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the seahorse JUNE


A NeW Space for the future • Campus news • New Chancellor • Celebrating campus anniversaries • Giving back

In this issue 02 NeW Space

The name of this magazine, The Seahorse, has a long connection with our University and community.

UON’s new city campus

The original symbol for the University emblem was a mythical seahorse (in Greek mythology a “hippocampus”). This was based on the naval coat of arms of Lieutenant John Shortland, the first official European discoverer of Newcastle. Today the seahorse logo is bolder and more contemporary in design. It reflects our heritage and the history of Newcastle and it looks ahead, recognising our status as one of Australia’s most forward-looking universities.

04 A sense of duty Alumnus Dr Andrew Walker on giving back

08 Transforming lives Open Foundation’s 40th anniversary

10 A late bloomer New Chancellor Mr Paul Jeans

12 Celebrating campus anniversaries 20 Faculty news

EDITOR Katie Porritt

Read about what’s happening in your faculty

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Katie Porritt Gina Cranson Tenille Bleechmore

30 Network news Updates from our international network

DESIGN Leah Kiem

32 Alumni in print 02

Editorial team

PHOTOGRAPHY Photos of the Chancellor’s installation by Murray McKean


PRODUCTION Jaimee Davidson The Seahorse is published twice a year for alumni and friends of the University, and is produced by the Office of Alumni and External Relations at UON. SUBSCRIPTIONS If you wish to be added to the subscription list please email


WRITE TO US Send your comments or contributions to ON THE COVER Cover design based on a design concept for the NeW Space education precinct in Newcastle CBD. Original design concepts by EJE Architecture and Lyons Architecture.


All historical images in this publication are used with permission of the University of Newcastle’s Cultural Collections.


From the Vice-Chancellor In our professional world, the value of genuine partnerships cannot be underestimated, and rewarding partnerships are often the result of a commitment of a great deal of time and energy. Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of returning to China where our University has invested in building a strong network of valuable partnerships. During a week of warm hospitality, I shared time with colleagues at the China Study Abroad Forum, where I was honoured to be the keynote speaker representing the Australian sector. I also met with education and research partners from leading Chinese institutions to discuss current and future collaborations, and had a further very productive discussion with our Australian Ambassador to China on driving greater collaboration between our two countries in the delivery of world-class innovation. One of the highlights of the trip was a delightful afternoon spent with UON’s Beijing alumni. Over high tea, I learned more about our alumni’s recent achievements and I was able to share progress on our NeW Directions Strategic Plan 2013-2015, which sets out our ambitious strategies to build UON’s global performance and reputation. The University’s clear focus on delivering world-class education and research and innovation continues to deliver results. UON ranked number one in Australia and 28th in the world in the latest independent Times Higher Education rankings of the world’s top 100 universities under 50 years old. This is a remarkable achievement that reflects the success of our staff, students, partners and alumni. Achievements that place us as an institution among the world’s best are an invaluable asset in an intensely competitive sector, and last month’s Federal Budget delivered by the Australian Government has ‘upped the ante’ even more. The Government has proposed the most significant reforms to higher education that we have seen in decades, including significantly reduced public funding for universities, measures to increase students’ contributions to the cost of their education, fee deregulation and lower indexation to cover our costs year on year. As we prepare for these significant changes, UON will not lose sight of our 2025 Vision and we will build on the remarkable work that has been carried out with our partners on the NeW Directions Strategic Plan. Importantly, we will hold true to our core values of excellence in education and research; and equity by providing more opportunities for people with talent and ability to gain a university degree regardless of their background. As we respond to the opportunities and the challenges ahead, it will be our partnerships built over many years that will provide UON with strength on the global stage and the competitive edge among peers – and one of the most important will be the genuine partnership we hold with our Alumni network.

Caroline McMillen Vice-Chancellor and President

From my desk to yours It is exciting to see our graduates reaching out, using the skills and talents they developed at UON, and making a real difference in their communities here and abroad. In this issue of The Seahorse you will read the story of Dr Andrew Walker, a medical science and medicine graduate, and Chairman of global healthcare provider Aspen Medical. Many graduates travel far and wide but never lose their love for, and commitment to, the Hunter region. Andrew is one of these and Aspen Medical is now partnering with UON to establish a research centre for health and safety. Andrew talks with us on page four about his journey around the world and back to Newcastle. In November last year, graduate Joanne McCarthy won journalism’s highest accolade, the Gold Walkley, for her investigations into the sexual abuse of children. Joanne completed our Open Foundation program before graduating with an arts degree, and on page nine explains how her studies contributed to her achievements. Joanne is one of thousands of people whose lives have been transformed by the Open Foundation program, which is celebrating 40 years of education. It’s one of three anniversaries for 2014 – our Central Coast campus is 25 years old and our Port Macquarie campus is 10. Next year is the University’s 50th anniversary and we’re planning an exciting program of events to share with our alumni and friends, including a Homecoming Festival. So that you can be a part of our big birthday, please update your details through GradLink, available on our website. We’ll then be able to let you know about the events happening in your area. Enjoy this edition of The Seahorse.

Rosemary Thomson Acting Director, Alumni and External Relations


Early construction work on the University of Newcastle’s $95 million NeW Space education precinct in the heart of the CBD is underway.

A NeW Space for the future gina cranson

NeW Space, on the corner of Auckland and Hunter streets, is expected to open its doors to students at the beginning of the 2017 academic year, with the peak of construction scheduled to take place in 2015. The 10-level next-generation facility will accommodate business and law programs, digital library services and information commons, collaborative learning and research spaces, facilities for engagement with industry, business and the community, and social learning spaces. The initial design concepts, prepared by Newcastle firm EJE Architecture and Melbourne-based Lyons Architecture, encapsulate the University’s aim to connect students, academics and researchers with the broader community. Early works construction for mine rectification on the site has commenced and schematic design for the main works is scheduled for completion later this month.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline McMillen says key to the clever contemporary design is its “openness” to the community.


Newcastle: City in Transition

More than 250 people attended the first ‘Newcastle: City in Transition’ public forum at Newcastle City Hall in April with panel members Sharon Claydon, Federal Member for Newcastle; Ken Gouldthorp, General Manager, Newcastle City Council; Emily Marthinsen, UON President’s Visiting Fellow from the University of California, Berkeley; Trent Bagnall, co-founder, Slingshot Business Accelerator; David Antcliff, Urban Growth NSW; Marcus Westbury, Director, Renew Australia and founder, Renew Newcastle; and Kristen Keegan, CEO, Hunter Business Chamber (moderator).

Ms Marthinsen reflects on her visit to Newcastle: “I was honoured to be invited to Newcastle as Vice-Chancellor McMillen’s first President’s Visiting Fellow. “The University of Newcastle and the City of Newcastle both illustrate challenges and opportunities facing university cities in the 21st Century. The importance of community sense-of-place was evident in conversations with everyone. “I arrived in Newcastle on Renew Newcastle’s Open Day and, despite jet lag, spent a lovely afternoon walking, windowshopping and visiting artists behind-thescenes in Newcastle’s lively downtown. I was struck by the passion and commitment for the city as reflected in the creative reuse of downtown buildings and infrastructure. “The ground floor is open and expansive, welcoming the community into NeW Space to engage with staff and students,” she says.

“Learning spaces are located on the footpath so people walking by are connected to student activity. ‘‘The dynamic learning hub sits at the heart of the building – an open and interactive space distributed over three levels.’’ The ultra-modern sustainable design captures the University’s global outlook and aspirations, and at the same time represents its civic-mindedness, affording prominent views to the Town Hall and incorporating double-height urban rooms or lookouts to take advantage of views of key Newcastle landmarks. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Chair of the NeW Space steering committee Professor Andrew Parfitt is equally enthused about NeW Space’s scope and potential. “The NeW Space education precinct will be a catalyst for educational, economic, cultural and social engagement, but more than that it will be a place where

careers are begun and developed, lives are transformed through education and a renewed sense of community is created,” he wrote in the Newcastle Herald. “Its modern technology-enabled facilities will empower the Newcastle community to reach out to the world and bring that world within reach. Whether it is through the international students who come here to study, or our local students and alumni who have their perspectives broadened and opportunities opened up, the connections we develop with the global academy with whom we in the University work on a daily basis, or the business opportunities that derive from new networks extending across the globe – we can make a difference to the lives of those across our region.” The NeW Space precinct will present the University in a different light, says Chancellor Paul Jeans. “It will not only change the University’s public profile, it will change the demographic and level of activity in the CBD and give us better access to industry partners and the community.”

