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Getting ready for climate change is about people, not spreadsheets. Let’s use our imaginations

14 May 2021
Measures in this week’s federal budget to help Australians withstand and adapt to climate change are sorely needed, after years of cuts in this policy area.The Morrison government has funded a raft of initiatives, including A$600 million to establish a National Recovery and Resilience Agency and A$210....Read more.

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Ghana’s new rental scheme won’t fix the real problem: a housing shortage

06 May 2021
Ghana’s government has announced a loan scheme to help tenants pay the hefty advance rent (often covering two years) to private landlords. Advance rent is also prevalent in several other African countries.Scholars have highlighted several problems this advance rent payment poses to renters.....Read more.

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It’s not surprising Indian-Australians feel singled out. They have long been subjected to racism

06 May 2021
In the past five years, the number of overseas-born migrants from India grew more than any other group in Australia, increasing from 449,000 to 721,000. Indian residents leapfrogged New Zealand-born and China-born migrants in the 2020....Read more.

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Planning shake-up needed to help those whose job it is to make NSW a healthy place

06 May 2021
You’d be forgiven for asking if living in some parts of New South Wales is actually good for your health. In the past 18 months Australia’s most populous state has been challenged like never before. Unprecedented bushfires, a global pandemic and recent flooding have posed huge questions, which sit alongside other 21st-century.....Read more.

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Less than half of Australian adults know how to identify misinformation online

15 Apr 2021
For most of us, it’s hard to imagine a media-free day.Understanding what’s happening in the world, maintaining our social media profiles, staying in touch with family, being entertained, making new friends, engaging with governments, and with our democracy, are all activities that usually require media participation.....Read more.

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REPORT: Adult Media Literacy in Australia

31 Mar 2021
The Adult Media Literacy in Australia report, provides the first comprehensive analysis into how Australians understand and use different forms of traditional and digital media. The report involves a collaboration between researchers at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University, the Digital Media Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology and the News and Media Research Centre at the University of Canberra.....Read more.

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How young LGBTQIA+ people used social media to thrive during COVID lockdowns

18 Mar 2021
During COVID-19 lockdowns, a major concern for LGBTIQ+ communities, mental health professionals and academics was that young lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and questioning, intersex and asexual+ people may suffer from being stuck in transphobic, biphobic or homophobic households.....Read more.


New resource to create cooler future cities

25 Feb 2021
A new online resource will help local councils, planners and developers create cooler cities in a warming climate, especially in areas such as western Sydney where heatwave temperatures are expected to reach 50C by 2050.....Read more.

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How new design patterns can enable cities and their residents to change with climate change

25 Feb 2021
Our cities, designed for one set of climatic ranges, are increasingly “out of place” as average temperatures rise. The days above 40℃ and nights above 30℃ are increasing, especially in the expanding suburbs of Australian cities. This presents us with a massive redesign project.....Read more.

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Can I have a pet and be housed, too? It all depends

23 Feb 2021
Six housing experts spanning five Australian universities undertook the study of animal-inclusive housing and options for reform, the first of its kind internationally. It assesses state and territory housing and legislative reforms in the private rental sector, social housing, homelessness services, strata title, aged care and caravan parks. Here they explain what they found.....Read more.

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You can’t have a Hollywood meet cute on a dating app — but is that such a bad thing?

11 Feb 2021
The “meet cute” is the moment in which two unlikely people encounter each other while going about their ordinary lives, and something extraordinary begins. In the romantic comedy The Holiday (2006), Arthur (Eli Wallach) describes it thus to Iris (Kate Winslet):....Read more.

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On an Electric Car Road Trip Around NSW, We Found Range Anxiety (and the Need for More Chargers) is Real

08 Feb 2021
Replacing cars that run on fossil fuels with electric cars will be important in meeting climate goals – road transport produces more than 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions. But there are obstacles to wider uptake, particularly in Australia.....Read more.

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Luke Munn Wins Prize for Doctoral Thesis Excellence

16 Dec 2020
Congratulations to Dr Luke Munn who has won the inaugural Western Sydney University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Enterprise and International) Prize for Doctoral Thesis Excellence. This prize is awarded in recognition of the candidate's examiners’ outcome, publication and impact, and overall quality of the thesis and candidature.....Read more.

