Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

School Research Seminars

School of Humanities and Social Science
Research Committee
Seminar Series SCHEDULE - 2020

For further information please contact Donna Bridges

2.2 Schedule for 2020

July 14 Brenda Morris Responding to student mental health challenges during COVID-19 from the School of Humanities and Social Science hosted the esteemed scholar Brenda Morris in a highly successful public lecture, attracting over 60 participants from universities in Australia and the mental health sector. Educators at Charles Sturt University and around the world are supporting students who are reporting that their mental health challenges are impacting their ability to meet their course requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wednesday, 15th July 2020, visiting scholar Brenda Morris from Carleton University Social Work School in Canada and who is one of the primary researchers in the International Network of Co-operative Inquirers, presented about 'Responding to student mental health challenges during COVID-19'. Brenda included in her lecture and workshop the importance of educators sensitively navigating multiple accountabilities including attending to students' needs, privacy, and rights; the need to address discrimination; the obligation to meet the specificities of the program requirements and educational institutional policies; and upholding the mandates of professional bodies. A team from the school of Humanities and Social Science, coordinated by Monica Short, supported the event. Professor Wendy Bowles, Professor Manohar Pawar, and Associate Professor Karen Bell acknowledged Country and warmly welcomed Brenda and everyone to CSU and the lecture. The event included short presentations by CSU School of Humanities and Social Science staff. Dr Merrilyn Crichton spoke about the significance of the topic, Dr Emma Rush interviewed Brenda, Monica Short introduced the International Network of Co-operative Inquirers, Dr Fredrik Velander both fielded radio interviews and formally responded to Brenda's lecture, Rohena Duncombe chaired the Q&A section, Associate Professor Susan Mlcek made final comments, Dr Donna Bridges organised promotions and media and provided general support, Benjamin Iffland delivered IT services and Sarah Boothey designed the invitation. A sub-group of the team is drafting a journal article with the same title. The evaluations received regarding the event are very positive. Thanks to everyone who attended for making the event a success. Thanks to the outstanding team who orchestrated this timely discussion about student retention and progression. Thanks to the social work research meeting and the School of Humanities and Social Science Research Committee for hosting. Here is the link to the recording of the event

Responding to student mental health challenges during COVID-19

July 22 Alison Matthews

Vitae researcher development, career planning and opportunities at CSU

This presentation introduces research staff to the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF), which can be used researchers at all career stages to manage their own professional development. Whether you are undertaking a PhD, just getting started as an early career academic, or you are a Principal Investigator who is leading and managing others, you may be looking for formal or informal development opportunities to enhance your skills.  We will look at the RDF domains to highlight the opportunities available to you at CSU and discuss some of the key programs that are most relevant and popular with researchers.

Vitae researcher development, career planning and opportunities at CSU

Getting started with Vitae for research staff


Alison's Research PD talk
August 5Rohena DuncombeHealth service delivery to people living homeless

I began this research knowing that health service entry systems can prevent access to services for people who are disadvantaged or vulnerable – at the time of service seeking. I was able to take advantage of my long association with Byron’s homeless population and my linkages within the health service to explore this more fully with a view to seeing if a difference could be made at the local level. In this presentation I will briefly share the essence of my findings:

  • There is a consistent set of factors that contribute to homelessness
  • Significant health disadvantages for those living homeless
  • Significant health service access constraints
  • Specific indications for effectively helping people who are living homeless
  • Specific established strategies for providing health services

And a contribution that everyone can make

Health service delivery to people living homeless

This presentation starts at the 10 minute mark so please scoot along and start watching then

August 19Will DobudOpening the Counselling Room Door: The Promise of the Outdoor Therapies

The outdoor therapies are fast evolving. Over the past three decades, more and more helping professionals have ditched the confines of the small office and comfortable therapy couch to embrace the great outdoors as a medium for constructing therapeutic change. This has led to the development of a range of evidence-supported approaches; from wilderness therapy, to horticulture and surf therapy, to forest therapy. In this presentation, I will share my reflections on the process of producing and editing the upcoming book, Outdoor Therapies: An Introduction to Practices, Possibilities, and Critical Perspectives, which I completed alongside my friend, colleague, and mentor Dr Nevin Harper from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. Participants are invited to contribute considerations and critical perspectives to develop further conversation about the future of therapy outdoors.

Opening the Counselling Room Door: The Promise of the Outdoor Therapies

October 21Daniel CohenGender confusionIn this paper, I will discuss the following questions? What is the difference between men and women? Is sex a just matter of biology? If so, which biological facts determine one’s sex? Alternatively, is sex (partly, or entirely) a social phenomenon? Should we distinguish between sex and gender? If so, what does this distinction consist in? Can one change one’s sex? Can one change one’s gender? Should we perhaps stop trying to divide people up into ‘boys’ and ‘girls’?

Gender confusion

The Myth of Sex - handout
October 28Joy Wallace and Sharyn Anderson

Writing against the grain: Judith Wright, Dorothea Mackellar and the Australian literary establishment

Judith Wright and Dorothea Mackellar: both iconic Australian names, but for different reasons. Wright is admired for a span of poetry and Indigenous/environmental concerns. Mackellar is remembered for a single, widely-quoted poem. Yet, both were also exiles at home. Wright became estranged from her pastoralist heritage and was deprecated for writing starkly about Indigenous and environmental concerns. Mackellar’s early extraordinary success with ‘My Country’ (1908) became the standard by which she was judged and her later work received neither critical nor popular acclaim. Wright lived and wrote long enough to retrieve her status as preeminent poet. Mackellar did not. We account for the different literary fates of Mackellar and Wright, situating each within the prevailing Australian discourse of how a woman poet was expected to write

Writing against the grain: Judith Wright, Dorothea Mackellar and the Australian literary establishment

November 4Susan Mlcek‘Black Lives Matter – a decolonising methodology’

Black Lives Matter presents an interesting juxtaposition of ideas; it is about social activism, change, and hope. Its origin came about only 7 years ago in relation to a swell of feeling about the treatment of Black people in America, but its real genesis comes from generations of systemic racism towards all Black people who have relocated [or been ‘relocated’] from their original homelands, and towards Indigenous peoples, social-engineered or marginalised within their own homelands. It comes from authoritarian inhumaneness, and an overt use of power to silence individuals and communities. Its cry of solidarity opens a cancerous sore that oozes a sorrow of negligence and othering. A way of decolonising is ‘simply’ to reclaim our stories, from those that have been stolen and buried, or appropriated and vandalised, or hijacked and twisted, so that what ends up as being the ‘truth’ reflects not even someone else’s reality, but their intention to exclude, minimise, and overpower – therefore, to control. In many Indigenous cultures around the world, the presence of our Elders – our Kaumatua - reminds us that in order for us to know where we are going, what wed choose to do, and how to do those things, we must know where we have been and from where we have come. We need to re-claim, re-story, and re-tell our lived experiences. Having an understanding of the Māori perspective of how to envisage this, is just one way amongst a myriad of others, that provides the means to interrogate how ‘Black Lives Matter’ is a legitimate decolonising methodology, because fundamentally it is about re-telling not just the truthful story, but representing a true way of life. I am Māori, and this presentation problematises some cultural and historical ideas about decolonisation; it uses a dialogical exploration to unpack aligned ideas and issues around Black Lives Matter, and race, colour, culture, ethnicity, and Whiteness behaviours.

November 25Nick Gahan