VLS Announcements 146 - 14 July 2017

Dear Colleagues,

My long awaited retirement has been announced. I will finish at the end of September and Professor Richard Harper will step into the role of Acting Dean for a period of six months.

Congratulations to our team who attended the Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging (ICMJ). Murdoch came in 3rd place overall, behind Texas A&M University and University of Melbourne.

This year the Interfaculty Staff Games is the 1st September. See the "Staff News and Events" section for more information.

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 actionClick on [Expand All/Collapse All] below to view the entire stories.

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

  • Educational Technologies Steering Group

    Tara Smith from the School of Business and Governance is chairing this group, which will examine how educational technology investments (money and resourcing) are made at Murdoch. We are looking for a representative from VLS, so if you are interested please contact Mike Calver in the first instance. This role attracts 25 points in the WLM.

  • Workload Model for New Employees

    A reminder for all new VLS academics to contact Emma Thorp ( in regards to the workload model.

  • Update on Policy/Process Changes - Graduate Research Office

    At is meeting on the 28th June 2017, the Research Committee approved the following changes to current procedures recommended to them by Research Degrees and Scholarships Committee (RDSC).

    1. Research Degree Scholarships Pre-allocation Policy and Procedure
      This procedure will be used in the forthcoming international and domestic scholarship rounds (October and November of this year) for scholarships commencing from January 2018. It is essential that Schools develop their own internal procedure for ranking applications in time for this round. Full details are in the attached document.
    2. Pre-Submission Seminar
      All doctoral research degree candidates enrolled after 1st January 2014 (i.e. under the Advisory Committee candidature management structure), and who have a candidature end date on or after 1st January 2018 must comply with this new milestone requirement. For students due to complete early in 2018 this means scheduling their pre-completion seminar as early as October 2017. Further details of the requirement are provided in the attachment.
    3. Digital Thesis
      Murdoch University’s Graduate Research Degrees Procedures stipulate that students must deposit one print copy for binding and one digital copy of their thesis in the University Library before conferral of degree. Students will now only have to deposit one digital copy, with the Library, effective immediately.
      The benefits for Murdoch associated with a change of procedure are:
      • Simpler, quicker and cheaper submission process for students;
      • International students are not disadvantaged, as digital theses can be submitted from anywhere in the world;
      • A more streamlined, efficient and easier to administer process for the University.
    4. Risk Assessment for Murdoch Processes (RAMP)
      In discussion with the Safety in Research Teaching Office, the RDSC have agreed to have the RAMP process included as a compulsory Component of the Confirmation of Candidature (Coc). If students have not registered with the SRT Office they will be asked to do so before CoC is approved.
  • Murdoch Marine Scientists Head North

    An enthusiastic delegation of Murdoch marine scientists attended the annual conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association in Darwin last week ( ).

    The conference was attended by 340 delegates many of whom were attracted by the wide range of translational science on offer. Dr Fiona Valesini convened a symposium on "Sustainable estuaries and societal benefits: linkages, challenges and future trade-offs" which drew in scientists and managers from all around Australia. She and Dr Chris Hallett gave presentations in this symposium as did PhD student Sian Glazier. Dr Halina Kobryn and Prof Lynnath Beckley communicated some aspects of their recent research on values and human use of the Kimberley coast in the WAMSI symposium on "Integrating science to support management in the Kimberley". Erin McCosker shared the results of her recent MSc project about oceanographic influences on the coastal zooplankton at the Ningaloo, Rottnest and Esperance national reference stations in the Integrated Marine Observing System symposium. Dr Margaret Andrew ventured into the marine spatial planning arena and presented her work which used remote sensing to detect sea eagle nests in the Abrolhos Islands. Lynnath also convened a symposium on "Migratory fishes and their fisheries" which attracted a diverse array of talks including some by Indonesian delegates on their extensive tuna fisheries as well as a particularly interesting one on the restoration of traditional Indigenous stone traps for the capture of eels which migrate from the ocean into the coastal waterways of Victoria. The very successful conference concluded with delegates kicking up their heels at the final dinner held outdoors in balmy, tropical conditions under a full moon in the lush Darwin Botanic Gardens. The AMSA conference will return to Perth in July 2019 and will offer many opportunities for Murdoch marine scientists to be involved and showcase their research.

    conference attendees

    Photo - Seen at the Australian Marine Sciences Conference in Darwin: Left to right, Dr Margaret Andrew, Dr Fiona Valesini, Sian Glazier, Dr Chris Hallett, Dr Halina Kobryn, Prof Lynnath Beckley and Erin McCosker.

