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Global Climate ChangeIs it too late to halt the effects of human-induced climate change?

This October, academics and students at the University of Wollongong, along with local politicians and concerned community members, will gather for Global Climate Change Week (GCCW). The week of activities includes workshops, public lectures and community forums.

As part of GCCW, which runs from 9 to 15 October, The Stand looks at the question of climate change and talks with a number of local and national academics about our climate crisis.

This article appeared in The Stand, 9 October, 2017.

Photo, video and story credit: Paul Jones, UOW.

Carrington RoadCan our cities’ thriving creative precincts be saved from ‘renewal’?

In an article in The Conversation, Global Challenges Executive Director, Prof Chris Gibson along with several other authors from around the country explored Marrickville's Carrington Road industrial precinct and unearthed a new face for Manufacturing, a creative one.

In planning reports for renewal strategies, industrial zones are seen as redundant because it’s assumed that manufacturing is in a state of inevitable decline. This is false and misleading.

Most manufacturers these days are small, agile and creative. Manufacturing is increasingly interwoven with creative industries, through innovation-driven additive manufacturing, craft-based production, and bespoke maker scenes.  

There is, however a planning dilemma cities must face. Enterprises at the interface tend to locate in inner-city industrial zones. This is where other relevant enterprises are co-located and buildings are more suitable, often older and lower rent, with limited restrictions on noise.

Like-minded micro-enterprises sub-let workshops or pods within older factory complexes. They cannot afford commercial rents in stand-alone buildings. Older industrial zones also provide access to distribution and business networks, cultural venues and institutions, and final markets.

These are the very zones favoured for major “renewal” schemes. In practically every case, this means medium- and high-rise apartments.

This article appeared in The Conversation, 30 Aug, 2017.

Photo credit: Paul Jones, UOW.

Sophie-May KerrThe future of housing: families in apartments

More apartments are being built in Australia than ever before, but that doesn’t mean housing is becoming more affordable.  It might be a squeeze on space, but for many families apartments are the housing of the future.  The number of families living in apartments has more than doubled in the past 10 years. In the latest ABS data, from the 2016 census, families with children comprised a quarter of the total apartment population.

As high-rises and apartment blocks move Australia’s most populated cities in an upward direction, Global Challenges PhD scholar Sophie-May Kerr, has begun research on the implications of this trend. Her biggest question – how do families with children fit into this landscape?

Now in the third year of her PhD, Sophie-May is working to help people better understand families’ experiences and determine what needs to change in order for high-density living to be seen as an attractive long-term residential option for a diverse population.

Read more in UOW's The Stand, September, 2017.

Photo credit: Paul Jones, UOW.


DARE art exhibitionProject Dare exhibition at Big Fat Smile

In an article by the Illawarra Mercury, Project DARE (Dementia knowledge, Art, Research and Education) has developed art intervention program to raise awareness and understanding of dementia by primary school aged children.  The pilot was recently run at Thirroul Public School and the artworks have now been made into a colourful exhibition at the Gallery at Big Fat Smile in Corrimal. The exhibition will run until September 2017.


This article was published in the Illawarra Mercury, 1 Sep, 2017. 

In the Loop Interview with Prof Lorna Moxham

On 13 August, In the Loop, Wollongong sat down with "Bright Mind", Professor Lorna Moxham on to learn about Global Challenges Living Well Longer theme, looking at what is needed to ensure a better quality of life in later years in regard to ageing and mental health. You can watch the interview below.


Drivinganddementia.AboutmainpageCommunity language versions of dementia and driving aid booklet launched

The decision to give up driving is a difficult one for dementia sufferers - and their families or carers - to make.

The issue of driving retirement is sensitive and should be addressed as early as possible for individuals living with dementia. Forced driving retirement can lead to depression and low self-esteem, and family disputes are not uncommon.

A Dementia and Driving Decision Aid (DDDA) that gives families and medical practitioners guidance on how to initiate conversations about driving with someone who has dementia, has now been translated into Italian, Greek and Vietnamese. A Mandarin version will also be available soon.  The multilingual versions were launched at a public Dementia and Driving Lecture presented by aged-care specialist Associate Professor Victoria Traynor from the University of Wollongong (UOW) School of Nursing on Monday 3 July. 

Professor Traynor said the response to the English language version of the aid had been very positive, and that having the community language versions would make it easier for many people to initiate that conversation about driving.  The DDDA is available for free from the web, or hard copy booklets are available for purchase.

Read more... 

CareWays Sensory Room 200 by 150Illawarra’s first community-based multi-sensory environment opens

Individuals with cognitive and physical impairments can now experience the world in a very different way, thanks to a community-based multi-sensory room which opened on 29 June in the Horsley Community Centre, Dapto.

The room is a joint project between UOW's Global Challenges Program, and CareWays Community, with funding from UOW’s Community Engagement Grant Scheme and various community partners.

A multi-sensory environment (MSE) provides a safe, non-threatening environment for people with cognitive, behavioural and physical impairments to engage in a range of sensory experiences.  The CareWays Community Sensory Room has been designed specifically to cater to the needs of the Illawarra community.

Global Challenges pulled together a team of researchers from multidisciplinary backgrounds, including education, public health, engineering, linguistics and business to explore an evidence-based, best-practise approach to delivering an MSE for the local community.  Read more...

This story featured on Channel Nine and WIN News on 29 June, 2017.

Antimicrobial Resistance 300 by 200BBreaking Bad Biotics lecture at UOW breaks some bacteria myths

Leading antimicrobial resistance expert Professor Jon Iredell visiting from the University of Sydney and Westmead Hospital is of the belief remaining healthy depends on preserving their ‘’balance inside us and around us’.  

Professor Iredell was at UOW on Monday 26 June as part of the ‘Breaking Bad Biotics’ one-day workshop on campus and to give the keynote at a public lecture held that evening.

It’s part of the antimicrobial resistance summit, which continued on Tuesday.  UOW championed the effort to bring together leading scientists, health practitioners, policy makers, engineers and educators, to find ways to tackle one of the biggest global threats to public health


This article featured in the Illawarra Mercury, 26 June, 2017

Antoine van OijenWollongong summit aims to address antibiotic resistance

Some of the country’s leading medical minds will put their heads together in Wollongong to work out ways to outsmart the superbugs.

The antimicrobial resistance summit, held at the University of Wollongong on June 26-27 is part of UOW’s interdisciplinary approach to addressing this global issue.

UOW Professor Antoine van Oijen said the forum aimed to find ways to tackle one of the biggest global threats to public health.


This article was published in the Illawarra Mercury, 23 June, 2017. 

Next generation condomWhat does it take to get a condom on the shelf

About two years ago Dr Gorkin was building 3D-printed implants and next generation bionics when the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced funding for innovative ideas that would increase condom use in the developing world.

“We were not in the in sexual health space at all, but we had these very tissue-like materials that we were developing for use in the body, and we wondered if they would work for a condom,” Dr Gorkin says. And that’s what they pitched: a condom that would feel better than latex and, therefore, increase the use of condoms in the developing world.

While the Project Geldom team had indications that some of their materials could approach and potentially exceed the properties of latex, initial lab tests were so positive they were able to secure of one of 20 grants, out of 1,700 worldwide applications. But what does it really take to bring a product to market?  Find out how this interdisciplinary Global Challenges project is developing the next generation condom that could change the world.


This story featured on The Stand, June 2017. 

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Last reviewed: 30 January, 2018