Tuesday, 26 July 2016
Commerce Minister Michael Mischin will meet with new Federal Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne, in Perth to endorse the State's naval shipbuilding and sustainment facilities.
"Western Australian companies are in a perfect position to undertake this work as they have the infrastructure, expertise and track record to support these projects," Mr Mischin said.
"The Australian Government is investing $89 billion in naval shipbuilding and maintenance programs and we welcome the decision that WA will be one of the two locations to implement the commitment.
"This major decision is excellent news for the State's defence industry and will generate hundreds of direct and indirect jobs for West Australians for decades to come.
"WA has vast experience and a proven track record in delivering international naval shipbuilding and sustainment programs.
"I will promote the State's strengths and extensive experience in shipbuilding and maintenance, heavy engineering and fabrication to the new Federal Minister and highlight how WA is well placed to deliver these contracts for the nation's safety and security."
The Minister said the State and Australian governments had invested more than $400 million in infrastructure at the Australian Marine Complex to support current and future frigates, submarines and other naval projects.
WA is the location of the nation's largest naval base, HMAS Stirling, which houses 12 fleet units, including five of the eight Anzac frigates and the six Collins submarines.
"Royal Australian Navy vessels, including the Collins Class submarines and Anzac frigates, have been successfully repaired and maintained in this State for many years. I believe WA has the experience and established infrastructure to take part in the new naval program," he said.
Tuesday 26th July 2016
Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies said the scheme was designed to assist families with young athletes aspiring to represent WA and ultimately Australia.
"The subsidy offsets out-of-pocket travel and accommodation costs associated with attending eligible training camps and competitions within the sport's official talent development pathway at a regional, State and national level," she said.
The program supports athletes registered with a State sporting association and aged between 13 and 21. Since 2013, $1.49 million has been provided to 3,287 athletes in 75 sports.
"Travelling to train and compete can be expensive so these subsidies make travel a little more easier," Ms Davies said.
Of the 669 successful recipients in this round, 418 were metropolitan athletes who received $152,400 and 251 regional athletes received $166,827.
Administered by the Department of Sport and Recreation over four-years, the $2.75 million Athlete Travel Subsidy Scheme is part of the Supporting Community Sport Initiative. $1 million is earmarked for metropolitan athletes and an extra $1.75 million is funded from the State Government's Royalties for Regions Program to support regional athletes.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said Royalties for Regions was helping to improve opportunities for regional athletes, as sport and recreation played a central role in creating vibrant and sustainable communities.
"Many regional athletes are excluded from State and national representation at sporting events due to ongoing travel requirements and associated costs. It is important talented young people are given representative opportunities regardless of where they live," Mr Redman said.
Monday, 25 July 2016
Mr Barnett congratulated the 15 finalists and said science was the key to broadening Western Australia's economy.
"These finalists have all played a part in developing the State's scientific capacity," he said.
"Their achievements include influencing public health policy, making breakthroughs in conservation science, progressing our understanding of the earth's history and improving the safety of the State's bridges and other infrastructure."
The four award categories celebrate excellence in research from students, early career researchers and established scientists, as well as outstanding science engagement programs.
Award winners, together with the inductee to the Western Australian Science Hall of Fame, will be announced next month at an awards ceremony during National Science Week.
The Premier said this was the 15th year of the Science Awards and the 10th year of the Science Hall of Fame. In that time, more than 80 awards had been presented.
"The awards provide important recognition of outstanding individuals who are contributing to science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the State," he said.
Mr Barnett thanked the awards sponsors Chevron, ExxonMobil and Woodside for their continued support.
Premier's Science Awards - Finalists' Profiles
SCIENTIST OF THE YEAR
Professor Carol Bower (Shenton Park): Senior Principal Research Fellow, Telethon Kids Institute Professor Bower is a public health researcher and physician who discovered a link between low dietary folate and the risk of neural tube defects (such as spina bifida), instigating the world's first public health campaign to encourage folic acid supplement use before and during pregnancy. In part, based on Professor Bower's research, the Australian Government legislated mandatory folic acid fortification of bread in 2009. Professor Bower also leads research on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), including Australian guidelines for the diagnosis of FASD launched in May 2016.
