VLS Announcements 112 - 4 November 2016

Dear Colleagues,

On Tuesday evening Dr Garth Maker received a Young Tall Poppy Science Award for his work determining the components of traditional Chinese medicines. Garth was also recognised for his active communication of his research on both local and national radio as well as on television, print and online. I would like to congratulate Garth on this impressive award.

This week also saw Professor Jan Thomas presented with a distinguished alumni award. The distinguished alumni award recognises the outstanding achievements of Murdoch alumni. For those not aware, at graduation Jan was Australia’s youngest veterinarian and since graduation Jan’s career has lead her to hold the position of Deputy Vice Chancellor at both Murdoch and at the University of Notre Dame Australia, and currently Jan holds the position of Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer at the University of Southern Queensland.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) announced their grants this week. Congratulations to Professor Robert Trengrove, Professor John Pluske and Professor Merrilee Needham who have been awarded $2,168,000 to lead a project to establish a new biological screening centre, Professor Neal Enright and Dr Joe Fontaine have been awarded a Discovery grant for $536,000 to lead a project studying fire-climate interaction effects on plant species persistence and to Dr Jatin Kala who has been awarded a DECRA valued at $304,000 to help manage and reduce the social, environmental and economic effects of heat waves. Sam Abraham, Geoff Combs and Mark O’Dea were also part of a successful LIEF bid led by the University of Adelaide to establish reference laboratories as biobanks and set up a national research network to mitigate antimicrobial resistance in animals, and Dr Joel Gummer, Dr Garth Maker and Dr Navid Moheimani are co-investigators on a LIEF project worth $410,000 which will help WA researchers participate in the precision single-cell based research driving biology worldwide.

Finally I would like to thank all of our academic staff and student advisors who guided and assisted students at re-enrolment day yesterday. These events are important for student retention and it is appreciated when staffs are able to make time to support the school.

Kind regards

David Hampson
Dean, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences.

Submissions for the announcements can be made by emailing Mhairi Finlayson COB each Tuesday for publication Thursday

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]

  • Early Career Researcher Representatives for School Research Committee: Call for Nominations

    Professor Giles Hardy, the Chair of the School Research Committee is calling for two Early Career Researcher representatives to nominate for the 2017 representative for the School Research Committee. Nominees are asked to forward their expression of interest by email to Jacqueline Dyer by Friday 11th of November.

    The ECR Rep will have a portfolio that will include activities and initiatives as decided by the Committee and Associate Dean (Research) that further the research development of Early Career Researchers and are in keeping with the School’s strategic research initiatives.

  • Supervisor Enhancement Workshops (SEW) - Change of date

    Due to unforeseen circumstances the Supervisor Enhancement Workshop (SEW) on Tuesday 22nd November, 2016 has been moved to the following week, Tuesday the 29th November. Confirming the next series of SEW workshops will be presented on –
    Tuesday, 29th November, 2016 in the ECL Building 460 Postgraduate Suites ECL Room 2.031 at 9.00 am to 12.00 noon; and
    Tuesday, 6th December, 2016 in the ECL Building 460 Postgraduate Suites ECL Room 2.031 at 9.00 am to 12.00 noon.

    In order to meet research training educational standards expectations under a range of national mandated and best practise policies, the Research Degrees and Scholarships Committee (RDSC) of the university has approved the implementation of a compulsory supervisor professional development program (don’t be alarmed – it is one 3-hour workshop once every 4 years) as part of the requirements for academic staff to be listed on the approved register of supervisors.

    The attached document provides details of the background to development of the Workshop program, and identifies how it will be rolled out over the next few years.

    As per the roll-out information in the attached document, we require academic staff who fall in to the first cohort for Workshop completion - i.e. all staff who are not eligible to act as a Principal Supervisor, and have not been required to complete the EPS (Enhancing Postgraduate Supervision) program - to attend a workshop session this year if they wish to continue to be eligible to supervise graduate research degree students. We encourage all academic staff who have not completed EPS within the last 4 years (or are not currently undertaking EPS) to attend a workshop as soon as possible so that they are fully informed about current policy, procedures and issues relating to GRD supervision. If you are unable to attend these workshops in February, further workshops will be held later in 2016 (dates to be confirmed).

    There are still spaces in both workshops.

  • Regional Collaborations Programme - Asia–Pacific

    The Australian Academy of Science has opened the call for applications for Round One of the Regional Collaborations Programme, closing date of 9am (AEDT) Monday 16 January 2017.

    Regional Collaborations Programme

    The Australian Academy of Science invites eligible Australian research organisations and Australian businesses to apply for funding through Round One of the Regional Collaborations Progarmme.

