Celebrating success

Inclusive initiatives applauded at national book launch, bells ring for Women’s Day honour, Flinders’ big boost to India’s public health and in-house heritage expertise to inform SA’s newest national park.

Professor helps India’s vaccine drive

With the pressing need for new and improved vaccines to protect the growing Indian population from serious infectious disease, Flinders University vaccine expert Professor Nikolai Petrovsky, whose research is part-funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), has just returned from Punjab University in Chandigarh region.

Professor Petrovsky is providing guidance in the establishment of an international vaccine discovery and development centre supported by the Indian Government’s new collaborative program called SPARC (Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration).

As part of the SPARC program, he will this year host two PhD students from Panjab University’s Department of Chemistry in his Flinders vaccine lab for six months.

“The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Raj Kumar, expressed interest in building additional research links between Flinders and the highly ranked Panjab University, whose Chancellor is the also the current Vice-President of India,” Professor Petrovsky says. “Professor Kumar also expressed interest in a visit to Flinders.”

Along with advising Panjab University on its new vaccine centre, Professor Petrovsky also visited several Innovation and Knowledge Cluster centres in Chandigarh and the Central Research Institute, a vaccine manufacturing centre in Kasauli in a tour originally instigated by the NIH to expand collaborations between NIH and the Indian Government’s Department of Science and Technology.

Professor Nikolai Petrovsky at the Panjab University SPARC conference, where he delivered the keynote speech.

International Women’s Day Award

Dr Nina Sivertsen

Dr Nina Sivertsen was awarded The Irene Bell Award at the 2019 South Australian International Women’s Day Luncheon, held at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

The award is presented by the International Women’s Day Association of SA to a South Australian woman who has demonstrated community spirit. Dr Sivertsen was recognised for her contributions improving Indigenous health and working in partnership with local Aboriginal networks to build stronger communities.

Dr Sivertsen was awarded her honour by Carolyn Power MP, Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence.


Flinders’ 20 years of nation-leading inclusion celebrated at pivotal book launch 

A roundtable and national book launch for People with Intellectual Disability Experiencing University Life: Theoretical Underpinnings, Evidence and Lived Experience, was held on 27 March 2019, attended by Flinders’ Dr Fiona Rillotta and Kerri-ann Messenger, who co-authored a chapter and were panellists at the roundtable.

During the discussions, Ms Messenger explained how Flinders had facilitated her journey towards her goal to become a disability advocate. An avid writer, she has always aspired to be a published author and spent three years as part of the University’s Up the Hill Project.

The Up the Hill Project supports people with intellectual disability to attend university, who celebrate their achievement at the University’s formal graduation ceremony when they receive their certificate after completing the three-year course. It is celebrating 20 years this year – a milestone that drew enthusiastic applause when mentioned at roundtable welcomes in recognition of Flinders’ achievement running the longest-standing program of its kind, and one of only two offering support to students with intellectual disability at Australian universities.

With two chapters in the book authored by Flinders, the publication reflects the University’s leadership in the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities within Australian universities. Dr Rillotta is increasingly recognised for her work in building an Australian evidence-base of university experience and outcomes for people with intellectual disability, their peer mentors and teachers.

The event was held at Sydney, at the University of Sydney’s Centre for Disability Studies.

Heritage advisor to help oversee Glenthorne

Dr Pamela Smith has been appointed as a heritage advisor and researcher to the Glenthorne National Park planning and implementation program.

At the public Open Days event held recently, an initial grant of $50,000 was awarded to Dr Smith for continuing heritage research at Glenthorne Farm and Heritage Precinct. This research will contribute to archaeology and geography ERA research income, publications, engagement and impact. It will also provide wonderful opportunities for graduate and postgraduate student research projects.(Dr Smith was also recently interviewed by the ABC on the national park, which can be viewed here.)

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