Professor Kingsley Dixon (City Beach): Curtin Professor and Visiting Professor at Kings Park and Botanic Garden (Curtin University) Professor Dixon's efforts in conservation science, restoration ecology and plant science have been fundamental to conserving threatened species and transforming ecological restoration practice in Australia. His discovery of the specific chemical in smoke that is responsible for germination in Australian species has had widespread application, being valued at $100 million per annum in terms of potential global benefits to agriculture, mining restoration and horticulture. As Foundation Director of Science at Kings Park and Botanic Garden for 31 years, he is acknowledged as the driving force behind creating its world-recognised research laboratories.
Professor Zheng-Xiang Li (South Perth): Co-Director (Australia) of the Australia-China Joint Research Centre for Tectonics and Earth Resources, WA School of Mines (Curtin University) Professor Li is a geoscientist who has pushed the boundaries of knowledge about the evolution over the past 2,000 million years of Earth, making important contributions to the field of tectonics and geodynamics. Professor Li has been pivotal in building WA's major research centres for geoscience, playing a key role in establishing the renowned Tectonics Special Research Centre. Currently, Professor Li is co-leading a UNESCO-sponsored International Geoscience Programme project from Perth, making WA a global focal point for research that is highly relevant to the local mineral and resource industries.
Professor David Sampson (Claremont): Director, Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis and Head, Optical+Biomedical Engineering Laboratory (The University of Western Australia) Professor Sampson is a world leader in multiple facets of imaging science and engineering. He is internationally recognised for his research in new biomedical imaging technology, including the multi-award winning Microscope-in-a-Needle and the micro-imaging of stiffness, now being commercialized. As Director of the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis, he has built an imaging infrastructure for researchers in Western Australia that attracts the world's best, including the International Atomic Energy Agency. The centre is the first and only university laboratory in the world to be included by the agency in its global Network of Analytical Laboratories.
WOODSIDE EARLY CAREER SCIENTIST OF THE YEAR
Dr Kaiming Bi (Leeming): Lecturer, ARC DECRA Fellow (Curtin University) Dr Bi's research interests lie in earthquake engineering and structural dynamics, and he is the first researcher who has systematically investigated the influence of local soil conditions on earthquake ground motion. His research can lead to safer and more economical designs of extended structures such as bridges and pipelines. Dr Bi has developed a pipe-in-pipe concept to control the vibrations of subsea pipelines, this concept can also be extended to control the vibrations of other offshore structures such as wind turbines and platforms. Dr Bi has authored/co-authored more than 30 international journal papers in top journals.
Dr Scott Draper (Beaconsfield): Senior Lecturer School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering (The University of Western Australia) Dr Draper is known internationally for his research in offshore fluid mechanics. He has developed models to optimise the configuration of offshore wind and tidal turbines for renewable energy, predict seabed scour and estimate the stability of offshore structures in extreme wave conditions. His research on marine renewable energy provided the first accurate assessment of marine renewable energy resources in the United Kingdom. Across all fields of offshore fluid mechanics, Dr Draper has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers, has worked on multiple Australian Research Council projects and is fortunate to have supervised award winning PhD and Masters students.
Dr James Fitzpatrick (Cottesloe): McCusker Clinical Research Fellow in Aboriginal Child Health, Telethon Kids Institute; Director, PATCHES Paediatrics Dr Fitzpatrick is a researcher and paediatrician who has made a profound impact on understanding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and has pioneered new diagnosis and intervention strategies. Dr Fitzpatrick's research and advocacy has led to FASD being recognised in the National Disability Insurance Scheme, resulting in individuals across Australia with FASD becoming eligible for early intervention funding. Working with Aboriginal community leaders and schools, Dr Fitzpatrick's team has implemented the largest FASD intervention trial in the world, for 250 children in nine schools across the Fitzroy Valley and established the PATCHES Paediatrics child development service in remote and outer metropolitan communities.
Dr Jun Li (Leeming): Senior Lecturer/ARC DECRA Fellow (Curtin University) Dr Li is developing next-generation diagnostic technologies for monitoring the condition of civil infrastructure such as bridges, buildings and offshore structures. His work is particularly important for minimising the vulnerability of bridges and other infrastructure at-risk to natural hazards and environmental change. He is contributing to the development of smart sensing and cutting-edge deep learning neural networks that can accommodate big data analytics. These technologies are enabling him to develop innovative and efficient infrastructure condition monitoring and data analysis approaches, which are taking structural health monitoring into the next era.
