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Campus News : July 2011
4 Campus News July 2011 University of Wollongong www.uow.edu.au FOCUS ON RESEARCH Toxicologist in 'paradise' The new Dean at the University of Wollongong's Graduate School of Medicine is an internationally recognised toxicologist as well as a general physician and medical educator. Professor Alison Jones is looking forward to continuing her research in toxicology through the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute at UOW. She has written two textbooks on her specialty of clinical toxicology, as well as chapters for major medical textbooks and more than 150 papers on the topic. "Australia is a toxicologist's paradise," she said. "It is taken very seriously here because there are so many poisonous snakes and spiders and toxins in the marine environment." Professor Jones will also continue her role as a high- level advisor on acute public health toxicology incidents to NSW Health, WA Health and the federal Department of Health and Ageing, as well as serving on a NSW Government advisory committee on air pollution. "I think as an academic it is important to remain clinically active, if you want to produce doctors for the real world," Professor Jones said. "So I intend to continue to work in general medicine and toxicology at Wollongong Hospital." She said the GSM had an unprecedented level of support from medical practitioners in the region, and she hoped that her active involvement in clinical work would send a message that the support was appreciated and reciprocated. Welsh-born Professor Jones studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and spent eight years as head of Medicine at London's Guy's and St Thomas Hospital. During that time she was the Director of Britain's National Poisons Service -- advising the British Government on a range of toxicology issues including the potential dangers of terrorist attacks using chemicals. Professor Jones came to Australia to join the University of Newcastle Medical School as Professor of Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, before spending the last 18 months as Dean of the University of Western Sydney Medical School. NH Professor Alison Jones UOW's Sydney Business School has officially launched the Australian Institute of Business WellBeing (AIBWB) at its campus at Circular Quay, aiming to demonstrate that business prosperity is not only about creating wealth. The Institute has been established as a research hub combining the disciplines of psychology and economics to provide organisations and governments with a better understanding of the modern concept of business prosperity. Institute Director Dr Lindsay Oades said businesses in rich countries like Australia could no longer afford to base everything around economics, and had to start caring about their people. "Basing everything around economics is not good enough anymore," Dr Oades said. "We need to care about people and how well they're functioning. There are good business reasons why we need to do that." The launch attracted a diverse audience, from corporate leaders to psychologists, business coaches, recruitment firms, government representatives and economists. Guest speaker, The Sydney Morning Herald's respected Economics Editor Ross Gittins, shared his insights on the topic of Work and Happiness which he covered in his recently published book The Happy Economist. Mr Gittins addressed the issue of job satisfaction; how it is defined by diverse stakeholders such as economists, business people and evolutionary psychologists; the motivators behind job satisfaction and how it relates to an individual's wellbeing or "happiness" at work; and what benefits organisations can gain by embracing happy employees in their workplaces. Dr Oades described the Institute as "an exciting initiative that brings together people who don't typically get together -- tender-minded psychologists and tough-minded business people". "We'll be getting people together to talk to each other and actually solve some problems, rather than being in their silos," Dr Oades said. "People matter. More to the point people who are 'happy' matter. And when people who are happy matter, businesses prosper. Societies thrive. There is no escaping the fact that people are instrumental to an organisation's success." AIBWB plans to achieve its objective by conducting research, providing organisational consultancy and delivering teaching and professional development programs that aim to assist organisations to improve not only organisational performance but persuade governments to introduce policies that better society overall. AIBWB will host the 3rd Australian Positive Psychology and Wellbeing conference in 2012. The conference will run over three days from March 23-25 in Wollongong. Workshops prior to the conference on March 22 are also planned and will be held in the Sydney Business School's Circular Quay Campus. NH Happiness a path to business prosperity Australian Institute of Business Wellbeing Director Dr Lindsay Oades, Sydney Business School Executive Dean Professor John Glynn, Sydney Morning Herald Economics Editor Ross Gittins and UOW Pro Vice-Chancellor (Health) Professor Don Iverson. Researchers link with ARC University of Wollongong researchers achieved a high success rate in Round Two of the 2011 Australian Research Council Linkage Projects Scheme. Dean of Research Professor Tim Marchant announced that total ARC funding awarded to UOW researchers across this scheme was $1,258,859, with a success rate of 44.4% compared with the national average of 40.9%. The successful UOW applicants included: • Professor Buddhima Indraratna, Dr Cholachat Rujikiatkamjorn and Dr Jayan Vinod, who were awarded $490,000 for their project: Cyclic behaviour of unstable soils stabilised by lignosulfonate with special reference to rapid transport infrastructure; • Professor Kristine French who received $296,000 for her project: The effect of aerial spraying of two pesticides on semi-arid grasslands; • Associate Professor Stephen Blanksby and Dr Todd Mitchell, who received $267,000 for their project studying: The development of ozone-induced dissociation for lipidomics workflows; and • Associate Professor Ian Brown, Professor Lori Lockyer and Associate Professor Peter Caputi who were awarded more than $205,000 for their project: Multiliteracy testing: a criterion-referenced tool to assess secondary students' multiliteracy learning within a technology-rich, multimodal domain. Professor Marchant said Professor Blanksby and Dr Mitchell were also involved in a successful collaborative project with University of NSW researchers. NH