Issue One

From Western Sydney to the world

What if an app could be used to improve mental health and economic outcomes for 50,000 Sri Lankan farmers? What can subtle changes in the eating and breeding habits of turtles tell us about the condition of our rivers and aquatic ecosystems? What if good oral health plays a more significant role in healthy pregnancies than we ever imagined?

Researchers at Western Sydney University are answering these questions and posing many more, working closely with industry partners and community stakeholders. At Western Sydney University, we rank second among Australian universities for our collaborative publications. It is through genuine partnerships that our researchers make discoveries that are relevant, important and applicable. This publication presents some of those findings. 

Welcome to the first edition of Future-Makers, our new magazine designed to highlight the incisive and innovative research happening at Western Sydney University.  

With a mission to serve regional and international communities, Western Sydney University’s research is designed to be impactful at both a local and global level. The University is among the top two per cent of universities worldwide, and in the top 100 universities less than 50 years old, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Our reach and impact are global, but the questions are generated locally in Western Sydney. 

The stories of discovery you will read are significant, not just as research exercises but in terms of relevance to peoples’ lives. They bring fresh perspectives to emerging and intractable problems, arriving at innovative and effective solutions. This is exemplified by work from the University’s Institute of Culture and Society whose researchers are looking at the importance of trust in building progressive dialogue and policy on climate change. This is an approach that mitigates against ideology and political polarisation, and instead seeks to promote collaboration. 

This first edition of Future-Makers tells the story of this vital research, along with articles about equally important and impactful research and their results across Western Sydney University that will contribute to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of communities. 

We encourage you to read on. More than that, we urge you to get involved and join us on our collaborative journey.

Professor Barney Glover
Vice Chancellor and President 

Professor Deborah Sweeney
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research and Innovation)

On the cover

Doctor Quang Vinh Nguyen, senior lecturer in visual analysis, computing and ICT uses virtual reality goggles to visualise genomic data on cancers to better inform treatment options. The technology was developed in collaboration with The Children's Hospital at Westmead and the University of Technology Sydney.