  • Calls for Expressions of Interest: ARC and NHMRC 2017/2018
    1. Murdoch University runs an internal Expression of Interest (EOI) process for applications to the ARC and NHMRC schemes. The Office of Research and Innovation is now calling for EOIs from researchers who are intending to submit to the ARC: Future Fellowships, Discovery Projects, Discovery Indigenous and DECRA and to the NHMRC schemes - including Projects and Fellowships.
    2. ARC Future Fellowships. Please note the internal EOI deadline for the ARC Future Fellowship is 10:00am, 21st August 2017 using the appropriate EOI scheme form and submitted to
    3. Information workshops - The Research and Innovation Office is holding a series of workshops during the week 17th to 20th July 2017 to provide information that will assist Murdoch staff who wish to submit an application to the next ARC and NHMRC major rounds. Further details and registration. Those intending to submit to apply to the next DECRA round are strongly advised to attend the DECRA workshop.
    4. ARC Discovery Projects - For those submitting to the ARC Discovery Projects please note the much earlier deadlines for submissions to the next round.
    5. PLEASE READ the attached documents (Deadlines for the ARC and NHMRC Major Grant Rounds 2017 and 2018 and Submission Guidelines for ARC and NHRMC 2017 and 2018) for important information about this process, policy, when to submit an EOI or IRMA coversheet, deadlines, requirements and the assessment of EOIs.
    6. 6Applicants should discuss their intention to submit an application with their Associate Dean of Research in the first instance. Applicants who are uncertain whether they are required to submit an EOI or an IRMA coversheet as per the attached guidelines should discuss this with the Grants team.
  • ARC and NHMRC Information Workshops w/c 17th July 2017

    The Research and Innovation Office is holding a series of workshops during the week 17th to 20th July 2017 to provide information that will assist Murdoch staff who wish to submit an application to the next ARC and NHMRC major rounds.

    The workshops will focus on:

    1. NHMRC Project Grants, including the NHMRC Grant Program major restructure
    2. ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)
    3. ARC Discovery Project
    4. ARC Linkage Project

    We will shortly be calling the internal Expression of Interest process for applications to the ARC and NHMRC and those intending to submit to apply to the next DECRA round are strongly advised to attend the workshop.

    If you intend to submit an Expression of Interest for application to the next Future Fellowship round, please get in touch with Jane Crier

    Please register below –
    Workshop First Offer Second Offer
    ARC DECRA Monday, 17th July 2017
    10:00 – 12:30
    Senate 121.1.002
    Thursday, 20th July 2017
    10:00 – 12:30
    ARC Discovery Projects Friday, 21st July 2017
    10:00 – 12:30
    Senate 121.1.002
    ARC Linkage Projects Tuesday, 18th July 2017
    10:00 – 12:30
    NHMRC Grant Program Changes and Project Grants 19th July 2017
    09:30 – 12:30

    Any queries, please contact Jane Crier directly.

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

  • Perth Science Festival 2017 - Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th August - message from Outreach

    The Perth Science Festival is coming up, on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th of August, from 10am-4pm. We are looking for interactive displays and activations, and potential staff members that may like to operate such displays, or to briefly visit throughout the day, or are happy to leave displays for student ambassadors and outreach officers to run. The festival goes from 10-4pm so we will split the day into 2 shifts for those that would like to participate; 10am-1pm and 1pm-4pm.

    So far from VLS, we will have Narelle Dybing with an interactive Parasite display, and we will have our (fake) sheep out for people to take photos with. We also have Christophe Cleguer presenting a lecture on Drones and Dugongs on Sunday in the Art Gallery of WA as part of the festival. Kirsty Bayliss has some awesome ideas around food security and mouldy food displays so I have been talking to her about having that at the festival. There is the possibility that we could run the usual forensic display such as facial reconstruction, as well as the Legumes display (created by Sofie De Myer) to add to Food Security/Biosecurity.

    If you are have any ideas for this event or would like to run an activity please contact Julia Lees (

  • Acting University Librarian - message from Darren McKee

    I confirm that following the end of Peter Green's secondment with us from Curtin University on 21 July 2017, Helen Fitzgerald will take up the role of Acting University Librarian for the period of three months. During this three months, recruitment for the new Director will be finalised. You will be pleased to know that the search for a new leader of our Library Services has already commenced.

