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Postscript Magazine Spring 2012

from the editor-in-chief ashleigh prosser

The theme for the 2012 edition of Postscript is YOU, the postgraduates of UWA.

Postscript is made for postgraduates, by postgraduates, so we felt that it was time for Postscript to reflect this with a more personal approach to life as a postgraduate at UWA. We wanted to hear your stories, your experiences, and all about your lives both within and outside of UWA, written from your personal perspective. Sometimes we can easily forget that there’s more to being a postgraduate than just our research or coursework, so the 2012 edition of Postscript is here to remind you that you are still a person, you still have a ‘real’ life, and you are not alone on this journey (or in this realisation)!


We also decided it was time to reward you for all your hard work, and so we are very happy to introduce the 2012 Editor’s Choice Awards. Two $100 cash prizes were awarded by the editorial committee for the best article and the best artwork we received. You can skip straight to the winners’ contributions, which are highlighted for you in the Contents page, to find out more! So, to conclude, thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent you through this year’s edition of Postscript. I have thoroughly enjoyed the process of bringing this edition to print, but it would not have been so successful without all the positive feedback, recommendations, and original contributions we received. I hope that the content of this magazine will help you to remember that being a postgraduate at UWA is an enriching experience and there are plenty of people out there who want to share their journey with you! Don’t forget to take a look beyond the borders of your desk every once in a while, you never know what you might find...

contents 3 4 5 6 8 9 10

From the Editor-in-Chief PSA President’s report


Past PSA President’s report PSA 2012 Committee PSA Awards & Funding Event Photos The Supervisor & Supervision Process

11 An Enthusiasm of Students 16 Three Little Minutes 18 Interviews 20 Being an External Postgraduate Student

21 22 23 24 26

editor’s choice awards

Travel 101

Chris Lawrence - The Pressed Hand 8 reasons to promote yourself and your research online Jo Hawkins


Sizzling Beef What’s On Your Desk? Coffee Nirvana PSA Infographic

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ashleigh Prosser SUB-EDITORS Patricia Alessi & Aisling Blackmore EDITORIAL ASSISTANCE Simon Kilbane & Revanth Garlapati DESIGN & LAYOUT Su-Anne Lee & Alex Pond ADVERTISING Alex Pond COPYRIGHT 2012 © UWA STUDENT GUILD. DISCLAIMER The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the views of the editor, the PSA or the UWA Student Guild. Please direct queries to:

Check out & for loads of info on postgrad happenings!


psa president’s report aisling blackmore

Hi posties! I hope you’re looking forward to reading the 2012 edition of Postscript, because it’s all about you! The PSA this year has focused on making itself more visible, more accessible, and more approachable for UWA postgraduates. You can now reach your committee across most social media platforms (although I never did get around to putting us on Google+...) and Connects have expanded to welcome even more postgraduates. We’ve started networking with other postgraduate associations at universities in WA, and successfully pushed for some fantastic reforms of our national representative body, The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations. I believe that if you see something you’re not happy with, getting involved is the best way to change it. Withdrawing and criticising from afar is a tempting and easier option, but in the long run it doesn’t solve problems. I strongly encourage all of you to become involved with your university, your faculty, and your representation!


There are some truly fantastic networks and structures at UWA, but they only last as long as people are willing to give them some time, a little love, and a bit of energy (like pot plants!). If you want things to change, then speak up. Talk to your supervisor, or members of your faculty, or your PSA (shameless plug)! Join the committee, or start a network supporting your colleagues in your school. Own your time at this university, and take responsibility for this community while you’re here – because it is your community. This has been a truly wonderful year to see the benefits of collaboration, and how effective communication can bring together a team of respectful, well-educated, equals. Collaborative scholarship, research teams, professional associations, groups of friends and classmates all play such an important role in breaking down the notion of solitary scholars. I hope all of you find something with which to connect in this magazine that makes you want to continue as part of our community. But most of all, I hope it makes you smile!

