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Deakin Alumni Magazine

Issue 7 2020 Evolution



dKin Alumni

04 08 10 12
Message from Boo Boon Damien Rozaine
our President and Khoo Ong-Yeoh Cooray
Vice-Chancellor Class of 1994 Class of 1997 Class of 2004
Professor Iain Martin

14 16 18
Trevor Gagan Amel
Dean Arora Tresnjic
Class of 2005 Class of 2008 Class of 2008

20 22
Stephanie Glen
Gould-Hardwick Robinson
Class of 2014 Class of 2014

Deakin University Information in this publication

CRICOS Provider Code: 00113B was correct at time of printing.

dKin Research

26 32 38 62
Digital life Pill testing Miracle Deakin
or death? saves lives milk Advancement
Associate Professor Doctor Doctor Jimmy Buck
Patrick Stokes Andrew Groves Julie Sharp Chief Advancement

44 50 56 64
Dingoes could Virtual Bird song Change
help fight dementia signals past the future
extinction Professor life conditions
Kon Mouzakis
Associate Professor Professor
Euan Ritchie Kate Buchanan

Creative direction and design: Writing: Photography:

Studio Binocular Betty Vassiliadis Craig Newell unless otherwise credited

It is with pleasure that I introduce

the latest issue of dKin magazine,
my first as Vice-Chancellor.

This magazine gives us Deakin has taken education to new CEO of the Traffic Accident
an opportunity to celebrate levels, adopting new technology to Commission, and is now taking
provide an outstanding experience on numerous high profile board
our wonderful alumni and
for students both on campus and appointments in regional Victoria.
also provide a snapshot in the Cloud Campus. The alumni Also in this issue are Glen Robinson,
of Deakin University’s profiled in this issue demonstrate who founded a UK-based €100
cutting-edge research. the success of this approach; million investment fund that
In just 45 years, Deakin has evolved whether they have lived on campus specialises in saving struggling
from Victoria’s first regional university or studied exclusively in the Cloud businesses; Rozaine Cooray,
specialising in distance education to Campus, they have gone on to who is transforming workplaces
one of Australia’s largest universities, achieve success in their careers in Sri Lanka with her holistic
with over 61,000 students and more and make significant contributions approach to business psychology;
than 250,000 graduates living and to society. Our cover features and Gagan Arora, who has
working around the world. The Janet Dore, one of the first MBA pioneered e-commerce in India.
University is now internationally graduates at Deakin, who served
Deakin’s research excellence is
recognised for the excellence the Victorian community in senior
recognised by strong growth in
of our research and teaching. government roles, notably as
research funding, an expansion

A message from our

VICE-CHANCELLOR Professor Iain Martin

in local and international research uncovered the potential of platypus you to stay connected with Deakin
collaborations and a steady rise milk to treat bacterial infections that as we look to the opportunities we
in the global university rankings have become resistant to existing have to grow as a university and
that now place Deakin in the top medications; Dr Andrew Groves work to prepare a new generation
10 universities in Australia and is exploring the use of pill testing for the opportunities and challenges
top 300 in the world. as a way to stop overdoses and that await us in the decades ahead.
deaths at clubs and music festivals;
This edition of dKin offers just Professor Iain Martin
and Professor Kon Mouzakis and
a glimpse at the innovative work Vice-Chancellor and President
his team are using virtual reality
being undertaken by Deakin
to improve dementia care at
researchers, from protecting
home and in aged care facilities.
endangered species to improving
care for people with dementia. Deakin’s ambition and courage
Associate Professor Euan Ritchie to forge a new path is exciting
is proposing the reintroduction and I look forward to being part
of dingos to save native mammals of the next stage of the University’s Photography: Location:
from extinction; Dr Julie Sharp has development. I encourage all of Sean Fennessy Geelong Waterfront Campus

Alumni We celebrate the lives and journeys of our alumni.

In this edition, we are delighted to share some
of these stories from our global community.

To find out more visit

United Kingdom

Trevor Dean
Bachelor of Arts
Class of 2005

Page 14

Glen Robinson
Master of
Commercial Law
Class of 2014

Page 22

Keep in touch with the Alumni
Community and your Alumni Chapter
by updating your contact details
online at

India Hong Kong

Gagan Arora Boo Boon Khoo

Master of Commerce Bachelor of Business,
Business and Computing
Class of 2008
Class of 1994

Page 16 Page 08


Damien Ong-Yeoh
Bachelor of Arts
Class of 1997

Page 10


Amel Tresnjic
Bachelor of
Contemporary Arts
Class of 2008

Sri Lanka Page 18

Rozaine Cooray Stephanie

Bachelor of Applied Gould-Hardwick
Science (Psychology) Bachelor of Engineering
Class of 2004 Class of 2014

Page 12 Page 20

Boo Boon
Bachelor of Business,
Business and Computing
Warrnambool Campus
Class of 1994

