Western Sydney University

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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There’s too much scrutiny given to Muck Up Day – we need to let kids blow off steam. Flickr/Jessica.James

Who mucked up Muck Up Day?

“Most schools used to call it Muck Up Day, but we saw that as being something negative.” So said year 12 co-ordinator Annette Hall of Presbyterian Ladies’ College – one of many schools who have changed…
Macquarie is changing its definition of misogyny… but it still applies to the leader of the opposition. AAP/Pan Macmillan

Tony Abbott is a misogynist, however the dictionary defines it

As an academic, I often become obsessed with the meaning of words. They lure me in with their conceptual promise, and then I get hooked and tangled on distinctions and disciplinary nuance. Perhaps unsurprisingly…
Women can move more easily in water, enabling them to change position with ease. Flickr/kTLindSAy

Monday’s medical myth: water births are risky

“Women aren’t dolphins” is a phrase often bandied about by those who question why women want to immerse themselves in pools or warm baths during labour and birth. They forget that we’re not mountain goats…
Were we born to work with others or look after number one? Cayusa

On first thought, cooperate; on second thought, be selfish

Are we cooperative or are we selfish? This question goes back as far as the philosophers Rousseau and Hobbes – Rousseau advocated for a “noble savage” model of humanity whereas Hobbes advocated for a “darker…
Adverse outcomes in health care have a deeply personal impact on patients and on medical practitioners. Zoriah/Flickr

Australia’s medical indemnity claims – why should we care?

Evidence-based medicine is the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of the best current evidence in making decisions about patient care. The same approach should be taken when patients are harmed…
Does Australia experiment on primates? It’s harder to find out than you might think. PETA/Wikimedia

Nothing to hide: opening the files on animal research

While most people are aware that animals are used in biomedical research, few have any idea about the numbers of animals or the physiological and psychological “challenges” they endure. Ask yourself how…
The EPA has made great strides in protecting waterways, but its pollution licences still don’t do what they should. Ian Wright

Time for NSW to take chemical leaks seriously

NSW is not doing enough to prevent excessive environmental damage from chemical leaks: it is more common than many people realise for liquid wastes to be discharged into waterways. The NSW Environment…
The story about the sacking of a Melbourne private girl’s school principal has made national news, but why? Flickr/mikecogh

The MLC ‘scandal’: who cares, and why?

For more than a week, I’ve seen numerous articles about an internal fight between the Board and Principal of Melbourne’s Methodist Ladies’ College, a private girls’ school. Principal Rosa Storelli has…
Protests in Sydney over the “Innocence of Muslims” video in Sydney turned violent over the weekend. AAP/Lauren Farrow

Sydney riots: protests show pain, but a hint of progress

The couple of hundred young Muslims that streamed into Sydney city on the weekend amid violent clashes with police riot squad members offered a visually spectacular contrast to the nominal picture postcard…
The Gonski response: increased funding will be tied to concrete improvement in all schools. AAP

Gonski and the PM’s education crusade: experts respond

Increased funding will be tied to concrete improvements in all schools under the government’s National Plan for School Improvement, announced on Monday in response to the Gonski Review. The government…
Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie is resisting pressure to make changes to the state’s provocation laws. AAP/Dave Hunt

Homicides, homosexual advances and male honour: will NSW act on provocation law?

Murder is the most serious of all violent crimes, and needs a determined criminal justice response. If there are circumstances in which a killing might be seen as wholly or partly excusable, then this…
Cuts to the R&D tax incentives for Australian businesses - as proposed by the Business Tax Working Group - have significant implications for our future economic wellbeing. Image from www.shutterstock.com

Scrapping the R&D tax incentive is hardly a smart idea for economic policy

The Business Tax Working Group discussion paper’s suggestion to reduce the R&D tax incentive reveals a clear-cut attitude to policy aimed at Australia’s economic development: “It’s all about the tax…
renewable farm Brian Robert Marshall.

In defence of renewable energy targets

Power prices are a hot political topic at the moment. While politicians argue about who is to blame for higher prices, the renewable energy target (RET) is also being reviewed. The RET has been the focus…
Opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne’s recent comments show his misunderstanding of curriculum. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

A history of misinformation: Pyne spreads curriculum myths

On the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night, Shadow Minister for Education Christopher Pyne was asked what the Liberal Party would do about the national (history) curriculum if they came to power. Pyne’s…
Friends of the teenager who has been accused of killing Thomas Kelly leave court last week. AAP/Paul Miller

Blame it on the booze: mass drinking drives Sydney’s violence

The recent unprovoked killing of a young reveller named Thomas Kelly by a male stranger in Sydney’s Kings Cross has set off extensive community and political debate about the violence that is associated…
An important ‘apex predator’ that should neither be hunted as an enemy nor treated as a pet. With respect and wisdom, we can coexist. AAP/Tony Phillips

The Australian dingo: to be respected, at a distance

It’s the dry season in the Northern Territory, and for many people that means camping under a clear winter’s sky in the Top End. Yet rediscovering nature can be a fraught exercise in wilderness areas like…
All religions, including Islam can influence the legal decisions of individuals.

Religion and the law: Sharia-compliant wills in Australia

In March this year the ACT Supreme Court overturned a will made by an elderly Muslim lady called Mariem Omari. Her daughter contested the estate and the court found that because Omari signed the will while…

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