EXXONMOBIL STUDENT SCIENTIST OF THE YEAR
Carl Blair (Cottesloe): PhD Candidate (The University of Western Australia) Mr Blair's research to control interactions between high intensity laser light and tiny sound waves in mirrors enabled the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) to build up sufficient power to enable the first direct detection of gravitational waves. Following experiments at the Gingin high optical power facility, Mr Blair went to the LIGO Livingston gravitation wave detector in March 2015 to help prevent the instability. The techniques developed in Western Australia by Mr Blair and his colleagues played a significant role in the widely publicised important discovery.
Christopher Brennan-Jones (Osborne Park): PhD Candidate, Ear Sciences Centre (The University of Western Australia) Mr Brennan-Jones' PhD research focused on improving efficiency and access to ear and hearing healthcare services in Western Australia. He led an international consortium that assessed the reliability of automated hearing tests for use in the absence of specialists. Mr Brennan-Jones discovered some common inconsistencies that, if not corrected, could result in missed diagnoses of middle ear disease or tumours. Building on this work, he has developed diagnostic protocols that can be applied to automated audiometry to correct these errors and is translating this research into practice, by establishing an indigenous ear health program in the East Pilbara.
Tim Rosenow Subiaco): PhD Candidate (Telethon Kids Institute/The University of Western Australia) Mr Rosenow is a PhD student at the Telethon Kids Institute, working in the field of paediatric respiratory medicine. His research has resulted in a new method for measuring structural lung disease in infants and young children using chest CT scans. This method is the world's first age-appropriate measure of cystic fibrosis-related structural lung disease in children under six. Mr Rosenow's PhD research has led to the development of several clinical trials for infants and pre-schoolers with cystic fibrosis. He has published nine papers, including two in the highest-rated respiratory journal, and holds a provisional patent for his methods.
Melanie Walls (East Victoria Park): PhD candidate, School of Women's and Infant's Health (The University of Western Australia) Ms Walls' research focuses on in vitro maturation (IVM), an innovative fertility treatment that can be cheaper and more patient-friendly than IVF. Her research into IVM and embryo-morphokinetics led to an award-winning presentation at an international conference and the world's first live birth from a combination of these techniques. Furthermore, in an Australian-first, she successfully collected immature eggs from ovaries removed from a cancer patient, to preserve her future fertility. Melanie is currently helping to establish an ovarian tissue vitrification program with a multidisciplinary team, to offer the opportunity for a future family to many young women diagnosed with cancer.
CHEVRON SCIENCE ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR
Fireballs in the Sky: (Curtin University) The Desert Fireball Network aims to understand the early workings of the solar system by studying meteorites, fireballs and their pre-Earth orbits by capturing the paths of fireballs in the sky from multiple viewpoints. With this data, the fireball's pre-Earth orbit and eventual landing position are tracked. Fireballs in the Sky is the outreach arm of the project. More than 89,000 West Australians have engaged with the program through hands-on activities, talks and events, and it has received international media coverage. The citizen science smartphone app has had 23,000 downloads world-wide and in 2015 the app was awarded the National iAward for Innovation in Education.
iPREP WA: (Edith Cowan University) iPREP WA (Industry and PhD Research Engagement Program) involves interdisciplinary teams of PhD students from all five Western Australian universities, working on a six-week project for an industry partner. Since iPREP WA was established in early 2015, the program has included 26 successful projects, 78 PhD researchers and 21 companies. iPREP WA builds relationships between universities and industry, improves skill development for science graduates, improves employability of PhD graduates and builds collaboration between WA universities.
Old Ways, New Ways - Aboriginal science outreach program: (Edith Cowan University) The Old Ways, New Ways program aims to improve the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in science subjects, thereby increasing their employment prospects in science and technology. Through the use of peer-supported learning and demonstrator training, the program enhances confidence, leadership and communication skills, while promoting and providing positive role models and career opportunities. The program is now in its third year and by the end of 2016, about 2,000 primary school and high school students will have taken part across the South-West, Perth metropolitan and Pilbara regions.
Sunday, 24 July 2016
Education Minister Peter Collier said 16 schools would be selected to run the $32 million specialist ASD programs by 2020.
"While schools do amazing work, there are some children with ASD who, because of their complex needs and challenging behaviours, require more help to achieve their best," Mr Collier said.
