2019 Presentations

Below is the agenda for the 2019 Professional Staff Conference at Rosehill Gardens (please note, the Agenda is subject to change, you will receive a final agenda on the day of the conference).  For a printable version of the Agenda, please click here (PDF, 73.45 KB) (opens in a new window).


8:00 AM - 9:00 AM REGISTRATIONS OPEN Level 1
9:00 AM - 9:05 AM Conference Opening: Susan Hudson, Executive Director, Office of Human Resources Level 2, North D
9:05 AM - 10:05 AM Welcome by Professor Scott Holmes, Acting Vice-Chancellor & President Level 2, North D
10:05 AM - 11:00 AM Update from the Senior Executive Group:
Professor Scott Holmes, Acting Vice-Chancellor & President
Professor Denise Kirkpatrick, Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President, Academic
Angelo Kourtis, Vice-President, People and Advancement
Peter Pickering, Vice-President, Finance and Resources
Level 2, North D
11:00 AM - 11:25 AM MORNING TEA Level 1
11:30 AM - 12:00 PMConcurrent Session 1 (5 sessions)Level 2
12:05 PM - 12:35 PMConcurrent Session 2 (5 sessions)Level 2
12:35 PM - 1:30 PMLUNCHLevel 1
1:15 PM - 1:30 PMPoster PresentationsLevel 1
1:30 PM - 2:00 PMConcurrent Session 3 (4 sessions)Level 2
2:05 PM - 2:35 PMConcurrent Session 4 (4 sessions)Level 2
2:40 PM - 3:40 PMKeynote Address:  Dan Gregory and Kieran Flanagan, The Impossible InstituteLevel 2 North D
3:45 PM - 4:00 PMPRIZE DRAW and CONFERENCE CLOSELevel 2 North D
4:00 PM - 5:00 PMCELEBRATE!  CLOSING DRINKSGrand View Terrace

Concurrent Session 1 - (5 sessions)

Presenter/sAbstract Presentation Slides
Dr Cynthia Fernandez Roich"The Lost Receipt" - How to use storytelling to communicate policy and procedure Level 2 South A
  Procedures are particularly challenging to communicate to academic and professional staff for three reasons: (a) the word ‘procedure’ usually makes the staff ‘switch off’ and stop reading, (b) they are long, boring and complex and (c) they usually use convoluted language. However, lack of knowledge of basic procedures can cost awful amounts of time and money to any given organisation. In this presentation, I will explore an innovative way to communicate procedure by employing storytelling, following the body of research developed by lawyer Stephen Dennis in ‘The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling’, anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson in ‘Composing a Life’ and philosopher Daniel Dennett, among others. I created a fictional character in a three-hundred-word ‘policy-in-a-pocket’ story to tell the drama of ‘the lost receipt’, illustrating how one missed step in a procedure can create a significant roadblock for Finance, Accounts, REDI and Administration.
Lyn AndersonCollaborative innovation through campus-based living labs Level 2 South B

Living labs are emerging as a strategy for teaching, research and engagement which promote opportunities for collaborative innovation and civic engagement. Developing living labs here at Western have been informed by the CORE model of a sustainable university, and a working definition comprising the utilisation of campus assets, involving multidisciplinary perspectives, and supporting strategic opportunities. This presentation outlines current and developing examples, including those relating to cultural ecology and landscape management, horticulture and Chinese medicinal herbs, precision agriculture and ‘IoT’, solar energy and resilience planning, and urban design and construction. A substantive emerging opportunity is to systematically embed the living lab concept in the precinct re-development of the Werrington campus. Preliminary conclusions are drawn regarding to the role of living labs in relation to the development of campus assets, sustainability practices and processes, and the criticality of collaborative partnerships.

