Portfolio of Jocelyn’s media releases and photography.

Aboriginal dancers

Footsteps lead to higher education

FOLLOWING in her adored grandmother’s footsteps with higher education has Kelly McBride of Nikenbah bursting with pride.

“I’ve got big shoes to fill,” Ms McBride beamed at yesterday’s NAIDOC Week celebration at University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Fraser Coast.

The 29-year-old Butchulla woman, who recently started the USQ Bachelor of Nursing program, is the grand-daughter of Aunty Irene McBride, last year’s USQ Indigenous Service Alumnus of the Year.

 Aunty Irene holds a Master of Education and coordinates the Vacation Care program at Hervey Bay’s Scrub Hill.

hands

First-year nursing student Kelly McBride celebrates NAIDOC Week at USQ Fraser Coast.

She is also a member of USQ Fraser Coast’s Buallum Jarl-Bah Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Committee (BATEC), an advisory group made up of Butchulla Elders, community members and USQ personnel who promote education to local Indigenous people.

“Aunty Irene is an excellent role model and does a lot for the community,” Ms McBride said.

Inspired by her grandmother’s achievements, the former Aboriginal medical receptionist is now taking the next step in her education journey.

“I have wanted to work in the health industry since leaving Year 12. I like working with my people so I thought university was the next level and started a degree.”

Ms McBride was among the dozens of University students, staff and community members who gathered at USQ Fraser Coast in Hervey Bay to celebrate NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observation Committee) Week.

USQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Jan Thomas said NAIDOC Week celebrated the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“This year’s theme We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate is an opportunity to pay respects to country, honour those who work tirelessly on preserving land, sea and culture, and to share the stories of significant places,” Professor Thomas said.

NAIDOC Week celebrations were also held at USQ campuses in Toowoomba, Springfield and Ipswich with traditional Indigenous performances and foods on offer.

At USQ Fraser Coast, foods included Damper, Lemon Myrtle Pancakes, Spicy Barramundi Pieces and Kangaroo Tartlets.

bush tucker

Sampling the traditional Aboriginal food at USQ Fraser Coast’s NAIDOC Week celebration are (l-r) Butchulla Elder Uncle Ian Wheeler, visitor Kayla Monaghan, Campus Executive Manager Brett Langabeer, student Kelly McBride, staff member Deanna Eastall and student Rachael Bayley.

-ENDS-

 

super moon

Aliens, or old friends?

HUMAN infants were born on forest floors for thousands of years before the advent of sterile hospital theatres yet our race not only survived, it thrived, says University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Fraser Coast Nursing Lecturer Ruth Newby.

“Today, human infants born by cesarean section are at a nutritional disadvantage compared to those born naturally,” Mrs Newby said.

“A cesarean-born baby will take longer for its gut to be colonised in the same way as an infant born naturally because it doesn’t get the same ‘bugs’ from the mother.”

Modern society’s excessive reliance on disinfectants and antibiotics will be in the spotlight at the USQ Fraser Coast Open Day this Sunday (August 2) when the local scientist and research fellow makes her Future Talks presentation titled Aliens, or old friends?

“Most of us look into the night sky and wonder if there is intelligent life somewhere else in the universe,” Mrs Newby said.

“When we look for aliens in outer space, what we don’t always recognise is that aliens are not only around us in our environment but actually inside us.

“We look at our own planet and think scientists know all about everything on Earth but we are yet to discover the full spectrum of life here.

“Humans are intrinsically reliant on the organisms in our gut to make us healthy, to nourish us, yet we don’t know everything that’s there. We don’t recognize the DNA signature of about 25% of what’s in our gut so it’s a very alien environment.”

Mrs Newby said animals also had unidentified life forms inside their bodies.

Ruth Newby

Lecturer Ruth Newby talks about Aliens and old friends.

“Koalas only digest gum leaves because they have microorganisms in their gut that allow them to ferment the leaves and extract the goodness,” she said.

“The microorganisms get there during birth. The babies eat their mothers’ waste to colonise themselves with the ‘bugs’ that allow them gain nourishment from their environment, enabling them to live.

“Baby koalas separated from their mothers soon after birth are unable to digest gum leaves and die.

“Humans also get a lot of nourishment from the microorganisms that come from the outside environment into our gut.

“In the earliest years of human existence, infants were born on forest floors so they naturally got a good gulp of mum’s ‘bugs’.

“Only now we’re learning how these aliens inside us are intrinsic to our health. We’ve been led to believe all bugs are bad but many bugs are incredibly important.”

Mrs Newby said the largest part of the human immune system was in the gut.

“Our immune system is involved in sensing and tolerating the external environment and it needs to learn how to identify what is good and what is concerning.

“If doesn’t get exposed to the entirety of the outside environment including the ‘bugs’ we get from our mothers during birth, it learns the wrong lessons.”

Mrs Newby is a USQ medical scientist, nursing lecturer and University of Queensland research fellow.

Her PhD project – Feeding Queensland Babies Study – investigates infant feeding attitudes and behaviours among first-time mothers in Queensland.

-ENDS-

Feature photo: Are aliens closer to home than the moon?

humpback whale

Secret tourism business to be revealed

SEVEN global megatrends influencing the future of tourism will be in the spotlight at this year’s University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Fraser Coast Open Day in August 2015.

With a new tourism major being introduced to the University’s Bachelor of Business program on-campus in 2016, Dr Elizabeth Saxon will present a 30-minute session introducing prospective students and visitors to the trends.

USQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Jan Thomas said the new program, headed by Dr Saxon, would allow Fraser Coast students to study tourism close to friends and family without leaving the region.

tourism

Ebony Andrew (left) and Danielle Mares talk with USQ Lecturer Elizabeth Saxon about the tourism degree.

“Hopefully those students will become business entrepreneurs, strengthening the local labour force and growing the economy,” Professor Thomas said.

Dr Saxon said her Open Day session titled Secret tourism business: the global megatrends affecting our future would outline the far-reaching impacts of tourism across the world.

“Businesses are built on tourism, relationships shaped by it and communities engaged (and enraged) by it,” Dr Saxon said.

“Visitors and businesses are affected by a variety of social, technological, economic and political factors as well as the natural environment.”

Meanwhile, Kingfisher Bay Resort Group General Manager David Hay said he was delighted to hear USQ Fraser Coast would offer tourism subjects at a tertiary level from 2016.

“As tourism is a major industry in our region it is a very exciting step to see that people who aspire to a career in this industry will be able to gain tertiary qualifications without having to leave the Fraser Coast,” Mr Hay said.

“There is a growing need for those who wish to make it their career to have higher level qualifications and access to these studies in our region which has been restricted to external options in the past.

“The decision by USQ to expand their offerings to include tourism is very welcome by those of us in the industry who seek to employ people with the appropriate level of skills and education.

“I congratulate USQ for making the decision to offer these majors in conjunction with your business degrees and I look forward to seeing the positive results for our region in the future.”

Dr Saxon has a PhD in sustainable tourism and has lectured extensively at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in economics, policy, planning, anthropology and tourism.

She also has extensive experience as a sustainable tourism consultant with national and international tourism businesses, governments and organisations.

-ENDS-

 

Feature photo: Hervey Bay is home for the humpback whales from August to October attracting tourists from across the globe.