During his more than 25-year career Why did you decide to study Is there anything you especially
in international banking, Boo Boon at Deakin? remember about that time?
Khoo has been at the forefront of After graduating high school, I played in the weekly badminton
digital transformation in the financial I decided to start work in a bank league and travelled with the
services industry. Boo Boon is and play badminton full-time. I soon Warrnambool team to play
currently the Head of Innovation & realised that I needed to continue badminton competitions in other
Digital Transformation at Mashreq my tertiary education if I wanted parts of Victoria. I represented
Bank. Throughout his career, he has to improve my future prospects. Deakin in the Australian Universities
shown extraordinary passion for the I found Disted College in Malaysia Summer Games, reaching the
banking industry through numerous was offering a degree program semi-finals, and was part of the
volunteering engagements. Here in partnership with Deakin and Warrnambool Team that won
he talks about his pride at being so I started part-time study whilst the Victorian State-wide Grade B
a Deakin graduate, the challenges working full-time. I completed the Badminton Team Championships
of keeping up-to-date in a constantly final two years of my degree at in 1993. I won the Best Information
changing industry and his original Deakin’s Warrnambool Campus. System Project awarded by KPMG
career choice – fighter pilot. Australia in 1993 and was honoured
How has your Deakin degree
to speak on behalf of the 1994
Can you tell us about your time assisted you in your career?
graduates at the Deakin graduation
at Deakin? A degree in business computing ceremony held in Malaysia and
My time at Warrnambool was an was a very valuable asset in the attended by the Governor of Penang.
inclusive and enriching experience. 1990s. Back then there was great
It was a way to learn about demand for computing graduates What has been the highlight
Australian culture and a great part and I immediately received three of your career?
of the world to explore. There was job offers upon my return to It was an honour to be awarded the
a lot of support at Deakin. When Malaysia. After completing the Australia China Alumni Association’s
I arrived in Warrnambool, I already graduate trainee program in the 2018 Banking and Finance Award
had a part-time job lined up for bank, I started as Senior Analyst under the banner of Deakin University.
me in a Malaysian restaurant. Programmer in the Information Other highlights include being
Technology Department, which admitted as a member of the Hong
further enhanced my career path. Kong Computer Society and the
Malaysian Institute of Management.

Can you outline your career path?

During my career I have gained
experience in wholesale banking,
digital banking and technology.
I started in Malaysia in a domestic
bank and then expanded to
overseas markets. I have been
based in Hong Kong for the past
15 years. My passion for the banking
industry has been demonstrated
through numerous volunteering
engagements. I served as Board My favourite things...
Director at Hong Kong Foreign » Holiday
Financial Institutions from 2014 to My hometown – Penang, Malaysia
2017, and in 2017 I was nominated
to Co-Chair the Digital Banking » Gadget
Group at Fintech Association of A GPS tracking device –
Hong Kong, a position I still hold. I carry it 24/7 for navigation

If you could only use a few » Object

words, how would you describe I collect old bank notes
Deakin University? » Online resource
I would describe Deakin as LinkedIn is a great way to
‘timeless’ – the memories, values, connect with other professionals
friendships and knowledge that and keep up-to-date with
I gained from Deakin are timeless. commercial news

Photography: Location:
Edmund Leung Mong Kok, Kowloon,
Hong Kong

Bachelor of Arts
Rusden Campus
Class of 1997

Since completing his Deakin

degree Damien Ong-Yeoh
has followed an eclectic path
that has included careers
as an advertising copywriter,
entrepreneur and lecturer.
Here he talks about his exposure
to different cultures at Deakin
and the lifelong friendships
he made during his studies.

Photography: Location:
Edmund Leung Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur

Why did you decide to study What do you believe Deakin What advice would you give
at Deakin? University has shown you as graduates wanting to pursue
I had already started work in an a person? a similar profession?
advertising agency in Malaysia but Deakin showed me multiculturalism Be open to new concepts,
I wanted to advance in my career at its finest. The Rusden Campus new tools and new ways of
so I decided I needed a degree. At was an amazing mix of students communicating and persuading.
the time, Deakin offered the most from different faculties and Also, be prepared to get your ego
practical courses for filmmaking different cultures. This gave trampled but never stop dreaming,
compared to other universities. me the confidence to deal with creating or reaching for the stars.
people from anywhere in the
Can you tell us about your time How would someone describe you?
world without feeling intimidated.
at Deakin? Adventurous.
I was on a tight budget so I spent How has it assisted you in
your career? What are your passions outside
a lot of time on campus taking
your work?
advantage of the air conditioning The film education I received at
and heating in the computer lab Deakin has helped me immensely Food, scuba diving and traveling.
and editing suite. In fact, I spent so in my advertising career. I am If you could only use one
much time on campus that I became able to understand what goes word, how would you describe
friends with the security guards. into the production of a television Deakin University?
I joined the local and international commercial shoot. The hands-on
Eclectic – especially on
student board because they audio sessions also helped me
the old Rusden campus.
provided a meal after every understand the medium to the
meeting and I made friends with extent that I set up Asia’s first My favourite things...
the cafeteria lady who would save internet radio talk show station. » Holiday
sandwiches for me. I had a fantastic I like to holiday at the beach or in
What is your favourite aspect
time and completed my degree the jungle, although I am happiest
of your current role?
with high distinctions! when I am near the sea
I love that I am able to create
Is there anything you especially and bring life to an idea that » Gadget
remember about that time? will have an impact on people. I love cars and own three, one of
My work as a reception officer them is a car I coveted since I was
What has been the highlight
for the Deakin International Office a child – a 1993 two-door BMW
of your career?
exposed me to students from all
The highlight for me has been » Online resource
over the world. I was often their first
seeing my advertisements when Because I work in advertising,
contact with Deakin as I would pick
I visit small towns in Malaysia. I have to be aware of all social
them up from the airport. One girl
It is wonderful to see people media and content trends
brought her skis in the middle of
summer because it was snowing react to something that I created » Artist
where she came from. We had in an office in Kuala Lumpur. Keith Haring, Van Gogh
to explain that the weather in
Australia is the other way around! » Cartoon
I have a figurine of Courage
the Cowardly Dog on my
car dashboard