Manmeet Kaur, Amanda Anderson and Steve MarshHarry Potter and the Chamber of Project Secrets Level 2 Breakout 1

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. What lessons can we learn from Harry Potter? The wizarding world of Harry Potter, much like our own, is increasingly fraught with danger. Good management and leadership practices now require moving beyond traditional methods to new and adaptive styles that give individuals the capacity to respond and adapt to ensure success, now and into the future. The speakers will draw inspiration from Harry and his friends to explore how the wizardry of project management, including its principles and practices, can help you to control the monsters of complexity and risk that cause our projects to fail. The session will open the chamber of secrets to good project management to equip you to embrace these challenges that are shaping our future. The session is not just for project managers but problem solvers, leaders, managers and anyone who wishes to develop a defense against the dark forces.

Matthew Stansfield and Grant MurrayCreating the Future of Teams Level 2 North C
  What does yoga and board games have to do with our work and team dynamics? This is one of the questions we will attempt to answer as part of sharing our story. You may be surprised to learn that Western Sydney University actually prizes bringing initiatives like these into your team. Such activities go outside the box of standard team dynamics, and help to create a vibrant, fun and innovative culture within teams, in line with the same stated goal of the Securing Success strategic plan. For Student Representation & Participation (SR&P), the last 12 months have seen a few different teams merge, along with increasing demands on our time and resources. This has presented many challenges for us including managing change, building rapport, communication and collaboration with a team that is spread out across every campus and often out of the office conducting engagement work with students. To address some of these challenges, SR&P has implemented a monthly “Team Day” strategy that aims to bring our team together in one location. These days have been structured to build team culture, improve morale, communicate and collaborate, and to have fun. Our team has also recently implemented a monthly anonymous feedback survey as a way of measuring the effectiveness of the team days, and other initiatives we have implemented to improve team performance and dynamics.
Speed Mentoring: Session 1  Level 1

Concurrent Session 2 - (5 sessions)

Presenter/sAbstract Presentation Slides
Sharon FlynnDo we really want to re-invent the wheel? Level 2 South A
 Learning from the past as we create the future. In recent years, the University has undergone many changes; organisational change, technological change, physical change. What have we learnt to help us create this new future? How can we use the information we have already gathered to make informed decisions about the future? Perhaps the questions we should be asking are; How do we know what we have learnt? Where do we find information about what we have learnt? Information is held in many ways and places across the University, the availability of tools that help us collaborate and store information has made it difficult to control that information, increasing the risk of being unable to find it in the future. Information that cannot be found is useless. We need to create value from our information assets. During this presentation the RAMS team will provide tips and tricks to successfully find information that already exists, the skills to identify the important information you create, and guidance on how best to capture it to ensure it can be found, when needed, in the future.
Genevieve Fonti & Supriya KoiralaDelivering a Quality Future Level 2 South B
 What kind of future do you see for Western Sydney University? The vision, values and goals upheld by the University and articulated in the 2018-2020 Securing Success Strategic Plan demonstrate a commitment to quality that we should all strive for. This commitment will ensure that we deliver the highest quality educational experience and opportunities for all students now and into the future. Quality enhancement is everyone’s business. Most of us undertake some quality assurance activities in our work, so we can all contribute to delivering a quality future by creating our best work together. The Office of Quality and Performance (OQP) is playing its part. OQP promotes a quality enhancement culture through a focus on continuous improvement that is underpinned by the idea that quality is everyone’s responsibility. Within OQP, we provide support for University-wide quality assurance and enhancement frameworks and processes. These include expertise and support with course quality activities, learning guide preparation, professional accreditation of courses, school reviews, student survey administration and analysis, and compliance with the Higher Education Standards Framework. This presentation will demonstrate why continuous improvement is important and with your help, how we can achieve this together. Let’s answer the question: “What kind of future do we see for Western Sydney University?”, and why caring about quality enhancement is key to success for all of us.
Dr Gill Murphy & Emma TaylorSupporting Students in Distress Level 2 Breakout 1

University staff may have contact with students experiencing distress. Student distress can present in a variety of ways, including becoming emotionally and socially withdrawn or tearful. However, more subtle behaviours may also indicate student distress such as, frequent or repeated contact with staff and out of hours emails and phone calls. The reasons for student distress are multi-factorial and complex, with potential impact on individual health status, social functioning and educational outcomes. Early identification and supportive interventions can reduce the impact of distress on student learning and academic studies. Organisational strategies and collaborative relationships between services are critical to ensure timely and effective supports which prevent and reduce student distress. Cross discipline and collaborative relationships can also protect and promote staff wellbeing by facilitating a team approach to complex student matters. This paper will present Western’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy and the university’s support services for students experiencing distress. Further, the paper will showcase how collaborative relationships between Western’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Team and the School of Nursing and Midwifery, are helping staff to identify distress, facilitate timely and effective support while building positive student futures.