past psa president’s report mendal baba

and Murdoch networking/wine night held recently at John Curtin Art Gallery deserves a mention - it was a fantastic evening, and one that I hope will carry on as a regular event on the PSA calendar. I can’t believe how time flies! It seems like only yesterday that I was working on the 2011 production of Postscript, and now, here I am writing to you as the Immediate Past President! It gives me great pleasure to contribute to the 2012 edition of Postscript, and I’m really looking forward to reading it because I know it features lots of submissions from all of you! The 2012 PSA committee has been doing a fantastic job, with Aisling at the helm, to bring you lots of exciting events, and I hope you will continue to support them as they work very hard behind the scenes to make sure you have a fantastic postgraduate experience. The combined UWA, Curtin

On a personal note, since I finished as your President, I have mostly been based at Fremantle Hospital, busily working away on my research project. This year I’ve also been a council member of the West Australian branch of the Australian Podiatry Being your President during 2011 was such a privilege, and thank you to everyone (especially the committee) for supporting me in that role, and believing in the postgraduate cause! It was a busy and exciting year, and I’m sure that even bigger and better things lie ahead for the PSA. Good luck to all of you, and I look forward to catching up at a postgrad event soon!


psa committee

AISLING BLACKMORE PSA President Studying a Masters of History


Equity Officer & MDHS Faculty Rep PhD Candidate - Paediatrics


Education Faculty Rep PhD Candidate - Education


PATRICIA ALESSI PSA Vice-President PhD Candidate - Music


Indigenous Students’ Officer Studying a Masters of Pharmacy

REVANTH GARLAPATTI Engineering, Computing & Mathematics Faculty Rep PhD Candidate - Mechanical Engineering.


PSA Secretary Studying a Masters of Medical Science


Immediate Past President Studying a Doctor of Podiatry


Life & Physical Sciences Faculty Rep PhD Candidate - Chemistry







PSA Treasurer Studying a Masters of Pharmacy

ALVA Faculty Rep PhD Candidate - Landscape Architecture


Natural & Agricultural Sciences Faculty Rep Studying a Masters of Geoscience

International Students’ Officer PhD Candidate - Physical Oceanography

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Faculty Rep PhD Candidate - Political Science


Ordinary Committee Member Postscript Editor-in-Chief PhD Candidate - English and Cultural Studies

Coursework Students’ Officer Studying a Masters of Oil and Gas Engineering

Business School Faculty Rep Studying Masters of Commerce

DEEPAK GARG Ordinary Committee Member PhD Candidate - Computer Science


psa awards & funding aisling blackmore

The PSA offers four major types of funding for postgraduate students, distributed by their peers. We also co-fund two of the Convocation Travel Awards annually. PSA CONFERENCE TRAVEL AWARDS The Conference Travel awards exist to help postgraduates at UWA travel to conferences outside of Western Australia to present their research, either as a paper or a poster. There are up to 10 awards annually, valued at up to $750. PSA SMALL GRANTS The Small Grants are to help create a lively postgraduate community at UWA. Small Grants should be considered seed funds, to facilitate a new event or service to fill a gap perceived by postgraduates. The grants will be given to applications which demonstrate they are not duplicating services or activities already provided by the University, Student Guild, or PSA. They are valued at up to $200, and there are up to 5 awarded each year.

The PSA created two new awards this year, on the suggestion of a number of postgraduates and committee members, especially Vipul Agarwal and Jane Cannon.


PSA FIELDWORK/DATA COLLECTION AWARDS It is hoped that the value of these awards will increase in 2013, but they are currently valued at $200 and up to 2 will be awarded in 2012. This award is targeted at students who need to travel within their local area to collect data or results essential to their postgraduate studies. PSA LEADERSHIP/ COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD This award is to recognise one postgraduate per year, who is exceptional and high-achieving. Applications are accepted throughout the year, but will be judged in October and presented at the PSA Annual General Meeting. There is a small bursary of $200 associated with this award, a certificate, and public recognition through the postgraduate community, PSA website, and potentially other UWA channels. The aim and purpose of this award is to recognise the diversity of activities undertaken by postgraduates during their study, and that there are many postgraduates who deserve to be publically recognised by their peers for their contribution to the community over and above their study commitments. There is only one award per year, and selfnominations will not be accepted.






