USQ News, October 2012
USQ internal staff newsletter - October 2012
October 2012 Signed agreement signals new era of service In recent weeks I have been asked my thoughts in relation to the future of the USQ Student Guild and its continued affiliation with the University. The University of Southern Queensland and the USQ Student Guild have always sought to put in place services to cater for the diverse range of its student community; and will continue to do so. Last week in an email to staff I outlined the reasons behind some of the delays in the refurbishment of the Hub and Refectory projects and that the University had signed a Services Funding Agreement (SFA) with the Student Guild on the level of support and services it continues to offer. While the Student Guild is a completely separate entity to the University and managed by its own Board of Directors throughout our discussions both the Guild and the University have cooperated fully to ensure that in any transitional process staff employed by the Student Guild will be supported in whatever way we can until new arrangements are put in place. Whilst USQ sees the continuation of the Guild as an essential part of university life, support for the Guild is part of the government’s legislative requirements of the university. The Services Funding Agreement which has been signed and fully endorsed by the Student Guild is the culmination of close collaboration and negotiation to assist the Guild to develop a business plan that will allow it to be sustainable and to provide services and facilities for both its on-campus and off-campus students. During the University’s discussions the negotiations centred on the Service Funding Agreement and guaranteeing a range of student services and supports from the Student Amenities Fee brought in by the Commonwealth The University of Southern Queensland and the USQ Student Guild Government earlier this year. Whilst it’s still early days, we are still consulting with student representative groups on how the levy will be used but there are clear calls that the University put in place services that are of value to the whole student population rather than funding projects that may be of little benefit to the vast majority of our students. With almost three quarters of USQ’s enrolment of 26,000 students studying off-campus it would be unfair to expect external students to contribute to facilities and services which they cannot access. Under the Student Amenities Fee students pay approximately $32 per course that goes towards a range of services put forward by the Commonwealth Government. In most cases these services are centred on health, welfare and orientation programs. Apart have always sought to put in place services to cater for the diverse range of its student community; and will continue to do so. from the levy, for this year and next the University has also allocated in excess of $1.4 million to the Student Guild - money that comes from the University’s central corporate budget. As part of the SFA the Guild has indicated to the University its intent to down scale itself from its largely corporate and commercial operations and concentrate more on those services that students will get the most benefit from. Cont on p6. In this issue USQ Pride Gangnam Style USQ experts around the world Shakespeare in the Park #USQPride We value your feedback and story ideas, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org USQ builds strong research ties with China Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Jan Thomas said USQ had been awarded $86,000 in Federal Government funding for two missions to China to establish formal partnerships with the Chinese universities. Workshops conducted in China recently represent the first stage in articulating tangible research innovations developed through the partnerships. Dr. Luke van der Laan (Director, Professional Studies)- USQ Prof. John Cole (Deputy ViceChancellor (Research and Innovation)) - USQ Mr.Dai Zhehua (Director, international Relations) – Nanjing University Prof. Pu Lijie (Vice-President) – Nanjing University Dr. Sun Wen (Deputy Director, International Relations) – Nanjing University The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) from the University of Queensland is featured as an Australian associate and, together with USQ, represents a zone of excellence and international point of reference in the agricultural innovation research domain. USQ is also working closely with the new partners on an exciting project called vCloud — a virtual research centre for researchers from both countries in the areas of agricultural innovation, climate change and variability, and economic modelling. Professor Thomas said the virtual nature of the research centre would allow for highlyresponsive interaction and enhanced collaborative research outcomes between Australia and China. The innovative multidisciplinary research objectives of vCLOUD feature as common national priorities toward the long-term strategic positioning of both nations. ‘The research capabilities in China will strengthen this collaboration to the benefit of both national governments to the point it can become a point of reference for best practice in these fields for the rest of the world.’ ‘This is a golden opportunity for USQ to build on the already outstanding research being done in these two fields,’ Professor Thomas said. ‘We have a lot to offer the Chinese universities in this situation, but the partnerships will also provide our researchers with a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with some of the brightest minds in the world.’ The missions conducted in September saw high-level meetings between USQ senior executives and Zhejiang University, Nanjing University, Nanjing University of Technology, Tongji University, China Academy of Science, Shanghai University, China Agricultural University and Central University of Finance and Economics. The University of Southern Queensland’s international reputation for specialised research is set to surge with the announcement of new partnerships with several of China’s most prestigious universities. USQ has been building relationships with the Chinese universities to establish partnerships that will see expertise shared between the countries in two major research areas — climate and agricultural innovation and ‘green’ fibre composite building materials. Flexi School gets welcome boost from USQ Students at Toowoomba Flexi School took a welcome break from their pre-exam study this week to accept a donation on behalf of their school from the University of Southern Queensland. “We are very much a community-supported “We’re more than happy to support the school,” Mrs Brennan said. Flexi School and the vital services it provides to students here in Toowoomba.” “We provide lunch every day to the students and that helps to create much Mr Rallings also thanked the many more of a community and family feel. volunteers and the Friends of Flexi members USQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students and who give up countless hours to support the Communities) Carl Rallings made the $1500 “We really value that time we have together school and its students. donation with Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan over lunch and I’m sure our students value Thomas at the Chalk Drive school, while also having