VLS Announcements 045 - 9 July 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to issue 045 of our VLS weekly announcements.

With Semester 1 just about over after the Board of Examiners this week, we are gearing up for our annual Open Day on Sunday 26 July. We are still looking for help in running hotspot activities, displays and general assistance throughout the day. Please contact Katherine Cresey if you are able to help on the day.

Congratulations to Associate Professor Martin Cake and his team for their successful OLT grant application titled “VetSetGO: a collaborative outcomes and assessment framework building employability, resilience and veterinary graduate success". Congratulations also to Dr Wei Xu who recently received an award from FASIC (France-Australia Science Innovation Collaboration), a program which supports high calibre Australian early career researchers and encourages bilateral collaboration in science.

We also have some important updates from Professor Sara de Freitas on the progress of learning and teaching over the last year. The second Conversation will be held this year between 26-28th August and you are invited to make your submissions to the Call for Papers. Please read below for further information.


David Hampson
Dean, School of Veterinary Science

Submissions for the announcements can be made by emailing Nathalie Kennedy by COB each Tuesday for publication on Friday.

Note: items that require action are marked with a red flag for action.   Click on [Expand All/Collapse All] below to view the entire stories.

Teaching and Research News [Expand All] | [Collapse All]

  • Learning and Teaching Updates - from Prof. Sara de Freitas, PVC Learning and Teaching for action

    Have a look at these important updates and summary of the progress in learning and teaching areas over the last year...

    Dear Colleague,

    It’s been a challenging and busy year for all of us at Murdoch – and we don’t get too much time to reflect on what we have achieved before we are onto the next set of challenges and work! But we have made some substantial progress with learning and teaching over the period of the year – and I will attempt to summarise some of this progress here. It’s worth casting our minds back to the Learning Futures survey completed by staff in March 2014. There, staff highlighted their priorities as: student engagement (55%), academic development (44%), curriculum design (42%), streamlining administration (34%), assessment design (31%) and the student experience (28%). The need to renew our L&T infrastructure was also signalled as a priority for staff as part of delivering the best student experience we possibly can.

    To attend to these priorities, through the strategy and other initiatives, we have been supporting:

    • targeted learning design workshops, including the capstone curriculum design workshops (with Associate Professor Nicolette Lee), designing learning activities workshop (with Associate Professor Claire Macken from Apple) and online learning design workshop (with Brenda Frisk, Open Universities Australia).
    • planning a new programme of academic development, including the development of the new L+T certificate with its prestigious potential links to the Higher Education Academy
    • the Curriculum @ Murdoch project to specify and improve our academic planning processes,
    • building a community through the development of a new Learning and Teaching website and events, including regular NEST events and the monthly Second Wednesday events, which have provided debate and discussion around: student engagement, assessment and feedback, student progression and our learning spaces

    Our larger planned programmes for course renewal builds upon our new curriculum and includes:

    • Investment into digitising all of our TNE units (blended mode) by 2017 in line with our operational plan
    • STEP pilot programme to improve student progression in 10 units across all our Schools and 5 additional PASS units by Sem 2 2016 funded through SIF

    Working with colleagues from Properties we have been attending to the renewal of our learning spaces, to this end we have confirmed:

    • Refurbishment of ECL, including a new large flexible learning space (CRC)
    • Update of our AV equipment in our larger teaching spaces
    • Refurbishment of our Physics labs
    • Development of our new nursing simulation facilities in South Street

    We have also undertaken consultation with staff in areas of assessment policy and academic planning this year, and will shortly be consulting with staff around our course review process. New working groups (WGs) set up as part of the Learning and Teaching Committee this year include: Units policy and Timetabling policy. These WGs will report back to the Committee this year and support a programme of policy reviewal to allow us to keep pace with changes in practices.

    Around the issue of recognition of our academic staff, we have been recently celebrating the winners of the VC’s Awards for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, and Murdoch's national OLT award winners, at our Staff Awards and our top 10% of teaching staff have recently received certificates acknowledging their work. Congratulations to them on their excellent contributions! It’s also worth noting in this regard that as part of our commitment to supporting our staff, People and Culture are leading on work around setting up a mentoring programme for academics, and our working group on teaching fellowships will be reporting back shortly on their recommendations.

