Lifestyle

Chief Scientist visits SCU

NSW Chief Scientist Mary O'Kane.
NSW Chief Scientist Mary O'Kane. supplied

THE NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Professor Mary O'Kane, is the guest of honour at the Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor's Awards for Excellence gala function being held at the Lismore campus tonight.

The MC is ABC North Coast Breakfast presenter, Justine Frazier.

The Southern Cross University VC Awards for Excellence, now in their second year, recognise excellence by researchers, academics and professional staff across the University's key areas of teaching and learning, research, performance, and community engagement.

Professor O'Kane acknowledged the critical role the University played in instilling excellence in its students by highlighting outstanding contributions made by the students' lecturers and researchers.

"I encourage the University to build on this excellence and embrace the notion of 'innovation education'," she said.

Professor O'Kane said innovation education was one way to address Australia's productivity growth problem and improve the country's capacity for innovation.

"In essence, we are good at teaching and generating knowledge but not good at translating knowledge into wealth, turning it into skills, products and services," she said.

Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee welcomed Professor O'Kane to the University to help acknowledge and celebrate excellence.

"The University strives to develop a high performance culture in an environment which encourages collaboration and the free exchange of ideas," he said.

Professor O'Kane was appointed NSW's first Chief Scientist and Engineer in 2008. Among her responsibilities are to lift the quality and level of scientific activity in NSW, and champion the state's future workforce needs across science, engineering and innovation.

Southern Cross University is offering a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from 2013 to equip students with the relevant skills and knowledge to provide a range of professional services in civil engineering, and in particular, those skills of most relevance in regional and rural communities. The degree is being launched at the Northern Rivers Science and Engineering Challenge on June 7.

Professor O'Kane is an advocate for a more innovative education and research and development system - what she calls a 'knowledge generation framework' - where students of all ages are taught generic skills to help foster a culture of entrepreneurialism in our country.

"By fixing the problems of tomorrow and building the companies, leaders, products of our economic future, this means working out the skills, capabilities and attitudes that we need to teach today," said the state's top scientist.

Awards will be given for staff contributions in five categories at the Southern Cross University VC Awards for Excellence in 2011:

• VC Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
• VC Award for Excellence in Research
• VC Award for Excellence in Early and Mid Career Researcher
• VC Award for Professional Staff Performance
• VC Award for Community Engagement

The finalists in each category follow.

FINALISTS

VC Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in 2011
Dr David Lloyd and Dr Kristin den Exter from the School of Environment, Science & Engineering
For sustained innovative approaches to authentic learning in support of a trans-disciplinary discourse in environmental science and management.

Dr Kathryn Taffs from the School of Environment, Science & Engineering
For creating a pathway to a profession, using community engagement to motivate, inspire and prepare students for careers in environmental science.

The Work Integrated Learning Team from the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management: Andrea Boyle, Julia Caldicott, Joanne Cooper, Vashti Stival, Maree Walo, Leanne Baker, Sarah Biersteker, Rebecca Brown, Sharen Nisbet, and Dr Matthew Lamont
For pioneering and sustaining student-centred, transformative, work-enriched experiential learning opportunities in tourism and hospitality management.

Raina Mason, Tim Comber and Joanne Phythian from the Southern Cross Business School
For successfully reaching out and empowering current and future female students to pursue Information Technology studies.

VC Award for Excellence in Research in 2011
Professor Anne Graham in the Centre for Children and Young People in the School of Education

Professor Nerilee Hing in the Centre for Gambling Education and Research in the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management

Dr Scott Johnston, Associate Professor in the Southern Cross GeoScience special research centre

VC Award for Excellence for Early and Mid Career Researcher in 2011
Dr Isaac Santos in the Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry Research

Dr Joanne Oakes in the Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry Research

Associate Professor Anja Scheffers in the Southern Cross GeoScience special research centre

VC Award for Professional Staff Performance in 2011
Dr Alison King from the National Marine Science Centre

Danielle Scott from Financial and Business Services

Zoe Platt from the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor

Margie Wallin from the University Library (Coffs Harbour campus)

Yolanta Higgins from HR Services

VC Award for Community Engagement in 2011
The finalists are recipients of the inaugural 2011 Excellence in Community Engagement Awards.

Academic Impact: Professor Baden Offord, School of Arts and Social Sciences
For activating citizenship in regional high school students by inspiring their commitment to human rights, social justice and freedom of inquiry through a student led human rights forum.

