Day One - Monday 23 May


Welcome and Housekeeping
Jennifer Podesta, Graduate Research Development Officer


Acknowledgement of Country and Official Opening
Prof Renee Leon, Vice Chancellor, Charles Sturt University


Keynote Speaker
Dr Michelle Jamieson

Falling apart and together again: A fresh look at wellbeing in the light of the pandemic

Over the past two years, the novel conditions of the COVID19 pandemic have highlighted increasing challenges to maintaining wellbeing in the workplace. The need to continuously adapt to changing and uncertain circumstances, and to live with the discomfort these produce, have led to widespread experiences of stress, anxiety, fatigue and burnout. But how well were we before COVID? How comfortably did we balance our personal and professional commitments? And how much did we enjoy, and thrive in, our jobs?

This presentation takes a fresh look at wellbeing in the light of the pandemic. Drawing on the lessons of recent years, it explores what a mindfulness-based perspective has to offer how we think about and practice wellbeing in an academic context. Specifically, it examines the relationship between health and work, and the role that self-awareness plays in keeping these elements in balance. Importantly, it emphasises the centrality of the physical body – of the embodied, sensate and felt – to these discussions, especially given the uniquely cerebral nature of academic work. Broadly, the paper advocates for a view of wellbeing as a lifelong practice that is foundational to a healthy career, and offers suggestions for ways to begin engaging consciously with this process.


Gathering thoughts Break


Concurrent Themed Sessions (1)

Room 1 - Well-being and self-management
Moderator - Jennifer Podesta

Managing to maintain your life balance over the sustained period of time and effort it takes to complete a doctoral degree can take its toll and even the best will run into roadblocks or writers block! Presentations in this session will provide insights into how to manage your time, your work and your well-being.

1:50   Sarah Smorhun

Insider outsider: Maintaining a healthy work/research/life balance as a professional doctorate candidate

Jennifer Brown categorised four types of researchers, and I fit within the insider outsider realm. My experiences have highlighted that feeling of being immersed in my field of research but on the edges of it. While this can take a toll, it can offer benefits. As a mature aged professional doctorate candidate, working full time in my research field I find myself envious of PhD candidates, who are often able to fully focus on their research. However, my work experiences contribute to my understanding of the practical application of my research and enable me to see the practical application of my research along the way. Maintaining a healthy work/research/life balance can be challenging while navigating the unexpected along the research journey, but discovering what self-care looks like can be one of the most important things you can learn.

2:06   Nicholas Steepe, LGBTIQA+ Inclusion @ Charles Sturt

Come along to learn about LGBTIQA+ inclusion at Charles Sturt. You’ll learn about our Ally Network and training, inclusion initiatives and projects we’re working on, and find out how you can get involved!

2:22   Melinda Green, Manager, Student Counselling

Student Counselling is a part of Student Safety and Wellbeing and offer a range of services to support Graduate Research candidates.

2:38   Ruth Pape

A Doctoral Journey: Navigating gendered challenges from clinical practice in Papua New Guinea to Charles Sturt PhD candidate

Breast cancer is a health problem affecting over two million women worldwide. Early detection of breast cancer can be achieved through population-based breast screening programs. In Papua New Guinea (PNG), there is a high incidence of breast cancer affecting mostly younger women who typically present at the few mammography equipped health facilities with advanced stages of breast cancer. PNG has no dedicated nationwide breast screening program unlike Australia (BreastScreen Australia) or the United Kingdom (National Health Service Breast Cancer Screening Program). My doctoral journey was ignited in 2005 as a mammographer working to screen more than 3000 PNG women through a sponsored screening program. The key challenges in my journey from then to now include being an educated female working in a male-dominated society, securing prestigious scholarships to support my study, navigating a toxic higher education workplace and maintaining well-being whilst juggling being a wife and mother of five.

2:44   Sheree Moore

Making space for self-care? Juggling roles and relationships during a PhD, parenthood, a pandemic and natural disasters

My PhD application was written in the car while my partner drove us more than 5000km across the country to care for my father-in-law during his final days in 2017. I have since had a baby, navigated the challenges and joys of parenthood, started and completed a psychology internship, and worked as a nurse and psychologist in a variety of settings. We experienced the challenges of the bushfires and COVID 19. The entire time, my PhD has been in the background, motivating me through stressful times and challenging me with significant delays and unexpected events. During all of these experiences there has been a constant question screaming in my head - how do you make space for self-care? The long journey has helped me to answer this question by giving me the knowledge, skills and strength needed to find ‘me’ during a PhD.