Raju Maji & Dr Tosin Famakinwa3d Model Depicting Bridge Design in its Environment Level 2 North C
 In collaboration between Landcom and Western Sydney University, a detailed and scaled 3D printed bridge and CNC machined terrain of the future Lachlan’s Line Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge in North Ryde NSW was fabricated. With a $40 million investment by the New South Wales Government at stake, a small-scale model of the proposed bridge was required for Landcom and their contractors to assess various designs and constructability approaches. Constructing this model was an excellent technical challenge for WSU’s Advanced Manufacturing precinct to demonstrate the outstanding abilities of technical staff and students, and the capabilities of the latest facilities and equipment. A combination of traditional manufacturing, advanced manufacturing and hand skills were applied to achieve the final model including Stratasys J750 3D printer, CNC machine, laser and water jet cutters, and excellent hand skills of students in painting and finishing. Not only was this project an assessment of the technical team capabilities, but was another successful example of WSU collaborating in research and learning partnerships with our industrial partners.
Speed Mentoring: Session 2  Level 1

Concurrent Session 3

Presenter/sAbstract Presentation Slides
Steve Hannan, Matthew Perry & Katie ElcombeResearch Management Solution: Working TogetherLevel 2 South A
 Working to solve some of the world’s most complex problems is an exhausting, challenging and rewarding task – It demands the time and focus of our greatest asset, our people. The intention of the Research Management Solution (RMS) initiative is to simplify and enhance our interactions within the research enterprise. Whether it be ethics, funding, publications, public profiles the University is taking the necessary steps to re-imagine research services to help our people and organisation focus, and most importantly make an impact! No matter how important, technology is not the answer to many of these challenges rather, it’s our people. People are the centre of everything we do. Our research staff, our research administrators, our professional staff and our leaders all have a role to play and a story to tell. This presentation will unpack the experiences and ideas of those who undertake and manage research at Western whilst providing insight into the RMS initiative and the opportunities it presents us to streamline and improve the way we work as individuals and as an organisation.
Alex Wylie-Atmore & Arati-ChaliseSpot the Phish! Working together for a Cyber Secure FutureLevel 2 South B
 When it fails, Cyber Security is an increasingly visible topic; there are more well-publicised examples of compromises and breaches in computer systems over the last two years than in the preceding two decades. What’s worse, our lives increasingly rely on the security of computer systems: resetting accounts that have been hacked can set you back hours; fully recovering a stolen identity can take months, if not years; and recovering files from malware-infected computers may not be possible at all. However, in all of these examples, Cyber Security technology can only provide so much defence, because the attack is no longer targeted at an organisation, or a firewall, but a person. To create a future that is safe (or safer) from cyber attack, we need to improve our ability to identify and avoid these cyber attacks – not just technologically, but individually, and collectively. We all need to know what threats there are, how to recognise them, and what to do about them – how to ‘spot the phish’. At the end of this presentation, you’ll be better prepared to prevent not just yourself but your friends and loved ones from being a victim of cybercrime. Join Arati and Alex from the Digital Strategy, Security and Risk team in ITDS for a tour of common cyber attacks: see how they work, and what they look like. Be amazed by the deadly spearphish! Be shocked by the exploits of the social engineer! Gaze past the veil of the masked hyperlink to the horrors beyond!
Amelia Koh-ButlerGenerating Community Culture Through Interfaith ResponseLevel 2 Breakout 1