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No, Education Minister, We Don’t Have Enough Evidence to Support Banning Mobile Phones in Schools

10 Dec 2020
Last week, South Australia announced a mobile phone ban in primary schools. Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan endorsed the ban. Despite claims students’ use of mobile phones at school is connected with lower academic performance, we actually don’t have sufficient data to back the policy.....Read more.

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Professor Juan Francisco Salazar Wins Researcher of the Year Award

10 Dec 2020
Congratulations to Professor Juan Francisco Salazar who has received Researcher of the Year Award in the Western Sydney University 2020 Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Awards.....Read more.

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Older Renters Are Lonely and Struggling Financially During COVID - Research Shows

04 Dec 2020
A new publication released by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) into the impact of COVID-19 on renters shows that older renters are more lonely than before the pandemic and are struggling financially. Dr Emma Power provides analysis.....Read more.

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Custodians of Antarctica: How 5 Gateway Cities Are Embracing the Icy Continent

01 Dec 2020
Our work over the past four years has made clear the benefits of developing strategies to foster international co-operation among the five so-called Antarctic “gateway” cities rather than international competition.....Read more.

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New Mothers, Infants and Adolescents Face Challenges to Healthy Food and Nutrition - Research Shows

24 Nov 2020
Whether it is Australia or Serbia, Africa or the USA, huge challenges are preventing new mothers, their infants and adolescents from eating healthy food and getting adequate nutrition, shows new research from the UNICEF and the Young and Resilient Research Centre.....Read more.

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Institute Researchers Awarded Australian Research Council Discovery and Linkage Grants

16 Nov 2020
Congratulations to ICS researchers Dr Emma Power, Professor Gay Hawkins, Dr Stephen Healy, Dr Fiona Cameron, Distinguished Professor Ien Ang and their colleagues for their success in the latest rounds of Australian Research Council Discovery and Linkage Grants.....Read more.

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Young People Are Exposed to More Hate Online During COVID. And it Risks Their Health

10 Nov 2020
COVID has led to children spending more time on screens using social networks, communication apps, chat rooms and online gaming. While this has undoubtedly allowed them to keep in touch with friends, or connect with new ones, during the pandemic, they are also being exposed to increased levels of online hate.....Read more.

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Dr Michelle Fitts Granted ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

03 Nov 2020
Congratulations to Dr Michelle Fitts who has been awarded an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) to explore the lived experiences of Indigenous Australian women with traumatic brain injury.....Read more.

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Comic Art Posters Communicate the Experiences of Indigenous Scholars in the Academy

27 Oct 2020
A group of Indigenous and allied scholars have collaborated with Ad Astra Comix to produce a series of posters about some of the experiences that Indigenous peoples have in the academy. The four posters are free to download.....Read more.

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When it Comes to Heritage, Family History Trumps Museums

15 Oct 2020
Heritage has significance. It’s evident in the furor over the mid-year beheading of Christopher Columbus statues in the US and the spraying of graffiti on Captain Cook statues in Australia. But heritage — collections, buildings, archaeological sites, cultural traditions and other intangible traces of the past — matters in different ways to different people.....Read more.

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Cable Internet Brings Both Opportunities and Risks to Millions of Children and Young People in the Pacific, Reveals New Report

15 Oct 2020
Plan International Australia, ChildFund Australia and the Young and Resilient Research Centre have released a ground-breaking new report showing how the rollout of cable internet systems across the Pacific opens up unprecedented learning opportunities for children but also exposes them to new risks of harm.....Read more.

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Research Grant to Support Diverse Contributions to Australia’s Digital Cultural Heritage

14 Oct 2020
Congratulations to Institute researchers who are involved in Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative for Australian Society, History and Culture grants, announced today.....Read more.

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Jane Austen, Monet and Phantom of the Opera – Middlebrow Culture Today

22 Sep 2020
Culture has long been stratified as “high” or “low”, or perhaps “high” and “popular” to soften the blow. But what about the in-between? We asked almost 1500 Australians about their cultural preferences and participation, and mapped their responses on a spectrum.....Read more.