Bachelor of Applied Science (Psychology)
Melbourne Burwood Campus
Class of 2004

Rozaine Cooray is a trailblazer in the What do you believe Deakin What has been your journey
field of organisational psychology in University has given you since finishing your course?
Sri Lanka. Her psychology practice, as a person? After studying at Deakin, I did
Forté Consultancy, takes a holistic Psychologists draw some of my Master's and completed my
approach to workplace issues and their fundamentals from their training in the UK. I started work in
her popular monthly newspaper undergraduate years and I still human resources in a large apparel
articles have helped thousands vividly remember some of the company in Sri Lanka, but I quickly
of people discover practical lectures that I attended at Deakin. realised that I would be bogged
solutions to workplace problems. Although I have specialised down in administration and unable
Rozaine spoke with Deakin about in business and organisational to do what I was trained to do.
her struggles during her first psychology I am still able to draw I decided to start my own business,
year at Deakin and her unique from so many theories that were Forté Consultancy, a boutique
approach to life coaching. covered during my bachelor’s business psychology consultancy.
degree. Deakin gave me the Almost 10 years down the track I
Can you tell us about your time
edge that has been central have worked with over 65 companies
at Deakin?
to my success. and more than 10,000 individuals.
It was my first time away from home Our model looks at internal and
and I was the only overseas student Was there anyone you met external factors that can affect
doing psychology. It was a challenge at Deakin who has had an performance and people. We look
to stay focused but I felt free to impact on you? at personality, temperament, energy
approach the lecturers and talk about Professor Tess Knight was a levels and, if our clients are open
what I was going through. They lecturer in counselling and health to it, we include biometrics with
directed me to the counsellors who psychology from my first year. the aim to showing the connection
connected me with the appropriate She was incredibly supportive between mental, emotional and
services. That made a big difference at the time and has remained physical aspects of organisational
to my experience at Deakin. a friend. performance. Forté Consultancy

has branched out to include the What is your favourite aspect My favourite things...
RockStars program, a concept of your current role? » Music
geared at transformation – I love working with clients Smooth jazz and pop
transforming people, organisations, one-on-one or in small groups.
and communities. Along with » Holiday
I have been able to make a
launching my own business, I have Melbourne is the perfect
difference in people’s lives
lectured locally and internationally holiday destination because
and it is very satisfying.
and published three books: Colours it is my home away from
of the Sun, From Crisis to Character, What advice would you give home, but I also love
and Rockstars. graduates wanting to pursue Europe and its history
a similar profession? » Author
What has been the highlight
If you have the privilege to choose, Paulo Coelho – he taught
of your career?
think about what lifestyle you want me to write simple stories
Publishing my second book, From rather than the title or the prestige
Crisis to Character, was a highlight. » Coffee destination
that comes with the career.
It is a compilation of articles I in Melbourne
wrote for The Sunday Times in Sri What are your passions outside Lygon Street
Lanka from 2010 to 2014. I used your work?
anecdotes to demonstrate how to I love to travel. My work can be
overcome challenges encountered emotionally draining so a change
in the workplace. People would of scenery replenishes my resources.
read them on Sunday and put them
on the notice board at work on How would you describe Deakin
Monday. The articles increased University in a few words?
my profile and helped my business Personalised, modern, relevant.
grow. They also established business Photography: Location:
Four Square Sri Lanka Independence Arcade,
psychology as a field in Sri Lanka. Colombo

Bachelor of Arts
Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus
Class of 2005

Trevor Dean’s connection with What has been your journey In late 2016 I moved to
Deakin has spanned nearly half since finishing your course? London and I am now working
his life – as a student, an employee When I came back from Denmark I as a Business Manager for the
and now as an alumnus. During had missed the journalism internship Institute of Chartered Accountants
his time working at Deakin, Trevor application dates so I applied for an England and Wales (ICAEW).
was responsible for some of the events job at Deakin. I got the job It is a global professional
most high-profile events hosted by and six months became 12 months body with more than 160,000
the University, dealing with prime and then ultimately 11 years working members. We train and develop
ministers and world-renowned across every campus. I eventually accountants, have regulatory
academics. Trevor spoke with us moved to Melbourne and led functions, and share our knowledge
about the amazing experiences major events and external relations with governments and regulators
he had as a Deakin student and campaigns for the University globally, helping maintain
employee and how he still maintains such as Open Day, public lectures, international standards and
his connection with the University corporate events and political visits. public trust in business. I lead
from his new home in the UK. a diverse team focusing on
After eight years in events I was given everything from global outreach,
Can you tell us about your time the opportunity to take on Deakin’s international business development,
at Deakin? Melbourne community engagement to modernising our business
I had some phenomenal experiences portfolio. My scope was to engage, and ways of working through
during my course. Deakin offered connect and build partnerships change management and
many different opportunities such between the community and digital transformation.
as work experience, internships Deakin, which included showcasing
and international study. We filmed, the work of Deakin academics.
edited and presented a pilot news One memorable project was a
program that was broadcast on performance at Federation Square
Channel 31. We covered events in during White Night by our motion
Geelong and interviewed celebrities. capture studio and dance academics.