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1. Croccy on campus 2. PSA Quiz Night 3. PSA in the wild 4. PSA Connect 5 & 6. 2012 Joint Networking Event - Samuel Goh Photography, 7. PSA Quiz Night 8. PSA Connect 9. Winthrop Prof. Alan Dench - Dean of Graduate Research School 10. Joint Networking Event - Samuel Goh Photography,


how do you make the most of your supervisor? crystal abidin In the past ten months, I have gone from “WHAT IS MY SUPERVISOR SUPPOSED TO DO?!” to “MY SUPERVISORS ARE BRILLIANT GENIUSES!” Here are some tips (if only I had them earlier!) that have helped craft productive interactions with my supervisors. I hope they are useful to you, and help retain what is left of your sanity. Set goals | So you want to be a postgrad? What would you like to achieve in your time here at UWA? Make a list of short-term and long-term aims and plaster them over the most conspicuous place in your work area. Share these goals with your supervisors and invite them to encourage/nag/police you to work towards them. Lay down expectations | Clarify what your supervisors expect from you – and vice versa – early on in your candidature to avoid bouts of anomie. Review these expectations as you progress throughout your candidature. Know the system | There is a mountain of paperwork and red tape to conquer and chances are your supervisors are already buried under a backlog of work. Be sure to keep up with how these ever-changing procedures affect you. It is your job to stay on top of things. Plan ahead | Finally got an appointment with your supervisors? Want to make the most of that elusive window of time? Send them a concise agenda and drafts of your writing a few days before the meeting so they know what to expect.


Ask for specific feedback | Tell your supervisor which areas you need help in. No one is a mind reader. Make allowances for deadlines | Your room is wallpapered with a list of deadlines, right? Take the initiative to inform your supervisors of impending ones. Prepare your drafts in advance. Always factor in ample time for your supervisors to critique your drafts. Give gentle reminders | Send your supervisors concise summaries of what was discussed and agreed upon at the meeting. Then plan the next meeting date! Remember, your supervisor is not your nanny. Keep a logbook | Unless you’re secretly a superhero, years worth of data and negotiations is a lot to catalogue for the human mind. Group, file or print emails, and diligently scribble into your notebook at your meetings. (Cue: pat self on the back for each mini-milestone.) Be human | You are one (tired) person, battling one postgrad journey/thesis. Your supervisors are (multi-tasking) persons, battling multiple (tired) postgrads. And sometimes we forget we are human. Drop all the work and academic talk once in a while for a nice cup of tea (or hot chocolate, or icecream). Be a friend to your supervisor (in real life, not just on Facebook). One day in the future, you will look back on all of this and wonder how you conquered postgraduate life, and hopefully appreciate the friendships you have forged along the way.

an enthusiasm of students or how to be completely oblivious to student apathy julia wells My decision to tutor within the school formerly known as Physiology was largely to flesh out my next annual report and future resume. Regardless, I came to the school eager to ram some facts and stats in to these young brains and to mould their minds of clay into origami swans. Having since survived all night marking events and realising that most students will ask you the question on your last teaching day that you explained to them on the first: I have three lessons to share. The first lesson: Fortunate is the tutor who gets a mature-age student through their door. Oft condemned by undergrads for lacking the ability to relax the muscles that would lower their question-asking hand, these attributes are a joy to the tutor that has to keep a class participating for an hour and a half. The real boon though is at marking time. For these slightly wrinkled cherubic angels actually do their homework properly and it only takes one to have a well-referenced marking template for each week’s lab worksheet, without having to concoct one of the bothersome things yourselves or cross-reference on Google that they got it right. The second lesson: Establish early that the life of an academic is to be intimately familiar with a very specific subject or skill. In this way, you will be prepared for when you have no idea what chamber of the toad heart they should be attaching their electrode to, or why according to their ECG trace they have a previously undiagnosed heart condition. Because the answer to all these questions is “This

“At this point, the weaker students will have begun to depart (physically, if permitted), but the others, by whose virtue teaching is the most rewarding of duties, will press for more detail.”1

really isn’t my specialty but lets go have a peek at what the other group is doing”, said with enough disdain for the student to grasp that the answer is not only not worth remembering but that the whole field is possibly based on dubious findings. Thirdly, and maybe most important: Realise you are hosting Survivor. Most participants will whine at length that it is all too hard, even though they signed up for it. Alliances will form between lab groups who will be on the verge of tears when you split them up. Some will try to outwit you with tales of printers running out of ink and all possible stockists being closed when their report was due at 5PM on a Friday. But while the contestants change each season and the exam questions remain the same except for the interchange of two adjectives, you have to remind yourself that you’re the Host and you’re just here to have a good time and ask the probing questions that keep people up late at night thinking in their tents.