    Helen joined Murdoch University in early 2016 as Manager Research & Resources and has previously acted in the role of University Librarian. Helen commenced her Library career at Griffith University, and has since gained broad experience across the Library sector. Helen has worked at the State Libraries of Queensland and Western Australia, as well as metropolitan libraries in Queensland and Western Australia, winning awards for innovation and quality library programs, including the Library Board of Western Australia’s award for excellence and innovation.

    Helen’s experience comes from a diverse background. She holds a Bachelor of Human Movement Studies (Hons), a Graduate Diploma Library and Information Studies and, for over a decade, operated a successful community based arts business.

    I appreciate your support for Helen during this period, and in turn Helen and I will ensure we continue to invest in the future of our University Library services.

  • Update to the Universities Human Resources Information System (HRIS)

    The People & Culture Office has recently completed a highly anticipated update to the University’s Human Resources Information System (HRIS). The system is what powers all P&C services and as such will provide a new and more user-friendly experience on platforms such as MyHR and the P&C Support Portal.

    Please note, the system update has also come with some browser compatibility teething issues. Should any staff have difficulty accessing MyHR or other P&C support platforms, please try accessing information utilising Mozilla Firefox, which has been identified as the current preferred browser.

  • 2017 ZAFU and NWAFU Study Program Opening Ceremony

    Our School is currently hosting a 4-weeks study program between 14th July and 11th August. A group of 37 students and 4 academic staff members are from the Zhejiang Agricultural and Forestry University (ZAFU) and North West Agriculture and Forestry University (NWAFU). Murdoch University have been developing a strategic partnership with ZAFU and NWAFU over the last years and establishing joint research projects and interdisciplinary collaboration. This is the sixth time we are hosting students for this study program.

    During their visit, the students will be exposed to various aspects of our work, through lectures, lab demonstrations, WA Government Departments, Industry and Farm visits. Dr Wei Xu and Ms Linda Wu (R&D Office) are coordinating the study program this year. Both Wei and Linda are likely to contact several of you to invite participation in this year’s exercise. Thank you in advance for your supports and cooperation.

  • Annual Staff Games

    The Annual Staff Games are happening on Friday 1st September 12 noon till 5pm with a trophy presentation/BBQ in the tavern afterwards. Registration is open at

  • Academic Registrar's Office (ARO) Newsletter #21

    Please see the attached ARO Newsletter for week beginning 10 July.

  • School of Business and Governance Newsletter - June

    Please see the attached ARO Newsletter for June and the School Board Membership List and BPO Introduction June 2017 documents referenced.

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

  • Triaging students' needs & Adaptive responses to diverse student behaviours

    Learning Support (CUTL) has collaborated with Counselling (Murdoch Health), SAN (Student Advisor Network), ESI (Equity and Social Inclusion) and others to provide the following workshops for unit coordinators and tutors:

    Triaging students’ needs
    The workshop considers the diversity of students’ needs and some of the ways that unit coordinators and tutors can recognize these and respond accordingly. The workshop is jointly facilitated by Learning Support (CUTL), SAN (Student Advisors), Counselling (Murdoch University Health), and Equity and Social Inclusion. August 29th and September 26th. Enrol in TCMS.

    Adaptive responses to diverse student behaviours
    This workshop has a focus on socially and emotionally challenging, rather than academically challenging, student 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 workshop is hands-on and will introduce key support services and resources, provide interactive discussion through scenarios and role play, and introduce some tools for staff. The workshop is collaboratively organised and facilitated by staff from CUTL, Counselling, Equity & Social Inclusion, Kulbardi, and Business & Governance. 27th July. Enrol in TCMS.

  • Visiting Behavioural Scientist Invitation Lunchtime Seminar Helping Shelter Dogs 20 July 2017

    Murdoch University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the Centre for Advanced Veterinary Education (CAVE) invite you to attend a lunchtime seminar with visiting Behavioural Scientist, Professor Clive Wynne from Arizona State University.

    Topic: Helping Shelter Dogs

    Over the past decade, my students and I have carried out numerous research projects seeking cost-effective ways to help dogs in shelters find abiding human homes. I will discuss several projects in which we have investigated the influence of dog behaviour on adopter decisions both inside and outside the kennel. Having ascertained the behaviours that people find attractive and repellent, we then performed several interventions to improve dog behaviour and adoption rates. I will also report on the impact of breed labels on people’s adoption decisions, as well as studies in progress on stress in shelter dogs and its impact on behaviour.

    Date: Thursday 20th July 2017
    Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm
    Location: 250.3.024 (Veterinary Biology Building)

    Please RSVP here.