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Rob and Sue Tucker … taking their training skills to Nepal.
Two long-term Charles Darwin University staffers have packed their bags for the Himalaya where they will spend their long-service leave as voluntary trainers in Nepalese mountain villages.
Alice Springs couple Rob and Sue Tucker described their impending four-month sojourn as a “holiday with a difference”.
“We’ll be taking up a short-term training opportunity that matches our skills as adult and vocational education trainers with some of their learning needs,” said Rob, the head of the automotive department at Alice Springs campus.
“I’ll deliver training in small engines, maintenance and general mechanical repairs to teenage boys in two or three orphanages,” he said.
“Sue will assist health and community development staff improve their word-processing, typing, report writing and IT skills.”
Based in the mid-western Nepalese city of Nepalgunj, the Tuckers will support two Christian organisations, the International Nepal Fellowship and the Maya Sadan Centre.
“Three years ago, when we were last there, we identified an opportunity to support the local community in passing on our skills,” Rob said.
“We found them to be a warm and welcoming people and we realised we had a desire to do something for them in terms of bettering their lifestyle.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have the resources, employment conditions and opportunity to do this; to give something back.”
It is the second trip to the tiny landlocked nation for Rob, and the third for Sue, a VET Developer who has worked for CDU in Alice Springs for the past 14 years.
“It’s a country that hits you in the face,” said Sue, who first visited 25 years ago.
“The incredibly bright clothes, the colourful foods in the markets, the smell of the food and the spices, it’s a place that affronts every sense.”
Rob and Sue said they were also looking forward to trekking in the Annapurna region, and possibly catching a glimpse of Mt Everest before their return to the Red Centre in the New Year.
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With post-traumatic stress disorder affecting almost one million Australians every year, QUT Health Clinics and the White Cloud Foundation have today launched a free clinic of exercise training for sufferers.
From 2016, students enrolled in the new Bachelor of Music programme at the University of Melbourne will have the choice to specialise in any discipline, including: Music Performance, Composition, Musicology/Ethnomusicology, Jazz and Improvisation, or Interactive Composition.
A PhD candidate has received a prestigious Graduate Women Victoria (GWV) scholarship for conducting innovative cancer research while juggling a role as a mother of three young children.
Charlett Giuliani of the College of Health and Biomedicine was awarded $7000 under the GWV’s William and Elizabeth Fisher Scholarship – the highest amount of all scholarships to be offered by the organisation in 2015.
She is the first VU student to receive a GWV scholarship.
“Many mothers give up on their dreams and aspirations for their families and it can take courage to put oneself first for a change,” she said.
The Tarneit resident returned to study as a mature-aged student and is now doing ground-breaking research related to breast cancer cells. Her work focuses on the process of ‘autophagy’ or ‘self-eating’ that cancer cells use to stay alive and thrive.
“Autophagy is a normal process for all cells that are stressed, but it is absolutely essential to cancer cells – the more aggressive the cancer cells, the more they depend on it,” she explained.
Charlett is looking into inhibitors that slow or even prevent autophagy in cancer cells to use in future cancer treatment as an alternative to high doses of chemotherapy.
“I don’t accept that we’re doing as well as we could with cancer treatment,” she said. “The high doses of radiation we administer to young cancer sufferers for example, can lead to unintended effects in later years, such as heart damage.”
Charlett began her research in 2013 as a first-class honours biomedical student once she returned to study after taking several years off from her job as a nurse to look after her children.
“I was looking after patients with acquired brain injuries for about 10 years but I was never really fulfilled,” she said. “I was always interested in finding out where all those blood tests were going.”
In 2014, Charlett was awarded VU’s highly competitive Australian Postgraduate Award to carry out her work as a PhD student.
She is now researching under the supervision of VU’s Dr John Price and Dr Swati Baindur-Hudson, and expects to complete her PhD next year.
“I was given an opportunity at Victoria University to be a research scientist and for that I will be forever grateful,” she said.
“My goal is to continue my research to make a difference, if only in one patient’s life.”
Former US Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore will deliver a presentation on the impacts of and solutions to the climate crisis at the University of Melbourne on Monday, 27 July.
Deakin criminologist Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon has received a
$24,000 grant to examine legal responses to one-punch homicide as part of the
Victorian Legal Services Board 2015 grants round.