    My last communication is rather a request for participation at the second Conversation which will be held this year 26-28th August in the non-teaching week in the Nexus Theatre. In particular, I invite you to make a submission to the Call for Papers for the third Showcase day where we will aim to provide the space for sharing practice. For information about the Conversation and other L&T events see: For information on the Call for Papers see: Any submitted papers will be available for future journal publications, and we have also have short papers, presentations and videos as other ways to participate and share your tips and innovations. There will be prizes for best papers, presentations and videos. Hope that you can add the dates to your calendar, and make a special effort to get to our 40th anniversary celebration and L&T strategy launch at the end of the first day. We will also be holding a special lunch for sessional lecturers as part of the proceedings to acknowledge the important role that they are playing in our university.

    I have very much enjoyed my visits to the Schools as part of the Learning and Teaching Roadshow, attending School LTC meetings and as an observer in several learning sessions including lectures, seminars and pracs around the university. This has provided me with real insight into the pedagogies being used, the facilities available and an insight into the student experience. So on a personal note, thanks so much for welcoming me into your Schools – and I am looking forward to working with the Deans, ADLTS and other colleagues through our busy schedule of projects and workshops over the next year!



    Professor Sara de Freitas
    Pro Vice Chancellor Learning and Teaching

    Tel: +618 9360 2432
    Mobile: +618 (0) 481 438 715
    Skype name: saraisabelladefreitas
    Twitter: @saradefreitas

  • Latest reports on Research Grants

    Reports on the recently awarded research grants are now available from the Research Grants side module on this page...

    As per Academic Council minutes, the report lists research grants awarded between 3 November 2014 and 10 April 2015. Full sets of the 2015 Academic Council minutes and agendas are available online at: and will require your Murdoch username and password to login.

  • Congratulations to A/Prof Martin Cake on his OLT Successful Grant

    OLT recently announced successful grants for Round 1, 2015....

    A/Prof. Martin Cake and his team have been successful in their grant application titled "VetSetGO: a collaborative outcomes and assessment framework building employability, resilience and veterinary graduate success", for a funding amount of $349,000. Congratulations to the team.

    Abstract: This project will make a distinctive contribution to the rapidly-evolving field of employability in the veterinary context. The approach is to use the employability construct, interpreted through the applied lens of preparedness-for-practice, to provide greater clarity, priority and effective feedback on the veterinary graduate capabilities that most influence employment and professional success.

    The Australian Government has committed $57.1 million in funding over four years towards the Promotion of Excellence in Learning and Teaching programme in Higher Education which is administered by the Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) in the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. In 2015, $8 million (indicative) has been allocated to the Grant programme to provide funding for academics and professional staff to discover, develop and implement innovations in learning and teaching.

  • Entries open for The Australian Innovation Challenge

    Entries are now open for the $65,000 The Australian Innovation Challenge, honouring excellence in fields from minerals and energy to environmental science and community services...

    Now is your chance to showcase your bright idea by entering the awards, which are run by The Australian in association with Shell with the support of the federal Department of Industry and Science. As previous winners and finalists attest, the Challenge, now in its fifth year, is helping to drive breakthroughs through to commercialisation or adoption. Innovation policy expert Terry Cutler is chairing a panel of leaders from the science community, industry and government who will judge the awards.

    Past entrants are already reaping the benefits of the awards - prestige and ongoing publicity in Australia’s national daily newspaper as well as much-needed prize money:

    - Antony Schinckel and his team at the CSIRO won the Manufacturing, Construction and Infrastructure prize, as well as the overall prize, last year for revolutionary technology at the centre of the world’s most powerful radio telescope - the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder in outback Western Australia.
    - Sydney inventor Chris Wilkins won the Backyard Innovation category with PodPlants - an aeroponic system to grow “greenwalls” in office blocks by suspending plants in nutrient-laden mist.
    - Brisbane school student Taj Pabari won the Young Innovators category with ImaginTech an educational tablet kit designed to teach children about computer hardware and software.