"Students will be able to enrol in the schools running these programs, no matter where they live, and will be taught in small groups by specialist teachers for some of the time and in mainstream classes with additional support for the rest of the time."
The Minister also announced other initiatives to further support students.
"We are investing $8 million to improve facilities at 22 education support schools and centres for students with disability," he said.
Schools will receive an extra $5 million to better support students with learning difficulties such as dyslexia and speech disorders.
"A new dedicated team of expert psychologists will also be set up to undertake the complex assessment of students with disability, ensuring funding and services for these students are provided more quickly to schools," Mr Collier said.
The Manjimup Community Resource Centre are thrilled to see that not one, but two of our events have be placed in the Neighbourhood House Week 2016; Linkwest magazine!
Thursday, 21 July 2016
"It's a fantastic achievement to be recognised through the highest benchmark for ecologically sustainable fishing - Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification," Mr Francis said.
The fishery operates from Carnarvon to Bremer Bay and currently has an annual harvest quota of 140 tonnes. Fishing occurs in waters 500-800 metres deep using pots.
The majority of the catch is sent to Asian markets, with exports to China accounting for about 30 per cent of sales.
The Minister said the MSC independent certification would further enhance the deep sea crab fishery's reputation as a quality, sustainable, seafood provider.
"The MSC sustainable fisheries standard is internationally recognised as the most prestigious fisheries environmental accreditation," he said.
"The MSC certification, which was funded as part of a $14.5 million third party certification program, is another example of the Liberal National Government's commitment to providing better fishing opportunities for West Australians."
Mr Francis thanked the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council and other parties who took part in the MSC's public consultation process for the deep sea crab fishery. The full assessment took about 18 months.
Thursday, 21 July 2016
"Innovation in its many forms impacts everyone, so it's only fitting for West Australians to have the opportunity to tune in, contribute and debate the future directions of innovation across our State," Mr Marmion said.
"About 250 people will be attending the summit in person, with expressions of interest exceeding expectations. However, anyone who wants to participate is encouraged to attend regional Westlink centres or watch online, with the capacity to send questions and comments via SMS and Twitter."
The summit is the foundation event for the State Innovation Strategy, following the Liberal National Government's allocation of an additional $20 million in the 2016-17 Budget to position WA as a regional and global innovation centre.
"This is on top of $30 million we are already investing in defence industries, shipbuilding and science, and does not include the tens of millions being spent in health research such as at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, the Telethon Kids Institute and the Sarich Neuroscience Research Institute," the Minister said.
"From digital technology to digging up minerals, the summit is about encouraging new ideas and mapping out the best ways to maximise business opportunities.
"We will be concentrating on four themes: investment, marketing, collaboration and retaining WA's homegrown and often prodigious talent for the benefit of all West Australians."
Summit outcomes will provide a framework for the five-year State Innovation Strategy.
"This forum will bring together business, community and government, to help design our innovation blueprint," Mr Marmion said.
"The bottom line is more jobs, through commercialising concepts and growing WA's creative culture."
Wednesday, 20 July 2016
Acting Premier and Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey said the free augmented reality app allowed users to look through a tablet or phone at a designated location in Kings Park, and see the character of Sgt Tom McKinnon appear in 3D.
"Through the app, ANZAC Tom tells stories to the app users which were taken from the actual diary entries of Western Australian soldiers," Mrs Harvey said.
"Sgt Tom McKinnon is played by popular Perth actor Myles Pollard who donned a motion-capture suit to create his character, which the TAFE students built the app around."
The project was a joint initiative between North Metropolitan TAFE, Frame AR, the Returned and Services League of Australia WA Branch and Kings Park and Botanic Garden.
"This is a great example of TAFE's industry partnerships where students work together on real projects for clients and gain experience, a portfolio of real work and employment," the Acting Premier said.
North Metropolitan TAFE and Frame AR's ANZAC Tom Imaginarium app took out the 'Most Creative Media/Entertainment Technology Award' at the recent INCITE Awards.
They will now go on to represent Western Australia at the Australian Information Industry Association National iAwards which will be held in Melbourne in September 2016.
Mrs Harvey said the app has had more than 5,000 installs so far and seen by more than 10,000 users. The app is also currently installed at the Army Museum of Western Australia and 12 regional schools across WA.
"Our TAFE students are at the cutting edge of technology and emerging trends, and I am proud to say all the students involved have now entered rewarding careers in their chosen fields of media and animation," she said.
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