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Cathy Freeman: Live at Stadium Australia, 25 September 2000

15 Sep 2020
I was there. Remember this statement in future decades when all manner of pretenders will confuse what they saw in their lounge room (on that quaint little box that we used to call "the telly") with what they think they remember seeing at the Stadium Australia that they imagine they attended that not-so-hot September night.....Read more.

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The Sydney Olympics: How Did the ‘Best Games Ever’ Change Australia?

15 Sep 2020
On Tuesday, it will be 20 years since the Olympic opening ceremony in Sydney, kicking off the “best games ever”. Our newspapers and TV screens are now awash with nostalgia about great sporting moments and the spectacle and ceremony of the Olympics.....Read more.

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Cashless Payment is Booming, Thanks to Coronavirus. So is Financial Surveillance

10 Sep 2020
A banknote has been sitting in my wallet for six months now. As time ticks on, it burns an ever greater hole in my pocket. At first I felt uneasy spending it, following COVID-19 warnings to pay more attention to hand hygiene and the surfaces we all touch on a daily basis.....Read more.

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COVID-19 Cases are Highest in Young Adults. We Need to Partner with Them for the Health of the Whole Community

28 Aug 2020
Australian data confirms coronavirus is more common in younger adults. People aged 20-29 have continually had the highest rates of COVID-19 cases. To reduce these rates and support young people to play their part in stemming community transmission, we need to understand their experiences during the pandemic.....Read more.

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Landcom Addresses the Urban Heat Effect in New Research Report on Cooling Common Spaces

25 Aug 2020
Landcom is excited to release a new report on the urban heat island effect titled ‘Cooling Common Spaces in Densifying Urban Environments’ that offers ways to address the very serious issue of rising heat levels in urban environments, in partnership with ICS and University of Technology Sydney.....Read more.

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A Fair Go for All? Research Examines Link Between Culture and Inequality in Australia

24 Aug 2020
New research by Western Sydney University highlights the pivotal role culture plays in social divisions and inequalities in Australia, between classes, age groups, ethnicities, genders, city and country locations, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.....Read more.

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Australians’ Favourites Show Aboriginal Art Can Transcend Social Divisions and Art Boundaries

24 Aug 2020
New analysis shows landscape art is the most popular visual art genre among Australians, with Aboriginal art coming in second place, followed by portraits and modern art. But Aboriginal art is more likely to bridge social divides and can dissolve personal prejudices between different kinds of art.....Read more.

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TikTok Can Be Good for Your Kids if You Follow a Few Tips to Stay Safe

21 Aug 2020
The video-sharing app TikTok is a hot political potato amid concerns over who has access to users’ personal data.The United States has moved to ban the app. Other countries, including Australia, have expressed concern. But does this mean your children who use this app are at risk?....Read more.

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State Arts Service Organisations Effective, Engaged But Endangered

21 Aug 2020
This week the NSW government’s arts funding arm, Create NSW, removed or significantly reduced funding to arts service organisations including Writing NSW, Playwriting Australia, the National Association of Visual Artists (NAVA) and Ausdance NSW. This short-sighted trend of cutting funding to arts organisations began several years ago.....Read more.

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Experts Advocate Benefits of Community Housing to NSW Government’s Housing Strategy

04 Aug 2020
A team of housing experts, led by Associate Professor Louise Crabtree, has made a submission in response to the NSW Government’s A Housing Strategy for NSW - Discussion Paper. The submission details the benefits of housing cooperatives and community land trusts (CLTs) as alternatives to current models.....Read more.

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‘Uprooting, No Matter How Small a Plant You Are, Is a Trauma’: Older Women Renters Are Struggling

04 Aug 2020
In a report released today, single older women living on low incomes describe to Dr Emma Power how high and rising rents left them struggling to meet day-to-day costs. Many paid rent before they bought food or paid power bills because the alternative was eviction.....Read more.