    The Australian and Shell will champion the top entries, featuring them prominently in The Weekend Australian over several weeks and showcasing them on the Challenge website.
    The online entry form and details of the awards, including category definitions, the judging criteria, the judging panel, supplementary material requirements, the entry procedure, rules and stories on past winners, are available at:

    The five professional categories open to specialists (including scientists, engineers, technologists, educators and innovators in community services) are:
    - Environment, Agriculture and Food
    - Minerals and Energy
    - Manufacturing, Construction and Infrastructure
    - Health
    - Education and Community Services

    The professional category winners will receive prizes of $5000. The overall winner will receive a further $25,000. A sixth category, Backyard Innovation, is open to the public and has a $10,000 prize.
    The Young Innovators category, which is open to students aged 21 years or under, has a $5000 prize.

    Entries in all categories will be judged against the following equally weighted criteria:
    - science or technological excellence and novelty
    - potential impact
    - end user benefit and sustainability
    - adoption and take-up (including plans for paths to market for early-stage development work).

    The awards are open to individuals and teams, and you can enter more than one project. International collaborative projects are eligible as long as the work was driven from Australia.
    The awards recognise innovation purely for the public good as well as breakthroughs with a direct commercial focus.
    Previous winners who wish to enter this year must enter different projects. Entrants, including finalists, in previous years who did not win a prize, may enter the same projects this year but must explain how the work has developed.
    Entries close at 2359 AEST Monday, August 17, 2015.

    For entry details visit Information:

    Jade Hobson
    T +61 2 9288 2947 M +61 431 511 985

  • Congratulations to Dr Wei Xu on his FASIC award

    The France-Australia Science Innovation Collaboration (FASIC) program is a platform to support high calibre Australian and French early career researchers (ECRs) to expand research and innovation activities...

    Dr Wei Xu was one of the six Australian researchers who received FASIC funding support for 2015. The FASIC program also initiates sustainable networks and linkages to support both countries’ research and innovation priorities. Dr Xu will visit French National Institute for Agricultural Research  (INRA), a world leading agricultural research institute and collaborate with Dr. Emmannuel Jacquin-Joly, on insect chemosensory system.

    This visit will create a new collaboration for Dr. Xu and Murdoch University with this French leading research institute.

  • PhD student Timothy Haskett receives the Farrer Memorial Trust Scholarship

    Timothy Haskett from the Centre for Rhizobium Studies was recently awarded the Farrer Memorial Trust scholarship...

    Congratulations to Centre for Rhizobium Studies PhD student Timothy Haskett, who was recently awarded a Farrer Memorial Trust scholarship to present his research at the 19th International Congress on Nitrogen Fixation in Pacific Grove, California in October this year.

    Tim’s research is primarily focused on the mechanism of horizontal gene transfer in the symbiotic N2-fixing bacteria associated with the pasture legume biserrula (Biserrula pelecinus). In addition to attending and presenting at the Congress, Tim will also be visiting fellow nitrogen fixation and legume researchers at Professor Sharon Long’s laboratory, Stanford University, and will be meeting with collaborators at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) at Walnut Creek. 

  • Get Grant Ready - message from State NRM Office

    The 2015 State Natural Resource Management Program grants will be opening soon...

    We encourage you to be prepared for a very short application period (4 weeks or less). Applications will be online and you can start preparing now by using the 2014 application form as a guide.

    The first grants to be offered will be the Community Action Grants - supporting activities that help conserve biodiversity or conserve, restore, rehabilitate or enhance natural environments important to the local community. These grants can be used for on-ground works as well as planning and resource assessment activities. We will advise you when these grants open.

    Details on the other grants available through the 2015 program will be provided soon or can subscribe for updates at:

    You can also view the announcement about the State Natural Resource Management Program by Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston in May 2014.