Is there anything you especially What has been the highlight My favourite things...
remember about that time? of your career? » Music
I was offered the opportunity to There were many highlights during Jazz, opera and classical
undertake the study abroad program. my time at Deakin. One example was
» Holiday
I chose Denmark, got the placement, when I was asked by an academic to
Ilha Grande, off the coast of Brazil
was awarded two scholarships, organise a lecture for his friend who
and within a couple of weeks I was was visiting from the United Sates. » Books
over there. That experience was He said that we might need the Travel guides
life changing. I was 20 with very largest venue in Melbourne. I was
» City
little preparation, figuring out a quite sceptical until he mentioned
new place and a new language. that his friend was Noam Chomsky.
I met my partner Richard in Denmark My team and I organised a free » Gadget
and 15 years and a few countries public lecture at the Melbourne My phone
later we are still happily together. Convention Centre. More than 5000
» Online resource
tickets were snapped up within
Is there any advice you would News sites – The Guardian,
hours of being made available.
give to a person who is starting BBC, The Age
out in your career? What are your passions outside » Artists
You have to know your strengths your work? Gilbert & George
and weaknesses. Play to your My family and friends are very Jeff Koons
strengths but also challenge your important to me and also travel. Jackson Pollock
weaknesses. Failure is scary but I travel every spare moment.
once you’ve done it, you realise
it really isn’t the end of the world. Use one word to describe Photography: Location:
Deakin University. Dan Ross: Potter’s Field Park,
Raccoon London: London

Master of Commerce Can you tell us about your time What has been your journey
Melbourne Burwood Campus at Deakin? since finishing your course?
Class of 2008 Deakin was a great choice for me I spent five years at Turner
because it instantly felt like home. International and then the
The Burwood Campus was amazing. I entrepreneurial bug bit me.
Gagan Arora is an entrepreneur I started my own online business
who has pioneered e-commerce really enjoyed the group assignments
where we would interact with people selling products on eBay. I have
in India and is now expanding his been doing this for seven years now
business to the USA. At the same from different countries and cultures.
and have a product catalogue of
time he is helping to build the Is there anything you especially over 150,000 items. Products range
Deakin Alumni Chapter in India. remember about that time? from home decor and kitchenware
Here he talks about the importance It was my first time living away to mobile accessories and modems.
of a Deakin degree, how to succeed from home. The transition was easy, I had sold a few products on eBay
in online selling and the best way thanks to the support I received from while I was studying in Australia
to start the day. lecturers and fellow students, but in 2007 so as soon as eBay was
Why did you decide to study there was still some culture shock. available in India I knew I wanted
at Deakin? to be in that space. The business
What do you believe Deakin
has grown exponentially. Right
After I finished my undergraduate University has given you
now I am diversifying by running
degree I started working at IBM, as a person?
seminars and private coaching
but after two years I was keen to The master's degree was a good sessions to educate others on how
get some international exposure combination of practice and theory to make money out of e-commerce.
and enhance my skills. While I was that I still find useful in running my
doing my research I came across business today. The most valuable
the Deakin course which was thing I learnt from my studies at
exactly what I was looking for – Deakin was that you never stop
a dual specialisation in accounting learning. It is a continuous process.
and finance.

Why are you involved in the Have you always wanted to If you could only use a few
Deakin India Alumni Chapter? pursue the kind of career you words how would you describe
Deakin has given me so much that have embarked on? When Deakin University?
it was time for me to give something and how did you realise this? Multicultural and welcoming.
back. The Deakin India Office has I always wanted to be a
My favourite things...
connected me with other alumni businessman. My father was an
of the University and we are now entrepreneur himself. He had the » Music
building up a network here that can flexibility to be there for his children Punjabi
provide strong support for Deakin and that is what I want to give to » Holiday
alumni throughout the country. my children. Gold Coast, Australia
What has been the highlight Is there any advice you would » City
of your career? give to a person who is interested Melbourne
There have been many highlights in becoming a seller on eBay?
» Café
over the years. I started my business Innovate and stay ahead of the
as a one-man show in one room competition. Online selling is a
of my house and now I have huge space where you are not » Gadget
three warehouses. Hiring my first competing with your next-door Apple Watch
employee was a huge highlight neighbour but with someone sitting
» Online resource
and retaining him to this day in a different part of the world.
is a good sign that I am doing
How would someone
something right! I am in the » Artist
describe you?
process of expanding to the United Diljit Dosanjh
States which is another highlight. I am an easy-going person who
takes joy in the simple things in life.
Photography: Location:
Soapbox Studios Chandni Chowk, Delhi

Bachelor of Contemporary Arts
Melbourne Burwood Campus
Class of 2008

Amel Tresnjic always knew

he wanted to be a filmmaker
and, with three award-winning
documentaries under his belt,
his dream has become a reality.
He spoke with Deakin about the
role the University has played
in his success, his independent
film company Brave Archer
Films and his favourite movie.