    The programme will fund Australian participants from eligible organisations to collaborate with regional and international science, research and innovation partners on solutions to shared regional challenges within the Asia–Pacific regions. The programme is designed to be flexible, with no set minimum or maximum funding requirements for project applications. This approach has been adopted to help foster innovative ideas and collaborations. The $3.2 million four-year programme will support single-year or multi-year collaborative, multi-partner projects and non-project aligned collaborative workshops.

    Although there is no set minimum or maximum total project cost requirement, projects must include matched funding of 1:1 (cash only). For example, if an applicant seeks $25,000 of programme funding, then the project proponents would need to contribute another $25,000 (cash), bringing the total value of the project to $50,000.

    Although there are no mandated priority areas from which to draw research topics, please consider the national Science and Research Priorities and associated practical research challenges, along with regional challenges identified through multilateral fora such as eAsia, Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the East Asia Summit.

    The deadline for applications close on 9am (AEDT) Monday 16 January 2017. Further information including eligibility criteria and the application form can be found here:

    For any enquiries, please contact the Grants Team

  • Proposal to end ECM Moodle Integration

    The University currently makes use of Sharepoint 2010 as an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system. There is a means to link to files stored in the ECM from within the Learning Management System (Moodle).

    Due to technical limitations, a decision has been endorsed by the Learning and Teaching Committee to discontinue the current integration between ECM and Moodle early next year.

    If academics in your school do not make use of ECM within your Moodle units then you will not be affected by the changes.

    What this means for academics in your school:

    • They will not be able to add documents from the ECM Unit Materials and ECM Common Content repositories directly from the Moodle File Picker.
    • If they wish to continue using ECM to manage content and want to add a file to Moodle then they will need to download it from the ECM then upload/drag and drop it directly to Moodle.
    • If they need to link a single file to multiple unit offerings in Moodle they will need to make use of “file aliasing” capability that exists within Moodle. We will provide help material on how to do this.
    • Current links to ECM content in Moodle will be copied to Moodle to ensure documents are still accessible and the links don’t break for students or staff.

    Uploading all unit files directly to Moodle fulfils most of the needs of day to day unit content management. However, we acknowledge that there may be a business need for sharing of content and we need to better understand your requirements so that we can design a fit-for-purpose solution in the longer term.

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

  • Academic Registrar's Office (ARO) Weekly Newsletter #43 - 31 October

    Please find attached, the ARO newsletter for the week beginning 31 October.

  • Chemical Management 2016 for action

    The Chemical and Hazardous Substances Committee met recently in September 2016 and proposed an upcoming chemical audit and amnesty to be held over a three month period (September to end of November 2016).

    All laboratory managers as per the attached Chemical Management v3 MUR-SAF-SPR-INV-2016 register are required to make a list of all chemicals within their laboratory utilizing the attached Chemwatch Manifest MUR-SAF-SPR-CMA-2016 inventory register.

    Any surplus chemicals can be disposed of through the Science Store (Physical Sciences, Room 1.016) or held until the chemical amnesty with the assistance of the Murdoch Safety Team towards the end of the year.

    All areas such as laboratory, workshops and stores must maintain a chemical register (list of chemicals), which includes a list of all chemicals in the area including quantity and location. A list of designated “hazardous substances” assessed as hazardous according to the assessment criteria produced by the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission must also be kept and included in the chemical register.

    This list of all chemicals in each area is maintained and available electronically in the university “Chemwatch” Chemical Management System in which the safety team will provide some upcoming training.

    The Chemwatch audit process is outlined in the attached presentation Chemical Management Audit Rollout MUR-SAF-PRE-CMA-2016 and will cover all chemicals within the area and ensure the existing SDS’s are up to date.

    Please see the attached documents: 
    CREDO Quick Start Guide
    Chemwatch Process Flow
    Chemwatch Implementation Plan
    Chemical Audit and Chemical Amnesty

  • End of Year Processing Deadlines- IMPORTANT DATES for action

    The Finance Support Team (FST) and the Central Finance Office need your support in achieving a successful end of year process. You can assist us to meet your requirements by ensuring documentation is submitted as early as possible and at the latest by the deadlines below (click on title to expand section)

    Accounts Payable
    Due Monday, 12th December 2016
    Includes all invoices for payment and staff/student reimbursements.
    Invoices for goods or services delivered in 2016, that are submitted to the FST from 12th to 22nd December 2016 will be accrued in the same year.
    Note: payment will most likely not reach supplier account until 2017.
    If goods or services are delivered in 2016 without invoice, please advise your Financial Analyst by the 5th January 2017 to be managed as part of the 2016 accrual process.