Gross, PR. Electrical and Mechanical Events in the Frog Heart [A Demonstration for Teaching]. The Physiologist 2(4): 40, 1959. 1


editor’s choice awards This year, the PSA decided to award two $100 cash prizes for the best article and the best artwork submission we received in honour of our ‘all about you’ edition. The Postscript editorial committee based their decision on originality and creativity, as well as the ability to offer a personal reflection on, and positive contribution to, life as a postgraduate at UWA. Chris Lawrence’s beautiful artwork depicts many of our shared experiences of working as postgraduates at UWA, whilst Jo Hawkins’ article offers us valuable insight into the ways in which we can extend the value of our research into the digital world. Congratulations Chris and Jo!

editor’s choice - artwork

Chris Lawrence - ’The Sleeper’ 12

Chris Lawrence - ’Pressed Hand’ 13

editor’s choice - article

8 reasons to promote yourself & your research online jo hawkins

IT’S INSPIRING, EMPOWERING AND MAKES YOU A BETTER WRITER. SO WHY DON’T MORE POSTGRADS BLOG AND TWEET? Technology has revolutionised academic research. Most of us spend more time in front of a screen than in the archives, with digitised primary source databases and online academic journals at our fingertips. But while we happily harness technology to assist us during the research process, far fewer of us use it to promote ourselves and our research. Thinking strategically about ways to increase the impact of your research is not about style over substance. It’s about believing in your work, recognising its value and understanding that it deserves an audience. So, have you ‘Googled’ yourself lately? These days it’s not egotistical, it’s essential. It’s the first thing that a prospective employer or book publisher will do to find out more about you. The good news? You can assert influence over search results and raise awareness of your research by proactively contributing to this space. Investing in your digital footprint will generally involve developing a content platform (such as a blog) and using social


media to build an audience. It’s an active process that involves both ongoing content creation and relationship building. How can blogs and social media give early career academics a competitive advantage? 1. Prove and improve your knowledge. As an academic your knowledge is your livelihood. Blogging does not devalue this knowledge, nor imply it is ‘free’. When you share ideas online you don’t earn money, but you do earn authority. Your aim should be to establish yourself as a thought leader in your discipline while carefully protecting your core Intellectual Property (IP). 2. Break free of restrictive publishing systems. As a global self-publishing tool, a blog can be highly subversive. While the peer review system is essential, blogging empowers researchers to engage directly with audiences in real time. These two systems do not exist in opposition to each other, but can be complimentary. 3. Establish a platform to promote your research. The aim of this kind of activity is not to promote a single journal article or your current research project. It’s a long-term strategy that allows you to build

a dynamic community around your research interest that you can leverage for ongoing projects. 4. Escape the ivory tower. It’s never been more important to bridge the gap between academic and public audiences. Academics are often encouraged to engage in public debate but the reality can be daunting. Blogging and social media can provide a launching pad to explore life as a public intellectual. 5. Join a global network of researchers. No matter how niche your research project, you will find like-minded scholars online who share your interest. 6. Refine ideas through collaboration. Unlike journal articles, blogs have an immediate feedback loop. Responding to challenges and feedback can help you strengthen arguments, refine ideas and even inspire new ones. Chance favours the connected mind. 7. Structure informal learning. A blog can provide a site to structure learning outside your specific research topic. It’s a great excuse to investigate a related topic or even meet and interview an academic you admire. Expressing your creativity is a great way to stay inspired and fight off writers block.

you to express complex ideas more simply. You can also use the space to experiment with different writing styles and play with new ideas. You wouldn’t start a research project without a proposal, and you shouldn’t start blogging without clear objectives and outcomes in mind. This kind activity requires a considerable investment of time and it might not be right for everyone. But with the right strategy, you can establish a dynamic space to network, learn, create and communicate that will extend far beyond your candidature.

