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Established in 1989, Western Sydney University `brings knowledge to life' in the education of students for employment, the application of research to contemporary problems, and mutually enriching partnerships with local schools, organisations, businesses and community groups.

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It can be tough deciding where to give birth. nata-lunata/Shutterstock

Explainer: what are women’s options for giving birth?

More than 300,000 women give birth in Australia each year. Most (97%) give birth in hospitals (72% of these in public and 28% in private), while 0.3% are born before they arrive at hospital.
Gay men are sharing pictures of themselves kissing in an act of defiance in the wake of the Orlando shooting. Twitter/‏@barbarosansalfn

Why are we still scared of seeing two men kissing?

On screen or in public, why does the sight of men kissing continue to provoke controversy, censorship and even violence?
The new discovery: The C-shaped “wide angle tail galaxy” (pink) surrounded by the galaxies of the Matorny-Terentev cluster (white). Julie Banfield

How citizen scientists discovered a giant cluster of galaxies

The find by citizen scientists of at least 40 galaxies in a cluster more than a billion light years away is the astronomical equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack.
Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world despite its ranking as one of the ‘least liveable’. mariusz kluzniak/flickr

Signals from the noise of urban innovation in the world’s ‘second-least-liveable’ city

Bringing significant benefits to an emergent middle class, Dhaka's cultural, economic, environmental and political landscapes are being rapidly but unevenly transformed.
Aaron Pedersen reprises his Mystery Road role as Jay Swan in Goldstone. Ivan Sen’s latest film draws together white, black and Chinese Australia. Transmission Films

Ivan Sen’s Goldstone: a taut, layered exploration of what echoes in the silences

The Sydney Film Festival opens on Wednesday with the world premiere of Ivan Sen's Goldstone. There is no filmmaker working here today who is more adept at touching the raw nerves of Australian culture.
The link between CCTV and safety is weak; the link with commerce is stronger. Flickr/Ashley/Jakub Geltner, Sculpture by the Sea, 'Nest '06'

Safety – or profit? The booming business of CCTV and Safer Streets

Politicians want us to believe closed circuit TV makes us safer. But the main beneficiaries are private firms handed lucrative tax-payer contracts.
Vulvodynia can be brutal and is commonly described as stabbing, burning, cutting or knife-like pain. from shutterstock.com

Does your vulva hurt? You could have vulvodynia

If you've ever experienced pain in your vulva, you're not alone. Around 16% of women will have vulvar pain that lasts for longer than three months. They are likely suffering from vulvodynia.
Playing music is good for people at all stages in their lives – including the elderly. Jeremy Brooks

Ageing in harmony: why the third act of life should be musical

Music is a universal human habit, but it's particularly good for the elderly. From slowing cognitive decline to helping someone recover from a stroke, old age is a great time to pick up an instrument.
Women face serious barriers to reaching the upper echelons of classical composing and conducting. Nicki Mannix

The sound of silence: why aren’t Australia’s female composers being heard?

The rate of female composers working in Australia hasn't risen in seven years. At one leading ensemble, 41 of 47 composers commissioned have been men. What's going wrong, and how can it be fixed?
Jane Jacobs holds up documentary evidence at a 1961 press conference during the campaign to save the West Village. Wikimedia Commons

What might Jane Jacobs say about smart cities?

In an age of data-driven urban science, we need to remember how Jane Jacobs gave voice to the multiple languages, meanings, experiences and knowledge systems of a vibrant city.
Opponents of projects are often scorned as NIMBYs, but active citizenship and local consultation are key elements in creating a city that works well for as many people as possible. Teresa Parker/AAP

30-minute city’? Not in my backyard! Smart Cities Plan must let people have their say

Cities are home to many different people who will not always agree. We need to learn to embrace public debate as an ongoing, constructive process for working through diverse views and values.
The brain processes different facial features separately, so how does it tie them together? Shutterstock

How our modular brain pieces the world together

Different parts of our brains process different things, like the facial features, voices and the gait of people we know. But it takes memory to weave them all together into a single picture.
More than 60% of Australian households include at least one companion animal, which are seen as family members by 88% of these. from www.shutterstock.com

With the rise of apartment living, what’s a nation of pet owners to do?

With a majority of households having pets and growing numbers living in apartments, a review of regulations on keeping animals in such communities is timely.

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