GradBytes Winter Issue 2015


GradBytes is UWS's new alumni e-bulletin, and today marks its launch. We hope you're as excited as we are. With a fresh new look and loads of great features, it'll be bouncing into your in-box on a regular basis from here on in.

GradBytes is about sharing good news stories – celebrating the successes of our students and achievements of alumni, and keeping you up-to-date with events and activities in and around UWS. One of the things that make UWS a great place to study is the sense of community and connection to our student body, past and present both. GradBytes is here to help grow that community – online and across the globe, in all the places our alumni are making their mark. This issue of GradBytes features two inspiring alumni stories. Vikas Punjabi is using his fresh-minted business and hospitality skills to build a hot chocolate empire in India. Closer to home, Steve Semmens heads a booming business based on the power of persuasion.

What's your story? Everybody's got one, and we'd love to hear yours. Being connected to your university and fellow alumni has clear benefits for your professional life. Please stay tuned, and in touch.

The Networking Knight

Steve SemmensDoes the word networking send a shiver down your spine? The thought of entering a room full of strangers conjure more 'sick dread' than 'exciting professional opportunity'? If so, you're far from alone. And alumnus Steve Semmens knows it. Equally, Steve understands that networking is a non-negotiable business tool and key ingredient in every business or professional success story you can name. He also passionately believes that networking can be fun, as well as professionally fruitful. In Steve's book, networking is a win-win scenario, with benefits flowing to all parties.

Steve is Managing Director of The Persuader, and recently returned to UWS to share his insights and strategies for career success. The Persuader is Steve's alter-ego, and the hugely successful business he has created by helping others get better at theirs. Nowadays, Steve makes his living teaching people how to network effectively, exert influence, recruit the right people and build optimally productive teams.

Steve is the first to admit that he wasn't the most studious type when he arrived at UWS, but says that support and sense of common purpose he found here helped steer him in a different direction. The networks he formed have been instrumental in his own success. And he's sharing that good news far and wide.

Find out more on the CAN Event Page online. (opens in a new window)

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Singapore Sling

SingaporeEarlier this month, UWS' Singapore-based alumni gathered at the Park Hotel Quay Singapore for a very special event to celebrate all things UWS. With forty plus alumni and other guests in attendance, the most immediately obvious of these was UWS' global reach. It was wonderful to see so many UWS graduates turning out and what an impressive lot they were. As much as they enjoyed catching up with each other, we enjoyed hearing the stories of their star turns on the world stage!

The event was hosted by VC Barney Glover, and attended by the Australian Commissioner to Singapore, Philip Green OAM. Professor Glover gave an update on the latest developments at UWS, including its increasing cache as a university of first choice, and associated rise in international rankings. He spoke to the overarching vision for the University, its proudly egalitarian ethos and growing reputation for excellence, and the abundant opportunities afforded by exponential growth in Greater Western Sydney, the 'knowledge economy' and Asian century ahead.

There was also ample time for networking, and many valuable connections made. That's the thing about UWS and the networks it delivers – you never know where they're going to go.

if you wish to assist the organising committee in future events, please contact

View the UWS Singapore Cocktail Function Photos online via Facebook (opens in a new window)

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Hot Chocolate Hits Home

chocolateCongratulations to Australian Alumni Excellence Awards 2015 winner Vikas Punjabi, who recently took out the Victorian State Government Award for Outstanding Achievement in Food, Travel & Leisure.

Vikas Punjabi is one of nature's born entrepreneurs. He was organising garage sales for charity as a child and started his first business recycling mobile phones at 16. With a Masters in Business Operations Management under his belt, Vikas knew that his native India – with a population topping 1.2 billion and growing embrace of all things Western – was the savvy entrepreneur's utopia. India's coffee culture had already taken off, and Vikas understood it was a market at saturation point. His mind turned instead to hot chocolate, and the powdered chocolate mixed with milk model that was still India's mainstay. He'd experienced something much better while studying in Australia, and wondered if India was ready for the hot chocolate taste he now craved.