“The same passion, commitment and creativity were much in view at the City in Transition public forum. The sense of civic engagement, the focus on rolled-up-sleeves and problem solving made it clear that the University and the City of Newcastle have the potential for deep and wide-ranging partnerships. I found comments by each of the panel members thought-provoking in the best way: ideas that challenge assumptions, and, as a result, look to a better future. “As someone who attends many public meetings – often focused on controversies related to university development – I was also curious about what a public forum would be like in Australia. I was struck by the seriousness of the community in considering these issues and by the willingness of so many people to attend an event of this sort. I was also glad to see that Berkeley isn’t the only place where people can be a little rowdy when they have something on their mind! “As for me personally: I had a wonderful time in Newcastle. Everyone I met was warm and welcoming, the coffee was outstanding and the beaches were spectacular. I look forward to another visit.”


A sense of duty gina cranson

When Dr Andrew Walker finished Year 12 at Whitebridge High School it was a given that he would study at the University of Newcastle. “I didn’t consider going anywhere else. I didn’t know that there was anywhere else,” laughs the Chairman of global healthcare provider Aspen Medical. Andrew (pictured above) graduated with a Bachelor of Medical Science (Hons) in 1984 and a Bachelor of Medicine in 1987. After an internship at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, he joined the Army as a Regimental Medical Officer for the Australian Parachute Battalion (3RAR) and left as an Infantry Officer after five years based in Wagga, Singleton and Holsworthy. “Joining the Army just seemed like the right thing at the time,” he says. “I didn’t want a ‘traditional’ career in medicine. I didn’t want to be a GP and the specialties didn’t interest me.” Andrew returned to Newcastle to set up the After Hours (Newcastle) Medical Service, later merging with competitor

Peter Court’s after-hours service based in Charlestown. Twenty-four years on they are still in partnership. Over the next six years, Andrew started no fewer than 14 companies from small micro-businesses to several companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Among those were Australian Skin Cancer Clinics, which Andrew sold three years ago, as well as a medical legal company and a health information business that were absorbed into Andrew’s main concern nowadays, Aspen Medical. Aspen’s story is both grand and feel-good. Led by Andrew and his best friend from school Glenn Keys, a former Defence Force test flight engineer, the company’s first contract was with Tony Blair’s Labourled government, which was trying to revolutionise the healthcare system in the UK. Aspen’s mission was to reduce orthopaedic waiting lists there, and the results were staggering. Aspen carried out 5,000 hip and 5,000 knee operations in 18 months. Aspen’s model then cleared dental, urological and ophthalmological waiting

lists in the UK and Ireland. Andrew and Glenn brought this model back to Australia where they are active in clearing Victoria’s dental waiting lists. In 2004, in response to civil unrest in the Solomon Islands, Aspen set up a small mobile hospital for the Australian Federal Police and Australian Defence Force there, with the capability of doing everything from GP work through to major surgery and intensive care. This model of outsourcing was followed by a similar facility in East Timor. Aspen, with its headquarters in Canberra, became more involved in outsourcing health solutions for Defence forces here, in the UK and the US and on the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan. The company has since won the contract, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, to deliver health services to the 52 ADF bases throughout the country. The global company’s 2,500-strong workforce can also be found in the mining and resources sector, oil and gas industries, and government and humanitarian


initiatives across Australasia, the US, Canada, Europe and the Middle East.

intensive care and evacuation to Australia aboard an Aspen Medical plane.”

Indigenous and rural health are among the company’s nearest and dearest priorities. Aspen developed and manages the Australian Government’s largest Indigenous health program – the Remote Area Health Corps. Andrew and Glenn have also formed their own foundation to support our Indigenous communities: The Aspen Foundation. Established five years ago, it receives a percentage of the company’s profits to facilitate “life-changing healthcare through significantly reducing or eradicating key illnesses in the Australian Indigenous community”.

The resources industry is another of Aspen’s pet areas.

Asked to nominate a single initiative that has given Andrew the most satisfaction, he cites Aspen’s role in saving the life of East Timorese President Jose Ramos Horta after an assassination attempt in 2008. “The head of state would have died, which could have led to civil war,” Andrew says. “But we had the right people, with the right skills sets, in the right place at the right time to provide the President’s surgery,

“Most people go to work with the expectation that they will come home. In the mining and resources industry you can’t hold that expectation too tightly,” Andrew says, by way of explanation for Aspen’s work in this field and the company’s recently announced partnership, worth $1 million over four years, with UON’s Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER) to establish the Centre for Resources Health and Safety. Areas of research will include occupational health and safety, respiratory studies, psychology, psychiatry, environmental impacts and social impacts. “To think that we can make rather radical changes in this area is very exciting,” Andrew says. “Not just for the workers (in the resources sector), but for the workers’ families.”

On a personal level Andrew, as a Newcastle graduate, is “pleased to be giving something back”. “In the US they not only pay highly for an education, but there is also a sense of duty to help the next crop,” he says. “It hasn’t been the way Aussies think, even when education was free, but I think that’s changing. The notion that ‘uni has been good to me, I’ll be good to them’ is growing. And I think it is a duty, I think there should be some sense of obligation.” Pictured above left: Andrew with Deputy ViceChancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Kevin Hall. Pictured above right (L-R): Professor Hall; Professor Brian Kelly, Director, Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research; Dr Alan Broadfoot, Director, NIER; and Andrew. Both photographs taken at the event to establish the Centre for Resources, Health and Safety.


Campus news

The Godfrey Tanner Great Debate

Maturity and wisdom prevailed with academics beating students in the inaugural Godfrey Tanner Great Debate. It was a night of hilarity, wit and fun with 190 staff, students, alumni and community members turning up to the GT Bar at the Callaghan campus in March. The event was in honour of the well-known University of Newcastle Classics lecturer and eccentric, the late Emeritus Professor Godfrey Tanner. Godfrey, who passed away in 2002, was often seen riding his bicycle around campus with his academic robes flowing behind him, or sitting reading Winnie the Pooh aloud to students in the bar. Putting their reputation on the line were academics and alumni Felicity Biggins, Professor Steve Fityus, Patrick FilmerSankey and Dr Gary Ellem. Lining up for the students were Elyse Hudson, Joseph Bates, Ryan Liddle and Raelene Monahan. The teams debated the topic ‘In the 21st Century the role of a university education is to make students job ready’. The academics won the toss of the coin and elected to argue in the affirmative. Felicity Biggins says they took a tongue-in-cheek stance in their argument, with the position “we are all cogs in the machine to keep the capitalist society ticking over”. ABC Newcastle radio presenter Carol Duncan had the hard task of naming the winner, using the crowd to help make her decision.

The debate was also a fundraiser for the Godfrey Tanner Memorial Scholarship, an annual $3,000 scholarship to assist students starting university studies and facing hardship. The scholarship was established by Godfrey himself and is now supported by donations from staff, students, alumni and community members. Close personal friend of Godfrey, Dr Bernie Curran, said Godfrey was incredibly generous to students who had suffered setbacks. “Even though he was a Classics professor, he was explicit in his instruction that the scholarship named after him should be open to students from any discipline,” Bernie said. “No doubt Godfrey’s spirit was watching this debate with great satisfaction, as he loved debating. I suspect however that he was barracking for the students to win.” The students are already calling for a rematch. The debate will become an annual event, to be held in March each year. To make a donation to the Godfrey Tanner Memorial Scholarship Fund contact the University of Newcastle Foundation on 02 4921 7453 or visit au/foundation Pictured: (top) the students took on the academics at the inaugural Godfrey Tanner Great Debate, and (bottom) the victorious academics.

savethedate Join us for a night of inspiration, achievement and celebration at the 2014 Alumni Awards. On Wednesday 10 September at Newcastle City Hall, we will recognise the University’s ‘Gamechangers’ – the unconventional thinkers, the challengers, those who push boundaries and see possibilities.

Come along to meet the alumni who are advancing their fields and creating the extraordinary. A sell-out event for the past four years, the Alumni Awards are not to be missed! Mark it in your diary and watch this space for ticket announcements


alumni awards


New Deputy Chancellor

Retiring Deputy Chancellor

Mathematician Fellowship

Our very own commerce graduate, Ms Dianne Allen, is now Deputy Chancellor of the University.

Ms Dianne Allen replaces The Honourable John Price AM as Deputy Chancellor. Mr Price has served the University for more than three decades, including involvement with the University Council since 1984. He retired from Council in May.

