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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Increased coastal population growth and rising water levels could lead to damaged sewerage systems and water contamination. Flickr/autowitch

If the tide is high, our sewerage systems won’t hold on

Sea levels are rising and the world’s vast coastal settlements face many damaging changes. One of the most difficult and expensive challenges is the risk to the safe and effective operation of our sewerage…
We now put women in chemical straitjackets and prescribe psychotropic medication instead of locking them up for unfeminine behaviour or marital discontent. Vineus/Flickr

DSM-5 helps perpetuate the myth of women’s madness

The newly released edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) may be heralded as the “bible of psychiatry”, but it is not an objective scientific document outlining the…
Women whose partners accepted their bodily changes after cancer are more likely to feel positive and sexy. Christophe Karaba/EPA

Sex, sexuality and cancer: let’s break the taboo

Angelina Jolie has attracted much attention for revealing her recent experience of a double mastectomy. But her personal attractiveness draws attention to a neglected aspect of cancer treatment and survival…
Interpreting what different types of laughter mean requires different brain regions. chris.huggins

I amuse you? Judging laughter is no joke for the brain

There’s nothing quite like overhearing a hearty belly-laugh, unless perhaps it’s having a good chortle yourself. The happy likelihood is that, in any case, one guffaw will lead to the other. Laughter is…
Gai Waterhouse and John Singleton in happier times: their acrimonious split and subsequent stewards’ inquiry has typified the culture of Sydney. AAP/Paul Miller

A trainer, a bookie and a ‘drunk’: the Waterhouse saga simply screams Sydney

The Gai Waterhouse-John Singleton horse racing imbroglio has the feel of fiction. Its cast of characters could easily spring from the treatment for a new Underbelly series or the pages of a Peter Corris…
Upright births are likely to be shorter, less painful and involve fewer interventions than recumbent births. Image from shutterstock.com

Stand and deliver – upright births best for mum and bub

Think of childbirth and you’re likely to picture a woman lying on her back on a hospital bed. That’s the position most (78%) Australian women adopt to give birth birth, despite growing evidence that being…
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria. The individual bacterium are rectangular and brown. Microbe World/Flickr

Bacterial genomics offers new approaches to better health

Bacteria are single-celled microorganisms abundant in nature that can’t be seen with the naked eye. In fact, there are approximately five multiplied by 10³¹ bacteria on the earth, constituting 90% of its…
A germaine point… lost in the furore around comments over Julia’s jackets was a genuine insight into the relationship between power and attire. AAP/ Lukas Coch

Dressing the part: women, power, fashion - and that bloody jacket!

Germaine Greer had been responding to a questioner on the ABC’s Q&A program (March 19, 2012), who asked what advice the panel would give to the Prime Minister Julia Gillard on her image problem. Gillard’s…
Australia could feed more people, but we have to find a balance. Bill Bellotti

Can Australia really feed Asia?

The recent Global Food Forum featured several prominent businessmen calling for Australia to dramatically increase its contribution to global food security, in particular highlighting business opportunities…
Backpackers and international students provide a significant source of labour that is often long-term: but this is ignored by policy makers.

They’re long-term, temporary and invisible: our other migrant workers

While 457 temporary visas are currently under political scrutiny, thousands of other temporary migrants are now able to work in Australia for extended periods - most notably through working holiday visas…
The plans of far-right Greek political party Golden Dawn to visit Australia have caused much consternation in the local Greek diaspora communities. EPA/STR

Golden Dawn: Greek fascists come Down Under

Melbourne has long been known as one of the biggest cities for Greek diaspora in the world, and the “world’s most liveable city” is fast becoming the latest battleground for the swelling fascist movement…
One in three Australian babies are born by caesarean – but we still don’t know the lifetime effects on the offspring. Image from shutterstock.com

Can caesarean sections increase susceptibility to disease?

Despite efforts to reduce intervention rates during labour, vaginal births without medical intervention are becoming increasingly rare in Australia and overseas: nearly one in three women in Australian…
Julia Gillard emerges triumphant after challenging Kevin Rudd for the leadership in 2010. She has survived two subsequent threats to her leadership since. Is this the new normal for Australian politics? AAP/Alan Porritt

Julia Gillard may have won the vote, but the ALP remains desperately dysfunctional

Julia Gillard lives to fight another day, having being reelected unopposed at this afternoon’s caucus meeting. While Rudd declared he would not nominate for the leadership this time, the destablisation…
A woman reads the Sydney Morning Herald in its new tabloid-sized format while a neuro test monitors her reaction. Fairfax/AAP

Neuromarketing for the compact Fairfax papers was a no-brainer

If there’s one thing that could be observed from Fairfax’s move to publish its first tabloid-sized broadsheets it was a surprising level of neuro-illiteracy. Fairfax’s head of advertising, Sarah Keith…
Has Julia Gillard’s tour of western Sydney been the vote winner she hoped? The answer is yet to come. Paul Miller/AAP

Julia Gillard’s western Sydney road show: the good, the bad and the ugly

The announcement that Prime Minister Julia Gillard would spend a week in the western suburbs of Sydney was greeted with mild amusement by some, and became the base of jokes about “beige rooms” for others…
How do we know if an animal is happy? Science may be less important than public opinion. Andrew Pescod

A more democratic animal welfare policy

Even among the experts who don’t question our right to use and kill animals, there is disagreement over what animal welfare actually means. With the government calling for a review of animal welfare standards…
Some Australian broadcasters can’t even get in the stadium for the latest test. Camera image via www.shutterstock.com

The forgotten tests: why we can’t watch the Australia-India series

The Australian men’s cricket team is playing a four-match test series in India. In this era of media cornucopia, you would expect live television action, radio commentary and photographic images to be…

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