The diversity of staff, students, researchers, visitors and stakeholders at WSU presents particular challenges and opportunities around individualism, particularity and collaborative community-orientation. Through a range of interfaith pastoral activities, Chaplains have been attending to the spiritual life of the WSU community, supporting our communal responses to terror-events in Christchurch and Sri Lanka, bushfires and icon destruction (Notre Dame), and offering pastoral care in a time of climate anxiety. Rites and rituals, meals and religious festival celebrations have enabled people to share identity and purpose. They offer opportunities for healing and wholeness. They support an integrated approach to life and study. This presentation, featuring short case studies from the last twelve months at 1PSQ, examines the role of community collaboration between people of different faiths (and none) in developing a cohesive community. We will look at how and when such activities are appropriate and desirable for building healthy interactions.

Melissa Lindeberg & Leigh BamburyCreating Your Future: Working out what you want to be when you grow up (or not)!Level 2 North C

Each year we are asked to complete our professional development plan in MyCareer Online in consultation with our line managers. But what if you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up? What if you know the skills you can improve on by taking online courses but you also want something practical that you can do at Western which could possibly lead to something new?

This session will present experiences from two professional staff, their insights on navigating opportunities and the benefits of undertaking development while you work out what you want to be when you grow up.

Concurrent Session 4

Presenter/sAbstract Presentation Slides
Tony Lazzara & Steve HannanPlaying the Rankings GameLevel 2 South A
 Which university produces the best graduates? Which university provides the best teaching? The answers to these questions are so subjective and yet their importance in University Rankings cannot be understated. Should the University concentrate on research more? Which journals should research be published in? Quality or quantity, which matters most? Ranking agencies consider these and a number of other factors when assigning their global rankings. So why do we care? Why is it so important? This presentation will provide a background to university rankings, why they are so important to the University and to students, where our strengths currently lie and what strategies are in place to improve our position.
Shubha Devadasen, Asokan Venkatesh and Steve McDonaldBridging the Gap - Expanding International Reach and ReputationLevel 2 South B                         
 School of Humanities and Communication Arts’ bid to increase outbound student mobility One of the six strategic objectives identified in the University’s Securing Success 2018-2020 Strategic Plan is its intent to expand international reach and reputation. A defined action plan to realise this objective is to increase outbound student mobility. One of the ways to achieve this is to offer students the opportunity to participate in group outbound study tours. This presentation aims to acquaint the audience with the School of Humanities and Communication Arts’ efforts to streamline its processes for outbound group study tours. The gains, the pains and the experiences and how process mapping has helped smooth the thresholds between academic and administrative responsibilities and clarify cross unit collaboration. All working towards the ultimate goal – to improve the student experience.
Patricia ParishDesign the Life you Want! Students create their own futureLevel 2 Breakout 1
 Students often feel anxious and confused about their study and career choices and this can lead to low motivation and poor performance at university and graduate employment. The Design the Life You Want program provides support and assistance to students to inspire them, help them feel more positive and make better career decisions. ‘Design Thinking’ is a concept applied across a range of problem-solving contexts, and recently adapted to career-planning by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans (2016 Stanford University). This method looks at career-planning from an active, creative perspective, drawing on design theory and positive psychology to re-frame obstacles, ideate solutions and experiment with prototypes. Creativity is foundational to design-thinking and this approach lends itself to novel and creative career-education strategies. By teaching students how to apply a ‘Design Thinking’ model to career planning we give them the tools to think creatively about their future options. This presentation will introduce and demonstrate some of the ideas of ‘design thinking’ as applied to career planning. I will demonstrate how the program works for students, and hope these ideas might challenge you to re-imagine your own career ideas and in doing so help our students re-imagine their future careers and lives.
Natalie Bradbury & Elizabeth DlugonUsing Insights to Improve International Students' ExperienceLevel 2 North C
 In 2018 we established Western You – an online student community created to give students a greater voice to shape the future of their University. In just over 6 months, Western You has grown to over 5000 students, providing responses to surveys and valuable insights into their experiences at University. Late last year we undertook a qualitative deep dive into the experiences of International students at Western. The research was conducted via an online diary completed over the course of a week by participating students, as well as through a series of 8 focus groups and interviews with staff that work closely with the International cohort. This session will take participants through the key findings of that research and explain how the deep insights gained from the research have assisted with the design and development of a suite of initiatives aimed at improving the arrival and on-boarding experience for International students. Our partners in this research were The Behavioural Architects, who assisted with the research design and have worked with us to identify some behavioural economics approaches and strategies that can be applied to: - encourage the positive behaviours linked to student success, - address the barriers to success, uncovered by the research; and - optimise the international student experience. Staff and International students were then involved in a consultative process that considered this research as well as the results of the 2018 International Student Barometer report. This consultation resulted in a number of initiatives designed specifically for commencing International students that were trialled during Autumn session 2019.