Photography: Location:
Craig Newell Mt Burnett Observatory, Victoria

Can you tell us about your What has been your journey since What advice would you give
time at Deakin? finishing your course? graduates wanting to pursue
I really enjoyed my film and I started by working in the television a similar profession?
television major. I picked an and film industry on projects such Study and pursue your passions
animation elective out of curiosity as the SBS TV drama Carla Cametti. all the way. Make YouTube your
and developed another passion I then began Brave Archer Films and best friend and a tool to showcase
that led me to pursue a double used the income to fund my own your art. Stay independent, this is
major. My teachers were fantastic; independent films. I enjoy complete the only way you can have creative
I especially remember Kevin creative freedom as I am able to tell freedom. Also, remember that it
Anderson and Nadia Tass. the stories I am passionate about is about the story and not always
It was a privilege to learn from not only in my own projects but also how technically polished your
real industry professionals. for my clients. I had that freedom film looks! Use your skills to
when I was creating my last two help inspire a better world.
How has your degree assisted
educational documentary films,
you in your career? How would someone
SingFest: The Literacy of Music
Deakin gave me the skills I needed describe you?
and The Reading Factory: A Life
to become an all-around filmmaker Changing Literacy Support Program. Inspiring, passionate, mentor,
and animator. In 2012, I made the humanitarian, agent for positive
feature-length documentary film What are you working on at change in the world.
2012 Crossing Over: A New the moment?
What is your favourite film?
Beginning. In addition to writing, I am producing a new documentary
directing and producing, I filmed, film Spiritual Awakening: Journey to Cloud Atlas has become one
sound recorded and completely the Inner Self – a film that takes us of my favourite films of all time.
post-produced the entire film on my on the journey to find the meaning It shows us that with each crime or
own. This award-winning 93-minute of life. I am also working on Talk for act of kindness we shape our future.
feature went viral on YouTube on Life, an educational documentary How do you think Deakin has
the day of its release. It has now on the importance of language and changed since you studied there?
been seen by over 4 million people communication; The Temple of Life,
Deakin is continuing to grow
on YouTube alone and has been a film that embarks on a mission to
and provide students with
translated into nine languages. find the ultimate diet for humankind;
the best learning experience.
and a documentary about dreams.
Was there anyone you met at
I am also in the process of writing If you could only use one
Deakin who has had an impact
a screenplay for a spiritual sci-fi word, how would you
on you?
film with the current working title describe Deakin University?
My film lecturer Kevin Anderson Planet G.O.D. Inspiring.
inspired the documentarian within
me. I initially wanted to be a narrative What are your passions outside My favourite things...
film director but Kevin inspired your work?
» Holiday
my passion for documentaries I love movies, stargazing, Europe
and non-fiction storytelling. photography and reading.
» Gadget
Have you always wanted to What has been the highlight My DSLR Sony Alpha A7Riii –
pursue the kind of career you of your career? I always take it with me when
have embarked on? The international success of 2012 going on adventures as it captures
I was inspired the moment I saw Crossing Over: A New Beginning beautiful photographs and video
how movies could transform an and the impact it had in inspiring
» Website
audience – to make them laugh positive change was a highlight.
IMDB – Internet Movie Database
or cry. I initially identified with Another highlight has been the
the heroes, but when I was nine success of SingFest: The Literacy » Artist
I realised that the real heroes of Music. This film has received 17 Writer, Director and
are behind the scenes making awards from renowned international Producer M. Night Shyamalan
the films and so I began to dream film festivals, including Best
about becoming a filmmaker. Documentary Film at the 2019 » Film
Calcutta International Film Festival. Cloud Atlas, 2012 by
Lana and Lilly Wachowski

Bachelor of Engineering Why did you decide to study Was there anyone you met at
Geelong Waterfront and at Deakin? Deakin who has had an impact
Waurn Ponds Campuses I was attracted to Deakin’s Geelong on you?
Class of 2014 Waterfront Campus during an I met a lot of fantastic people
Open Day visit. It gave me the through DUSA but it was my final
Stephanie Gould-Hardwick impression that Deakin valued year project supervisor, Dr Tim De
is an engineer working on design and creativity. Geelong was Souza, who had the biggest impact
some of Australia’s favourite also the right place for me coming on me. Through that project he
cars – the Ford Everest and from Mount Beauty, which is a small helped me see a wider range of
the Ranger. Stephanie spoke town in north-eastern Victoria. skills in the engineering world, which
with us about the importance enabled me to think about where my
How do you think Deakin has
of Deakin University Student own unique skillset could be used.
changed since you studied there?
Association (DUSA) and He also showed me the importance
Deakin has really focused on of communicating complex and
encouraging women to
staying up to date with science and scientific information in a simple
become engineers.
technology facilities and as a result, form that others can understand.
have increased their engagement
with industry which is really
important for engineering students.

Is there anything you especially What has been your journey My favourite things...
remember about that time? since finishing your course? » Music
Moving to Geelong was a very I started my career at Davies Craig, Anything that influences
big step for me but I got involved a small automotive company where my mood positively
with DUSA and very soon began I had done my internship. After a
» Holiday
to feel part of the University. few years, I moved to Ford Motor
Spain for the architecture
I ended up working for DUSA Company where I currently work
as a student board member and in research and development. » City
campus coordinator for two years. For three and a half years I worked Barcelona and Sydney –
with the chassis team on the Ford I am always blown away
What advice do you have
Everest and Ranger programs, by the Opera House
for women interested in
planning the efficient and effective
doing engineering? » Gadget
verification of product design. I have
Deakin provides a lot of support for My Fitbit
recently changed roles, and am
women interested in engineering. now working in the business office, » Online resource
Make use of the networking where I analyse data and provide I enjoy listening to TED talks
opportunities where students can technical input to resource planning.
meet women in the industry and » Artist
see the types of careers that are If you could only use one My sister, Georgina Gould-
possible. Some people still perceive word, how would you describe Hardwick, her love for the
engineering as a traditional hard hat, Deakin University? environment is reflected
work boot profession but that is not Evolved. in her work; Salvador Dali
the case. There is so much variety in
How would someone describe you?
engineering and I think that women Photography: Location:
Craig Newell Cunningham Pier, Geelong, Victoria
can bring a lot to the industry. Positive, diplomatic, enthusiastic
and very tolerant. Vehicle Provided By Ford Motor Company, Australia