their tummies full as well.” taking time out to meet some of school’s current students. The funds donated by USQ will go towards purchasing those meals and also additional Flexi School Head of Department Jo food packages for students who are Brennan said USQ had been a strong struggling to buy groceries outside of supporter of the school over the years, school. making donations of food and clothing as well as much-needed funding. Mr Rallings congratulated the students for their hard work during 2012 — particularly Mrs Brennan explained the Flexi School was the Year 12 students who are preparing to an annexe of Centenary Heights State High graduate on November 6. All smiles at the Flexi School donation are (back, School, but that many of the programs it offered went “above and beyond” regular “USQ has had a long-term relationship with from left) Friends of Flexi Chair Kath McDonald, Mychael Forbes, Trey Patterson, USQ Deputy ViceEducation Queensland services. this school and there have been wonderful Chancellor (Students and Communities) Carl Rallings outcomes over a long period of time,” and (front, from left) Chloe Mulvena, ViceChancellor Professor Jan Thomas and Breanna Lee. USQ Library takes hat trick win for customer satisfaction You’d forgive the library staff of the University of Southern Queensland for finding it hard to keep quiet this week but they have plenty of reason to celebrate. The USQ Library was announced as the number one university in Australia and New Zealand for client satisfaction for the third time in a row, according to the 2012 Insync national university library survey. Manager of Library Information Services Robyn Tweedale said she was thrilled with the result. ‘We heard a lot of the libraries around Australia had improved so we weren’t expecting to get it a third time,’ Ms Tweedale said. ‘We’re very happy with the result. The 84.4 per cent total score was higher than its previous winning totals of 83.8 per cent in 2010 and 79.8 per cent in 2008. The survey asked library users to provide some demographic information and then to measure a number of statements about the library and the library’s performance. ‘We received hundreds of positive comments as well as constructive The Insync survey measures client feedback ‘The survey looked at five different comments on how we can improve,’ Ms for the majority of Australian universities on categories including communication, service Tweedale said. behalf of the Council of Australian delivery, facilities and equipment, library University Librarians. staff and information resources. ‘We’re already acting on some of these. For instance, next year searching for full-text USQ ranked number one out of the 33 ‘We had the highest survey score in articles and e-books will be easier and faster universities surveyed this year, on top of Australia in four out of five of those than ever.’ ranking first in 2008 and 2010. categories, with an overall score of 84.4 per ‘One person said that if we made the library cent.’ any better, no one would ever leave!’ The lighthouse for digital futures Professor Keppell said he chose to take up the position with USQ because ADFI captures the focus of his passion for his career — exploring innovation and future possibilities. ‘I viewed USQ as a regional university integrated into its communities and as a leader in distance education,’ he said. ‘I particularly like the equity and inclusive approach to other cultures exemplified by the flags of countries at the entrance of the Toowoomba campus.’ An avid rugby union fan and a keen portrait photographer, Professor Keppell has big plans for the future of ADFI and USQ. issues, and through this process identify mainstream literacies that enable USQ and our communities to enhance what we do. ‘Engaging colleagues at USQ and within industry will be key to achieving this vision.’ Professor Keppell has published widely in the field of flexible learning, and with a background in educational technology, extensive community involvement and strength in design-based research, he has a range of valuable skills and experience in Higher Education. His research focuses on learning spaces, blended learning, learning‑oriented assessment, authentic learning and transformative learning using design‑based research. He has edited two books: Instructional Design: Case Studies in Communities of Practice and Physical and Virtual Learning Spaces in Higher Education: Concepts for the Modern Learning Environment. Professor Keppell is passionate about travelling to other cultures and admits he is “addicted to adventures”. ‘Last year it was trekking Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya. I’m already planning other adventures for the future.’ Executive Director of the Australian Digital Futures Institute (ADFI) Professor Mike Keppell The University of Southern Queensland is set to become a “lighthouse for digital futures innovation and research” under the leadership of Professor Mike Keppell — the new Executive Director of the Australian Digital Futures Institute (ADFI). ‘I want to engage the USQ community as well as regional, higher education and Professor Keppell, who took up his new role global communities in solving real-world this month, has a long professional history issues relevant to our communities,’ he in higher education in Australia, Canada and said. Hong Kong. ‘ADFI will explore the literacies for the He was Professor of Higher Education and future (e.g. mobile learning, digital Director of the Flexible Learning Institute at communities, learning Charles Sturt University, and prior to that spaces, personal learning environments, was Head of the Centre for Learning, enabling technologies) relevant to our Teaching and Technology at the Hong Kong communities. Institute of Education. ‘Through design-based research ADFI will engage our communities, tackle real-world Toowoomba Tennis Centre-USQ open for business USQ Fraser Coast Careers C athletes October 14 to 22. The couple will line up in the 55-59 age group and will tackle the sprint distance (750m swim, 20km cycle, 5km run). Jenny, 58, and Bill, 59, competed in a number of state triathlon titles before being selected in the Australian team for Auckland based on points. This event is not Bill’s first shot at a world title. In 1994 he competed in the final of the 40-45 age group at the World Masters Games in Brisbane. While Bill, a doctor, has a strong competitive streak, Jenny is taking it all in her stride, seeing the championship more a chance for fun and to catch up with people she has met at other triathlon events. She said her biggest hurdle would be acclimatising to New Zealand’s freezing water. Jenny Gunn looks to see where the 2012 ITU World Triathlon Championships will take place in Auckland. Life has served up a new calling for tennis-lovers Gavin Wright and Breanna Tilly as they have been named the new operators of the Toowoomba Regional Tennis Centre—USQ at the University of Southern Queensland. Mr Wright, who has been coaching tennis in Toowoomba for about 25 years, said he applied for the operator role through Tennis Queensland and was thrilled to get the position. ‘We’re hoping to get the centre fully operational at the start of 2013,’ Mr Wright said. ‘We’re planning to open up a pro shop, café, and licensed bar in the centre as well as holding coaching programs for kids, fixture programs for all levels of skills, events especially for USQ staff and students and much more. ‘I’ve been coaching for a long time and have also worked with Tennis Australia, although I have considered operating my own courts. ‘The only option I saw was to build my own but that would cost too much, so being able to operate the courts at USQ is a fantastic opportunity and I really want to be able energize the centre.’ Miss Tilly is a professional tennis player who has been coached by Mr Wright and she said she was looking forward to following her passion. ‘Running the tennis centre will be something new for me, for both of us actually,’ Miss Tilly said. ‘I started playing tennis in Year 1, my parents just booked me in for lessons. ‘I ended up really enjoying it and now it’s what I do full time, playing matches all around Australia.’ The centre has also applied to become a franchise for the AsiaPacific Tennis League and could see some of the world’s best tennis players come to USQ later in the year. Mr Wright said the centre would become fully-functional on January 1, 2013, but people were more than welcome to book the courts in the meantime. The $3.6 million centre was part of the Regional Tennis Facilities program and is a joint partnership of State Government, Tennis Queensland, Toowoomba Regional Council, Toowoomba Tennis Association and USQ. The Centre, located in Baker Street at USQ, features 12 world-class standard courts and a two-storey tennis clubhouse linked to the Clive Berghofer Recreation Centre. To book a game call Gavin or Breanna on 0413 004 457 or 0437 119 875. When Jenny Gunn, University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Fraser Coast Careers Counsellor, tells stressed-out students to close their books a while and go for a run, it’s not a “Do as I say, not what I do” scenario. Keeping active is a recommended form of de-stressing, and Jenny practices what she preaches, albeit much more than the average USQ staffer. ‘We’ll be swimming at Queens Wharf where the big ship liners some in, which is a bit daunting – not just the Jenny and husband Bill have been huge size of the docks but also the selected to represent Australia at the 14oC water,’ Jenny said. 2012 ITU World Triathlon Championships in Auckland from USQ academics honoured by Two University of Southern Queensland academics from the Faculty of Education have been recognised for their contributions to the world of education leadership at the recent Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) conference. The term “Nganakarrawa” has origins in the Ndjebbana language in the Northern Territory and means “those who move about, all seeing, all knowing, knowledgeable and well-regarded.” Lecturer in School Pedagogies and Online Pedagogies Dr Joan Conway Associate Professor Dorothy received an ACEL Fellowship, which Andrews received the is a special category of Nganakarrawa Award at an awards membership awarded annual to ceremony last week, an annual members who have made an award presented for general outstanding contribution over a excellence in educational period of time to the improvement administration and to those who of student and organisational have earned lasting respect and outcomes. gratitude from the ACEL for their learning, experience and Professor Andrews said she was contributions. honoured to receive the award. an honour. Counsellor takes on world ‘We’ve done cold water training near Nanango, at Wivenhoe Dam and in the ocean but that’s only about 18oC. You never really get used to the cold water unless you live in cold climates, so the locals will have the swimming advantage.’ Training for a world-class sports event while working full time certainly keeps Jenny busy but the mother of five grown children says it suits her lifestyle. ‘As a careers counsellor, when students come to see me and I pick up that they may be stressed, I often ask about their life balance, which would be more rounded if they included exercise of some sort. Side bar: USQ Springfield Mathematics and Statistic Lecturer Ms Taryn Swan will also represent Australia in the New Zealand championships. Taryn has been a regular competitor on the USQ triathlon team and at triathlons around Queensland since she took up the sport as a hobby about three years ago. See the June 2012 issue of USQ online News for her story. ‘One of the best ways to reduce stress is through exercise, and swimming is one of the best you can do – it’s non-weight bearing, you can walk in water and be social if you want. When you’re ready to take the next step, cycling is always fun. Then ‘I couldn’t have done this while the the next step is running. Not kids were at home, and if Bill wasn’t everyone can run but if you can’t, doing it with me it probably wouldn’t you can still do swimming or cycling have happened either. as part of a team. Bill has always been athletic, particularly in running, but neither of us were good swimmers. I took up triathlon about eight years ago as a way of de-stressing. Jenny Strack had a six-week program running and I decided to have a go. That’s when the bug started. ‘It all comes down to keeping a balance between work, sport and leisure. ‘The most important thing is life balance, the rest is a bonus. We’re not that serious – just serious enough not to get injured!’ Jenny and Bill are coached by Jenny Strack who will also compete in New Zealand, along with another three Maryborough athletes. To follow the event action, visit http://wts.triathlon.org/ USQ Springfield Mathematics and Statistic Lecturer Taryn Swan Associate Professor Dorothy Andrews y ACEL ‘It’s quite a prestigious award to receive so it was a bit of a shock when my name was announced,’ she said. ‘It’s one of the top awards presented by the ACEL so it’s quite an honour. ‘I’ve been a member of the ACEL for about 20 years.’ Dr Conway said ACEL Fellowships were granted to members who fulfil the criteria of being a model leader and inspiring others. ‘It’s an honour to receive a fellowship and as it’s a nationally recognised award, also quite humbling,’ Dr Conway said. ‘Education leadership is imperative for our future and it is important to create a culture of openmindedness, trust and collaboration for the enhancement of student outcomes.’ For more information about the ACEL, visit www.acel.org.au. Lecturer in School Pedagogies and Online Pedagogies Joan Conway Interviewing skills to get the job Curtis Walter is a Golden Key International Career Liaison and Head Hunter for top international organisations based in Washington DC. He recently presented a free workshop for USQ students and staff in the Allison Dickson Lecture Theatre where he divulged secrets behind the psychology of the interview. Attendees shared ways to overcome common interview mistakes and introduced cutting edge techniques in order to be positioned as the candidate of choice in their next job search, whether it is for the next promotion or their first dream job. Mr Walter highlighted special differences in skill sets: The skills you need to get the job are different than the skills you need to do the job. The presentation was recorded and is available for students, staff and alumni to access through the USQ Career Hub - http:// careerhub.usq.edu.au David Smith USQ Chapter President, Barbara Sweeting USQ Chapter Community Service Officer, Curtis Walter Golden Key Career