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New Research Explores Stress of Unaffordable and Insecure Housing on Older Renters

04 Aug 2020
New research by Dr Emma Power finds that older women who rent are struggling in an insecure and unaffordable rental market. A combination of high housing costs and low incomes leaves many living in substandard housing and unable to afford necessities like food and energy bills.....Read more.

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Subjecting Pandemic Sport to a Sociological Procedure

31 Jul 2020
Emeritus Professor David Rowe has published an article in Journal of Sociology on the impact of COVID-19 on sport, looking into how the globalisation of sport has created a structural imbalance and vulnerability, and why sociology must play a role in reforming sport after the pandemic.....Read more.

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We Live in an Age of ‘Fake News’. But Australian Children Are Not Learning Enough About Media Literacy

06 Jul 2020
Today we release the findings from our new research into how young Australians consume and think about news media. Following a summer of bushfires and during the COVID-19 pandemic, young people have told us they consume news regularly.....Read more.

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Australasia Will Host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup: What’s Not to Like?

29 Jun 2020
Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand have won the right to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In the middle of a global pandemic, sport in both countries surely has something to celebrate. Even more so given the miserable failure of Australia’s attempt to host the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup, which cost $AU43 million in public money and delivered precisely one vote.....Read more.

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Future of Arts in Australia: Experts Call for Policy Changes to Overcome Crisis

25 Jun 2020
The visual arts in Australia have, like all arts, been profoundly challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure of galleries and markets; cancellation of art festivals; the isolation of artists from their communities; and inadequate financial support from the federal government, have all delivered a huge blow to the economies of the visual arts and weakened their capacity to engage with the public.....Read more.

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New Research Shows Social Networks Provide Refugees with Significant Foundations for Belonging

18 Jun 2020
New research by Settlement Services International and the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, challenges narrow economic definitions of successful refugee settlement and, instead, suggests social and civic dimensions are equally valid markers of refugee integration.....Read more.

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‘The Neighbours Were Always Very Welcoming and Warm’: Little Things Count to Help Refugees Belong

18 Jun 2020
Successful settlement and integration are shared goals of refugees and the communities where they settle. Research shows the importance of simple everyday encounters and experiences for newly arrived refugees to feel welcome in Australia. We also found refugees’ strong social bonds with family and community do not prevent them developing connections with the broader Australian community.....Read more.

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Australian Cultural Fields Project Publishes Two New Books

17 Jun 2020
We are pleased to announce two new books based on findings from the Australian Cultural Fields: National and Transnational Dynamics research project: The Australian Art Field: Practices, Policies, Institutions and Fields, Capitals, Habitus: Australian Culture, Inequalities and Social Divisions. These two volumes represent the culmination of the 5-year research project into Australians' cultural tastes and practices, led by Professor Tony Bennett with a team of leading national and international researchers.....Read more.

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New International Research Partnership to Assess the State of Media Literacy in Australia and the USA

11 Jun 2020
As rapid changes in technology and global communication highlight the critical role of media literacy within society, Western Sydney University and The National Association for Media Literacy Education are partnering on new research to assess the current state of media literacy education in Australia and the United States.....Read more.

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ICS Researchers Feature in Future-Makers

04 Jun 2020
Issue 4 of the University's Future-Makers publication, a showcase of innovative and impactful research, has been released, featuring ten stories of success from Institute for Culture and Society researchers.....Read more.

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Media Literacy Lessons a Must for Schools

29 May 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of teaching students the difference between real and fake or misleading news say the authors of a new report into news media literacy education. The News Literacy and Australian Teachers: How News Media is Taught in the Classroom report also recommends teachers be given more time, resources, and curriculum support to do so.....Read more.

Emeritus Professor David Rowe

Emeritus Professor David Rowe Awarded ICA's The Legacy Scholar Award

26 May 2020
Congratulations to Emeritus Professor David Rowe who has been awarded the International Communication Association's (ICA) The Legacy Scholar Award for a sustained program of research that has significantly shaped the scholarly field of sport communication at the highest level.....Read more.