2:55   Yasdan Mansourian

From serious leisure to eudaimonic wellbeing: A research narrative

This paper reflects on the past four years of my ongoing research program at Charles Sturt University and maps it into an emerging conceptual framework. As an information scientist, I began my research with a few exploratory questions about how people seek, share, organise and use information during their leisure time. Among all types of leisure, I focused on ‘Serious Leisure’, including hobbies, volunteering, and amateurism. I limited my scope to the serious leisure perspective because previous studies indicated hobbyists, volunteers, and amateurs typically need to search, browse, collect, share, exchange, and produce a wide range of information resources to pursue their interests. However, my findings up to this stage reveal that information practices in serious leisure usually serve a bigger goal for the participants and help them develop a form of holistic and eudaimonic wellbeing which means constructing a more purposeful, meaningful, and joyful life.

3:03   Moderator summary and thank you

Room 2 - Methodologies (Quantitative) and research practice
Moderator - Emmaline Lear

Exploring the application or value of a range of methodological approaches, research tools and designs.

1:50   Allister Clarke

Combining Multi-Source Data and Machine Learning Approaches to Predict Head Rice Yield in the Riverina Region of Australia.

Rice whole grain yield (WGY) represents the percentage of grains that remain unbroken during the milling process. With broken grains receiving approximately half the price of whole grains, maximising WGY is critical to the industry’s milling revenue. The inability to classify WGY as rice is delivered limits the ability of SunRice to make post-harvest decisions that maximise WGY. This project has developed a series of variety-specific predictive models able to accurately predict WGY at the delivery stand. To develop the models, machine learning algorithms were applied to a dataset constructed from grower management records, crop phenology dates, post-harvest data, climate observations and satellite imagery. Validation of the model against historical data demonstrates strong predictive capability, with a 60.2% decrease in error when compared to the current industry practice of forecasting WGY. Additional data mining has uncovered the key factors contributing to WGY variation, improving grower understanding for future crop management.

2:00   Claudia Macleay

Finding patterns in data using multiple correspondence analysis to understand the causes and risks of equine pregnancy loss

Understanding the causes and risks of equine pregnancy loss is essential for developing prevention and management strategies to reduce the occurrence and impact on the horse breeding industry. A scoping review on mid to late-term equine pregnancy loss was performed using the PRISMA-ScR guidelines. The review captured 514 records that met the eligibility criteria. A multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) was conducted to visualize, describe and find patterns in the data. The MCA analysis assigns weights to categorical variables creating a point cloud of data; clusters represent a group of records with similarities within the cloud. The analysis revealed seven clusters, which grouped records based on the cause of loss, the global region, and pathology and histopathology conducted on the foetus and foetal membranes. Exploring the reasons behind these clustering patterns should be the focus of future research as they might indicate undescribed risk factors associated with equine pregnancy loss.

2:09   Emily Birckhead

Neutrophil Extracellular Trap (NET) formation in equine neonates

This study examines Neutrophil Extracellular Trap (NET) formation in young, unwell foals that have come to the Veterinary Clinical Centre at Charles Sturt University for treatment. NET formation involves neutrophils releasing a web of DNA and associated antimicrobial molecules to entrap bacteria. Excessive NET release, as can occur with severe systemic inflammation and sepsis, can be harmful to the surrounding tissue. Increased NET release has been identified in humans and various animals with sepsis. There have been limited studies investigating NET release in horses and their role in inflammation and sepsis is unclear. This study uses an ELISA to measure nucleosomes, a NET marker, in blood samples from foals. Preliminary findings suggest there is a tendency for higher levels of circulating nucleosomes in bacteraemic and septic foals.

