Conducting the first “awake” sleep apnoea test for a common sleeping disorder that affects 1 billion people worldwide has led Flinders University research associate Dr Amal Osman to be included among this year’s Winnovation Awards winners.
The new sleep apnoea test to quantify noisy snoring/breathing problems for sufferers aims to bring closer personalised treatments for a disorder that impacts health and personal relationships worldwide.
Dr Osman, from Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute (FHMRI) Sleep Health, took out the Emerging Innovator award, while College of Nursing and Health Sciences senior lecturer Dr Nina Sivertsen won an award for a culturally-responsive way to teach nursing students about First Nations health.
The Malpa Nursing Model incorporates Malpas (cultural guides) in every classroom, bringing the Aboriginal Health Curriculum to life and developing culturally safe nursing graduates with a nuanced grasp of First Nations Peoples’ health needs. A member of the International Alliance of Indigenous Nurses, Dr Sivertsen is also a multiple graduate at Flinders University (BNg(PreReg) ’06, BNg(Hons) ’07, PhD(Ng/Midwif) ’14, GradCertEd(HighEd) ’16).
She joined fellow College of Nursing and Health Sciences researcher Dr Louise Kyriaki among the 2021 list of Winnovation finalists. Dr Kyriaki is researching how the human language works in the brain, in order to contribute to the scientific and general community through the development of interventions for people with language-related disorders.
Flinders University alumna Amanda Mader (BA ’93) won an award for developing technology for the company Vine Scout that continuously logs bunch weight in wine grapes between veraison to harvest, for improved yield estimation accuracy, irrigation management and water-use efficiency.
The 11 winners at the Winnovation Awards 2021 aim to elevate the profile of innovative women in South Australia by showcasing female change-makers and future role models driving innovation in their profession, says Ms Nicole Swaine, President of Women in Innovation SA.
“This year’s Winnovation finalists and category winners are incredible women, making significant advancements across industries which drive our economy,” Ms Swaine says. “Not only that, but they’re considering the social impact of what they’re doing, and they understand how they can affect not just the lives of billions of people, but the environment as well.
“Our winners are contributing to South Australia and making it an even more innovative and dare we say it, a smarter state, which has an impact on the economy, jobs, research capabilities and improving our way of life.”
Other winners include an Australian-first STEM program delivering education in bushfire awareness and wellness to regional school communities, the world’s first, full-length, fully-voiced and interactive English children’s storybook for blind and deaf children, and a national recruitment service with a social conscience, supporting corporates to maximise the untapped skills, passion and experience in diverse cohorts including refugees, migrants, youth and women.
Among the extended list of finalists in this year’s Winnovation Awards were Flinders University PhD Candidate in Geoarchaeology (College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences) Natasha Nagle, who has helped launch an online initiative called ReadSTEM, which gives scientists and researchers the skills and confidence to effectively communicate their research in interesting and engaging ways.
Other Flinders University graduates who feature in the Winnovation Awards 2021 finalists’ list are:
• Dr Hannah Keage (BBehavSc(Hons) ’04, PhD(Psyc) ‘08) who is working on detecting and preventing post-operative delirium, to save and improve the lives of older adults. This UniSA-based research is uncovering which people are likely to develop delirium after surgery and the neural mechanisms responsible, to help hospitals prepare in advance and potentially reduce the number of delirium cases by up to one-third.
• Kathy Smart (GradDipCreatArts ’10), of Joy Everafter Stories, produces the world’s first, full-length, fully-voiced and interactive English children’s storybook, accessible to blind and deaf children and with character customisation enabling all children to be heroes.