Congratulations to Professor George Willis, who has been elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the most senior honour a scientist can receive in Australia.

Ms Allen, who was officially appointed to the role on March 22, is an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia with an extensive career in international business and finance and more than 15 years of boardroom experience. She has been a University Council Member since 2006, Chair of the Finance Committee since 2007, and Pro Chancellor since 2011.

During his tenure Mr Price acted as Chancellor for the University and gave great support to five Chancellors, as well as members of Council, staff, students and the community to build the University’s education and research mission.

Professor Willis is Deputy Director of the Priority Research Centre for ComputerAssisted Research Mathematics and its Applications at UON. He is internationallyrecognised for the depth and influence of his contributions to diverse areas of mathematics and joins a truly elite group, as one of only 21 new inductees in 2014 and 481 Fellows in total.

Distinguished researcher joins UON Professor Kevin Hall’s experience working with industry, business and community partners will be invaluable as he takes on his new role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation). Professor Hall has held leadership roles in Canadian universities and joins UON from the University of Guelph in Ontario where he was Vice-President for Research and External Partnerships. During his tenure there Professor Hall increased research with industry partners by 80 per cent and implemented a comprehensive global partnerships strategy delivering new alliances with universities in China, India, the US, Europe and Africa.


Transforming lives for 40 years gina cranson Like many mature-age students undertaking the University of Newcastle’s Open Foundation courses, the program itself is a middle-aged success story. Open Foundation celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Dr Brian Smith, first Director of the Department of Community Programs (now the English Language and Foundation Studies Centre) was a great advocate for adult education and created the Open Foundation course as a pilot adult entry access pathway to the University of Newcastle in 1974. Associate Professor Seamus Fagan, Director of the English Language and Foundation Studies Centre (ELFSC) that runs the Open Foundation program, says many students who have completed Open Foundation have gone on to enjoy great success. “Marjorie Cuthbert, OAM, was one of the very early students undertaking Open Foundation in 1976. Before her retirement she had become Principal Research Fellow in Health Sciences at La Trobe University, Victoria,” Seamus says proudly. “Joanne McCarthy, who completed Open Foundation in 1997, is now an awardwinning journalist for the Newcastle Herald. She received the Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year Award for 2012 and the prestigious Gold Walkley Award in 2013. “And Associate Professor Murray Lee’s experience demonstrates the wonderful transformative impact the Open Foundation has on adult lives.” Seamus says Open Foundation “means different things to different people”. “For many it is finally an opportunity to fulfil their true potential and do what they have always wanted to do. For others it awakens or reawakens a great love of learning, which they carry on to other aspects of their life. Others undertake Open Foundation to inspire their siblings or children to achieve better lives. They want to be the first in their family to complete a degree program.”

Several Open Foundation teachers are themselves former students of the program. Staff teach across a broad range of disciplines including maths, sciences, and a wide array of arts and social science study areas. “We are fortunate to have academic and support staff who provide a supportive learning environment and have an amazing ability to simultaneously teach students the study skills necessary for university and also engender a love and understanding of the subject area they are teaching,” Seamus says. In 40 years, Open Foundation has helped around 20,000 people gain access to a university education. “Our students are also high achievers once they enter university, for example, in 2010, 14 per cent of the University of Newcastle Medal recipients had qualified for entry through completing Open Foundation,” Seamus says. “The Central Coast and Hunter regions are characterised by low high-school retention rates and lower levels of education achievement than state or national averages. The Open Foundation program has played a major role in redressing this long-term disadvantage in our regions.”

Associate Professor Murray Lee is one of the extraordinary success stories to emerge from UON’s Open Foundation program. “In 1992 I was 26 and searching for a new direction in life. With no HSC, and no great schooling record to speak of I stumbled upon the Open Foundation program at the University of Newcastle,” he says. “It took a while to find my stride but 18 years later I’m an Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of Sydney, a journal editor, and was the director of a research centre. “To say that the Open Foundation program at the University of Newcastle changed my life is an understatement. It has reshaped my thinking, my actions, my very self. Do it!”


The truth is out there gina cranson

Newcastle graduate and winner of the most prestigious prize in Australian journalism Joanne McCarthy devoured the history books as a mature-age uni student but could not possibly have realised at the time the indelibility of their impression. Joanne received the 2013 Gold Walkley at Brisbane’s Royal International Convention Centre in November 2013 for her dogged and courageous investigation into the sexual abuse of children in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, primarily within the Catholic Church. Along with Newcastle Herald colleagues Chad Watson (editor), Ian Kirkwood and Jason Gordon, Joanne also won the All Media Coverage of Community and Regional Affairs category for the newspaper’s “Shine the light” campaign that led to a Royal Commission into child sex abuse. Chad and Ian are also graduates of the University of Newcastle. Joanne, the eldest of 11 children to two dearly loved, devout and “progressive” Catholic parents, did not have media aspirations as a youngster.

Despite an incidental foray into nursing – “My friends were going to Sydney to sign up at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and I was only going with them to buy a pair of jeans” – and subsequent yearnings to become a librarian, a teenaged Joanne fell, reluctantly, into a newspaper cadetship at the Gosford Star in February 1980.

“I learnt to critically assess material, summon an argument, write an assignment, acknowledge sources and reach conclusions. I also improved my skills at thrashing out issues with others, and public speaking. Basically the skills I came to rely on while pursuing the child sex abuse issue, I learnt during my Arts degree.”

It wasn’t until 1996 that she enrolled in the Open Foundation program at the University of Newcastle.

Joanne, who was also named the Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year in 2012, has amassed a body of work on the child sex abuse issue that has led to state and federal inquiries, police strike forces, hundreds of criminal charges and the arrest of at least 12 priests and brothers.

“I completed Open Foundation in 1996 but I thought I may like to study law. So I returned to the program in 1997 to complete legal studies as one of the two subjects,” she says. “Then I started an Arts degree in 1998 and finished in 2003.” Joanne’s history studies, particularly ancient and medieval where primary sources and understanding the context of the time were so important, afforded her “great skills for the child sex abuse stuff”. “I learnt to value and search out the primary sources rather than secondary sources. Where I used secondary sources I learnt to weigh up their relative merit, potential bias, and usefulness,” she says.

Her tenacious pursuit of the truth and her efforts to lift a veil of secrecy from over the Catholic Church continue. “I can imagine a time when I won’t be involved with the child sex abuse issue, but it won’t be for quite some time,” Joanne says. “The Royal Commission will probably run for another two years or so, at least, and there are still outstanding prosecutions and further investigations I’m aware of that I will definitely want to follow.”


A late bloomer gina cranson “Newcastle exerts an interesting pull on people.” So speaks Sydneysider and newly installed University of Newcastle Chancellor Mr Paul Jeans… from personal experience. A fourth-generation Novocastrian, Paul was raised and educated in Newcastle, and while the engineering graduate’s skills have landed him in engineering, mining and steel industry roles in Groote Eylandt, Port Kembla, Sydney and Melbourne, he has enjoyed various stints in Newcastle – at BHP between 1974-76, and again from 1991-93 as General Manager of BHP’s Newcastle Steelworks, as a Newcastle Port Corporation board member from 2001, and as the Port Corporation Chairman from 2008 until October 2013. As Chancellor, Paul will return to Newcastle on a regular basis for University Council and committee meetings, graduations, alumni functions and more. Paul says being asked to serve as Chancellor came as a pleasant surprise to him, but his strong Novocastrian connections and a long and distinguished career of governance and board activity were precisely what the University Council was after. “It is a great honour. I am very enthusiastic about contributing to Newcastle and the University, both of which have played a big part in my life,” Paul says. “I am enjoying the role and relishing the opportunity to give something back. My mother always said I would be a late bloomer. I just don’t think she imagined it would be this late and this much of a bloom!”

Paul hopes to see an increase in the University’s international activities including a boost in the number of international students. He says he is looking forward to supporting academics as they continue to forge relationships with like-minds across the globe in the pursuit of teaching and research excellence. Another of Paul’s priorities is to “build on our application of research” and enhance the already great relationship the University has with commerce and industry. “I am very enthusiastic about the University’s role in fuelling economic development through the commercialisation of research and the training of high calibre graduates,” he says, citing the recent appointment of Professor Kevin Hall to the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) as an exciting step in the right direction.


The kindness of strangers Daniel Frost 2011 Shaping Futures Scholar Bachelor of Business 2013

“I gained entry into the Bachelor of Business degree, from which I graduated in May this year. I’m now completing Honours.