2:25   Selahattin Türen

Analysing the Forum Activities and Real-time Detection of TOR Attacks from the Dark Web

Cybercriminal activities cause billions of dollars of damage across the globe. Since we live with the Internet every day, then cybercriminals can take an opportunity to spread their malicious activity rate exponentially. Credit or debit cards frauds, child pornography, human trafficking, drug dealing and selling weapons are examples of those malicious activities. Dark Web is the platform, which is used for organising these cybercriminal activities. The anonymity of users in the Dark Web makes it easier to communicate each other.  My research aims to detect illegal forum activities in the Dark Web by developing a cybersecurity maturity model, which applies machine learning and AI techniques. This model is derived from The Prevention-Detection-Response-Recovery (PDR²) model by Kenneth Eustace et al. (2018). This model will have a standard which will help other researchers who are working with the illegal activities in the Dark Web.

2:41   John Xie

Analyse your data using Bayesian Networks

Bayesian Network (BN) is a machine-learning data analysis technique and the BN modelling approach complements the traditional statistical data analysis approach in overcoming the curse of dimensionality and naturally capturing the independence and dependence relationships among model variables.  Netica is the most widely used BN software in the world.  Three Bayesian Network (BN) models developed in Netica are presented to showcase how to analyse your data using Bayesian Networks. If you can use Microsoft Word and Excel confidently in your work, you will be able to learn Bayesian Networks using Netica.

2:50   Anne Johnson

Endnote: top tips from a long-time user

They say first impressions count. Did you know some referees or thesis examiners look at the reference list first? Whether at the start or the end of your PhD journey, this talk is for those who want to present a top-notch reference list but haven’t had the time to do all the courses. Working for many years as a research assistant I have corrected and formatted the reference sections of over 100 journal papers and theses. What is a must-have for a thesis or journal paper? Parts of this talk will be relevant for any reference database program. Endnote is my tool of choice, and I will show short cuts, common mistakes, and must-dos. How to take your thesis chapters and combine the reference list without going insane? Impress your supervisor, impress your examiners, and create a useful database for your long-term research career.

3:06   Russell Dippy

The Professional Doctorate - Learnings from going paperless (nearly)

A Professional Doctorate takes a lot of time and organisation and generates a lot of paper.  Trying to reduce our environmental footprint when studying can be difficult.  This paper will address the experience of using of various IT packages to support a paperless (or close to) study journey.  Advantages of doing this not only include the reduction of environmental impacts from printing, but they also assist with the collation and storage of data.  Just as importantly, if done correctly the security of the information and personal notes can improved so as to reduce the risks of IT hardware failures or losses during the study period.

3:21   Elizabeth Harangozo, Research Ethics and Integrity Officer

Many of you will not need to complete an ethics application for you research but ethics and integrity should be at the centre of all research

3:36   Emily Webster

The frustration of a hard-to-reach sample

Farmers are a difficult group to reach and engage. My PhD data collection started in 2020 by approaching different farming groups, such as NSW Farmers and Country Women’s Association. This canvas approach employed a snowball sample with varying degrees of success. It was expected that the research would be of interest to farmers and farming groups, however, having no network to utilise and being unknown in the industry made reaching participants challenging. By the start of 2021 I had collected a sample of 44 farmers across NSW and Victoria. We ran the survey again in 2021/2022 with a private company network that was running a similar project, which yielded 180 participants. What I learnt was (1) if you are not in the industry, you really need friends who are, (2) people hate surveys, especially long ones, and incentives help, and (3) global pandemics do not help.

3:45   Moderator summary and thank you

Room 3 - Methodologies (Qualitative) 
Moderator - TBC

1:48   Sheree Moore

Examining the application of power in clinical practice: Foucauldian Discourse Analysis and Narrative Analysis combined

Foucauldian Discourse Analysis (FDA) provides a sociohistorical and institutional perspective of power. FDA is a post-structural approach which acknowledges the value of subjective information. It critically examines how dominant meanings within society can influence institutional understandings and practices, potentially contributing to the marginalisation of certain groups. Narrative Analysis can complement this approach by enhancing FDA’s relevance and application within clinical settings. While FDA provides a critical depth that is essential for the deconstruction of assumptions that support problematic forms of power, Narrative Analysis examines how discourses can be woven together in specific settings to significantly alter the meanings and actions that impact on individuals and groups. I will discuss how the combination of these approaches was used to enhance the understanding of clinical practice and staff wellbeing within a remote hospital setting.

