international and refugee students experienced when negotiating various home and school cultures and how they overcame them.

“It is an exploration into how young people manage transition and how they maintain their resilience when faced with the need to navigate often opposing cultures,” Dr Papatraianou said.

“The research will challenge traditional white middle-class concepts of success, aspiration and resilience, which offer little help in understanding the lives of diverse students.”

Dr Papatraianou and Central Australian colleague Dr Al Strangeways will work with staff at Mary MacKillop College Kensington including Principal Kathryn McGuigan, to better understand the lives and experiences of the culturally diverse students within the school.

“The aim is to improve student learning outcomes, enhance participation in schooling activities and develop stronger connections between school, family and community,” Dr Papatraianou said.

“It will also enhance teachers’ professional knowledge in a way that is evidence-based and relevant to their school context.”

She said the research proposal had won the Australian Teacher Education Association Education Partnership award and grant that aimed to recognise and support university-school research partnerships in education. 

Issue 12
Monday, 31 July 2017
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Visiting US academic Dr April Petillo
Visiting US academic Dr April Petillo

US academic to share nation building successes

A visiting American academic will bring stories of Indigenous hope and capacity building to a seminar at Alice Springs campus this week [Aug 3].

Kansas State University Assistant Professor of American Ethnic Studies Dr April Petillo will discuss Native Nation Building theory and the efforts of several US native nations who have increased their capacity for self-governance, self-determination, sustainable community and economic development.

“The presentation will consider how this theory has been applied in social service settings and public policy arenas,” Dr Petillo said.

“The idea of rebuilding native and indigenous capacities through culturally appropriate and effective governance institutions resonates well when addressing social issues. This is relevant for indigenous communities beyond the US, as well.”

Dr Petillo said that Native Nation Building theory helped explain why some US native nations have been successful in managing their legal and economic affairs within the US.

The Northern Institute’s People Policy Place Seminar “Native Nation (re)Building: From Economics to Community Building” is free and open to the public on Thursday 3 August. It will be held in the Higher Education Theatre, Alice Springs campus from 2.30pm – 3.30pm.

Issue 12
Monday, 31 July 2017
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Ecology student Emily Moyes throws a cast net during an aquatic survey
Ecology student Emily Moyes throws a cast net during an aquatic survey

Ecology students gain new field skills

By Patrick Nelson

Top End science student Emily Moyes has a new appreciation for the Territory’s natural beauty after completing a Desert Field Ecology trip in the Red Centre.

Emily, an ecology major, was one of nine students who recently surveyed the Finke River and its tributaries in the West MacDonnell National Park, as part of the annual five-day intensive.

“Arid ecology is so vastly different to the savannas and monsoons that we have in the north,” Emily said.

“We set up trigger cameras, conducted daily bird surveys, and aquatic surveys, which involved learning how to throw a cast net to catch fish.”

Emily said one of her colleagues reaped a particularly good throw, catching 80 fish, including seven of the nine species known to inhabit the Finke system.

She said she had always had a strong affinity for animals, having lived at the Territory Wildlife Park for six years of her childhood.

“It was a big part of my life. Dad (Lee Moyes) was the first curator at the Park. In a way, with my interest in fauna, I’m following in his footsteps.”

Emily said she rated the “hands on experience” as the highlight of the field trip.

“Having already done a lot of lab work I was keen to do field work and to collect data and learn new skills. It’s a really important part of being a scientist.”

Emily said she planned to enrol in a field trip to Java during her final year as a Bachelor of Science student next year.

Take time to stress less, psychologist urges

21-Jul-2017

CDU Clinical Psychology Lecturer Carmen Cubillo

CDU Clinical Psychology Lecturer Carmen Cubillo


Learning how to protect your precious down time and relax are some of the tips people should heed this “Stress Down Day”, according to a Charles Darwin University researcher.

Clinical Psychology Lecturer Carmen Cubillo said nurturing mental health was the key to increased wellbeing and resilience, which protected people against the stress of a busy lifestyle.

“Some of our time in therapy is spent coaching clients to allocate time to relax on a regular basis, and treating that time as an appointment that can’t be rescheduled or postponed,” she said.

“We need to commit to de-stressing.”

Ms Cubillo said that with the recent start of Semester Two at CDU for example, students should be mindful of developing personal stress management strategies.

“Find an activity you’re good at or something you enjoy and make it part of your routine,” she said.

“Don’t wait until you get run-down and sick to relax.”

Lifeline’s annual “Stress Down Day” will be held on Monday, 24 July 2017.

Territorians will be encouraged to take part in stress-reducing, fun activities such as wearing slippers to work or school, or dressing up or down – and to make a donation to Lifeline’s crisis support service. 

Lifeline: 13 11 14 

Researchers eye digital education futures

19-Jul-2017

CDU School of Education’s Dr Jon Mason

CDU School of Education’s Dr Jon Mason


Two Charles Darwin University researchers are contributing to a China-based international research project into the future of education using digital technologies.

The Advanced Innovation Center for Future Education (AICFE), based at Beijing Normal University (BNU) in China, has appointed Associate Professor Greg Shaw and Dr Jon Mason, from CDU’s School of Education, as consultants to the project that is expected to have implications globally for education. They are the only Australian university scholars participating in the research. 

Dr Mason, who leads digital education futures research at CDU, said the AICFE was set up in China to lead the development of smart education platforms and data-driven teaching methodologies out to the year 2030.

“The group is looking at various plausible scenarios [for education globally] through a technology lens,” Dr Mason said.  

“We’re interested in artificial intelligence, smart learning environments and what the next generation of schools will look like.”

Late in 2016 Dr Shaw and Dr Mason received US$20,000 funding through the AICFE after it accepted a research proposal focused on conceiving and preparing for digital education futures, framed as a comparative study involving teachers from the Northern Territory and Urumqi in Xinjiang, Western China.

“Two key characteristics are that CDU and Urumqi Normal University routinely use digital technology in their teaching and they are both urban universities that service remote populations,” Dr Mason said.

In addition to China and Australia, the AICFE project involves researchers from the UK, Canada, USA and several other nations.

With their appointment as consultants until May 2019, Dr Shaw and Dr Mason will conduct further research and contribute to an inaugural “Blue Paper” of AICFE research findings, which is due for publication later this year.

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