“I’m proud to be a UON graduate. I wasn’t always sure I would reach this milestone – there were many times when graduating seemed out of reach for me.

“In 2011 I was fortunate to receive one of the three inaugural Shaping Futures Scholarships. The scholarship gave me financial stability and confidence, and the knowledge that people believed in me made me even more determined to succeed. On a practical level, the scholarship allowed me to buy a laptop computer. I have a permanently dislocated wrist and elbow and handwriting my assignments and lecture notes was extremely painful. Having a laptop made all the difference.

“At the age of four I was diagnosed with a rare bone disease, Multiple Hereditary Exostosis. I’ve had more than 200 tumours removed over the years. “Doctors told me I could never do a physical job, so it became my childhood dream to attend university. And when a careers advisor told me I should work in a fast food restaurant as ‘kids from this school don’t go to uni’, I became even more determined. My disease caused me to miss much of my final year at high school, but I didn’t let that stop me – I enrolled in the University’s Open Foundation program and studied hard, receiving an ATAR of 90.00.

“To those alumni who have donated to the Shaping Futures Scholarship through the Annual Appeal – your gifts have helped me achieve my dream. Being supported through the kindness of strangers is aweinspiring and one day I too hope to be able to give back.

“But I am just one of many who are facing challenges, with almost onethird of UON students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to open doors for people from all walks of life with ability and the determination to succeed? “I would like to urge my fellow alumni to support the Shaping Futures Scholarship Fund. Every gift, large or small, contributes. There are more students, just like me, who need your help. Thank you again for your generosity – who knows what the future holds for me?” Pictured above: Daniel is congratulated by his wife Kellie after receiving a Bachelor of Business.


UON Central Coast

celebrating 25 years Providing opportunities to gain world-class tertiary qualifications without having to leave the Central Coast is a key focus of the University of Newcastle’s campus at Ourimbah, which this year celebrates 25 years of helping to grow the creative and intellectual capital of the region’s community. Traditionally a place of initiation and ceremony for the Darkinjung Aboriginal people, the focus on learning for life has been continued at Ourimbah through the education pathways and partnerships established between UON, Hunter TAFE and the Central Coast Community College. From small beginnings in July 1989, when 89 students were enrolled in business and humanities courses, the campus today has more than 8,500 students enrolled across the three institutions. Today, more than 4,500 students are studying for UON undergraduate and postgraduate programs at the Central Coast campus. This number is expected to grow, with the popularity of the campus’s exclusive degree programs – the Bachelors of Oral Health, Podiatry, Exercise and Sport Science and Food Science and Human Nutrition – continuing to attract the interest of students both locally and overseas.

UON 50th anniversary graphic options (to be used

UON’s support for the development of a strong Central Coast through engagement with partners and driving educational aspiration in the region led to the signing last year of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by UON and the Central Coast Regional Development Corporation. The MoU will move forward NSW Government plans to revitalise the Gosford CBD, by bringing an UON presence to the city centre. Pictured from top: UON Central Coast library today, first Ourimbah students in 1989, the official opening of the Central Coast campus in 1995.

At a glance

1989 • First cohort of 89 students 2014 • More than 4,500 students • 512 international graduates • Sixteen single undergraduate degrees and two combined degrees with exclusive programs offered in Bachelor of Oral Health, Bachelor of Podiatry and Bachelor of Food Science and Nutrition.

‘Quieter’ anniversaries, such as 10 years since stu classes (Central Coast) and 40 year anniversary (E can be provided – one ‘tagline’ and one graphic.


alumni profile Tim Knight Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science (Hons) 2011 Tell us about life since graduating.

25th anniversary events UON Central Coast is celebrating its milestone anniversary throughout 2014 with a number of celebrations organised with campus and community partners, to showcase how UON has helped reshape the futures of many Central Coast residents. As part of the 25th anniversary celebrations, UON is profiling 10 Central Coast alumni who have gone on to make a difference in their professions. If you are a Central Coast campus graduate and would like to share your story, please contact Regional Campuses Engagement Coordinator Leonie Brann at leonie. To keep up-to-date with events being planned, or to hear the stories of the campus anniversary, follow @Engage_CC on twitter or visit au/about-uon/our-environments/ our-campuses/central-coast

I graduated with a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science with First Class Honours from the Central Coast campus and am now undertaking a PhD in Exercise and Sport Science through UON. I’m investigating different cooling methods for team sport athletes, and how these methods impact on their performance in hot temperatures. After graduation I volunteered as sport scientist for the Central Coast Mariners’ National Youth Football Team, under the guidance of then Head of Sport Science, Andrew Clark. At the start of the Hyundai A-League 13/14 season, changes in the coaching staff of the team led to team manager Phil Moss offering me the role of Head of Sport Science, following a recommendation from Andrew Clark. I have been in the role since November 2013. What does your current work involve? My role is primarily about the conditioning of the players to ensure they are fit for play in both the domestic Hyundai A-League competition and international Asian Champions League competition. I achieve this through researched sport science practices, periodised training plans, strength and power development and monitoring of players (both physical and perceptual), in coordination with the club’s medical staff. I also liaise with the coaching staff and manager to provide up-to-date information on each player’s wellbeing, their physical status and requirements for each training session. I organise training sessions and design training drills to target specific adaptations to complement the team’s style of play. My proudest achievements are… My proudest achievement to date is graduating with First Class Honours in Exercise and Sport Science, and then securing my first professional contract. What is the most valuable thing you learned at university? Always apply yourself 100 per cent. There are no shortcuts to success.


UON Port Macquarie celebrating a decade of creating careers for locals

Improving access to tertiary education and meeting the employment needs of the Mid North Coast region is the focus of the University of Newcastle Port Macquarie campus, which this year celebrates a decade of training professionals who are now making a difference in their local communities and beyond. Since the first cohort of 24 UON Port Macquarie Bachelor of Nursing students commenced studies in February 2004, more than 200 nurses and 170 primary school teachers have completed their programs without leaving the region, with the majority going on to find work in local health services and schools, helping to meet the growing need for qualified professionals on the Mid North Coast.

The Port Macquarie campus grew from Today, more than 410 students are undertaking Bachelors of Nursing, Primary community support to advance higher UON 50th opportunities anniversary graphic options (to be used in conjunction with theMidwifery University’s Teaching/Arts and atsquare UON logo) Port education on the Mid North Macquarie. With construction of the new Coast. The Hastings Higher Education Port Macquarie Joint Health Education Consultative Group was formed in 2002 Facility (JHEF) now underway, the UON to develop education opportunities that student cohort at Port Macquarie will minimised the need for locals to leave the continue to grow. Backed by $20 million region to study at university, and offered in Australian Government funding, and articulation pathways to university degrees to be developed in partnership with the for people with TAFE qualifications. University of New South Wales and TAFE Less than a year later UON and TAFE NSW – North Coast Institute, the JHEF NSW – North Coast Institute signed a will allow UON to provide practical learning Memorandum of Understanding outlining a opportunities for its students undertaking a blueprint for a multi-sector tertiary campus range of allied health programs. in Port Macquarie. The Port Macquarie Pictured above: 10th anniversary cohort. Campus now boasts purpose-built teaching spaces including a $10 million upgrade library and such information services, ‘Quieter’of anniversaries, as 10 years since student intake (Port Macquarie), 25 years since first administration student facilities on classes (Centraland Coast) and 40 year anniversary (ELFS) can use a text-based solution. Two solutions can be provided – one ‘tagline’ and one graphic. campus.


alumni profile Felicity Tipping Bachelor of Nursing 2006 Tell us about life since graduating. I was an Enrolled Nurse for 14 years before changes to professional accreditation meant I had to gain a university qualification in nursing to work as a Registered Nurse. When I found out UON offered nursing at Port Macquarie, I enrolled in the first cohort of students in 2004, thinking that I would not get past the first semester. Now, seven years later, I am studying for my second Masters qualification, and have completed a Masters of Nursing in Advanced Practice Paediatrics through UON. What does your current work involve?

UON Port Macquarie anniversary celebrations Graduates and staff of the University of Newcastle came together in Port Macquarie in February to celebrate 10 years of UON education at the Port Macquarie campus. To celebrate the milestone, the Alumni Relations team held a special anniversary event at the iconic Glasshouse centre for undergraduate, postgraduate and enabling program students. As part of the 10th anniversary celebrations, UON is profiling 10 Port Macquarie alumni who have gone on to make a difference in their professions. If you are a UON Port Macquarie graduate and would like to share your story, please contact Regional Campuses Engagement Coordinator Leonie Brann at Pictured above: First Port Macquarie cohort graduating at Callaghan in 2007.

