The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Education sector:
The University of Tasmania (UTAS) continues to snap up Hobart’s city buildings as it progresses with plans to locate more of its activities in the CBD. The latest purchase is the former Forestry Tasmania building in Melville Street. This follows other recent acquisitions including the Fountainside Hotel on Brooker Avenue, and the Midcity Hotel on the corner of Elizabeth and Bathurst Streets. Both these properties will be converted into student accommodation, as the rental squeeze continues to bite. UTAS has also secured funding to underwrite a new complex of about 430 beds, valued at around $70 million, at 40 Melville Street opposite the University’s Hobart Apartments building.
14 February 2019
Two young engineering cousins are putting Tasmania on the international stage. Former Launceston College student Isaac Brain, and his cousin Mitch Torok, from Rosny College in Hobart, won the engineering category in a prestigious national accolade – the 2019 BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards – for their aWear watch prototype that gives protection to the elderly who are in danger of falling. Isaac and Mitch now head to the USA in May to compete against finalists from 80 countries at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Arizona. The cousins’ prototype watch issues an alert if a person falls, and this is sent to nursing staff via SMS. Isaac told The Examiner they developed their watch to protect Mitch’s 89-year-old great grandmother: “Our main inspiration was Mitch’s great grandmother, who lives by herself. I did the software and Mitch did the hardware.” The cousins now hope to conduct testing with residents in nursing homes.
14 February 2019, Edition 202
Tasmania continues to lead the way with research into Multiple Sclerosis (MS), with the announcement of two new projects at the University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research. Alice Saul will explore the effects of diet on MS and said: “Many people with MS modify their diet, or use an MS-specific diet, but there is a low evidence base that what is eaten has an impact on the disease’s progression and symptoms. I will examine the role that diet has for people living with MS by working with the Auslong Study – an internationally unique group of people who were recruited soon after they had initial symptoms suggesting they would develop MS.” It is hoped Saul’s work will make a significant contribution to those living with MS by enhancing their quality of life. A second research project, led by Dr Yuan Zhou, is working to demystify why the prevalence of MS is much higher in females than males. Three quarters of all people with MS are women.
14 February 2019, Edition 202
Tasmania is proving to be a significant aviation player, with a local company winning a lucrative contract to train overseas pilots. Par-Avion, based at Cambridge aerodrome in Hobart, is Tasmania’s premier flying training organisation. It has just signed a deal with Air Asia for around 75 of its pilots to be trained in Tasmania each year. In the meantime, Par-Avion has indicated it is keen to set up another flight school in the state’s north-west, and is eyeing off both Devonport and Burnie as potential options. Earlier this year, Managing Director Shannon Wells told The Advocate the fact that both airports are under-utilised and had low congestion, makes them ideally suitable for aviation training: “It’s all round a good match for what we’d want to have for our potential international flying school… it would mean jobs and growth for the region.”
14 October 2018, Edition 199
Will Richards, the grandson of Reginald Ansett – who founded the airline company that proudly carried his name – is continuing his grandfather’s aviation legacy, in Tasmania. He is also trading airplanes for helicopters. Richards has set up a base for a helicopter training school and scenic flights at Glebe Farm, near Launceston. Ansett Aviation is due to begin operations this month. Earning his aviation stripes mustering cattle in the far north, Richards will add to his other helicopter operations at Broome, in northern Western Australia, and Gladstone, in central Queensland. The new venture is a boost not only for the aviation industry, but also local tourism. Ansett Aviation manager, Michael Douglas, told The Examiner: “The new base here in Launceston offers flight training for both private and commercial licenses and also scenic joy flights and air charters.” Reginald Ansett established Ansett Airlines in 1935, with the company flying high for 66 years.
12 September 2018, Edition 198
Expect the sounds of sweet music over the coming summer months, with a special summer school for aspiring Tasmanian conductors. For the second year, the Australian Conducting Academy, in conjunction with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO), will be giving the next generation of conductors the opportunity to hone their talents with a professional orchestra. The course is being led by TSO principal guest conductor, Johannes Fritzsch. TSO Managing Director, Nicholas Heyward told The Mercury: “For the second year running we are delighted to offer a talented group of aspiring conductors a unique opportunity to work with a professional orchestra which is very involved and supportive of the process, and hone their skills with Johannes, a master educator and mentor.” The symphony summer school will be held in Hobart from late January next year.
12 September 2018, Edition 198
Young archaeologists-in-training have joined the dig at an important excavation as part of an innovative education initiative.
8 May 2018, Edition 194
The Launceston based Australian Maritime College has been named as the strategic partner of the new $25m Naval Shipbuilding College in Adelaide. The Naval College will be the key provider of manpower and expertise needed for the Federal Government’s $195m defence build, which includes submarines and naval vessels. However, the partnership will also deliver opportunities for students at the Maritime College. University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rufus Black, welcomed the announcement by Federal Defence Minister, Christopher Pyne, seeing it as a major opportunity for Tasmania. Professor Black said: “There will soon be unprecedented career development opportunities in the maritime sector, particularly in the fields of maritime engineering and logistics, as a result of the Government’s multi-billion dollar naval shipbuilding program.” It is estimated that by 2026 more than 5,200 workers will be needed to fulfil the Government’s defence build.
11 April 2018, Edition 193
Two University of Tasmania scientists have received prestigious career honorific awards from the Australian Academy of Science in recognition of their lifelong achievements. UTAS Professor David Cooke (ARC Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits) won the 2018 Haddon Forrester King Medal and Lecture, while his colleague, Professor Matt King (School of Land and Food), was awarded the 2018 Mawson Medal and Lecture. Professor Cooke's investigations into the geological processes that produce copper-gold deposits, as a result of fluids released from magma deep within the Earth's crust, have transformed geochemical exploration techniques around the world. Professor King's work has helped reveal the dynamic nature of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica and how they contribute to sea-level change. Nationally, 18 academics were honoured and most of them will be presented with their awards at the academy’s annual signature science event, Science at the Shine Dome, on 24 May in Canberra. In a further tribute to UTAS, three senior staff have been named in this year's Clarivate Analytics' Highly Cited Researchers list, ranking them in the top 1 per cent in their subject fields globally. They are Professor Reg Watson (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies); Associate Professor Tim Brodribb (Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology) and Professor Sergey Shabala (Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture).
8 February 2018, Edition 191
UTAS researchers will map the Milky Way, use our convict history to explore the impact of solitary confinement, analyse how best to influence corporate tax strategies and complete other projects, thanks to 27 grants totalling $14.7 million in recent Australian Research Council allocations. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Brigid Heywood, said: “This is an outstanding result for the university, and for Tasmania, in what is a highly competitive process. Our research delivers significant social and economic benefits to the State, but more importantly it creates new knowledge which drives creativity and innovation. The projects funded today highlight the breadth of the University of Tasmania’s expertise and confirm our place as a research-led institution boldly exploring new frontiers.”
8 February 2018, Edition 191