Jo Hawkins (@History_Punk) is a digital marketing manager turned PhD student. She blogs about history, digital humanities and online reputation building for academics at If you’d like some potential platforms to communicate your research with public audiences, here are some ideas The Conversation: Crikey: The Drum:

8. Improve your writing skills. The need for brevity and clarity while blogging challenges


three. little. minutes. by lauren hollier

Lauren won the 2012 UWA 3MT Finals, with a presentation titled ‘Boys, Girls and Language: Is Testosterone the Key?’ Her thesis is titled “Fetal Testosterone Exposure and Language Development: Is Atypical Cerebral Lateralisation the Linking Mechanism? “ and investigates why, on average, girls develop language earlier than boys. Every year, UWA holds a Three Minute Thesis competition. I know what you’re thinking, how on earth could you possibly explain your thesis in three minutes! Well that’s exactly what I thought when I first heard about this competition when it began in 2010. But after watching a few friends successfully complete the challenge, I finally decided to put up my hand to participate. My supervisors are always telling me how important it is to be able to communicate your research in an engaging and accessible way. I thought this competition would be a fantastic way to begin to learn how to do this! My three minute thesis journey (or 3MT) began with a presentation to all my friends in the Psychology department. But first I had to come up with one slide, which had no animations, but gave an overview of my research, and let’s not forget writing a talk that explained everything in three minutes. I decided to approach this the way you would any conference presentation, but after a few tries it became apparent that this was not the way to go. So after a lot of discussion with those aforementioned friends, I finally managed to come up with a talk and a slide that I thought was informative and interesting. It always surprises me how much more nerve-wracking it is presenting to your friends than to a crowd of strangers. But I managed to get through the talk in one

piece, albeit a bit too fast (approx 2:20). I always speak fast when I get nervous. Having survived the practice run, it was on to the finals. Now, these were a few weeks away, so did I practice, practice, practice? No. I let it completely slip my mind until the day before, when I had a minor freak out! But I managed to get some time with Krys Haq from GRS, who helped me immensely with tips on how to make the talk more accessible and how to slow down my pace. Along comes the big day. I’m still frantically practicing under my breath while I’m driving, and even while walking around campus. I think some people may have thought I was slightly crazy... I was scheduled to present fifth in the line up, which meant I had to listen to four other presentations. And boy were they good! By the time my turn came my knees were shaking a bit and I had to take a few deep breaths before going up. But once I started talking, the practicing kicked in and the nerves slowly went away. Three minutes isn’t very long at all, so it was pretty much over before I knew it. All that was left was to relax and listen to all the other presenters, who were all fantastic. I didn’t go in to this expecting or aiming to win. So when they announced that I had, I was pretty shocked! I think this competition is a fantastic opportunity to learn how to speak in a way that is interesting to a wider audience. I’m looking forward to competing in the Trans-Tasman finals at UQ in October.

Lauren won a $3,000 travel or research support grant, plus airfares, accommodation and meals to the 2012 Trans-Tasman 3MT Finals competition at UQ, and came runner up - congratulations Lauren! For more info about the 3MT, see


getting to know you: shehan dias School/Area/Year: Business School, I have recently completed a Masters of Marketing. Positives/Negatives of Postgraduate Coursework: Positives: I think coursework gives you more opportunities to learn as you get to work for a variety of clients, each with different problems which need to be solved in a different way. It helps you to be innovative. Negatives: The dilemma (in doing a higher degree by coursework) is that it curtails you from making a contribution to the body of literature in a field you are really interested in. Why UWA? The opportunity to rub shoulders with many cultures which truly represent Australia and the rest of the world in a top university was something I couldn’t miss. On top of that, I wanted to get a chance to work with established and emerging corporations to solve real world problems. My average day at UWA... I normally use the time to immerse myself in my lectures and researching online or at the library. I also keep busy by working in Sales and as Head of Social Media at Oxfam in Western Australia (when time permits!) and I end my days by kicking back with my lecturers or friends over a coffee. Interesting fact about me: When I was 13, I sang alongside the World famous Vienna Boys Choir when they toured my country, Sri Lanka. When I grow up, I want to be... It changed a lot every year! For a long time I wanted to be involved in Archaeology due to my love of ancient history. My other love was travelling.