I manage the team of nursing clinicians in the Port Macquarie Base Hospital’s Paediatric Unit. I never imagined myself as a manager, but I have gained a great amount of personal and professional satisfaction from being able to create a positive and caring environment for my staff and – most importantly – for the benefit of the amazing children we care for. My proudest achievements are… Being able to balance full-time study with full-time work and motherhood while undertaking my undergraduate degree was a challenge, but well worth it as it has helped inspire my two daughters. One is now in her third year of a Bachelor of Nursing degree and the other is studying a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics, both at UON’s Callaghan campus. What is the most valuable thing you learned at university? There are no limits to what you can achieve in life, if you are focused and committed to the goal. I have also learned through my years as a Clinical Educator with the UON and the Mid North Coast Local Health District that you can train a nurse, but a great nurse is one who is driven by a need to care for others.


The Great Hall a gift from the community

The University of Newcastle was established almost 50 years ago by a groundswell of community support. The vision was clear – a university that stayed connected to the community that had campaigned for its creation. The construction of the Great Hall demonstrated this community connection. The founding fathers wanted the Great Hall to be the symbolic heart of the institution, taking centre stage for celebrations and ceremonies. But it was only through community support that the Great Hall was ever built, as the fledging university didn’t have the finances to construct the building. In the true spirit of philanthropy the community stepped in. Former Lord Mayor of Newcastle Frank Purdue headed the community fundraising campaign for $600,000 in 1966. Long-time university supporter Bill Burges recalls his parents William and Iris being actively involved in the fundraising. “My mother used to bake cakes and sell them at fetes to raise money for the Great Hall. We all threw our support behind the new university – our university,” he says.

The ‘buy-a-brick’ campaign gave everyone a chance to have a stake in the building and the University, and the final funding came from community and corporate donations, as well as a government grant.

“This generosity has also financed equipment, funded vital research tools and provided collections such as art, insects and books. Donations have also helped students funding scholarships and prizes.”

The Great Hall was officially opened in 1973 and since then more than 125,000 students from 121 countries have donned their graduation gowns, carefully climbed the stairs, tipped their caps and proudly accepted their testamurs.

As the University approaches its 50th it is time to pay tribute to the role the community has played in helping UON become the success it is today – an institution that has its foundations in philanthropy.

UON’s Director of Development, Rebecca Hazell, says the gift of the Great Hall is one of the earliest examples of how philanthropy has played a significant role in building and shaping the University.

One wonders if those who bought a brick could have imagined how the University would grow and flourish into what it is today. And this year as almost 8,000 students graduate – the largest cohort ever – no doubt Mayor Purdue and all the donors who helped build the Great Hall would smile to see the University today.

“Donations to the University have funded buildings and student spaces, driven lifechanging research and supported projects that make a difference in our community,” she says.

There is much excitement in planning celebrations and activities for 2015 – stay tuned for updates. Pictured: The Great Hall under construction in the 1970s.


Engaging with our communities New Professors Talk and Disruptive Innovation Works are two new public lecture series developed by the University to showcase the capabilities, achievements and impact of outstanding disciplinary leaders, commentators, innovators and thinkers. New Professors Talk launched in April 2013. In this series, the community has learned about the contributions our new professors have made in their fields and how their work has improved our understanding of some of the world’s most pressing issues. Our 2013 series introduced six new professorial appointments to more than 600 attendees at the Newcastle Museum. Professors are invited to speak on a topic of their choosing, usually outlining the impact of their research, an exciting new area of investigations or an area of controversy in their field. In 2013 the talks covered the law in relation to white-collar crime, stem cells in the treatment of chronic lung disease, technology enhanced learning, augmenting human memory, visual language, and 21st Century rural health. This year we have so far met the new Head of the School of Creative Arts, Professor Frank Millward (pictured above left), and we have lectures scheduled each month through until November. Disruptive Innovation Works, a series of presentations by unconventional thinkers making a practical difference in their chosen fields, launched in February and kicked off with Hollywood special effects guru Greg Downing showcasing the latest in creative imaging and visual effects techniques. The second lecture, in March, featured the creator of the Emmy award-winning Australian children’s television show dirtgirlworld, Cate McQuillen (pictured left). New Professors Talk and Disruptive Innovation Works are just two lectures series within the Public Lecture Program coordinated by UON. Visit our websites for more details and get yourself on the mailing list for invitations: and

New Professors Talk upcoming lectures Newcastle Museum, 6.15pm for 6.30pm Wednesday 30 July Professor Nicky Hudson Director of the Department of Rural Health Wednesday 27 August Professor Andrew Boyle Head of Cardiovascular Medicine Wednesday 24 September Professor Peter Davis Chair of Construction Management Wednesday 28 November Professor Sally Chan Head of Nursing and Midwifery



Celebration time!

Years of hard work and commitment were celebrated at our Port Macquarie and Callaghan campuses earlier this year with nearly 3,000 students donning their gowns and caps for graduations.

At the Callaghan graduations in April/May, UON presented 1972 commerce graduate The Honourable Rodney Harrison with an Honorary Doctor of Business. Rodney (pictured on opposite page with Chancellor Mr Paul Jeans) is the Deputy President and Hunter Regional member of the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW. Congratulations to all of our graduates – we wish you all the best for your next adventure! Don’t forget to stay in touch with your Uni by updating your details at Check out the UON Alumni facebook page to tag your friends and share pictures of grad!

Photograph by Graduation Photography

Photograph by Graduation Photography


Faculty of Business & Law

Improving disaster relief logistics In a disaster relief response, not-for-profit (NFP) humanitarian organisations are often criticised for inefficiencies in their logistics systems. A PhD thesis by logistics and supply chain management specialist Dr Richard Oloruntoba – a lecturer at the Newcastle Business School – has found some lessons for the NFP sector when planning the logistics and supply chains of their responses. Richard was curious to know how humanitarian and disaster response logistics compared to routine and repetitive commercial approaches. He decided to use a proven, commercial supply chain management process model as a lens to analyse historical disaster relief operations. The Supply Chain Management Process Model he used was developed about 20 years ago by the Global Supply Chain Forum in America. The Forum is comprised of representatives from Fortune 500 companies, a group of large multi-national corporations who have used this model to generate competitive advantage and profits through superior customer service that consistently ensures customer satisfaction. Richard applied this model to the disaster relief response of three disaster response cases including the 1989 Newcastle earthquake. The disaster relief chains of the three cases were mapped to the model through in-depth research including face-to-face interviews with response workers and relief beneficiaries. Richard found that an approach where the removal of debris and clean-up of the environment occurs concurrently with search and rescue efforts and the distribution of sustenance such as food and water, would provide more meaningful relief to victims. While immediate distribution of sustenance is very important, rapid road clean-ups and debris removal is equally essential for relief responders to secure access. Also, rapid restoration of the environment is of priority, as it allows community members to see a way forward after the disaster, while pre-segmentation of potential relief beneficiaries in a community before a disaster will enable a better targeted relief operation. Richard’s thesis received the Highly Commended Award in the 2013 Emerald/European Fund for Management Development ‘Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards’ – Logistics and Supply Chain Management category.

