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 sanctions against Iran could weaken more than its national currency, the Rial. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

New sanctions could be hindering progress in Iran

Bob Carr’s announcement yesterday that Australia would increase sanctions against Iran will be greeted with praise from some quarters. There is a growing understanding among analysts, diplomats and leaders…
Anti-coal activists have targeted Whitehaven before over its development in Maules Creek; but Jonathan Moylan’s recent actions could be interpreted as fraud, not simply civil disobedience.

Public nuisance - or fraud? Whitehaven hoax puts market creditability at risk

It has has been suggested a hoax by anti-coal activist Jonathan Moylan wiping million of dollars from Whitehaven Coal’s share price was an act of “civil disobedience”, akin to chaining a person to a tree…
Victims of abuse and assault are using social media to name and shame. Dean Lewins/AAP

For victims of abuse, revenge is often best served online

A woman hacks her ex-boyfriend’s Facebook account to post a picture of herself in hospital after he attacked her with a baseball bat. A teenager protests against the lenient sentence given to her rapists…
Christmas is a time of plenty - but to ensure we keep eating well in the future, it’s time to rethink the way we buy and produce food. Barbeque image from www.shutterstock.com

Eat, think, and be merry

As we gather to share a meal with friends and family this festive season, it is the ideal time to reflect on our relationship with food, including our dependence on those who grow it for us. Australians…
We are all now used to an international standard of cooling comfort: 22 degrees celsius. bondidwhat/Flickr

Air conditioning: we need to talk about indoor climate change

For the past few weeks, billboard posters across Doha have promoted the International Climate talks with the < 2°C logo - a reference to the ambition of maintaining average global temperatures less…
Starbucks promised to pay more tax after a consumer boycott: Australians would be appalled at how little tax some transnational companies here pay. AAP

Should Australians follow the British lead and boycott tax avoiders?

In the UK the recent boycott of Starbucks by consumers has helped elicit a pledge from the coffee giant to pay £20 million in taxes over the next two years. In Australia, consumers would be appalled to…
Negative premenstrual moods are neither widespread, nor inevitable. Petras Gagilas

The myth of premenstrual moodiness

From the time of Plato and Hippocrates, women’s emotions have been attributed to the menstrual cycle. The Greeks believed the womb travelled around the body, causing all manner of ailments – sex and pregnancy…
Academics need to trying new teaching methods in introductory classes if they’re to engage students. Pirate image from www.shutterstock.com

Kill your Powerpoints and teach like a pirate

Despite my university title, I’ve always thought that someone, one day, will discover that I’m not a “real” academic. This hasn’t been helped by the fact that when it comes to teaching, I’m by no means…
Most Westerners associate Brazil with the cliches of Carnivale and soccer, but there is more the diverse and newly-prosperous country than just partytime. EPA/Antonio Lacerda

Why we don’t need Michael Palin’s ‘Brazil’

The ABC has recently screened Michael Palin’s travel program “Brazil” but unfortunately, the show has been much more about the expected sex, samba, and soccer stereotypes than the complexities of the country…
Children rescued from child sex trafficking in Thailand in 2011. AAP/The Grey Man

Fighting child sexual exploitation overseas and at home

Alarm was raised this week when it emerged that Bernard McGrath, a former Catholic brother sought in Australia over 252 child sex charges, was able to leave New Zealand for Sri Lanka ahead of an extradition…
Does Julia Gillard really love cricket? The law of sport and politics says she must. AAP/Andrew Taylor

Fake it till you make it: why Australian politicians ‘love’ sport

It was the last sitting day of the federal parliament for the year. Opposition leader Tony Abbott was suggesting that prime minister Julia Gillard was a criminal, who in turn was rehearsing her lines that…
Will help for victims of clergy abuse extend beyond the Royal Commission? AAP/Paul Miller

Royal Commission: abuse victims need to be helped, not just heard

There has been a great deal of focus on the role of a Royal Commission in delivering “justice” for victims of sexual abuse. Justice is a powerful, symbolic principle, and being listened to can be a moving…
There’s plenty of excitement around Duolingo – a new idea to learn languages while translating the web. But does it work? Words image from www.shutterstock.com

Learning a language and translating the web: does Duolingo work?

Duolingo, a new free language-learning site, says it can help you learn a language for free while simultaneously using your learning exercises to translate the web. A pretty big claim, but at the heart…
Evidence shows sexual abuse is more likely to occur in particular kinds of institutional cultures, such as the Catholic Church. Roger Smith

Rogue priests or a culture of abuse? Investigating paedophilia in the Catholic Church

For victims and their advocates, the Prime Minister’s announcement of a Royal Commission into the role of institutions in the abuse of children represents a long-awaited shift in the way Australia approaches…
Afghan President Hamid Karzai talks with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during a meeting in Kabul. EPA/Omar Sobhani

One last chance for peace in Afghanistan: reconciliation with the Pashtuns

The end of the US troops surge, the increasing insider attacks on Western forces and the ongoing downward spiral of insecurity across Afghanistan, have pushed this war-torn country into a military-political…
Jimmy Savile, pictured at Downing Street with former British prime minister Gordon Brown, is the subject of sexual abuse allegations. Flickr/Downing Street

Jimmy Savile, Gary Glitter and the politics of paedophile rings

In Britain, the sexual abuse allegations against television personality Jimmy Savile have now implicated glam rocker Gary Glitter and comedian Freddie Starr. Police have intimated that other high-profile…
Peter Shergold, pictured here at COAG with former prime minister John Howard, was Australia’s top public servant from 2003-2008. AAP/Alan Porritt

Peter Shergold: political staffers aren’t killing the public service

In 2007, soon after becoming prime minister, Kevin Rudd found himself unable to attend the Christmas party of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) of which I was the secretary. This…

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