I still dream of being able to travel to Egypt, Europe and Africa someday. My favourite form of procrastination: I normally go online on Facebook (guilty!) and also look for interesting articles on e-Marketing and personal development. Some light exercise/ listening to my favorite tunes helps me get back on track. My best experience at UWA... I got a chance to unleash my acting and singing talents in the UWA Pantomime Society. It was great fun to be the only postgraduate in that group as I got a chance to impart knowledge while having a ton of fun. My worst experience at UWA... In my last semester, the pressure was on to finish my course on a high. In those last few weeks, I was really stressed from balancing work, study and my social life and I was frequently on the verge of burnout. Life after completion... I hope to find employment in an organization which fits my skills, experience and qualifications in a digital marketing/management based position, and provides me with an opportunity to learn and grow with the company. One sentence on your life as a postgrad at UWA: Great friends, great fun, and some of the best times of my life so far.

getting to know you: regan housley School/Area/Year: Psychology, I’m in my first year of a Ph.D by Research. Study interests: Sexualisation, social networking, adolescent mental health, social constructions of femininity. Thesis title and summary: “A virtual mirror? Young women’s construction of self on social networking sites.” My project aims to establish how young women use social networking sites to supplement and complement their offline world, with particular regard to body image, self-esteem and sexualisation. Positives/Negatives of Postgraduate Research: Positives: freedom, supportive environment, achievement.

Interesting fact about me: I am a collector of books, stamps and clothes. When I grow up I want to be... A librarian or book-shop owner (I really just wanted to be able to read all day). In my life outside of UWA... I love a good quiz night, a bit of baking, playing board games, watching television. I’m quite a homebody. My favourite form of procrastination: My favourite form of procrastination is cleaning, and I just go with it as it results in a clean house! My favourite study tool: I use multiple diaries, year planners and calendars. The best and worst things about being a postgrad: Best: My own office + kettle = cups of tea on demand! I’m most excited about the opportunity to travel with conferences etc. Worst: Loss of undergraduate holidays, I miss guilt free days in which nothing is done.

Negatives: freedom, which tends to lead to procrastination...

Life after completion... At the moment I’m just hoping to finish! Ideally, I hope to continue down my research path.

Why UWA? I completed my undergraduate degree here and liked it so much I stayed!

One sentence on your life as a postgrad at UWA: Incredibly exciting!

My average day at UWA... Check emails, write, have cup of tea, check emails, eat lunch, write, think for a bit, have another cup of tea, check emails (yes, again!).

Do you like the sound of Regan? Then follow her blog on postgraduate life! The Grad Chronicles


being an external postgraduate student gillian polack Being an external student in Creative arts (the fiction side), the other side of the country, has its moments, but it’s not a bad thing. I read emails. All the emails from the UWA. I couldn’t get to courses or even social occasions, but they reminded me of what I ought to be doing. You can chart postgraduate existence from email reminders, and that’s precisely what I did. I delivered two conference papers and I published (lots). I remembered (from time to time) to have a social life. Emails were my prompt. I paid especial attention in first year: planning more, working harder. It’s easier to make mistakes without a peer group and that planning counted. I didn’t have the luxury of saying “I can do this later in the degree.”


When I wasn’t sure what the university wanted, I asked my supervisor. I was very lucky that I had a supervisor who’s good with university administration. A supervisor who had been almost wholly about the deeper ideas would have made life much more difficult. For there were problems: missed deadlines because pages were lost in transit; loss of awareness of me being there because no-one knows what I look like. The supervisor who can troubleshoot administrative issues and undig holes that other people have dug (entirely by mistake) has been exceptionally important.

There are extras that one finds on campus (tricks and extra income and contacts) that an external student doesn’t get. I thought of this before I started, and have made up for some of it. I couldn’t get undergraduate teaching, for instance, so I teach for local government and I teach evening courses at the Australian National University. I do extra editing, and I hunt for paid writing jobs when I can. It helps that the university is very good with other kinds of support. Without that support and without an Arts ACT grant, I would never have gone to a conference in England or researched in France. The rather wonderful thing about being an external student is the amount of independence I have. I’ve had a book out each year of my candidature, my latest is here: ms-cellophane/. I doubt that could have happened considering the financial side of things and the other issues I’ve faced if I had to face the demands of campus life as well. With care and planning, external candidature has been good for me. Very different, but a lot of fun!