    Purchasing Card Acquittals
    Due Friday, 9th December 2016
    To guarantee processing of your 2016 transactions in the current year, every endeavour should be made to ensure purchases can be captured on your November statement, to be submitted to the FST for processing by the 9th December deadline.
    The 9th December deadline is to allow as much time as possible to process cost in the 2016 year. The FST cannot guarantee this will occur for purchasing card acquittals received after this date.
    Time permitting, expenses >$2k post your November statement that relate to goods or services delivered to site, or travel that has happened in 2016, will be managed as part of the 2016 accrual process. We shall provide an interim statement to you on the 15th December 2016. Please review and submit by 19th December only if accrual is essential. You will need to provide a copy of the invoice, account code to charge and business purpose.

    Other Functions
    Accounts Receivable Due Wednesday, 14th December 2016 All invoice requests (Form 485).
    Note: - Continue to send in your invoice requests after the deadline that relate to services provided in 2016 and we will manage as part of the 2016 accrual process.
    Asset Acquisition & Disposal Due Wednesday, 30th November 2016.
    All purchases post this date by Wednesday, 21st December 2016
    This will ensure all costs associated with an asset are recognised in 2016.
    Journal Requests Due Friday 23rd December 2016 Relates to internal charges, transfer of cost between accounts, posting code corrections, etc.
    Cash to be Banked Due Thursday, 22nd December 2016 Deliver to Central Finance by 12 pm – Chancellery Building, Level 3.

    Finance One and Concur Approvers: timely approvals in Finance One and Concur are critical to achieving the deadlines so as not to delay the end process – your assistance is appreciated.

    If you have any concerns regarding the above deadlines or need further clarification, please contact Ellie Meek, Annette Baker-Forrow or Jeremy McCraw in the Finance Support Team (FST).

  • VLS Poster Day

    VLS Poster Day is approaching; the posters will be displayed from Monday 7th November till Wednesday 9th November in the Library Foyer. All HDR Students have been emailed, could supervisors please encourage their students to participate.

    Date: Wednesday 9th November
    Time: 2pm till 3pm
    Venue: Library Foyer
    RSVP: As drinks and nibbles are provided RSVPs are essential. Please RSVP by 2nd November to

    If you wish to invite any external guests please send their contact information including email to Mhairi Finlayson, VLS Marketing and Communications Coordinator ( for a formal invitation to be sent.

    More information is available on the Poster Day page of the website.

  • Crawford Fund Networking Event

    You are invited to the Crawford Fund networking event

    Date: Tuesday 8th November
    Time: 6pm
    Where: Learning Link Building [513], Ground Floor
    RSVP: RSVP to
    See attached flyer

    Please see the attached application forms for the Crawford Fund Student International Award and the Crawford Fund International Training Award. Applications will be considered in early December this year.

  • Recent Changes in People and Culture Office - Message from Rachel Murphy

    I would like to inform you that Cherry McNicol is the new Senior Human Resources Advisor for the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences. Although I have only spent a short time with your area, I have enjoyed working with you and will no doubt have an opportunity to work with you again sometime in the future. Melissa and I will be meeting with Cherry to provide a handover.

    If you have any HR queries, please direct them to Cherry on ext 2601 or, Genene Ringelstein will continue to be the Recruitment Officer.

  • School of Business and Governance October Newsletter

    Please find attached the latest staff newsletter from the School of Business and Governance.

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

  • The Royal Society of Western Australia (RSWA) presents Crime Scenes: Clues from Nature – Dr Paola Magni

    Date: 21st November 2016
    Time: 7pm
    Venue: Kings Park Administration Building

    More information is available on the attached flyer.

    Dr Paola Magni
    Lecturer in Forensic Science, School of Veterinary & Life Sciences, Murdoch University
    Investigators have the job to reconstruct the events of a crime and identify its cause. Despite movies showing a different and of course exciting perspective, it is not as easy a job as portrayed. The reason is because investigators have to confront the uniqueness of each crime scenario, a combination of the particular aspects of the place where the crime occurs, environmental conditions and organisms involved. The crime scene is not a closed system and the presence and activity of plants, animals and microorganisms can modify the crime scene by adding and erasing information. However, information left by nature – if correctly interpreted and contextualized – can also provide useful clues for the investigation process because they can characterize the time, the manner and the people involved in these events.

    A number of real cases will be presented in which insects, crustaceans, molluscs, microorganisms and plants were witnesses to a crime and were used as key evidence in the success of the investigation.