Poster Presentations

Note: all Posters will be located on Level 1 of the Pavilion.

Teresa Cheong, Dr Jim Wu and Associate Professor Ana HolAdding Value to a Sustainable Future - A Stakeholder Approach
 The poster will demonstrate a stakeholder approach for the creation of values during business process innovation. Since 2016, an initiative to increase the efficiency of SCEM internal business processes has been led by an integrated project team, including members of the School management team, professional staff (both technical and administrative), academic staff and students. The approach, which focuses on collaboration and integration, has significantly enhanced the spectrum of contributions of professional staff and academic staff to student-centeredness, transforming their roles to a new horizon. The poster presents examples of successful student-engaged projects in technology development for creation of values that provide the building blocks for future opportunities. This value creation is from the perspectives of stakeholders including professional staff, academic staff, industry partners and students.
Jennifer Kensey and Lisa CaldbeckCreating Results Together
 After weeks of endless study and late nights, students eagerly await their end of session Results! What goes on behind the scenes to make those final Results available to students is a mammoth collaborative effort of hundreds of staff across the University. A number of stakeholders worked together in Spring session 2018 to implement improvements to make the process more seamless and robust. Improvements included implementing a standardised workbook across all schools in order to collect Results in a consistent way; upgrades to the Results Grader software to reduce manual manipulation of data; and the development of a conformer tool to assist in the matching of data between vUWS Grade Centre and Results Grader. The improvements achieved are a testament to the collaborative efforts of ITDS, the Digital Futures Team, Exams Team, as well as various Academic staff in Schools; coordinated and led by the Student Experience Admin & Enquiries Team. These efforts resulted in fewer Results errors, a more efficient process and a better experience for staff and students. Furthermore, they also show how service improvements can flow from Shared Services, and the benefits of collaborating across work areas to improve the student experience!
Suzanne D'SouzaTechnology Enhanced Literacy Support: A PCAL Innovation
 Professional Communication and Academic Literacy (PCAL) support is an embedded literacy support program within the School of Nursing and Midwifery. It enhances the academic literacy skills of undergraduate and postgraduate nursing and midwifery students through a range of consultation modes. In 2018, an Appreciative Inquiry action research approach was used to conceptualise a Technology Enhanced Literacy Support (TELS) initiative which was implemented on the PCAL vUWS site. Recognised as a futuristic student success innovation through a 2018 Blackboard Award, the PCAL TELS innovation has promoted greater student access to academic literacy support. TELS has extended the current blended learning model by utilising a cross-disciplinary team of PCAL advisors, nursing academics and digital learning experts to discover the most effective use of existing technology and create rich, digitalised learning opportunities for students. It has involved designing literacy support possibilities in a shared, flexible technology enabled learning environment, where students and literacy advisors work together to address discipline specific academic literacy needs, critical for student success. Recently, TELS has evolved to incorporate individual and group consultations using Zoom as a future focussed, student-centred strategy. Zoom group consultations utilise breakout rooms in which advisors allocate students to collaborative rooms within Zoom, and readily move between these virtual rooms to support nursing students with a range of academic literacy skills. The high student uptake of the PCAL TELS initiative exemplifies how a cross-disciplinary collaborative effort has been employed in redefining, recreating and transforming the future of literacy support.
Gay Hardwick and Sally LeggoTowards a new normal - inclusion through technology