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Tonight We Riot? What Nintendo’s ‘Revolutionary’ Video Game Misses About Worker Liberation

21 May 2020
“In a world where the wealthy elite control the media, elections and lives of working people, we’re faced with two choices – accept it or fight for something better.” That’s the premise of Tonight We Riot, a new video game for touted as a leftist response to the “neocon fantasies” like Call of Duty.....Read more.

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New Australian Research Council Grant to Help Prevent Social Isolation Through Innovative Housing Models

21 May 2020
Western Sydney University has been awarded an ARC Linkage grant worth $594,268 (including partner contributions) to investigate the benefits of housing cooperatives as an alternative housing option in Australia.....Read more.

Professor Heather Horst

ICS Welcomes New Director, Professor Heather Horst

12 May 2020
The Institute is pleased to welcome Professor Heather Horst as its new Director as of February 2020. A sociocultural anthropologist researching material culture and the mediation of social relations through digital media and technology, Heather is well-known for her work in digital anthropology, studies of media and technology in families, and research into mobile media in developing contexts.....Read more.

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Cultural Justice: Creativity in a Time of Crisis

01 May 2020
The COVID-19 crisis has made it clearer than ever how crucial arts and culture are to our everyday lives. Use of streaming services like Netflix has spiked; neighbours are singing and dancing in the streets and DJing from their balconies; and we’re keeping occupied with reading, writing, drawing and painting.....Read more.

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Five Years on From the Earthquake in Bhaktapur, Nepal, Heritage-led Recovery is Uniting Community

24 Apr 2020
Since the Gorkha earthquake killed almost 9,000 people in April 2015, Nepal has been on a slow and arduous route to recovery. Nepal’s vibrant cultural heritage of monuments, religious places, crafts, festivals and traditional practices has been key to this process.....Read more.

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Forget Old Screen ‘Time’ Rules During Coronavirus. Here’s What You Should Focus on Instead

14 Apr 2020
COVID-19 has left parents grappling with the challenges of online learning, entertainment and work. It’s natural the amount of time children spend using screens will now increase. But that’s OK. Screen time recommendations we’ve enforced for so long no longer apply to our situation. There are ways to make the best of kids’ increased use of screens.....Read more.

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Young People Are Anxious About Coronavirus. Political Leaders Need to Talk With Them, Not at Them

03 Apr 2020
Young people in Australia are among the fastest-growing group to contract COVID19. According to the Department of Health, there are now more cases in Australia among people aged 20 – 29 years than any other age group. Our research has found that, contrary to popular belief, many young people in Australia are seriously concerned about the virus.....Read more.

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1 in 10 Children Affected by Bushfires is Indigenous. We’ve Been Ignoring Them for Too Long

03 Apr 2020
The catastrophic bushfire season is officially over, but governments, agencies and communities have failed to recognise the specific and disproportionate impact the fires have had on Aboriginal peoples. Addressing this in bushfire response and recovery is part of Unfinished Business the work needed for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to meet on more just terms.....Read more.

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‘Hopeful’ Gen Z Lead Sydney School Strike for Climate

03 Apr 2020
Western Sydney University academics have joined with researchers from 34 universities in 16 countries to track the hopes and fears of young people participating in Global Climate Strikes. The findings released this week are based on survey data from 19 cities around the world. In Sydney, protesters said their main reason for attending the Strike was to pressure politicians for change.....Read more.

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The Safest Sex You’ll Never Have: How Coronavirus is Changing Online Dating

31 Mar 2020
When Tinder issued an in-app public service announcement regarding COVID-19 on March 3 we all had a little laugh as a panoply of memes and gags hit the internet. Two weeks later the laughter has subsided, but the curiosity continues. How will singles mingle in the time of Corona?....Read more.

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All Sport is Global: A Hard Lesson From the Pandemic

30 Mar 2020
There is a common saying that all politics is local. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, we should invent a new one: all sport is global. In a few short months, worries about sport – especially via the media – being only too available, have given way to complaints that live sport action has become as rare as panic-purchased toilet paper.....Read more.

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Lessons From the Great Depression: How to Prevent Evictions in an Economic Crisis

26 Mar 2020
The queues of unemployed people outside Centrelink offices in recent days are reminiscent of the dole queues seen across Australia during the Great Depression of the 1930s. At that time, most states provided inadequate food vouchers rather than cash to people in the form of income support payments.....Read more.