Farewell Scott Creative thinker, mentor and friend to many, Professor Scott Holmes was farewelled from UON in February to take up the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Development) at the University of Western Sydney. Scott is a 1984 UON commerce graduate who completed his PhD at the Australian National University. Following a Head of School role at the Queensland University of Technology, he returned to UON in 1996 as the Founding Director of the Graduate School of Business and Professor of Accounting. Scott also held other positions at UON including Dean of Postgraduate Studies, Executive Director for and he led the establishment of the Office of Graduate Studies. From 2007 until 2013, Scott held the joint roles of Dean of Graduate Studies and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research). Notable among his academic career is the editorial role he has played with several prominent journals and his authorship of the leading textbook in the field, Accounting Theory, which ran to seven editions and has been published in several languages.


alumni profile Micah Jenkins Bachelor of Laws 1998 Bachelor of Science 1997

Law alumnus makes Partner More than 15 years into his successful career, Micah Jenkins still remembers advice he received from Dean Neil Rees on his first day at Newcastle Law School in 1994: “If you work hard and concentrate on being a good lawyer, you will be rewarded.” Although that may not be the exact quote, Micah has made this sentiment paramount when acting for clients. The practical experience Micah earned working with clients at the University of Newcastle Legal Centre gave him the confidence necessary to approach Sparke Helmore in Newcastle, where he landed his first job. He built a strong foundation for his career and after six years travelled to the UK to gain experience overseas. Upon his return to Newcastle, Micah began working for Harris Wheeler Lawyers, quickly emerged as a thought leader within the firm, and is now a Partner. Micah is passionate about giving back and makes time to be involved in several community organisations including the Newcastle Institute and the Newcastle Art Gallery. When opportunities arise to speak to law students and young lawyers, Micah is front and centre. He talks about what it is like to work with small business clients and gives students the chance to ask questions about their possible career path. Micah also strives to support young lawyers at Harris Wheeler by helping them find their feet and to learn the ‘art’ of lawyering. The mentor/mentee relationship is something Micah truly values and he encourages young professionals not to take themselves too seriously. Micah’s journey from Newcastle Law School student to Partner at a respected Newcastle law firm is testament to his hard work and dedication. Micah has recently received the prestigious accreditation from the Law Society of NSW as a specialist in business law. He also became a Public Notary in 2012. The Faculty of Business and Law is proud of Micah’s accomplishments and grateful for his support of the Law School.

Pictured clockwise from top left: Dr Richard Oloruntoba, Micah Jenkins, Professor Scott Holmes, 1989 Newcastle earthquake.


Faculty of Education & Arts

Shaping aspirations “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Answers to this question affect the subjects students select in school, the opportunities available to them, their self-confidence and their future employment. Now in its third year, the University of Newcastle’s Aspirations Longitudinal Study is a four-year research project that works with students, families, teachers, schools and communities to understand students’ career and education goals. The project aims to map and track the relationships between student-level and school-level factors that influence students’ aspirations. A significant focus of the study is investigating the ways in which socioeconomic status interacts with the formation of aspirations. The project’s goal is to develop principles to inform school-based educational and career interventions designed to increase equity for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Aspirations Study has attracted more than $1 million in competitive funding from the Australian Research Council and NSW Department of Education and Communities.

The project is now listed in the NSW Government’s regional action plan as a priority project for increasing educational outcomes. The project’s research team is led by five accomplished researchers in the field of education: Professor Jenny Gore, Professor James Albright, Dr Erica Southgate, Dr Kathryn Holmes and Professor Max Smith, and project managers Hywel Ellis and Elizabeth Macdonald. The growing number of participants in the study includes approximately 6,000 students and their parents and teachers from 82 schools extending from North Sydney to the Hunter/Central Coast and through the North Coast to the Queensland border. Preliminary analysis of 2012 and 2013 data is producing some fascinating results and indicate that during the complex transition from primary to high school, there are significant changes in students’ aspirations. To find out more visit the research section of the School of Education website.

New Heads of School Accomplished composer, multimedia artist, teacher and academic, Professor Frank Millward (pictured right) joined the University in the role of Head of the School of Creative Arts in February. Frank returned from London where he was Professor of Music in the School of Fine Art, Kingston University. Frank has a PhD in music composition from the University of Queensland and a Master in music composition from the City University of New York. In his new role at UON he sees a unique opportunity to bring theatre making, fine art and music closer together by using technology and creating interactive performances. Professor John Fischetti’s distinguished career spans more than three decades and includes an exceptional background in school reform, educational leadership and professional development. Appointed the Head of the School of Education in January, John (pictured left) joins UON from Southeastern Louisiana University where he was Dean and Professor of Educational Leadership at the College of Education and Human Development.

John, who has an impressive record of scholarly research, completed his PhD in education in 1986 at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, US.


Graduate wins young teacher award University of Newcastle graduate Rebecca Heath has won the Monsignor Frank Coolahan Award for First Five Years of Teaching. The award was established by the Catholic Schools Office to recognise and celebrate significant contributions to excellence in Catholic schools in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese. The win came as a shock to the English teacher, who was nominated by her colleagues for her teaching abilities. “I feel really lucky to have won the award. I was really chuffed that my colleagues recognised me for my work and nominated me,” Rebecca says. Soon after her graduation with Honours in 2010 from her Bachelor of Teaching/ Bachelor of Arts degree, Rebecca landed a full-time one-year teaching role at St Peter’s Maitland, the Year 7-10 campus of All Saints College. After two years on contract, Rebecca’s position became permanent and she hasn’t looked back since. “It’s definitely the kids that keep me coming back day after day. Every day I turn up for work and I enjoy my job and it’s the kids that do that for me,” Rebecca says. As a student leaving high school, teaching wasn’t Rebecca’s first choice for university study. “Teaching has really been a hidden gem for me. I was quite undecided about what I wanted to do, but I thought I’d see how I went for the first year and give it a go. “It was at our first practical experience where we actually got into the classroom and got our hands dirty that made me realise that I could stick to the degree,” Rebecca says.

An inspirational encounter at a University seminar with an English teacher sealed the deal for Rebecca. “The woman that led the seminar inspired me to become involved in teaching English. The way she ran the seminar helped everything that I’d been hearing in lectures fall into place for me – she was extremely hands on and applied the teaching tools to us as a class, role-played how to act in a classroom and put a real life perspective on it, which really opened up my eyes.” Rebecca has recommenced her studies, undertaking a Graduate Certificate in Theology in order to build her skills and employability in the Catholic schools system. “It’s a really interesting course, teaching me things about my own faith that I didn’t know and giving me extra spiritual knowledge that I can apply in the classroom when I’m teaching religion.” Pictured above: Rebecca Heath with Ray Collins, Director of Schools with the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese (left) and Diocese Bishop Bill Wright.

QS world rankings The discipline of Linguistics in the Faculty of Education and Arts has been named within the top 100 of the world, in the QS World University rankings by Subject list. The discipline jumped a massive 21 places since last year to now be ranked 88 in the world. The Faculty’s Education and Sociology disciplines also ranked amongst the world’s best – Education is ranked 127 in the world and Sociology at 179.


Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment

World-first emissions abatement technology The University of Newcastle has received $30 million to develop and roll out world-leading abatement technologies for fugitive methane emissions from underground coal mining operations. The new technologies could reduce these emissions from the sector by as much as 90 per cent and reduce Australia’s annual greenhouse gas output by three per cent. The research will be led by internationally-renowned energy researcher and chemical engineer, Professor Behdad Moghtaderi (pictured above), based at the University’s Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources, and funded by partners including the Australian Government Department of Industry and ACA Low Emissions Technologies Ltd. The research will be conducted in partnership with major mining companies, including Glencore.

The release of fugitive methane emissions is a by-product of underground coal mining and represents a growing environmental and safety challenge for industry, accounting for 64 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions from this mining sector. Coal mining-related activities account for around eight per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity, according to the World Coal Association. The four-year research project will address some of the major technical barriers to the full-scale commercial deployment of ventilation air methane (VAM) emissions abatement technologies, including the critical challenge of safe connection of these technologies to the ventilation systems of underground mines. “On an Australia-wide scale, removing VAM emissions from underground coal mining operations would be equivalent to removing 2.8 million cars from our roads,” Behdad says.

To find out more, visit

Welcome Peter Professor Peter Davis (pictured right), a respected academic and industry professional with more than 30 years’ experience, was appointed to the newly established Chair of Construction Management earlier this year. Jointly funded by two of Australia’s leading construction companies – Lend Lease and John Holland – together with the University, the Chair will drive the research and teaching of more than 1,000 students. Peter began his academic career at Curtin University in 1994, after almost two decades in the private construction sector. He was most recently Professor and Head of the School of Built Environment at Curtin University.


alumni profile Dena Hamed Master of Architecture 2011 Bachelor of Design (Architecture) 2008 “After graduating from my Bachelor degree in architecture I worked as an architectural technician for one year with Suters Architects (now DWP-Suters) on a variety of retail and commercial buildings in Newcastle. I then returned to Uni to study my Master of Architecture. Upon completing my Masters I was employed by Architectus as a graduate architect in Sydney for two years where I worked on large scale, multi-million dollar commercial, retail and entertainment projects. In December 2013, I moved to Los Angeles where I now work for HOK Architects, a US-based architecture and engineering firm, as a senior design professional and building information modelling coordinator.

University of Sydney School of Business competition bid – designed by Sissons Architects and Architectus (Dena was a member of the design team and building information modeling manager).