Leadership: Dr Judith Wilks in the School of Education
For Coffs Harbour's Young Ambassadors for Design: Promoting confidence, active civics and citizenship, and raising the higher education participation aspirations of young people from backgrounds of disadvantage.

Community Engaged Learning: Dr Kathryn Taffs in the School of Environment, Science & Engineering
For a collaborative community partnership providing inspirational student learning experiences that promote successful careers in wetland management.

Community Engaged Research: Dr Frances Doran in the School of Health and Human Sciences.
For collaborative research with Lismore and District Women's Health Centre to evaluate a community based pregnancy and postnatal group and establish a similar group with Aboriginal women.

BIO FOR PROFESSOR MARY O'KANE
Professor Mary O'Kane is the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer and also Executive Chairman of Mary O'Kane & Associates Pty Ltd, a Sydney-based company providing strategic advice to governments, universities and the private sector.

She is also Chair of the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy, Chair of the Development Gateway and the Development Gateway International, Chair of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Spatial Information, and a director of PSMA Ltd, the Capital Markets CRC and Business Events Sydney.

Professor O'Kane was Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide from 1996-2001 and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) from 1994-96. Before that, she was Dean of the Faculty of Information Sciences and Engineering at the University of Canberra. She is a former member of the Australian Research Council, the Co-operative Research Centres (CRC) Committee, the board of FH Faulding & Co Ltd and the board of the CSIRO. She is Vice President of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and a Fellow of Engineers Australia.

Topics:  education science southern cross university



FOUND: 10 swimming spots to help you cool down

Jack Callaghan, of Ballina, enjoying the water at Killen Falls.
Photo Contributed

Looking for a place to swim to cool down from this crazy heatwave?

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of Ballina show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

This is why we will keep writing shark stories

ONCE BITTEN: Evans Head resident Craig Ison with the board he was riding when he was attacked by a great white shark at Main Beach.

The media is constantly accused of sensationalising the shark issue

Local Partners

Back to school: Get your family ready

IT'S that time of year again: School holidays are drawing to a close and term time fast approaches.


Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of Ballina show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Ahoy! The Wooden Boat Festival is on its way

Members of the Richmond River Rowing & Sailing Club admire Mark Pierce's boat Northbridge Junior, ahead of the 2017 Wooden Boat Festival on Australia Day. Back row, from left, is Mark Pierce, Jacqueline Heap, Commodore Phil Robbins and James Kalaf. At front, from left, is Tony Pullyn, George Renault, David Bowler, Geoff Benson and Maurice Renault.

Australia Day event a must-see for fans of timber craft

Northern Rivers murder mystery takes out award at Flickerfest

MURDER MYSTERY: Northern Rivers young actress Yasmin Honeychurch in a still from the award-wiining film In a Canefield by Emily Avila and Coralie Tapper.

Finding'little star' brought film shoot to the region.

Why Emma Watson turned down Cinderella

Emma Watson in a scene from the movie Beauty and the Beast.

HARRY Potter star has standards when it comes to Disney princesses.

Wonder Woman a ‘disjointed disaster’, says DC insider

Gal Gadot in a scene from the movie Wonder Woman.

INSIDER says the much-hyped blockbuster will disappoint.

Kid nails Swift impersonation

Seven-year-old Xia Vigor nails Taylor Swift impersonation on the Philippine talent show Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids.

TAYLOR Swift has a seven-year-old doppelganger.

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of Ballina show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Ariana Grande 'hardest working 23-year-old on Earth'?

Ariana Grande

Not everyone was impressed with Grande’s self-proclaimed work ethic

Why The Walking Dead cast are paid a pittance

Despite massive ratings the cast haven't been shown the money

'That’s the nature of commercial reality': Lismore council

GAME CHANGER: The $13 million proposal by Quest proposal is for a three-storey complex featuring 41 serviced apartments, 53 on-site carparks, 24-hour on-site management, a gymnasium and modern guest facilities.

"It's a shame the development is no longer on the table"

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

LAND VALUES: Figures reveal how much your property is worth

Land values in Ballina have increased over the past 12 months.

Property in one Northern Rivers town has increased by almost 14%

6 new estates to build a home on the Northern Rivers

Land estates are available now on the Northern Rivers with some stages opening up soon.

Looking for a place to put down roots and raise a family?

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!