2:04   Jennifer Manyweathers

The power of the word: Thematic Analysis as a biosecurity research tool using a case study of Australian feral pig management

Management of invasive animal species (IAS) is a ‘wicked problem’, with competing and conflicting stakeholder priorities. Qualitative data from stakeholders can be useful for identifying important drivers for enhancing project success.    Thematic analysis is an under-utilised qualitative technique in IAS research. A case study of a landscape genetics of feral pig sub-populations project was used to demonstrate how thematic analysis of stakeholder semi-structured interviews can inform successful project implementation.   The project highlighted the need to engage with existing networks and relationships and for flexibility in data collection approaches to meet the needs of diverse participants. Thematic analysis also allowed for the identification of relationship risk that exists amongst stakeholders, requiring careful management to strengthen the opportunities for project success.  Thematic analysis is an efficient and cost-effective method, allowing for in-depth reflection on stakeholder perspectives, uncovering potential barriers to stakeholder adoption, and informing development of IAS management programs.

2:20   Dalanglin Dkhar

Data Through Documentary

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2019, there are more than 2.65 million Australian carers. Extensive research exists about carers, however, the findings tend not to be shared beyond policy bodies and carer organizations. Hence there is a substantial gap in truly understanding the role of the carer in community. In this presentation, I will share how my study combines my background as a documentary filmmaker and, as a carer, with the latest research in the field. Utilising qualitative approach, I will be presenting new data through a documentary film. This unique research design integrates the traditions of phenomenology, documentary filmmaking, and analysis to critique and understand the lived experience of the carer.  My PhD project aims to present an authentic and intimate description of carers. We will see and hear directly from them. It will hopefully bring much-needed awareness and recognition about the carer’s contribution to Australia.

2:28   Jennifer Hayes

A mixed-method approach to determine the existence of chaos in Retail IT projects

A mixed-method approach to determine the existence of chaos in Retail IT projects, focusing on complementary applications of quantitative and qualitative methods to study historical artefacts, survey current prevailing attitudes, and identify project management structures and leadership styles that are more conducive to successful outcomes when complexity is inherent in the delivery. The research design for this problem fosters exposure of the intricacies, relationships, and perspectives across the data by employing a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods on an existing and dynamic retrospective quantitative dataset, using a constructivist grounded theory approach to provide a contextualised framework for the analysis, while introducing additional qualitative inputs obtained via surveys, interviews and focus groups. This combinatorial approach expects to disprove the acceptance that chaos theory can be applied to IT project management while accepting inherent project complexity and proposing an optimal Cynefin bound alignment of project, delivery methodology, and project manager.

2:37   Jill Fenton-Taylor

Charles Sturt Doctorate: Re-storying collective memory

This evocative autoethnography brings an insider perspective to the Charles Sturt doctoral journey.  Here, two academics re-write and re-story their own experiences as higher degree research student, Supervisory Team member and post-doctoral scholar.  The work re-examines several years of Charles Sturt researcher stories, interpretations written about them and how the meaning, of these stories for the researchers, has evolved. Drawing on Revision (Bochner and Ellis, 2016) the writers take published narrative snap shots and transform them into a ‘kind of text-in-motion’ that fast forwards stories into the present (p. 255).  This reflexive writing tool invites us to consider how tentative and incomplete stories and memories are, expand our understanding of a culture and offer alternatives to staying stuck with old interpretations.

2:53   Diane Cass

Experiences of families where two or more members have been diagnosed with life-limiting/chronic illness

My research considers the experiences of families where two or more members have been diagnosed with life-limiting or chronic illnesses. The research approach involved examining quantitative, which generally considers an examination of the relationship between variables; mixed methods, which will generally combine some integration of quantitative and qualitative approaches; and qualitative, which was selected as it aims to explore the meaning that individuals/groups attribute to social or human problems. Assessment of qualitative research methods focused mostly on case study, ethnography, and phenomenology. Taking into account the number of participants, the cultural aspect of shared experiences, and the length of study sought, a phenomenological study was decided upon. Interpretive phenomenology necessitates the researcher recognize their own lived experience, whereas in descriptive phenomenology the researcher must completely put aside their own subjectivity and lived experiences. My personal experiences are important to this study, resulting in an interpretive phenomenological study being selected.