QS world rankings The discipline of Civil and Structural Engineering at the University of Newcastle has surged up the QS World University Rankings by Subject list, lifting 14 places to 45 in the world. The discipline was ranked 59 in the world last year by the independent international agency, up from 101 the previous year. The disciplines of Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Newcastle all ranked in the world’s top 200. The QS Star Rankings build on the University’s 2012 Excellence in Research for Australia result; it was one of only two universities nationally to be awarded the highest possible rating of five stars for Civil Engineering. The University’s rankings in Civil Engineering are due in no small part to the work of its Centre for Geotechnical and Materials Modelling and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Geotechnical Science and Engineering, both led by Laureate Professor Scott Sloan. “The geotechnical research group at this University is arguably the strongest in the country and one of the strongest internationally,” he says. “People want to come here to do their research. It has become a destination for the brightest and best in the world.” a-foundation-for-success

“My work spans several disciplines within the architectural profession. I have been involved in the conceptual building design phase through to technical detailing for construction documentation. Being involved and experienced in all phases of the design and documentation process has allowed me to be flexible within my profession and expand my future career potential. “I have a particular interest in building information modelling and advancing architectural software to create a more accurate and efficient documentation output and to design better performing buildings that have the ability to push the boundaries of contemporary architecture. “By far the most complex and satisfying project I have worked on was a competition bid for the Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct located in Darling Harbour, as part of the Brookfield Multiplex consortium. The project consisted of a newly constructed entertainment centre, convention centre, exhibition centre, hotel and residential and retail precinct, with a budget of $1 billion. My roles and responsibilities on the project included team leader for the exhibition centre design and precinct-wide building information modelling manager. The project taught me so much about different building types and the complexities of working on large-scale projects with multi-million dollar budgets. “My education at the University of Newcastle allowed me the creative freedom to experiment with different forms and concepts while instilling the importance of the technical aspects of architectural construction and sustainable design. Upon graduation, I had built the skill set required to take an initial conceptual design through to construction in the real world.”


Faculty of Health & Medicine

UON unveils $17m medical sciences precinct UON’s Callaghan campus is boasting a new state-of-the-art medical sciences teaching and research precinct offering technology-enabled teaching facilities and laboratories.

Officially opened by the Federal Minister for Human Services, Senator Marise Payne, the Medical Sciences West building received Australian Government funding of $7.06 million, with the University investing $10.2 million. The purpose-built four-storey building includes wet and dry anatomy facilities, a 120-person teaching lab and preparation space, a specimen museum and group study areas. The precinct also includes facilities for the University’s new Bachelor of Pharmacy degree – 48 dispensing workstations and private consulting rooms that are set up to mirror contemporary industry practice; and contemporary teaching spaces for the Bachelor of Biotechnology degree covering molecular biology in reproduction and plant science.


Hello from a global citizen Professor Sally Chan has recently joined UON as Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery. “I am very honoured and privileged to take up this role. “I have been visiting the School since 2012. The School has a well-established academic status and a long history of nursing education. Like many nursing programs in other parts of the world, it is focused on producing graduates that meet future professional challenges. I am impressed by the University’s determination and commitment to renewal and revitalisation and would like to be a part of it. “I have been a nurse academic for over 20 years and the results of my extensive research agenda have made a recognised impact on healthcare policy and service delivery in Hong Kong, Singapore and China in relation to mental health care. “As a global nurse educator and researcher supported by 65 funded studies and more than 300 publications in international healthcare journals, my career influences the tripartite mission of research, education and practice. I focus on translating evidence to improve nursing practice outcomes in mental health services, implementing teaching innovations, and mentoring new generations of nurses to advance nursing.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, said the new precinct was a significant investment in the development of the region’s future health care workforce. “The facilities will be available for more than 3,500 students each year from 14 medical sciences degrees, including biotechnology, medicine, pharmacy, radiation therapy and speech therapy,” Professor McMillen says. “Through this remarkable precinct, we will provide UON’s students with a nextgeneration learning experience that will return benefits to our graduates throughout their careers as health care professionals as they practice in our regions and beyond.” The Medical Sciences West building was developed by EJE Architecture and Cochram Constructions, and the interior fit-out was designed by Scientific Interiors Australia. Pictured on opposite page: Federal Minister for Human Services, Senator Marise Payne, with UON Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen. Pictured above: Professor McMillen, Senator Payne, Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon, and Professor Shu Chuen Chi (Discipline of Pharmacology and Experimental Pharmacology) with a student in the new labs.

“I have served on the editorial and advisory boards of many renowned journals and been appointed to key review and policy groups with the World Health Organisation, the Hong Kong Government and the Singapore Government. “I was awarded ‘Teacher of the Year’ on five occasions by The Chinese University of Hong Kong where I was a Professor for seven years and in 2013 I was awarded the ‘International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame’ by the Sigma Theta Tau International Honors Society of Nursing, and named an International Fellow by the American Academy of Nursing. Such international awards acknowledge my research achievements and contribution to nursing and healthcare development. I feel very honoured and encouraged – these awards allow me to take more active steps in promoting nursing research and professional development on an international basis. “Many of my new friends in Newcastle have told me Newcastle is Australia’s best-kept secret. I am particularly impressed by the very sporty and healthy lifestyle and the many historical sites. I regard myself as a global citizen and am very happy to join the University and School at this exciting moment of transformation.”


Faculty of Science & IT

Vegemite, but not as you know it Vegemite on toast is a concept thousands of people around the world have been familiar with for more than 90 years. Using the spread as ink however, is a concept a little harder to swallow. One UON graduate is part of a small team that has managed to pull off the innovative task of printing business cards for Vegemite using the company’s very own product as ink. “It just so happens that Vegemite is roughly the same consistency and viscosity as the rubber-based inks we use every day. Getting it on the press was a breeze. Getting it off was another story altogether,” explains Adam Flannery. After completing a Bachelor of Visual Communication Design in 2010 and working in Sydney as a designer/creative printmaker, Adam now lives in north Melbourne working at the design and letterpress-printing studio, The Hungry Workshop. This isn’t the first time Adam and The Hungry Workshop have experimented with consumables. When they were commissioned by the wine distribution company Vincurable to develop a logo, they discovered a bottle of wine boiled down to a syrup consistency was perfect to create unique business cards that literally reflected the taste of the company and their clientele. Diversity and creativity is what Adam enjoys most about his job and the future is looking very bright for this particular little vegemite. “I’m just going to keep my head down and work hard. We’re working on some really exciting projects at the moment which we’ll be revealing soon enough,” he adds.

Happy retirement Bill! We wish Professor Bill Hogarth all the best as he ventures into retirement later this year. Professor Hogarth has dedicated 12 years to UON as Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Science and IT, and, in the last five years, also as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic). Improving the student experience has been a major undertaking, which Bill led as Chair of the Student Experience and Engagement Working Party (SEEWP). Bill was the driving force behind major campus improvements such as social learning spaces, wireless internet access rollout, improved lighting and new signage at the Callaghan campus. Due to the efforts of Bill and SEEWP, student feedback about the UON experience is increasingly positive. Through his academic career, Bill has remained an active researcher and during his 12 years at UON he has published 33 journal articles and a book chapter in his area of expertise – mathematical modelling of wind erosion, and soil displacement.

Adam Flannery working the press at The Hungry Workshop. Photo by Sean Fennessy, The Design Files.