The hospitality trade howled him down. In India, a café was all about coffee they said, and no-one would get it. Seven years on, Vikas has proved them spectacularly wrong. Trusting his instincts over the naysayers, Vikas created The Chocolate Room franchise. Today, there are 160 stores across India, with another 15 in construction. Going out for hot chocolate – made from real chocolate and with a range of popular styles – is a 'thing' in India now. And by and large, that's down to Vikas.

With new franchises Sunshine Kebabs and Yogola Frozen Yoghurts fast gaining popularity, it seems the sky's the limit for this UWS-educated entrepreneur.

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Message from the Dean School of Nursing and Midwifery

Rhonda GriffithsI am pleased to write to you to let you know of the exciting developments that are underway in the School.

We are delighted to welcome new senior academics, including Dr. Deborah Parker who will be Professor of Nursing and Director of the Centre for Applied Nursing Research (CANR) from July 1 2015. CANR is located in the Ingham Health Research Institute, Liverpool Hospital. Deborah is an outstanding nurse researcher and I believe that she will make a significant contribution to our research partnerships across South Western Sydney Local Health District and our standing as a research intensive School of Nursing and Midwifery both nationally and internationally.

Also on board is Professor Lynn Kemp who was previously Director of CHETRE, a UNSW research Centre based at the Ingham Institute. Lynn has also brought a group of researchers funded by external grants and based at the Ingham Institute. Lyn herself is Alumni as she is a graduate of the UWS School of Nursing, Macarthur. She is looking forward to involving researchers from the School in her future research projects.

Our other new appointment is Associate Professor Athena Sheehan who was appointed Director of Academic Program, Midwifery. Athena conducts research in the field of infant feeding and maternal health and her research work has been recognised both nationally and internationally. Other key areas of interest include the role of the midwife in the private hospital sector and ethical issues in healthcare. Her current research work also involves transdisciplinary collaboration with experts in the field of Linguistics.

As well as our new senior appointments we have had a range of talented and committed academics join our ranks, often coming to us from a highly successful clinical career. This connection to the clinical arena strengthens our continuing engagement with the clinical field.

CONSIDERING HONOURS: If you are interested in adding research skills to your expertise in nursing or midwifery practice, then the Bachelor of Nursing (Honours) program may suit your needs. This can be undertaken part-time over two years or full-time in one year and is primarily an off-campus course. If this is of interest to you, you can contact Dr Antoinette Cotton, or visit the Bachelor of Nursing (Honours) website online now (opens in a new window)

POSTGRADUATE COURSES: Our postgraduate courses continue to be very popular. The new Master of Nursing contains specialisations in Clinical Leadership, Clinical Teaching, Aged Care, Primary Health Care and Research Studies. As well, we have our Master of Mental Health Nursing and Master of Mental Health Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) and our Graduate Diploma in Midwifery. A new course which is about to commence is the Master of Nursing (Professional Studies). These courses have been developed in the recognition that nursing and midwifery is highly respected in terms of its scholarship and translation of theory to practice, and is consistent with our commitment to lifelong learning. Many of our courses contain a new 'Capstone Experience' which enables students to develop clinical projects within their own areas of interest. As well as our coursework offerings there are pathways to Higher Degrees by Research, with highly experienced staff of international standing providing expert supervision.

If you are interested in continuing your studies please review our suite of Nursing and Midwifery Postgraduate courses online (opens in a new window). For those who are registered nurses and would like to become a midwife our Graduate Diploma of Midwifery is now open you can apply directly to the university online now (opens in a new window). For further information or enrolment inquiries about the Graduate Diploma in Midwifery please contact Fiona Arundell via telephone 02 9685 9567 02 9685 9567 or email

I look forward to your continued association and support of the School. We are rightly proud of our former students and their commitment to quality healthcare.