Liaison Signed agreement signals new era of service From p1 What this means is that the University will move to offer lease agreements to ensure that food and catering services will continue with the Clive Berghofer Recreational Centre remaining under the management of the Student Guild. more suitable and accommodating for the changing needs of students and staff within the refurbishments of the current Refectory. Over the years a number of security and safety problems have occurred on campus from patrons to the Club who are not university students. University‘s growing Open Access College that provides bridging courses and programs to students who may not have had the opportunity to complete secondary school and move on to university studies and also to migrants and refugees wanting to start a new life for themselves here in Toowoomba. The Guild and the University has also The current building occupied by the USQ decided to move the operations of the USQ Club will be remodelled into classrooms Club. It will be replaced with something and offices to accommodate the Students go Gangnam Style to showcase USQ pride A group of University of Southern Queensland residential college students has taken their pride for USQ to the extreme creating their own version of the viral ‘Gangnam Style’ music video. ‘Phoenix Style’ was created by the students as part of a global competition run by the university, challenging students to create something out-ofthe-box to highlight their pride in USQ and to celebrate the launch of the university’s new logo and marketing campaign. The video was the brainchild of USQ students Steph Piper, who is studying in the Faculty of Sciences, and Taylor Hanson, an exchange student from the University of Montana in the United States. ‘We originally shot the elevator scene as part of the photo competition, but then we found the video competition so we figured we might as well go all the way,’ Taylor said. Our students show their USQ pride with their own take on the K-pop hit Gangnam Style ment or further study — one of the highest graduate employment rates in Australia, according to the MyUniversity website. USQ staff have been almost overwhelmed with responses from about 7500 students across the globe who have scrambled to be part of the campaign, signing up for a free Phoenix t-shirt emblazoned with the redesigned USQ logo. .students to not only participate, but to succeed at university.’ ‘Our core business is our students and we do everything we can to make sure they know they have the support they need for their education journey.’ The USQ Pride campaign asks students to take a photo of themselves wearing a new Phoenix t-shirt and submit the photo for a chance to win one of five iPads, with the grand prize being a $15,000 travel voucher. Staff have been amazed at the creativity of the students, with photos showing them water-skiing, abseiling, and even a father with his newborn baby, just two hours after the birth. To view the incredible ‘Phoenix Style’ video, visit: http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A5emQ-SkE To find out more about the campaign and to join the USQ community in 2013, visit www.usq.edu.au/phoenix ‘We started getting people together and spreading the word on Facebook and it was amazing how many people Deliveries have been made to stuwanted to jump on board.’ dents in Rwanda, Austria, Finland, Pakistan, Colombia, Nepal, South The entire video was filmed, edited Africa and Sri Lanka, with students and directed by USQ students. from many more countries also jumping on board. ‘Our original goal wasn’t to win. We just had this crazy idea and wanted to USQ Vice-Chancellor and President follow through with it.’ Professor Jan Thomas said students had every reason to feel proud to be ‘We put a huge amount of work into part of their university. it so when we found out we won, that was really, really exciting.’ ‘I am proud of the fact that USQ is not like any other university,’ ProfesThe group won a $500 gift card from sor Thomas said. Coles Myer and Taylor said they already had plans to celebrate with a ‘This university has been a pioneer in party for the cast and crew. higher education, putting in place courses and support programs that The new USQ marketing campaign is enable low socio-economic status, based on the fact that 91.3% of USQ regional or remote students, first in students go on to full-time employ family, mature aged and Indigenous Ride to Work Day at USQ Staff and students took the opportunity to combine their daily exercise and transportation needs at the annual national Ride to Work Day on 21 October this year. Riders from Fraser Coast and Toowoomba campuses participated in the event and encouraged others who don’t regularly ride to give it a go. A peloton was formed by a dozen USQ riders travelling from the Toowoomba city centre to continue the USQ tradition of making a grand entrance along the flag-lined USQ community drive. USQ Environmental Officer Alicia Logan said many participants in the annual Ride2Work Day regularly ride to work and utilise the free End of Trip Cycling Facilities located on the Toowoomba Campus. ‘Transport choices make an impact on health and the health of the environment, choosing to ride to work is one way we can make a difference in reducing transport-related emissions creating a more sustainable future,’ she said. USQ Professor Delivers Keynote Address in Taiwan Professor Peter Terry from the Faculty of Sciences has recently returned from Taiwan, where he delivered a keynote address to the International Conference of Exercise for 3 Qs – Health Quotient, Emotion Quotient, and Intelligence Quotient, held at the National Taiwan Sport University in Taipei City. Other invited keynote speakers at the conference included Prof. John Ratey from Harvard University Medical School and Prof. Phillip Tomporowski from the University of Georgia. While in Taiwan, Peter also gave a similar presentation to a group of postgraduate students at the impressive new campus of His keynote presentation, entitled Born to the Taipei Physical Education College in the Run: Benefits, Barriers, Solutions, addressed Shilin District of Taipei City. (a) the evidence base for physical activity initiatives, including the increasingly strongly-supported positive association between exercise and academic achievement, (b) presented a range of effective strategies for increasing physical activity levels, and (c) outlined potential future health promotion scenarios. The presentation was enthusiastically received by an audience of over 300 delegates that included the Taiwanese Minister of Education who, by his own admission, was keen to learn new ways to promote physical activity among schoolchildren and young adults in his country. Prof. Peter Terry receives a plaque to commemorate his keynote presentation to the International Conference USQ academic elected German research ambassador The University of Southern Queensland Associate Professor in Climatology Joachim Ribbe has been accepted as a Research Ambassador for the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD. Assoc Prof Ribbe, who also acts as the Head of Department of Biological and Physical Sciences at USQ, applied for a research ambassador role at DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) late last year and was accepted last month. His new role will involve representing DAAD and supporting the organisation’s goals in promoting German-Australian academic collaborations and research sharing. ‘I’ve had a long standing association with DAAD and they helped fund me when I first moved from Germany to Australia,’ Assoc Prof Ribbe said. ‘Since then I’ve seen them support many students and researchers and it’s great to represent a large organisation which is internationally known and highly-regarded. ‘It’s also a great opportunity to engage with research groups in Germany and abroad.’ DAAD’s research ambassadors meet annually at specially organised events to exchange views, research and experiences with other ambassadors and DAAD colleagues from Australia and Germany. Assoc Prof Ribbe will also be able to represent USQ and its research developments at the events. ‘It will be great to build a network to exchange ideas and strengthen the parties involved,’ he said. ‘DAAD also promote activities such as inviting Australia-based academics to research in Germany and Germany-based academics to research in Australia, along with supporting research groups all over the world.’ USQ lecture focuses on disability accommodation in education Responsibilities and obligations for tertiary education institutions to support students with disabilities was the focus of Dr Elizabeth Dickson’s recent lecture at the University of Southern Queensland as part of Disability Action Week. controversial issue but attitudes and awareness have been improving and it’s becoming a lot more accepted.’ Dr Dickson said it was a few controversial cases from the mid-90s, involving students with disabilities being asked to leave their schools, which sparked her interest in discrimination law. Dr Dickson is a senior lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology and has completed a PhD involving analysing the effectiveness of discrimination law in ‘Really, the best policies are ones that allow delivering equality of opportunity in as many people as possible to participate,’ education for people with disabilities. Dr Dickson said. ‘Education institutions have an obligation to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate people with disabilities,’ Dr Dickson said. ‘When I was a teacher, the accommodation of students with disabilities was quite a ‘There is definitely an increased awareness of disability issues and there is more accommodation now than before.’ Dr Dickson also talked about the concept of reasonable adjustments and about when Queensland University of Technology Senior Lecturer, Dr Elizabeth Dickson speaks at USQ for Disability Action Week an adjustment is likely to be unreasonable, such as when it results in excessive disruption to the learning environment of other students or would compromise the academic integrity of a course. The end of an era This month we say farewell to Manager of Creative Media Services Mr Greg Coombes and Parking and Security Officer Mr George McHugh as they leave us to begin enjoying their retirement. Creative Media Services Manager Greg Coombes ‘In the earliest days all design was completed manually using “cut and paste” techniques and now we use the latest in computerised technology.’ ‘The increasing focus of USQ on flexible delivery and technology-enhanced education has made my job challenging and stimulating.’ ‘I love this place. It has been fantastic, but it’s time as I move into retirement to try something else.’ Manager (Facilities) Ms Renee Wilkes said there have been students who have been homesick and ready to give up studies who credit their decision to stay and continue, in part to the support they received from George. ‘Many come back and visit George years after they have finished their studies,’ Ms Wilkes said. Parking and Security Officer George McHugh Both men have been valued members of the USQ team for more than two decades. Greg said he can now get back to some hands-on painting and plans to further Mr Greg Coombes has worked in graphic explore his passion for tradition regarding design at USQ in varying capacities in cars such as Rolls Royce. Toowoomba, Fiji and America. Mr George McHugh has been at the USQ Throughout his 32 plus years of service Greg campus for 21 years as a valued member of worked to promote the university to the the parking and security officers’ team who local, national and international provide a safe environment for us all. communities through his print and web designs. It is testament to his character that he is held in high esteem by staff and students Greg said he is proud to have been a part of even though throughout that time he issued the development of the university’s approximately 12,000 parking tickets. corporate image, specifically the USQ Phoenix. George said he will miss his university family and his kids (the students) now he has ‘Graphic design has changed significantly retired. over the period of my career,’ Greg said. ‘Staff often comment on how safe they felt knowing that George was there to watch over them,’ she said. George plans to spend time with family, enjoy a good scotch and do some of the odd jobs around the family’s house and land. To listen to Greg Coombes’ story and others go to USQ’s One2one audio studio interviews at http://soundcloud.com/usq/sets/one2one-usq/s-faRKp Saudi Arabian culture showcased at USQ ‘Some people have this perception of Saudi Arabia being a desert with a few tents, but that’s not the case at all,’ Mr Alghamdi said, ‘It’s a very unique culture and we wanted to showcase it the Toowoomba and USQ community.’ The Saudi Arabia National Day celebrations included a photo gallery of the country, traditional songs and dancing, free Mohammed Alrahmal celebrates with his sons, Saah (left) and Mohammed. traditional food, a screening of a documentary film about the Kingdom of The Saudi Arabian students of the University Saudi Arabia, quizzes and more. of Southern Queensland showcased their culture and heritage to an excited audience Mr Alghamdi said has been living in Australia during the Saudi Arabia National Day and studying Nursing at USQ for the past celebrations held yesterday. three years and will be heading back to his hometown of Riyadh when he finishes his Abdul Aziz Alghamdi, President of the Saudi study. Arabia Student Club of Toowoomba, was one of the key organisers of the event and Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia and has said the day was supposed to be a reflection a population of about 5.5 million people. of Saudi Arabian culture. ‘This is my last semester at USQ so I will be taking the knowledge and experience I’ve gained in Toowoomba back to my home country,’ Mr Alghamdi said. ‘I’ve really enjoyed my time here, the weather is nice, the universities are quite different and the people of Toowoomba have been very friendly. ‘There is also a lot of greenery and flowers in Toowoomba, which we don’t see as much of back home.’ Multicultural dancers captivate crowds at USQ Mental Health Day A colourful display of Multicultural and Middle Eastern Dancing kept USQ Fraser Coast students and visitors entertained as they browsed information displays during Mental Health Week activities on Wednesday, October 3. Jill Byrnes from the Nefertiti Dance group said dancing was a good way for everyone, including university students, to help prevent or manage mild to moderate depression and anxiety. The event was aimed at raising awareness of mental health and associated issues and also included give-aways and a free barbecue lunch. Information displays were presented by community organisations including Richmond Psychiatric Rehabilitation Australia, Centacare, Lifeline and Queensland Mental Health. Students and visitors also had the opportunity to learn something new, win a Jill Byrnes leads the Nefertiti Dance group in prize gift card by answering a simple quiz Multicultural and Middle Eastern Dances at the Fraser and try out The Desk, a toolbox that helps Coast's Mental Health Week activities. ‘Dancing helps people stay physically fit and people deal with some of the issues that get mentally healthy,’ Ms Byrnes said. whose husbands don’t like to dance, it still in the way of success – like stress, gives them the opportunity to participate. procrastination, feeling down, relationship ‘As well as the physical benefits in strength, “Dancing also boosts self-esteem and is a lot issues or managing worries. posture, balance and joint movement, dance of fun – you’re wearing beautiful clothes and also boosts mental fitness and co-ordination stepping into a new persona.’ The theme for this year’s Mental Health because you’re learning new skills. Week was Working towards well-being. USQ Student Services Counsellor Jenny Gunn ‘It is social so people feel less alone. With said the 2012 Mental Health Week activities Middle Eastern Dancing you don’t need a were well attended with more than 90 partner so for single women and those students and visitors participating. VC thanks staff who supported Toowoomba Hospice fundraising challenge The race was on between USQ ViceChancellor and President Professor Jan Thomas and Chamber of Commerce CEO Greg Johnson, to see who could raise the most money for the Toowoomba Hospice during Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers week in September. Mr Johnson challenged Professor Thomas to raise funds through sponsorship while wearing a tropical shirt every day during the Professor Thomas said she thoroughly festival week. enjoyed wearing her tropical shirts and is sure the U.S Consul General was impressed Each day Professor Thomas emailed USQ with her tropical shirt when she met him staff a photo of her dressed in one of the during the week as well. selection of colourful shirts and staff enthusiastically pitched in with contributions ‘I just wanted to thank all staff who via donation tins situated around campus. supported me throughout this challenge and for your kind donations,’ Professor Thomas said. Many staff joined in the fun by coming dressed in their best tropical shirts and making a gold coin donation when the ViceChancellor declared Tuesday 25 September as Tropical Queensland Shirt Day on campus. Staff enjoyed a sausage sizzle provided by the Toowoomba Hospice in the quad and those dressed in their brightest shirts had a group photo taken with the Vice-Chancellor. A total of $1226 was raised and donated to the hospice. ‘I look forward to next year’s Carnival of Flowers challenge,’ Professor Thomas said. USQ Ride Run Walk for Charity The third annual USQ Ride, Run Walk was a huge success, and organisers are already looking to make next year's event even bigger. ‘I'm really pleased to see it growing,’ said USQ Student Guild officer Kelly Ralston. This year's event held on Sunday 21 October drew 143 people at the Fraser Coast to participate and raise money for Hervey Bay Hospital Children's Services. This was up from 104 who participated last year, and 52 participants in 2010. ‘There was also a significant increase in the money raised for the hospital,’ Ms Ralston said. Ms Ralston said the oldest participant was 68 years old. Competitors could choose between a 5km run or ride, or a 3km walk, with the numbers evenly spread between the three. She said there were varying levels of fitness between the participants, with those who were at the lower end of the fitness scale able to walk the course at their own pace. Ms Ralston thanked the Hervey Bay business community for getting behind the event, offering sponsorship, promotion and prizes to the participants. She also thanked members of the SES for helping with the marshalling for the event, along with some local firefighters who The amount of $1469 was raised on Sunday, participated as well. compared to $1100 in 2011. The Toowoomba Ride Run Walk event Another factor Ms Ralston was pleased focused on encouraging local school about was the increasing number of children students to get active and spend time with getting involved. family and friends. Approximately 200 people attended. Due to the generous support of the event’s sponsors and participants, $3, 500 was There were 50 kids taking part, including raised for the Toowoomba Hospital babies who were pushed about the course in Children’s Appeal. prams,’ she said. At Fraser Coast, Leonard Reynolds came prepared with transport themed ‘Cars’ clothing and bicycle for the day. The crowd gathered ready to start the Toowoomba Ride Run Walk event on Sunday 21 October USQ’s sustainability expertise bound for Pakistan A group of high-level government officials and academics from Pakistan are in Australia this month building a ‘toolkit’ of business best practices with help from the University of Southern Queensland. The Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development and the Australian Centre for Sustainable Catchments, based at USQ, secured a grant through AusAID’s Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship program to bring the Pakistani officials to Australia. ‘Business is definitely about making money, but not at the cost of the environment or the community,’ Ms Rashid said. ‘Ladies in Pakistan can utilise the knowledge we’ve learned here in Australia — they can learn how their business can have a positive impact on their community while also generating a profit.’ Balochistan University’s Director of University Advancement and Financial The full delegation of Pakistani officials and USQ project leaders. Assistance, Muhammad Shah Khan, said he had plans to run seminars and The four-week program — ‘Fostering The group has visited leading sustainable workshops for the university’s 6000 students Business Sustainability for Competitiveness businesses right across Australia. using the sustainability knowledge gained in in Small and Medium Size Enterprises Australia. (SMEs)’ — will lead to widespread Business leaders and several external distribution of the knowledge gained, presenters also presented workshops for the ‘This is such an important issue so it is promoting sustainable business group at the two campuses of USQ in something we are looking at very closely,’ development long after the officials return Toowoomba and Springfield. Mr Khan said. to their home country. While in Sydney, the group even had the ‘We intend to make the courses mandatory The Australian Centre for Sustainable privilege of dining with Pakistan’s High for all of our students so they can then take Business and Development and Australian Commissioner to Australia, His Excellency the message to the masses. Centre for Sustainable Catchments at USQ Mr Abdul Malik Abdullah. are delivering the leadership development ‘This is the first project between USQ and program for fellows from the Small and ‘It has been an invigorating, intellectually Balochistan, but I think it is going to provide Medium Enterprise Development Authority stimulating program,’ Mr Khokhar said. a roadmap for future joint ventures. (SMEDA) in Pakistan and the Balochistan University of Information Technology, ‘I think this visit will be a breakthrough in ‘This is only just the beginning.’ Engineering, and Management Sciences terms of introducing Australia, the (BUITEMS). Australian work ethic, businesses and Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and culture into the SME sector in Pakistan. Innovation Professor John Cole said SMEDA chief executive officer Yousaf sustainability was a goal that needed to Naseem Khokhar said it had been incredibly ‘There are strong opportunities for become a high priority for the global beneficial meeting Australian entrepreneurs development in Pakistan and if more PhD community. and experts in the sustainability field. students are able to study through this university I think it could put USQ firmly on ‘The challenges of sustainable development ‘The best aspect has been that we are not the academic map as a destination of choice are not restricted to any one country, only learning the theoretical angles, we are for Pakistani students in Australia.’ community or company and much can be visiting these entrepreneurs at their achieved to promote economic innovation businesses and learning how to put the Esma Mariam Rashid is a manager at SMEDA and eco-efficiency by sharing ideas, strategies into practice,’ Mr Khokhar said. and also the project director at the Women experiences and plans,’ Professor Cole said. Business Incubation Centre in Lahore. ‘USQ has leading expertise which is showing Ms Rashid said she was most impressed at business here and overseas just what can be how Australian women “think outside the achieved when sustainability is made a core box” when it comes to incorporating strategy.’ sustainability into their work. Project Leaders Associate Professor Retha She said there were great opportunities to Wiesner and Dr Shahbaz Mushtaq said the promote sustainability in small and medium program had proved invaluable for the enterprises in Pakistan because many delegates from both countries. women ran small businesses selling clothing, cosmetics and jewellery. ‘We are also currently working on several Human Resource Management Associate Professor Retha Wiesna (centre) with some of the visiting future collaborative strategies to build upon delegates. the learnings from this program.’ Former NBA player ignites passions at USQ Staff, students and the local community were invited to listen to ‘activational’ speaker, Eric Bailey at USQ's Springfield campus on Wednesday, 10 October. Mr Bailey spoke as part of a series of Mental Health Week events taking place at the campus. Student Events and Experience Coordinator Samantha Miles said Mr Bailey, a former National Basketball Association (NBA) player and executive manager is a world renowned motivational speaker. 'Mr Bailey spoke about igniting the burning passion that dwells in each of us, using his own life experiences and knowledge in the field of personal and organisational excellence,' Mrs Miles said. 'A number of key service providers set up information stalls had information stalls on campus until 2pm, including; Life-Line, West Moreton Oxley Medicare Local, Ipswich USQ visited by world renowned motivational speaker.’ Sexual Health Services and our own USQ Give Club. 'Students enjoyed a free pizza lunch and were invited to participate in a one kilometre walk through Robelle Domain for mental health awareness,' she said. 'Our aim is to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing in the wider community. Former NBA player Eric Bailey to speak as part of Mental Health Week events at Springfield (10 October) In addition to Mr Bailey’s talk the campus 'This event contributes to reducing the promoted mental health awareness through stigma associated with mental ill health a number of activities throughout the day. and encourages people to seek help.' USQ explores Education Precinct plan the proposed Fraser Coast Educational Precinct on Saturday, September 22, included Queensland Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek and representatives from Fraser Coast Regional Council, Wide Bay TAFE and Education Queensland. educational institutions that enable better learning outcomes.’ Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O’Connell said the Fraser Coast had a strong foundation on which to build and nurture the concept of an 'Education Precinct'. ‘It is easily argued that a sound education and good training leads to enhanced job prospects and thus strong economic development,’ Mr O’Connell said. ‘I believe we must foster the Fraser Coast as an 'Education Precinct', making the University of Southern Queensland Hervey Bay campus the envy of others and making our TAFE Colleges even more vibrant, relevant and appealing.’ USQ Fraser Coast Business Manager Brett Langabeer said the concept was more than bricks and mortar, and that it aligned with USQ Fraser Coast’s strategic direction as an outreach campus focussed on addressing With education expected to play a key role in regional educational needs. the Fraser Coast’s future development, University of Southern Queensland (USQ) ‘It’s about building aspirations in the Fraser Coast recently hosted a consortium of community through education and is viewed potential partners to further explore the as a strategic move, enabling increasing possibility of an Education Precinct in Hervey participation and engagement in the Fraser Bay. Coast region,’ Mr Langabeer said. The concept is to develop a learning hub centred on USQ Fraser Coast including a Trade Training Centre and TAFE. Interested stakeholders who met to discuss ‘The benefits of building a city learning hub, such as the Education Precinct, include greater levels of integration that promote knowledge sharing across various Queensland Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek (left) talks with Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O’Connell, Director of Community and Development Peter Smith and Councillor Stuart Taylor at the USQ Fraser Coast Campus. Shakespeare’s King Richard III thrills crowds Shakespeare for some conjures images of stiff Elizabethan costumes, dated dialogue and perhaps even a less-than-fond high school class or two. Not so at USQ! The Bard has been given a thoroughly modern-day make-over at the University’s annual Shakespeare in the Park Festival. ‘Richard is a fantastic character; the sort of villain you just can’t help but like, a bit like Francis Urquhart (played by Ian Richardson) in the televised version of To Play the King. ‘He’s funny, erudite, persuasive and attractive yet dastardly in his evil deeds – you can’t help but fall under his charming spell!’ Although a 15th century English warlord, characters like Richard still abound in fiction and in real life today. ‘I guess what makes this production particularly appealing is its attempt to approach the central themes of the play (struggle for power, battle between right and wrong, and survival of dynasties) from an almost ‘superhero’ perspective. also much better acoustically so the show sounds really clear. ‘Logistically it has been simpler for us to create a Festival site (just like the one at Queens Park) when it sits alongside where we rehearse the actors, build the sets and make the costumes. ‘Many patrons have said they can’t believe it has taken us this long to present the Festival at USQ!’ Dr Scollen said. Richard III continues at the University’s Toowoomba campus nightly at 6.30pm on Friday 19, Saturday 20, Friday 26 and Saturday 27 October. Gates open at 5.30pm and audiences are encouraged to bring a blanket or chair to sit on and to pack a picnic and bottle or two to enjoy during the show. Resplendent in steam-punk inspired costumes and complete with amazing machinations a talented cast of seven are retelling the story of King Richard III. Under the creative genius of director Scott Alderdice, Shakespeare’s great historic drama, Richard III has been adapted into an exciting modern day interpretation. ‘The costumes and set are striking and they provide the context for characters that are The site is licensed for BYO alcohol and a Festival producer and Manager of USQ range of delicious hot food and drinks are half-human half-machine.’ Artsworx, Dr Rebecca Scollen is pleased available from the on-site vendors. with the audiences’ reaction to the The Shakespeare Festival has made a major Tickets are available from the USQ production. move this year onto the University’s Toowoomba campus to take advantage of Artsworx Box Office on 07 4631 1111 ‘They have been especially impressed with a range of outdoor and indoor (10am-4pm, Monday-Friday) or at the gate the skill of the young actors as they take on performance spaces – featuring the from 5.30pm each night. the challenge to perform so many roles magnificent open-air main stage on the during the show,’ Dr Scollen said. Front Oval. ‘Shannon Haeglar is a stand-out; bringing Richard to life in a charming, provocative and amusing way. ‘The move to USQ has been advantageous in so many ways; our patrons have found it easier to park and access the site and it is USQ Fraser Coast Shakespeare Workshops turn back time Laura Conroy was among 36 students at St James Lutheran College who were “transported to a different world” today (Wednesday, October 17) when Creative Arts students and teachers from University of Southern Queensland Toowoomba brought Richard III, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth into the classroom. Ari Palani, USQ Toowoomba Creative Arts Lecturer and workshops leader, said the workshop program was a fantastic opportunity to engage students in extensive Shakespearean experiences outside the Toowoomba catchment area. Q&A 1. What is your role at USQ? Departmental Support Officer for Maths & Computing and Biological & Physical Sciences 2. How long have you been at USQ? Four years and a few months Kris Lyon 3. Favourite part of your job? There’s a lot of variety and I enjoy relating to a lot of interesting and great people (both professional and academic staff who are doing some amazing work). I have made some wonderful friends since I’ve been here. 4. Favourite thing about Toowoomba? The size of the city: easy to get to places, minimal traffic, clean air and the proximity to lovely countryside. The city is big enough to have some nice places to visit like the art gallery, the Empire and places to meet friends. My family also share a weekender not far from here, which is where my mum grew up. 5. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given and by who? I have had many wonderful influences in my life: some interesting times spent with some great people over many years have given me lots of learning experiences, some good, some bad. It’s difficult to single out one piece of advice but, “never forget to be humble” was a good one (came from a lovely potter friend when I was exclaiming over her work). I also really like the T-shirt my aunt gave a few years ago “I am Gr8ful” – that sums it up for me. 6. What is something very few people know about you? Umm… My oldest brother and I were born on Christmas Day and we aren’t twins 7. What would be your dream holiday destination? A private chartered luxury Caribbean cruise with lots of family and friends (but a couple of weeks on Lizard Island would be pretty good too) 8. What is your favourite movie/s? I still think The Shawshank Redemption was an excellent movie (other favourites are Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil, Remains of the Day, The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus to name a few). If you were to ask me about books, I would say Lord of the Rings, The Source, Cloudstreet and Love in the Time of Cholera. 9. What is something you can’t live without? Sounds a bit cliché, but it truly is the love, friendship and support of my family and friends ‘We’ve received so many positive responses regarding the links between USQ’s Toowoomba and The event was one of 10 in-school Fraser Coast campuses and the workshops being presented in community,” Mr Palani said. Hervey Bay, Maryborough and “Building on these relationships Bundaberg this week as part of can only strengthen support for the 2012 USQ Shakespeare in the creative arts in this area.’ Park Festival, proudly sponsored by USQ Fraser Coast. USQ Fraser Coast School Liaison Officer Carly Ryder said local ‘I really enjoyed today’s workshop, schools were given the choice of especially because the presenters two workshops that included were so interactive with us,” Laura Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, said. “It was my second Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Shakespearean workshop and I Dream, and The Tempest or really liked it because it was as if I Hamlet. was being transported into a different world.”’ Shakespeare Workshops have been held this week at Fraser Presenters Cassie Kowitz and Coast Anglican College, Xavier Emma Black from USQ Catholic College and Hervey Bay Toowoomba agreed the High School on Tuesday, and St workshops this week had been James Lutheran College, Rosedale “awesome”. State School, Urangan State High School and Aldridge State High ‘We’re visiting 10 different schools School on Wednesday. Tomorrow this week and the workshops turn they will be at Riverside Christian out different at every school,” College and Kepnock State High Cassie said. “Some younger School. students have never heard of Shakespeare so they relate better to the rhythm and body movement topics. Overall it’s been incredible this week – every single student has been awesome; it’s blown my mind!’ Teacher Josh Gault was equally delighted with the workshop’s outcome at St James Lutheran College. ‘Some students were shy to begin with, as I anticipated, but by the end they were really coming out of their shells. I’d definitely like to see these Shakespearian workshops happening on the Fraser Coast again next year.’ St James Lutheran College Year 10 Student, Laura Conroy, 15, learns about power and oppression, and how it relates to Macbeth, by using a chair, rubbish bin and water bottle during a Shakespeare Workshop presented by Cassie Kowitz and Emma Black from USQ Toowoomba Creative Arts. 10. What is your favourite phone app? I don’t have a favourite, but do like google maps and being able to access a camera, messages and emails when out and about The Back Page In each issue of the USQ News The Back Page will highlight the front page from past edition s of the USQ News. We will be digging through the archives with the help of the USQ Historical Archives.