3:09   Umut Tasdemir

Critical analysis of implementing affirmative consent standards in NSW sexual assault law

The aim of the research project is to analyse the new proposed sexual consent laws in NSW; affirmative consent. The significance of this research is relatively new, the proposed consent standards to be introduced into NSW will replace the current approach to consent. The research will investigate the pros and cons of adopting the new NSW standards, questioning whether they are in fact an advance, by comparing and contrasting the policies of affirmative consent that have been introduced into some US universities against the law reform discussions in NSW. The importance of this research project is to document and critically examine the law reform discussions, motivations for them, and new provisions as suggested and passed into law, and to analyse the implementation of the new consent standards in NSW and any unintended consequences.

3:25   Johnathan Hewis

A spiral of confusion: learning how to 'do' hermeneutic phenomenology

Hermeneutic Phenomenology is both a philosophical framework and a collection of qualitative research methodologies.  In this methodology, data collection and analysis are concurrent processes where data analysis comprises of continual writing, rewriting and reflection. The researcher as a research instrument, must continually explore and recognise their own assumptions or biases through reflexivity.  Learning how to perform hermeneutic phenomenological inquiry can be challenging due to the lack of a clearly define procedure or linear method and the blurred boundary between philosophy and research methodology.  Indeed, it is often suggested that the method of phenomenology and hermeneutics is that there is no method. This presentation I examine my own reflexive journey as a PhD candidate whilst conducting a hermeneutic phenomenology inquiry (guided by van Manen’s framework) exploring the lived experience of distress in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

3:41   Wendy De Luca

10 things I've learned about Constructivist Grounded Theory (by doing a PhD)

For many of us a PhD is our introduction to research; yet, throughout our candidature, we need to develop a high level of methodological expertise. While we may start out not knowing what we don’t know, we gradually develop our knowledge and skills. In this informal presentation, I reflect on ten of the key lessons that I have learned about the Constructivist Grounded Theory methodology though the process of doing my PhD.

3:56   Moderator summary and thank you


Afternoon Tea Break


Keynote Speaker
Prof Nick Hopwood

How research can and must change the world

Research should contribute to positive change in the world. This seems uncontroversial, but the implications of this can be quite radical! I will argue that we need to debunk disguised ideology of neutrality to avoid upholding a status quo that is far from okay. I suggest we can – and need to be – committed in our research, and overt in those commitments. This does not negate empirical and conceptual rigour, but may lead us to think differently about objectivity, what makes good research, and how we make a difference. I will build a case that rather than describing or explaining reality, research should be trying to undo the boundary between the real and the (im)possible: not accepting what seems beyond reach, but striving to make viable what is currently unthinkable, unachievable, and unheard of. By doing this, research can truly claim to play a role in making the world worth living in.


Note-taking Break


Three-minute Thesis Heats – Heat 1

The 3MT competition students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills and their capacity to effectively explain your research in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. The Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition is hosted annually by UQ and is held in over 900 universities across more than 85 countries worldwide.

Andrew Hall
David Cameron
Martin Pal

5:10   Joachim Bretzel, School of Agriculture, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences

Fish protection screening at irrigation diversions in the Murray-Darling Basin

5.18  Allister Clarke, School of Agriculture, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences (Gulbali)

Rice Milling for Profit - Cracking the Code

5:26   Justin Willoughby, School of Indigenous Australian Studies

Indigenous learner experiences and identity development in a remote, bilingual education program

5:34   Jennifer Hayes, School of Computing, Mathematics and Engineering

Does chaos really exist in the IT projects that deliver solutions for your local retailer?

5:42   Iswandi, School of Customs and Excise

How to Fight Against Counterfeit Goods at the Borders

5:50   Richard Carroll, School of Education

Why is the high school IT "Crowd" becoming an empty room?

5:58   Nyadoub Jok, School of Dentistry and Medical Science

Sorghum: an ancient grain with chemopreventative potential

6:06   Lauren Stoot, School of Agricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences/ (Gulbali)

Using fish ears as passports to understand movement in a coastal river system

6:10   Judges Deliberations and Feedback

6:25   Announce finalists

6:30   Finish