    For further queries, please contact State Natural Resource Management Office 3 Baron-Hay Court, South Perth WA 6151

    Phone: +61 8 9368 3168 Email:  

  • $50,000 Research Grants for investigation of lung disease 

    The Institute for Respiratory Health (formally the Lung Institute of WA) is proud to once again be offering two $50,000 research grants to support the investigation of specific areas of lung disease...

    The grants have been made possible through donations to the Institute by individuals and organisations who share our commitment to fighting lung disease through world class research.

    Grant applications open Monday, 6th July 2015 and close Friday, 28th August 2015.


    One grant-in-aid of up to $50,000 for one year will be available to support: laboratory, clinical and epidemiological research into the cause, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cystic fibrosis or bronchiectasis. This grant meets one of the objectives of the Institute for Respiratory Health to support excellence in research in the specific area of respiratory disease.  Applications may be submitted by medical, allied health professionals, nurses, scientists, students and other individuals who demonstrate that they are currently in, or are pursuing research in respiratory disease, and who are financial members of the Institute for Respiratory Health. Download application.


    One grant-in-aid of up to $50,000 for one year will be available to support laboratory, clinical and epidemiological research into the causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of respiratory infections including tuberculosis. Applications may be submitted by medical, allied health professionals, nurses, scientists, students and other individuals who demonstrate that they are currently in, or are pursuing research in respiratory disease, and who are financial members of the Institute for Respiratory Health. Download application.

    For further information please contact

    Sarah Cermak
    Marketing and Communications Officer
    Tel: (08) 6151 0815 -
    Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research - Nedlands

Staff News and Events [Expand All] | [Collapse All]

  • Teaching students with socially challenging behaviours - message from CUTL

    All teaching staff are invited to attend a morning workshop on how to develop their knowledge and skills in how to handle challenging student behaviours...

    Dear School Managers, First Year Transition and Breath Unit Coordinators, and Manager of Access Programs,

    We would like to invite all unit coordinators and tutors to a morning workshop on “Teaching students with socially challenging behaviours”. By this we mean students who have socially challenging, rather than academically challenging, behaviours. These behaviours may be challenging for students, their peers, and/or tutors, and may relate to diagnosed or undiagnosed disabilities or mental health issues.
    The aim of this worksop is to provide teaching staff with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in relation to challenging student behaviours. The workshop is hands-on and will introduce key support services and resources, provide interactive discussion through scenarios and role play, and provide some tools for staff.

    The workshop is collaboratively organised and facilitated by staff from CUTL, Counselling, and Equity and Social Inclusion. 

    While we have targeted teaching staff in large first year units, any interested staff member is welcome to attend.

    Date: Friday 24th July 
    Time: 9 to 12.30
    Place: LL1.004
    Enrol via the Organisational Capability Unit - Training Course Management System.

    Please distribute this email to your tutors.

    Contact one of us for further information,


    Dr Sarah Veitch
    Phone 08 9360 7205* Email

    Dr. Karin Strehlow
    Phone: (+618) 9360 1244* Email:

    Dr James Boyd
    0061 8 9360 7531*
    Murdoch University90 South Street, MURDOCH WA 6150


  • Training on Disability Services for students on campus - message from Dr Erica Lewin, Manager Equity and Social Inclusion

    Please consider joining us for a lunchtime training session on ‘DISABILITY SERVICES FOR STUDENTS ON CAMPUS’, on 29 July...

    DATE: 29 July 2015 at 12.30 – 2 pm
    VENUE: Flexible Teaching & Learning Room - Lib NW 4.040

    This session will briefly cover:

    • What is disability? How does it impact on our students?
    • Relevant Cwth/State legislation and University policy; Disability Standards for Education 2005
    • Processes and reasonable adjustments/supports for students with disability/medical conditions

    Approx 5.5% of our students at Murdoch have a disability/medical condition and this percentage represents only those who have chosen to self-identify in this way.

    If you would like to register please go to:

    Bring along your lunch to the session if you wish.

    I’d like to add that Equity and Social Inclusion would appreciate every opportunity to meet with and provide information to staff about our role, the services we provide, and how we can work more effectively with staff. Please contact me if you would like us to come to one of your meetings during the coming weeks.

    Please also forward this information to colleagues who may be interested.