Master of Commercial Law
Cloud Campus
Class of 2014

Glen Robinson is a founding Can you tell us about your time Is there any advice you would
partner of Valtegra, one of the at Deakin? give to a person who is starting
leading special situations private Deakin was higher on the innovation out in your career?
equity funds in Europe with curve for online learning compared Build friendships for their own sake.
€100 million in committed capital. to the other courses I had tried. Have genuine relationships with
You could say that he has come They made the student the centre of people not just as networking
a long way from country NSW the learning process. The lecturers objects. Also, don’t discount people
to high finance in London, except would acknowledge the students based on where they went to school
for the amazing discovery about who were listening on the other side or their social status. Most of us
his family history that has now of the world and respond to their have similar aspirations, interests
brought him full circle. We spoke comments during lectures. This and problems no matter where
with Glen about how he came demonstrated the mindset of the we are on the social spectrum.
to start his own fund, why people running the course. It was
he tailored his education, engaging and motivating, and I felt
and his passion for triathlons. included in the learning process.

Briefly outline your career path. Have you always wanted What are your passions outside
Out of university, I went to to pursue the kind of career your work?
Macquarie Bank and from there you have embarked on? I compete in Ironman triathlons.
moved to TNT Express, working I have made decisions about what I have completed the Ironman
my way up to run the mergers and made me happy but also skilled Maastricht-Limburg and Ironman
acquisitions program within Asia myself so that I would be able Wales in Tenby, Wales and I
then globally in the Netherlands. to take opportunities that arose. regularly compete in half Ironman
When I was 31 I decided to become I tailored my education to my career. competitions around the world.
a consultant for private equity firms
Tell us something that not In a few words how would
and in 2011 I began my own fund
many people know about you? you describe Deakin University?
– Valtegra. My partners and I raised
€100 million and we haven’t looked I grew up in country NSW in a family Academically rigorous,
back. We buy businesses that we of very modest means and it was innovative, flexible.
can improve and sell them for a a struggle not to feel out of place
My favourite things...
profit. In our niche, which is turning among people who had had more
privileged upbringings. When we » Books
companies around, we are number
moved to London my wife decided Sapiens: A Brief History of
two in Europe. We consolidate
to research our family history. It Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
investors from all around the world
and we place their money within turned out that I am descended » City
assets that we manage. Among from an extremely wealthy English New York and London for
our assets are the power transformer family. One of my direct paternal work and Sydney for family
manufacturer in Israel and the ancestors, George Albert Robinson,
was an MP in the British parliament » Airplane
bus network in Frankfurt.
and went on to become chairman The Dreamliner and A380
What is your favourite aspect of Lloyds of London in 1828. His have the best air, it makes a
of your current role? What portrait is in the National Portrait big difference if you fly a lot
are the challenges? Gallery. Another ancestor donated » Gadget
I have two partners. We each have £18 million to the University My iPhone is bolted to my hand
different responsibilities that correlate of Cambridge to establish the
to what we like doing most. I find the Robinson School of Engineering.
companies, negotiate with the seller It was surprising and not a little
and formalise the legal aspects. The ironic to find myself making my
Photography: Location:
challenge for me is finding the right way as an unknown in a place where Dan Ross: Lloyds of London,
business and convincing the owners my ancestors had been esteemed
Raccoon London:

to sell at the right price. members of the establishment.



Digital life or death
Associate Professor
Patrick Stokes

32 38
Pill testing Miracle milk
saves lives Doctor
Doctor Julie Sharp
Andrew Groves

44 50
Dingoes could help Virtual
fight extinction dementia
Associate Professor Professor
Euan Richie Kon Mouzakis

Bird song signals
past life conditions
Kate Buchanan

To learn more about Deakin’s
groundbreaking research
or help advance the work,
contact Jonathan Cosgrove,

Director of Development on
+61 3 9244 5024 or via email at

Associate Professor

Is a Facebook profile or Instagram
post the same as a photograph,
item of clothing, book or other object
left behind when someone dies?

The answer to this question is becoming

increasingly important as people’s physical
and digital lives merge. It is a question
that Dr Patrick Stokes, Associate Professor
of Philosophy in the Faculty of Arts
and Education, addressed in his recent
submission to the New South Wales Law
Reform Commission review of access to
digital assets upon death or incapacity.

Yesterday, 11:59 pm

Some relationships are conducted primarily

online and our profiles have become an
important part of our identity.

They are someone’s phenomenal presence

in the world and we have to make decisions
about what we are going to do with them.


‘Social media has impacted many ‘Governments need to recognise

aspects of our lives in a short space that there are serious legal and
of time. Our social media profiles cultural implications that we need
have become one of the main ways to agree on as a community in
we interact with each other on a regard to preserving digital remains.’
day-to-day basis. Some relationships
From a legal perspective, there are
are conducted primarily online and
questions about who should have
our profiles have become an important
the authority to make decisions about
part of our identity. What happens
a person’s digital remains. Do they
to all of our posts, images and
belong to the individual and their
conversations when we die?
family or to the organisation that
Should they be deleted or
owns the website and is storing
memorialised?’ asks Stokes.
the files? If the companies are the
‘The items people traditionally leave custodians of people’s digital remains
behind when they die are considered does that mean that they should
a type of property that they can be legally obliged to maintain them
bequeath. Their online presence and for how long?
is different; it is like an extension
‘At present, whether a deceased
of their face. It makes more sense to
user’s social media profile is deleted,
think of an online presence as digital
left unaltered, or placed into a
remains rather than digital property.
“memorialised” state – where certain
‘We don’t inherit a corpse; we functions are no longer available and
have a right of disposal over a body. phrases are added to the user’s name
Something similar should happen to make it clear they have died – is
to online remains, they are someone’s entirely a function of service provider
phenomenal presence in the world policy and how bereaved families
and we have to make decisions about interact with these,’ says Stokes.
what we are going to do with them.

