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A smorgasbord of food for the brain


Zoe Satherley
16 November 2006
From an exploration of how natural childbirth is achieved, to looking at the effect on memory of herbal supplementation, Southern Cross University’s research students and staff will share their knowledge today and tomorrow.

The PhD and Masters candidates will present their findings at Praxis 06, their annual research conference, being held at Invercauld House Conference and Function Centre, in Goonellabah. The conference is hosted by CRUX Southern Cross University Postgraduate Association.

Praxis is designed to provide a safe and friendly forum for the University’s over 300 postgraduate researchers to present their work, both completed theses and projects still underway. It’s also a chance to meet other postgraduates, to network, share stories, experiences and advice.

Other research papers being presented include: Bumping into sculpture: encounters with art in public space; The exile of Mamdouh Habib; It’s time to study the values at the core of food technology education; Information processing and brain-based learning; When I grow up I want to be an older woman; and Perspectives, ethics and practice in Indigenous research.

Three concurrent streams will run throughout today and tomorrow to enable as many students as possible to present their findings and members of the public are welcome to attend sessions.

Full program details are available on
Two researchers will present papers live in real time from Mt Isa and Alice Springs, using the University’s new state-of-the art web-based audio conferencing software Elluminate Live!

The University has just taken out an unlimited seat licence for the software which is a mix of tele-tutorial and virtual classroom said Toni Ledgerwood, courseware developer in flexible learning who will be administering Elluminate Live!

“The possibilities are endless. We can now have guest lecturers host sessions from anywhere in the world and they can deliver their lecture to any number of students in any location,” she said.

Annie Kennedy, a PhD student with the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre (a $94 million national research network in which Southern Cross University plays a key role), will discuss new approaches to undertaking research in Indigenous communities, at the Praxis conference on Friday. She will give her presentation from her research base in Alice Springs.

“The Elluminate Live! Software will make a fantastic difference for me as I am so far away and so isolated out here. It is great to be able to do a presentation from my desk here and even be able to use charts, graphics and Powerpoint if I want to,” she said.

Annie arrived in Alice Springs in June this year to begin her research on how housing services are delivered in Indigenous desert communities. She will be looking at the interface between communities and government and how the relationship between them can be fostered to build more responsive services.

Her work focus for the past 25 years has been in the field of community development in South-East Asia and the Pacific, engendering community involvement in sustainable settlement projects and she is looking forward to discovering both the similarities and differences between those communities and Indigenous desert communities in Australia.

Photo: Annie Kennedy.