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Why Housing Evictions Must Be Suspended to Defend Us Against Coronavirus

24 Mar 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is a double crisis affecting public health and the economy. And both aspects are playing out in our housing system – in our homes. More and more of us are being directed to stay home, to work from home, or to socially isolate at home.....Read more.

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3 Ways to Help Children Think Critically About the News

25 Feb 2020
Like adults, children use the news to learn about what’s happening in the world. But the circulation of misinformation, such as the recent spread of fake news about COVID-19 (the disease caused by coronavirus), blurs our understanding of events and issues. In 2017, we conducted the first nationally representative survey of how Australian children, aged eight to 16, consume news.....Read more.

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Looking for Love on a Dating App? You Might be Falling for a Ghost

12 Feb 2020
Love requires imagination: a shared vision, narrative or trajectory. In our connected world, this imagination is fostered from the very start of the interaction. It happens from the moment we pick up our phones, tap on an app and consider swiping right.....Read more.

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Research sends five young people on expedition to care for Antarctica’s future

03 Feb 2020
Five young leaders from Antarctic ‘gateway cities’ will travel to the continent from 12-19 February as part of an international research project led by Western Sydney University with its partners, including the University of Tasmania and Chilean Antarctic Institute. During the journey, the leaders will visit international research stations and take part in discussions about how their cities can act together as custodians.....Read more.

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How to Cope With Extreme Heat Days Without Racking Up the Aircon Bills

29 Jan 2020
Summer in Australia is getting hotter. Extreme heat events, with daytime temperatures over 35 degrees Celsius, are becoming more common and we are getting more of these days in a row. We all need to prepare ourselves, our homes and our neighbourhoods for hot and very hot days.....Read more.

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New Australian Research Council Grant to Help Artificial Intelligence Break Down Barriers for People with Disability

24 Jan 2020
Institute researchers have been awarded an Australian Research Council Linkage grant worth over $700,000, including partner contributions, to investigate how future Artificial Intelligence (AI) developments and policy can ensure economic, social and cultural inclusion for Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who are living with disabilities.....Read more.

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Australia’s Bushfire Smoke Is Lapping the Globe, and the Law Is Too Lame to Catch It

24 Jan 2020
Smoke from Australia’s bushfires has travelled far beyond its origins. As climate change takes hold and global temperatures rise, bushfires are set to increase in severity and frequency. The underlying cause of the fires and resulting smoke haze are often numerous. Legal and policy frameworks - local, national and international – fail to capture these diffused responsibilities.....Read more.

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Research Examines Future of Manufacturing in Australia and Calls for New Policy Approach

22 Jan 2020
New research by Western Sydney University and the University of Newcastle has identified examples of a just and sustainable culture of manufacturing in Australia, and calls for policy changes to safeguard the sector’s future.....Read more.

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The Olympics Have Always Been a Platform for Protest. Banning Hand Gestures and Kneeling Ignores Their History

17 Jan 2020
It is the year of the Tokyo Olympics, and the International Olympic Committee was quickly out of the blocks with new guidelines regarding athlete protests.....Read more.

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Living with Fire Demands a Long-term Perspective

16 Jan 2020
Australians must take a long-term approach to living with the threat of large bushfires. This means learning from Indigenous people, who have always had long-term interests at heart when looking after the landscape, Leslie Schultz, Dr Jessica Weir, and Helen Langley write. Working together places us in the strongest position to help look after all that we value.....Read more.

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Strength from Perpetual Grief: How Aboriginal People Experience the Bushfire Crisis

10 Jan 2020
How do you support people forever attached to a landscape after an inferno tears through their homelands: decimating native food sources, burning through ancient scarred trees and destroying ancestral and totemic plants and animals?....Read more.

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New Resource by Institute Researchers Provides Advice on How to Prepare for Heat

10 Jan 2020
A new resource developed by the Cooling the Commons research team will help low-income communities prepare for extreme heat and stay cool in summer. The pamphlet provides simple, low-cost and practical tips.....Read more.

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