Technology is also changing our

relationship to the dead and our attitudes
to death and bereavement.

Over the years, individuals and their Sociologists tell us that cultures
families have sought more control around death fall into either
over what happens to their online ‘transition’, where there is a break
presence when they die. This has between the living and the dead,
prompted the need for clear policies or ‘continuing bonds’, where the
or regulations around the preservation dead are always present. New
of digital remains. Should there be technologies may force societies
a default presumption against deletion that have embraced social media
and what types of restrictions should into a ‘continuing bonds’ culture.
be placed on their deletion or reuse?
‘One of the big challenges is that
What weight will be given to the
technology is also offering new ways
wishes of the deceased themselves
to blur the boundaries between life
in this process, and how will this
and death. Chatbots can use machine
be determined?
learning and artificial intelligence
‘In some ways, it is easier now to to depict a person saying things
keep digital remains because the or performing actions that never
cost of storage is getting cheaper, occurred in reality,’ says Stokes.
but that might not always be the
‘If we replicate the dead like that,
case. It is important to consider that
is it a way to remember them or
in keeping digital remains we may
is it simply replacing them? And
be signing ourselves up for infinite
if we are replacing them, are we
costs,’ says Stokes.
saying that the people we love
‘Technology is also changing our can be reduced to the roles they
relationship to the dead and our play in our lives?’
attitudes to death and bereavement.’




Pill testing is one of a range of harm

reduction strategies that will help
stop overdoses and deaths at clubs
and music festivals.

Dr Andrew Groves, lecturer in Criminology

in the School of Humanities and Social
Sciences, specialises in research on alcohol
and other drug use, as well as related drug
policies. In a recent publication in Harm
Reduction Journal, he recommended the
inclusion of pill testing into Australia’s
harm minimisation strategy.



The reality is that drug use occurs at

music festivals regardless of the risks
and it’s important to use the practices
we know work to ensure that young
people do not come to harm as
a result of this risky behaviour.

‘The reality is that drug use occurs substances and how we can learn
at music festivals regardless of the more. Australia’s first pill testing trial
risks and it’s important to use the at Canberra’s 2018 Groovin the Moo
practices we know work to ensure festival found that people discarded
that young people do not come pills that contained lethal additives.
to harm as a result of this risky Pills were found to contain ingredients
behaviour,’ says Groves. such as rat poison, paint and
N-Ethylpentylone, a lethal drug
The link between drugs and music
that has caused overdoses globally.
festivals is well established, with
several recent overdoses in Australia Knowledge of these ‘adulterants’
underlining this as a social and is valuable for users in terms of
political issue. A feature of the consumption practices, but also
pill testing debate relates to what for healthcare and support workers,
is known about these dangerous hospitals, law enforcement agencies

and policymakers. Pill testing chill-out tents, and free water.

informs police about what is on These are all intended to ensure
the market, distribution networks, the safety of young people, knowing
and precursor chemicals coming into that they will take drugs at these
Australia. Hospitals can similarly be events regardless of law enforcement
prepared for overdoses and illnesses efforts to stop them,’ says Groves.
if they know the levels and types
However, given the legacy of punitive
of drugs that are in the community,
policymaking and zero tolerance
while empirical data can improve
policing in Australia, combined with
academic research and drug
the moral subtexts of the (failed)
prevention planning.
‘war on drugs’, demonisation of
‘Pill testing should be part of a broad users and substantial misinformation
harm reduction strategy at festivals, about pill testing, the way forward
one that includes medical assistance, is complicated.

Testing analyses pill contents so

the potential user can make an informed
decision about consuming the drug.

‘One of the criticisms of pill testing This parallels recent behaviour at

is that it encourages young people Australia’s Groovin the Moo festival.
to use drugs, or that it is seen as a
Pill testing also allows health and
"green light" regarding the safety
support workers to establish contact
of the pills. That is not the case.
and provide advice to young people,
Testing analyses pill contents so the
who generally don’t seek support from
potential user can make an informed
other services. Unlike stereotypical
decision about consuming the drug.
depictions of people who use drugs
Drug use is inherently social and
at festivals, these are otherwise
cultural, so tackling drug use from
balanced, reasonable and intelligent
a purely criminal justice and closing
members of the community.
down festivals won’t stop young
people from taking drugs, but will ‘These young people may be risk-
push drug use into areas where it is taking, but they are also rational so it is
more difficult to monitor,’ says Groves. important to start a conversation with
them about staying safe and reducing
‘Data from Denmark and Switzerland
harm when they are making decisions
show us that pill testing does work
about drugs. The pill testing tent is a
to minimise harm. When given
place where these conversations can
feedback that pills contained
happen without fear of the criminal
unexpected ingredients, around
justice system,’ says Groves.
two-thirds of people said they
would not take the substance.’ ‘We need to rethink the responses
to illicit drugs and what "harm" is
in the contexts of music festivals.’
‘We know that pill testing works to
reduce harm – even a few pills thrown
away is a positive result – but we need
When given feedback more evidence to encourage policy
reform so that pill testing becomes an
that pills contained accepted tool in the harm reduction
unexpected ingredients, toolkit. In the present environment,
around two-thirds of trying to survey young people at a
festival would be met with fear or
people said they would reluctance,’ says Groves.
not take the substance. Pill testing is not a ‘silver bullet’ –
it is not intended to be – but it can
save lives.