 Disability Service and ITDS are thrilled to announce the first full-time, ongoing Assistive Technology Specialist (ATS) role within the University. This role has come about because of needs identified by the Disability Service, starting in 2012, and their hard work in getting a fixed-term ATS role from 2016-2018. The ATS role now sits within ITDS, so is central to University functions and is starting to make use of the wider IT structure to support and grow the service offered to students. It hasn’t lost its roots though and still works closely with the Disability Service, co-reporting to its Team Leader. Assistive Technology is an umbrella term often used in relation to disability support. Although not untrue, we are excited by the potential that AT tools have to enhance the method of interaction and learning experience for all Western students and staff. In addition to our existing consultation and training sessions we are developing an AT peer training program and an online knowledge base. We aspire to create a new normal, destigmatising Assistive Technology and making it more widely and freely available. Join us to learn about some of the assistive technologies we offer here at Western, the current processes for gaining access to them, future projects in the pipeline, and be encouraged to think about how you can utilise what’s on offer.
Gloria DavidsonFish out of Water
 Basically, Fish Out of Water is the synonym of how I felt when I first embarked in my role as Engagement Officer within School of Social Sciences & Psychology (SSAP). This position is sporadic, requiring complete immersion in all that is happening at any one point in time. Events, projects, academic international visitor schemes, research activities all needing my complete attention to enable these important projects to come to reality. Never ending phone calls, negotiations, emails and zoom meetings can all happen in one single day on each and every project that I am working on. What a hack? How was I supposed to remember and capture conversations, emails, to-do-lists, who is doing what on every project at any given time? I desperately needed a project management tool to guide me and help me work effectively and efficiently. I searched high and I search low. I started talking about the Ghantt Chart with my manager at which point she thought I was going mad, but she didn’t lose faith in me, thank God! Then, I came across the Planner Office 365 application and everything changed from then on… let me tell you about planner application. This tool will help you plan your work (like the name says it), create plans, assign tasks to your team members, staff and other divisions within the university, share files, communicate and collaborate, receive progress updates via various means on the Office 365 platform. Project management and collaboration made easy with my Planner!
Lynnae Venaruzzo and Andrew KomoderEnhancing the Digital Future
 Student engagement is widely understood to be vital to student success, and learning is improved when students are curious, inspired and invested in their learning. Digital Futures is committed to helping instructors engage students by creating technology-enabled activities and conditions that are most likely to generate higher quality learning. The Content Enhanced model leverages cognitive science principles with user experience design to create visually rich learning materials with multiple formative assessment points providing immediate, corrective feedback. This model delivers affordable, scalable, student-focussed, digitally enriched learning material. Produced in house at Western by specialists in learning science, user experience design, learning design, and educational technology, this model implements active and adaptive learning principles within learning material, to spark student curiosity and guide students towards academic success. A showcase of produced and in-development digital assets will provide participants with authentic exposure to the enhanced digital future of our student learning experience.
Jayan KarunasingheVisualisation of Grants Development Data with Tableau
 Data visualisation of research grant applications at development stage is important part of data management processes carried out at REDI of WSU. The grant applications data include academics’ names, afflated school or institute, status of applications, funding body, scheme, protect titles, grant progress, administering organisation, external due date and clearance form status research development officer assigned to the applications. These data are maintained online in grant tracking database in WSU Share Point system. Through a tool like Tableau, it has the ability to connect and extract these grant applications data from the Share point system and made them visually well descriptive and interesting. Dots, lines, bars and maps are used to visually communicate numerical values of grants data to communicate a quantitative message. Visualizations in Tableau are generated as dashboards and worksheets. We create dashboards for Submitted and Developing grants data and also for monthly progress reports for the status of applications. They are uploaded to WSU enterprise server that can be shared and viewed by users within a team that support collaboration. The server provides a secured web environment. Therefore, Tableau supports business intelligence of REDI through viewing current status of grants data to enable to view at management meetings and initiate support or follow up programs that benefits academics of WSU.