Warm regards,

Professor Rhonda Griffiths

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Work Ready Logo WiSE Logo

The Work Ready and WiSE Programs are seeking graduates for their mentoring programs. The Work Ready Program is looking for mentors in all fields for students across all subject areas. The WiSE Program is looking for mentors specifically for women studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

No matter how far you are in your career, you will be able to make a valuable contribution to these projects. See the websites for details.

Work Ready (opens in a new window)

WiSE (opens in a new window)


library studentsContinue your relationship with the Library with Alumni Library Membership

Many graduates still find they need to access the UWS Library after completing their studies at UWS. Whether it be information needed for personal research or ongoing professional development, you can continue your relationship with the library as a UWS Alumni member.

UWS Alumni have borrowing access upon presentation of a current UWS Gradlife card, and payment of a small annual library access fee of $50. Library Alumni membership provides borrowing privileges (excluding intercampus requests) and off campus access to a range of e-resources. Note this access is provided on the understanding that material is for personal research and educational use only.

For more information talk to the Online Librarian ( 02 9852 5353 02 9852 5353 ) or come to a campus library and talk with one of the staff.

Visit the UWS Library for Alumni Members page online now. (opens in a new window)

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UWSOnline Logo UWSOnline Alumni

Don't be left behind - start an online degree with UWSOnline

If you're not moving forward you're already falling behind. So, whether you're building your career or looking to switch jobs, a degree from UWSOnline could set you apart.

Move forward now (opens in a new window)

UWS Events

24 July HAC Luncheon

Sydney Parliament House Join us for the 2015 Hawkesbury Alumni Luncheon to be held at the Parliament of New South Wales. Hosted by Rick Colless MLC and Niall Blair MLC, the focus of the lunch is a panel of prominent alumni who will be interviewed about their experiences at Hawkesbury and during their careers, and will also feature an announcement about Agriculture at Hawkesbury Campus.

When: From 12:00pm, Friday 24 July 2015

Where: Parliament of New South Wales
6 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW

Cost:  Tickets are $150 per person and include a three-course meal and drinks

RSVP online now (opens in a new window)

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30 July GradLife Social

Palate Hotel Chairs

Our first GradLife Series event for 2015 will be held in July, uncovering inspirational stories of UWS alumni who have achieved outstanding success. These events allow us to not only showcase the amazing things that are our alumni are doing, but also allows you to share ideas with your fellow alumni and in turn gain inspiration and an enhanced professional perspective.

Join us for canapés and drinks with the opportunity to catch up with old friends and network with fellow alumni and UWS staff, and take part in a live interview and Q&A session with our Alumni hosts.

When:  From 6:30pm Thursday, 30 July 2015

Where: Palate Hotel
279 Victoria Road, Corner Euston Street, Rydalmere, NSW 2116

Cost:    FREE for UWS alumni - Each ticket includes canapés and one welcome drink

Attire:   Corporate or smart casual

RSVP online by Friday 24 July 2015 (opens in a new window)

31 July Chinese Community Dinner

Chinese LanternsIn recognition of the support given to the University by its multi-cultural communities, Professor Barney Glover, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Western Sydney, will be hosting a celebratory dinner.

When:  6:30pm, Friday 31 July 2015

Where: Auditorium, UWS Parramatta South Campus
Cnr James Ruse and Victoria Road, Rydalmere

Cost:    Free for UWS Alumni and guests

RSVP online by 20 July 2015 (opens in a new window)

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13 August SSAP Alumni Chat

SSAP Chat InvitationWatch Professor Kevin Dunn - Dean of Social Sciences and Psychology speak about Alumni of the School of Social Sciences and Psychology (opens in a new window)

30 August Open D ay

Open Day Know someone who is also thinking about studying at UWS? Join us on campus to attend information sessions about courses, careers, entry pathways and scholarships, experience student life at our interactive school displays, and soak up the atmosphere with live entertainment and activities running throughout the day.

For more information visit (opens in a new window)

Alumni Volunteers – If you are interested in coming back on campus to talk to prospective students about your experiences at UWS and life after uni register your interest online now (opens in a new window)

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