    Kind regards,

    Erica Lewin, PhD
    Manager | Equity and Social Inclusion | Academic Registrar's Office

    Phone 08 9360 6146 | Phone 08 9360 6084 |  Email:

  • IPAA Young Professional Memberships - message from Events & Sponsorships Coordinator

    Six memberships are available at the Young Institute of Public Administration Australia WA (YIPAA WA), valued at $900

    As you may or may not be aware Murdoch University is a premier corporate partner with IPAA WA. A key partnership benefit, is six (6) complimentary young professionals memberships (valued at $900)

    The memberships are open to ‘Any individual under the age of 35 years who has an interest in the practice of public administration, or who is interested in the teaching or study of public administration or related subjects. Your membership has been especially designed to provide Young Professionals within the public sector with a range of benefits that you will find useful and of value to your career development’.

    It has been brought to our attention that these memberships are as yet unallocated for 2015, and as such are opening them up for the schools to utilise. If you could please advise ASAP if you would like to take up one of these memberships for either a staff member or student I would appreciate it.

    Any queries please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

    Many thanks,

    Keryn Hagarty
    Events & Sponsorships Coordinator

    (08) 9360 6253

Seminars, Conferences and Workshops [Expand All] | [Collapse All]

  • Sir Walter Visiting Professor Nicholas Coops - on-campus event on Wednesday 15 July

    How to get your research published – Inside views from an Editor in Chief

    This highly engaging interactive talk will be presented by Sir Walter Murdoch visiting Professor, Nicholas Coops. Nicholas will present on strategies for successful peer review publication, primarily drawing from his over 7-years’ experience as the Editor in Chief of the Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing.

    The aim of this talk is to provide you with the tools that will maximise your chances of getting your work published.

    The presentation will walk you through all the essential things you should consider: from what you should put in your paper, the submission process, the review process, and (hopefully) the final publication.
    This will be a highly interactive talk, so there will be plenty of room for questions and discussion.

    Murdoch academics that have (or had) a role as an editor will be invited and are encouraged to attend to enrich the discussions with their perspectives and experiences.

    Who should attend:
    This interactive presentation will be relevant to everybody working or studying in the physical science fields and wants to publish his or her work in a peer-reviewed journal. It will be a rare opportunity to get an insight in the process of publishing a journal article from an editors’ perspective. In particular, it will be highly beneficial for Honours, Masters and PhD students, and early career researchers as well as already established academics.

    Date: Wednesday, 15 July, 15.00-16.30PM

    Location: Biological Sciences Lecture Theatre (BioSc 2.051) (

  • Lunchtime Seminar - Marine mammals and ecosystem health 

    Dr Padraig Duignan (University of Calgary, Canada) will be visiting Perth briefly next week and has kindly offered to give a lunchtime seminar...

    The lunchtime seminar title: Marine mammals and ecosystem health

    Date: Monday 13 July at 12.30 pm
    Where: VBS3.023
    - map location:

    Dr Padraig Duignan (Associate Professor, Anatomic Pathology, Ecosystem and Public Health, University of Calgary, Canada) joined University of Calgary as a wildlife pathologist in September, 2010. Dr Duignan completed his veterinary degree at University College, Dublin, Ireland and his PhD in Veterinary Pathology at the University of Guelph, Canada. He worked as a Senior Lecturer (Pathology) at the University of Melbourne, Australia before moving to Canada.

    His research interests include pathology, immunology and diseases of free-living wildlife with a particular interest in marine mammals, marsupials, bats, birds and fish as well as epidemiology of infectious diseases in wildlife populations in polar and sub-polar regions. He is also interested in studying the impact of climate change on the epidemiology of disease in populations in extreme environments or under ecological and physiological pressure. At present, his research is focused on diseases and parasites of coyotes and wolves in Alberta and the northwest territories of Canada, health of muskoxen on Arctic islands, indices of health and stress in narwhal, and toxicological effects of tar sand hydrocarbons on wild birds in Northern Alberta.