how to leave the country with funding 101 claire cooke

Travel is an essential, and often much anticipated, part of the postgraduate experience. As a young (perhaps naive) PhD student, I envisaged my three-month research trip to the Big Apple as an idyllic experience, only to find that the paperwork is essentially a PhD itself! The quickest way to leave the country, with university funding, is to forge the necessary signatures. However, as I preferred to both undertake my trip and remain out of jail, I chose the legal option of filling in paperwork, getting the necessary signatures and patiently waiting for university approval and funding to come through. This approach resulted in twomonths of emotional turmoil and yo-yoing between various staff members as forms materialised out of nowhere like Harry Potter’s Hogwarts entrance letters. In order to spare other postgrads the rollercoaster journey this article offers three steps to neatly circumvent the common pitfalls encountered in the booking-the-trip task. University protocols differ between faculties. For the English and Cultural Studies discipline, for instance, it is impossible to book your own flights and accommodation. But fear not! A concise report that outlines the places you must visit and why can be done 12 weeks before you want to leave. There is a minor catch though, because all flights must be booked through an

approved UWA travel agent. The easiest way to obtain this information with as little effort as possible is to visit one of the agencies in person and simply refuse to leave until you have the necessary quotes. At this point, having been prepared beyond the graduate research co-ordinator’s wildest dreams, the second step becomes apparent i.e. the forms. The forms, which are your new Bible, can take anything from six weeks to two days to be signed off. At this stage a kind of benevolent stalking becomes necessary, as the sooner the necessary signatures can be obtained the sooner your trip can actually be booked. This brings us to the final step: be prepared to Occupy! Whether you are getting quotes, filling in forms or finding the required signatures occupying is key strategy for success unless you are organising it at the eleventh hour (this option is not for the faint-hearted and should be avoided at all costs). A simple solution is to bring supplies (food, water, knitting, crosswords, etc) and be prepared to occupy offices and chase leads until you have the desired outcome. Persistence and a never-say-die attitude are keys to success!


sizzling beef mohammad mazumder

Cooking at home during my free time is one of my hobbies. Apart from pursuing doctoral studies at the Mechanical Engineering school in UWA, I enjoy cooking for my family and friends. I would like to share a recipe for the dish Sizzling beef that’s easy and quick to cook! INGREDIENTS 500 grams of Boneless beef 1 egg 4 tablespoons of soya sauce 4 tablespoons of flour 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce 2 tablespoons of corn flower 4 tablespoons of olive oil 4 onions 7 or 8 dry chillies (or as few or many desired for taste)


STEPS 1. First, cut the boneless beef into very small slices, like thin onion slices. This step takes most amount of time while preparing this meal. 2. Then marinate the beef with the egg, soya sauce, flour, corn flour, and oyster sauce for 30 minutes. 3. After 30 minutes, heat the fry pan and add olive oil. Then fry the marinated beef along with the olive oil for 10-15 minutes. After this, take the beef out of the frypan and put it into a separate bowl. 4. Dice the onions. Add them to the same oil in which the beef was cooked. Stir the onions in the frypan for 10 minutes, and then, add some dried chillies. Also add some oyster sauce at this stage and stir it for 5 more minutes. 5. Add the beef to the onions and stir it for 10-15 minutes. You can also choose add some capsicum, spring onions etc... 6. Serve the beef with some salad and rice. 7. Enjoy your sizzling beef!

what’s on your desk?

MARCO CUEVAS-HEWITT 1. A cassette tape holder, housing my old tape collection, reinterpreted as

a laptop stand 2. An LED tourch, so I can go out to the fusebox and flick the power back on when it trips out from heater overuse. Damn winter! 3. My favourite pink ruler I can’t do without! 4. My Kung-Fu Panda for good luck (and Panda Power) 5. A cup of hot mocha 6. A 1 terabyte external hard drive for thesis back ups. [Ed: Very important!] 7. A set of earmuffs to block out the sound when others in my house are making too much noise. 8. The bound booklet on the stand is my favourite. It’s a mock thesis, complete with my name and dissertation title on it. My wife made it for me as a motivation prop to help me visualise the day when it’s finally finished, when I can hold it in my hands and be proud!

STEVEN DE HAER 1. A tea-stained coffee mug; a small library of books – primarily Australian literature 2. several cluttered shelves 3. a framed Graduation Certificate 4. English (and German) dictionaries 5. two laptops (only one in working condition) 6. files stuffed with notes 7. never enough pens


coffee nirvana (near campus?) by carol kaplanian

Black, straight, mixed, mocha, light brown, dark brown – those are all visual strengths I like in my coffee dependent on the type of day I am having. I am not sure about you, but coffee plays a huge and integral part of my daily life as a postgraduate student. While there is a very fine line between addiction and appreciation of coffee, both terms are relevant in my ‘coffee’ world.