Sights set abroad for PhD student Making a positive contribution to the world Rebecca Gallegos Bachelor of Communication 2010 “I was 20 when I realised the path to a more fulfilling career and life was through education, so I made it my ambition to become a journalist and enrolled in a Bachelor of Communication at the University of Newcastle. “In my final year of study I volunteered once a week at 2NUR FM’s newsroom, which led to a full-time position at a Canberra radio station. The skills I learnt in Canberra and the people I met eventually steered me on a different path to that I had envisioned for myself. In 2011, I accepted a Communications Officer role with Reconciliation Australia. The position allowed me to put into practice the theory and writing skills I had learnt in my studies. More importantly, it allowed me to make a real difference to the way Australians think about reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the broader Australian community. “I met some amazing Australians including Gail Mabo (pictured above) and Mick Dodson, and also former Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. I travelled to a remote community in North East Arnhem Land where I learnt about Yolngu culture and language; danced in Cairns as part of National Reconciliation Week; and played an active part in the ‘Recognise’ campaign - a grassroots people’s movement to remove racism from the Australian Constitution and recognise Indigenous Australians as the first inhabitants of this country. “Last year I accepted a role with the Indigenous Law Centre (ILC) at UNSW as Editor of the Indigenous Law Bulletin (ILB), an academic-type publication focusing on issues relating to law and Indigenous peoples in Australia and overseas. The ILC is a small research centre, and currently the only one in Australia publishing research on Indigenous law. “Completing my Communication degree with UON is the best decision I have ever made.” The Australian Government, which funds the ILC, has recently discontinued funding for the Centre. It has embarked on a campaign to raise support and find alternative funding sources. Find out more at Rebecca is the Editor – Indigenous Law Bulletin, Indigenous Law Centre, Sydney

PhD student Emma Beckett has secured the prestigious and highly competitive Adam J. Berry Memorial Scholarship from the Australian Academy of Science. Emma’s research investigates the molecular mechanisms that link diet and the genome and explain why ‘you are what you eat’. She has a particular focus on these interactions in an elderly cohort and how they impact the risk of diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The scholarship allows Emma to visit the National Institute of Environmental and Health Science in North Carolina, US, as a junior scientist from June to September. Emma’s track record in research is impressive. After graduating from Biomedical Science with First Class Honours in 2007, she completed a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Epidemiology and a Masters in Science Management while working in immunology and microbiology as a research assistant and lab manager at UON. Emma enrolled as a PhD student in April 2012. Communicating her research to the public and busting science myths is also a big passion of Emma’s and she has written three articles for the online news source, The Conversation, which led to radio, newspaper and online coverage. Emma plans to use her trip to the US to build up contacts and position herself for future aspirations. “After my PhD I’d like to stay in nutrition research so while I’m in the US I will be looking into potential institutions and hosts for post-doctoral opportunities. I hope I can keep participating in science communication no matter where my career takes me,” Emma says. “I find it motivating that the work I do might eventually change the world for the better,” she adds.


Network news Alumni meet Australia’s Foreign Minister Two UON graduates were thrilled to attend the launch of the inaugural ‘Australia-Malaysia Towards 2020’ scholarship program in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year. LIM Sui-Yee (Nicole) is a professional Human Resources consultant who holds a Master of Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations from the University, and LAI Tze May is a Company Director with a Master of Business Administration from UON. The pair was among 80 Malaysian alumni invited to the scholarship program launch, officiated by Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, The Hon. Julie Bishop. Pictured: Nicole Lim (left), current Vice-President of the UON Malaysia Alumni Chapter and LAI Tze May (right), a past president and founder of the UON Malaysia Alumni Chapter, with The Hon. Julie Bishop.

Alumni in Beijing

Alumni in The Philippines

UON’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline McMillen, visited China in March and met with representatives of government, business and industry. She also enjoyed a high tea with UON alumni in Beijing, chatting about the Uni’s achievements and the NeW Directions Strategic Plan 20132015.

The Pro Vice-Chancellor (International and Advancement), Mrs Winnie Eley, visited The Philippines in March to honour the first 12 graduates of the Master of Educational Studies (Educational Research), who completed their studies through a partnership between UON, the Australian Government and the University of Mindanao.


Malaysian alumni return Malaysian alumnus, Emeritus Professor Dato’ Wan Rafaei Abdul Rahman, visited UON in April to speak at the launch of the Daphne Keats chair in cross-cultural studies at the University Gallery. During his visit, Professor Wan Rafei and his wife Professor Datin Dr Siti Maimon Hj Kamso, also a UON graduate, met students of the Malaysian Youth Society of UON (MYSUN) and shared their experiences as UON students in the 1970s, and passed on tips for building successful careers.

Alumni in Kuala Lumpur

Alumni in Bangladesh

UON alumni came together in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing in January to celebrate Chinese New Year. If you are organising a social gathering with other UON alumni in your area, please let us know so we can help spread the word. Email us at alumni@

Congratulations to Khorsheda Yasmeen, a Master of Environmental Studies graduate who took home the Australian Alumni Award for Community Service at the 2014 Bangladesh Alumni Awards. Khorsheda’s award recognises her dedication to the community in areas such as natural disaster management, climate change, education and the promotion of agribusiness in the private sector. She is currently the Deputy Secretary of the Bangladesh Rules Branch, Cabinet Division.


Alumni in print HUMANITY ENHANCED: GENETIC CHOICE AND THE CHALLENGE FOR LIBERAL DEMOCRACIES MIT Press By Russell Blackford Doctor of Philosophy (English) 1983 Graduate Diploma in Education 1978 Bachelor of Arts 1977 Emerging biotechnologies that manipulate human genetic material have drawn a chorus of objections from politicians, pundits, and scholars. In this book, Russell eschews the heated rhetoric that surrounds genetic enhancement technologies to examine them in the context of liberal thought, discussing the public policy issues they raise from legal and political perspectives. Blackford argues that the challenge is not, as commonly supposed, the urgent need for a strict regulatory action. Rather, the challenge is that fear of these technologies has created an atmosphere in which liberal tolerance itself is threatened. Russell has been very busy with three philosophical books being published over 12 months – 50 Great Myths About Atheism, co-authored with Udo Schuklenk; and Intelligence Unbound: The Future of Uploaded and Machine Minds, co-authored with Damien Broderick. Both will be released in August and are published by Wiley-Blackwell.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN ILLUMINATED By Dr Fiona Pfennigwerth Doctor of Philosophy (Design) 2009 Bachelor of Visual Communication Design (Honours) 2003 Fiona Pfennigwerth studied natural history illustration at the University of Newcastle, and has since launched her second book featuring the text of The Gospel of John accompanied by illustrations of outback Australia at the Cathedral. The book was created as a result of significant literary and theological research as well as field trips to outback Australia where Fiona found her inspiration. Available at

Available at ANGEL OF FIRE


PawPrint Publishing

Singtao Publishing Ltd

By Wendy Milton Bachelor of Arts 1971

By Dr Rachel Cheung Doctor of Business Administration 2013

In this junior fiction book, arts graduate Wendy Milton tells the story of a cheeky boy named Zach, who lies in hospital after being hit by a truck in a freaky accident. Angel of Fire is a lively, up-beat tale for young readers aged 8-12 who like action, quirky characters and a good dose of humour. Wendy Milton is also the author of two popular junior fiction books, The Doolalley Kid and The Boy Who Disappeared.

As a UON business graduate and an HR professional, Rachel Cheung is inspired by the applications of management principles and psychology theories into parenting. In a competitive city like Hong Kong and many other places, parents are trying different means to push their children for higher academic results while attending a full spectrum of extra-curricular activities. The kids are always under pressure to perform even before entering Kindergarten. Rachel describes how we can create a relaxed atmosphere for our kids to grow while retaining their individual strengths. With an objective to enable children to grow with self-dependence, this book is full of practical examples. It translates theories into pragmatic ways to manage our kids.

Available at

Available at (search Long Ma Mi Yu)


2014 event diary engage events

UON2014/TRIM13/3422/3/2 | CRICOS Provider 00109J







Morpeth Lecture The Right Reverend Gregory Thompson Wednesday 23 July 5.45 for 6pm Christ Church Cathedral

2014 Alumni Awards Wednesday 10 September 6.45pm for 7pm Newcastle City Hall

New Professors Talk Professor Nicky Hudson Wednesday 30 July 6.15 for 6.30pm Newcastle Museum

New Professors Talk Professor Peter Davis Wednesday 24 September 6.15 for 6.30pm Newcastle Museum

New Professors Talk Professor Sally Chan Wednesday 26 November 6.15 for 6.30pm Newcastle Museum





New Professors Talk Professor Andrew Boyle Wednesday 27 August 6.15 for 6.30pm Newcastle Museum

New Professors Talk Professor Geoff Whitty Wednesday 29 October 6.15 for 6.30pm Newcastle Museum

alumni events July




Q&A panel session: Invent tomorrow Tuesday 17 June National Gallery of Victoria, 6pm

Singapore Alumni Reception Saturday 22 November Shangri La Hotel, 7pm

+61 2 4921 6699


NEWCASTLE Annual General Meeting of Convocation Date to be confirmed alumni

Alumni Reception Monday 23 June JW Marriott Dongdaemon Square Seoul, 7pm

September NEWCASTLE 2014 Alumni Awards Wednesday 10 September Newcastle City Hall, 6.45 for 7pm

We’d love to see you at an event in 2014! Visit community-and-alumni for further event details, or email external.

Contact Alumni Relations UONAlumni UONAlumni universitynewcastle University of Newcastle Alumni, Australia


The Seahorse Alumni magazine Edition 1, 2014