    In this talk Dr Duignan will discuss  some of his experiences in researching disease ecology, for example using narwhal as an indicator species for climate change effects in the Arctic.

  • Good Medicine - Breakfast Talk by Prof. Barry Marshall 

    Can Perth become a major biotech centre? What makes someone win through when the weight of opinion is against them?...

    From cutting edge researcher to biotech entrepreneur, Nobel laureate Professor Barry Marshall has been at the frontier of science and commercialisation for 40 years.

    Join us for breakfast and an intriguing talk with Prof. Marshall about not only his world famous discovery that bacteria (not stress as previously thought) causes ulcers, but also the fast growth of Western Australia’s fascinating biotech sector.

    Ticket sales close 28 July 2015 - Book now or Contact Rosemary on 08 9288 2139 - email:

    Date: Tuesday 4 August 2015
    Time: 7.00 am for a 7.30 am start to 9.00 am sharp
    Venue: Grand Ballroom, Hyatt Regency, 99 Adelaide Terrace, Perth

  • What is Philosophical Ethology? An afternoon symposium

    You are invited to a symposium and discussions with leading international scholars from the fields of animal studies, posthumanism and critical theory...

    Dear colleagues,

    The Centre for Culture and Technology (CCAT), the Reading Culture, Animality and Technology Discussion Group (RCAT), and the Curtin Posthumanism and Technology Research Program would like to invite you to attend an afternoon symposium and roundtable discussion with leading international scholars from the fields of posthumanism, animal studies and critical theory.

    Guest Presenters: Prof. Roberto Marchesini (Director, School of Human-Animal Interaction, Bologna, Italy), A/Prof. Brett Buchanan (Laurentian University, Canada), A/Prof. Jeffrey Bussolini (City University of New York, NY), and Dr. Matthew Chrulew (Curtin).

    Ethological research of the last few decades has taught us that “culture” and “technology” are not the unique possessions of humankind. Long-term observational studies of animals from chimpanzees to Arabian babblers have revealed among nonhuman societies a great variety of behaviours and mediations irreducible to genetic or environmental determination. These empirical findings challenge many long-held assumptions regarding the mechanicity of animal life and the exceptionality of human worlds. Yet their consequences have rarely been accounted for, let alone rigorously drawn out, among the humanities and social sciences. This half-day symposium will take a step in this direction by asking: what is philosophical ethology?

    Event details: CCAT Symposium: What is Philosophical Ethology?
    Date: Wednesday 22 July 2015
    Time: 12.30-5.00 pm. Afternoon tea will be provided

    Location: Curtin University - Kent Street, Bentley (Room TBC)

    Please RSVP your attendance by 15th July to Early responses are encouraged and appreciated as attendance is limited. 

  • 3rd Annual International Conference on Advances in Veterinary Science Research 

    You and your research students are invited to submit papers to the conference - Submission deadline is now 31 July 2015...

    The Organising Committee of the 3rd Annual International Conference on Advances in Veterinary Science Research (VETSCI 2015) invites you/your research students to submit a paper to the conference which will be held on 26th-27th October 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand.

    The extended full paper submission deadline is on 31st July 2015. Hope that provides adequate time for you to complete the paper submission. If you need more time, please let us know.

    Briefly about the VETSCI 2015 Conference:

    • Keynote Address will be delivered by Prof. Wayne R. Hein "The role of research in undergraduate veterinary education" Head of School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences Dean of Roseworthy School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Roseworthy Campus The University of Adelaide, Australia
    • Keynote Address will be delivered by Dr. John Williams, "Livestock production in the post genomic era", JS Davies Research Chair, School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, University of Adelaide, Australia
    • Best Paper Awards and Best Student Paper Awards will be conferred at the conference (in order to qualify for the award, the paper must be presented at the conference).
    • VETSCI 2015 will also constitute a Special Panel Session.

    Should you have other questions, please feel free to contact us.

    Warm Regards,

    Natalie Tan
    Programme Manager
    Global Science and Technology Forum
    10 Anson Road, International Plaza,
    #13-12, Singapore- 079903
    Phone: +65 6327 0165

VLS Announcements No. 045