French patisserie, which I hope many of you are familiar with, La Gallette de France. It is a café that is more atmospheric than anything else, and with a recent change in staff, the coffee quality varies on the barista. That being said, it is still an okay option for those wanting a good coffee that’s within walking distance from campus accompanied by some sweet treats!

Today, I no longer write my PhD from campus. However, I still travel around in search of the perfect cup of coffee – one that has a full-bodied aroma, a slight sweet bitterness and the perfect crema to accompany its taste.

Now for the serious drinkers who are willing to trek further afield… Cimbalino in Dalkeith offers top-quality coffee, served with in a café with a funky vibe and to-die-for macaroons. My most favorite coffee shop, however, is Elixir in Nedlands, with very keen baristas and an owner who is a coffee lover who roasts his own beans. I have never been disappointed there! For those of you who would like to (ad)venture even further, you should most definitely try The Daily in Swanbourne. The owner is a young man who used to be a barista at Cimbalino, and his love for coffee drove him to open his own café which is worth the travel. If you would like to take your laptop and write near the beach, then I strongly recommend il Lido in Cottesloe. It has recently started blending its own coffee with help from the guys at DarkStar. The baristas use organic milk and only the best quality ingredients. You should also try one of their home-baked treats with your coffee.

In my opinion, it’s tough to find the perfect cup of coffee. Disappointing, but true. On campus, the Uni Club café offers an ‘okay’ cup of coffee, with its quality highly dependent on who is making it on the day, which is not an unusual problem for any café. Consistency is the key to a café’s success, especially so with only a handful of cafés around campus offering any kind of consistency when serving coffee. If you are a coffee enthusiast, the sad news is that you will have to venture off campus for a truly amazing coffee experience. How far you venture depends on your level of caffeine addiction! Let’s start with the closest cafes – Barrett’s Bread on Broadway not only offers a selection of mouth-watering breads, but also serves coffee that is actually quite good. Next door to the Caltex Petrol Station on Stirling Highway is Rocket Fuel, which offers a great house blend of coffee in organic milk. The coffee is of high quality, but personally slightly too weak for my liking.

[Ed: Unbeknownst to Carol who no longer works on campus, Rocket Fuel now has an outlet within the Refectory in the Guild Village. Yay!!!] Back on Broadway is the little

With all that said. My favorite comes out of left field. However, once you discover I come from the Middle East, it will all make sense. Turkish coffee cooked on the stove, There, I’ve said it. Arabica coffee beans blended with cardamom and spices, and cooked on the stovetop... Not only is it potently strong, but also the taste is to-die-for. One of those in the morning keeps me going all day – I wish I could say the same for my ‘thesis concentration’. Enjoy folks!


Getting to know you, getti

So what does the postgraduate Enrolled across postgrad degrees in 2012 there are 5,310 coffee-fuelled students But this breaks down into

58 doing PhD by Coursework

178 completing Graduate Certificates

518 in Graduate Diplomas

2,406 Masters by coursework

We’re pretty even on gender... 65.9% of research students are female

There are 79 interstate HDR...

54.4% of coursework are too!

Postgraduates make up

21.5% of UWA students

3 ladies from NT 3 guys from NT

NSW & VIC send the most HDR: 26 each 3 girls from ACT

...and 102 coursework

VIC send the most coursework: 38 3 women from TAS

(all information sourced from the Uni Stats website: www.stats.u

tting to know all about you!

There are...

e population at UWA look like?

There are 20 fulltime HDR students who are 21 years old

There are 2 coursework students who are just 19!

There are 122 HDR students 55 years or older 59 cross-institutional

270 Masters by Research

1,788 PhD by Research

Money wise...

1,258 HDR have Commonwealth support

And 3 lovely postgrads in Albany.

901 coursework students

563 on-shore international HDR

1,390 Domestic

825 on-shore international coursework

We come from around the world... 169 from Europe!

Most of our international students are from Asia and enrolled in coursework 762 students!

70 postgrads from North America

43 postgrads from South America on the 1st of August 2012)

69 from Africa

PSA Postscript 2012  

PSA Postscript 2012

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