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SCU Research Week offers rich program of world-class research


Jessica Huxley
1 August 2016

World-class research will be showcased and celebrated at Southern Cross University’s annual Research Week, from August 1 to 5.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Geraldine Mackenzie said a rich program of events and activities will be held across five days at the Gold Coast, Lismore and Coffs Harbour campuses and nearby locations, including three signature events.

“Research Week is a wonderful celebration and showcase of our research achievements and an opportunity for members of our local community to understand the contribution that SCU research makes to solving real-world problems,” Professor Mackenzie said.

“We have a wide range of events this year spanning a citizen science beach clean-up, through to keynote lectures, awards, visual displays and laboratory tours. Our researchers look forward to welcoming our community, local organisations and industry representatives onto our three main campuses.”

SCU Research Week’s signature events are 'Peering into the Blue' at the National Marine Science Centre at Coffs Harbour tonight (Monday, August 1), an industry engagement breakfast in Lismore on Wednesday, and a keynote address by Queensland Chief Scientist Dr Geoff Garrett AO FTSE on Thursday at the Gold Coast.

Professor Mackenzie said the University was pleased to welcome Dr Garrett, whose talk 'Snakes and Ladders and the Innovation Business' will be video conferenced to Lismore and Coffs Harbour.

“Dr Garrett has a wealth of experience from his role as Queensland Chief Scientist and his distinguished career. We are fortunate to be able to host a keynote from Dr Garrett, who will deliver an inspirational presentation around innovation and the importance of research to our regions," she said.

“This public lecture is an excellent opportunity for our stakeholders to engage with SCU and understand the importance of research and innovation."

Jack Archer, CEO of the Regional Australia Institute, is the special guest of the Lismore industry engagement breakfast. His presentation is ‘The importance of research in driving regional development’.

‘Peering into the Blue’, at the National Marine Science Centre in Coffs Harbour, will explore why there has never been a more exciting time to be a scientist.

Professor Mackenzie will host the function, which will highlight specialist marine infrastructure and a selection of the University’s marine research.

In other Research Week events, Professor Steve Smith from the School of Environment, Science and Engineering will lead a team of volunteers in Coffs Harbour to help clean up Charlesworth Bay Beach on Tuesday, August 2, and is putting the call out for more help by opening the event to the public.

“This is an opportunity to get involved in ongoing research into marine debris while also cleaning up the environment,” Professor Smith said.

Southern Cross Plant Science is hosting its second Industry Open Day as part of SCU Research Week on Wednesday August 3 at the Lismore campus.

This year’s theme is Regional Food and Bioresource Innovation. Primary producers and industry processors will learn how the University’s research in plant science can support the Northern Rivers’ regionally-sourced natural product supply chain.

At the 10th annual Michael Kirby Lecture, hosted by the School of Law and Justice on Thursday August 4 at 6pm, the previous Solicitor-General for Queensland Walter Sofronoff QC will deliver the keynote address at the University’s Gold Coast campus, followed by the annual SCU Law Student Society dinner at the Mantra Twin Towns Resort.

Guest speakers at the dinner are SCU 2014 Young Alumnus of the Year Benedict Coyne and Justice Kirby himself.

Meanwhile, from Friday the School of Arts and Social Sciences is participating in the Byron Writers Festival (August 5 to 7), with Dr Lynda Hawryluk, Dr Moya Costello and Dr Jo Coghlan taking part.

Dr Coghlan will be in conversation with former Australian deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer on Friday at 4.15pm in the SCU Marquee.

Media and creative writing students will be blogging over the three-day Festival, supervised by media lecturer Jeanti St Clair.

Southern Cross University is a long-time supporter of the Byron Writers Festival.

Photo: Professor Geraldine Mackenzie, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at Southern Cross University.