Platypus milk has the potential to

offer new treatments for bacterial
infections that have become
resistant to existing medications.

Dr Julie Sharp, Senior Research Fellow at

the Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM), has
been researching the milk of monotremes –
platypus and echidna – for the past 10 years.

Monotremes are unusual mammals

because they lay eggs and do not
have teats. The young are very
underdeveloped and lack an immune I decided to look at the
system when they hatch, relying milk of platypus because
on their mother’s milk for all aspects
of development. They also use the
not much is known about
most primitive form of lactation that it and I was curious to
is still in existence – the young lick see what was in the milk
the milk directly from the mother’s
belly where it is excreted like sweat.
that allowed this animal
‘I decided to look at the milk of
to survive despite its
platypus because not much is known messy way of reproducing
about it and I was curious to see and feeding its young.
what was in the milk that allowed
this animal to survive despite its
messy way of reproducing and
feeding its young,’ says Sharp.
‘The young are exposed to a lot common bacteria – staphylococcus
of microorganisms and the milk aureus, which causes golden
is their only source of nutrition staph infections; and enterococcus
and immune protection.’ faecalis, found in faecal matter.
Dr Sharp and her team looked at ‘We then looked at the structure
the top 20 proteins found in the of the protein to see if there was
milk and discovered five that had something about its shape that gave
never been identified in any other it its unique properties,’ says Sharp.
milk, nor were they even similar
Researchers at the CSIRO used
to any known milk proteins.
a synchrotron to characterise
‘We tested one of the most highly the protein and found an unusual
expressed unknown proteins and three-dimensional fold that they
found that it had antimicrobial dubbed the ‘Shirley Temple fold’
properties. It acted to kill two due to its ringlet shape.

We have only scratched the surface when

it comes to the potential of platypus milk.
We know there is another protein in the milk that
also exhibits antimicrobial properties and acts on
different microorganisms and we have not even
tested the three other unknown proteins.

‘The next step was to discover the put into a cream, before breaking
mechanism by which the protein down themselves so that the protein
works and the role of the Shirley can act at the site of infection.’
Temple fold. This may help us
Infectious diseases are a leading
understand how this protein
cause of death worldwide and many
can be used as an antimicrobial
bacteria that were once considered
in humans,’ says Sharp.
to be under control are developing
‘Proteins are very unstable and resistance to existing drug treatments.
break down quickly when exposed Although there has been progress in
to the body or during transport. recent years in the development of
In order for a protein to work as an new drugs, most of these have been
antimicrobial, it needs to reach the modifications of existing antibiotics
site of infection intact. Until recently rather than new chemical classes.
we had no way to achieve this.’ The platypus protein is a completely
new antimicrobial class.
It was when Dr Sharp started
working at Deakin’s Institute for ‘We have only scratched the surface
Frontier Materials (IFM) on other when it comes to the potential of
projects that she found the solution platypus milk. We know there is
to the protein delivery problem. another protein in the milk that also
exhibits antimicrobial properties and
‘The researchers at IFM have
acts on different microorganisms and
developed short polymer fibres
we have not even tested the three
that can be used to stabilise proteins.
other unknown proteins,’ says Sharp.
The fibres surround the protein
and protect it from breaking down. ‘In the next five to 10 years there could
These fibres could allow the protein be a platypus-derived antimicrobial
to be delivered via an injection, or cream on the market. That would
be fantastic!’


Since Europeans arrived in
Australia, at least 34 native
mammal species have become
extinct. That is more than in
any other country in the world
during the same time period
and it is continuing unabated.


We need an integrated approach that

takes into consideration all the potential
interactions between species and how
that works at an ecosystem level.

‘Most of Australia’s mammals are ‘To date, a lot of conservation and

unique. They are an integral part pest species management has been
of our identity as a nation and targeted at a single threat and doesn’t
critically important ecologically. look at the big picture. We have relied
If they become extinct they are on poisoning and shooting to control
lost to humanity forever,’ says pest species, such as foxes, but
Dr Euan Ritchie, Associate Professor it is clear that this has not always
of Wildlife Ecology, School of Life been very effective. We need an
and Environmental Sciences. integrated approach that takes
into consideration all the potential
‘There are a number of reasons
interactions between species and
native mammals are becoming
how that works at an ecosystem level.’
extinct. These include habitat
destruction and modification, Dr Ritchie has been working with
invasive species such as foxes and the Department of Environment,
feral cats, and changing fire regimes. Land, Water and Planning, and Parks

We have relied on poisoning and

shooting to control pest species, such
as foxes, but it is clear that this has
not always been very effective.

Victoria to help inform management factors (e.g. fire) within a system,

of pest species, particularly feral but once you have this information
cats and foxes. He and his fellow you can model different scenarios
collaborators have proposed a novel related to conservation and
idea based on the strategic use of fire management goals.’
regimes and dingoes to save our small
Dr Ritchie and his team, including
native mammals from extinction.
former honours and now PhD
‘Ecological systems are complex student Billy Geary, and Associate
and we are now using sophisticated Professor Dale Nimmo at Charles
statistical modeling to determine Sturt University, looked at the
how they operate and examine distribution of dingoes and foxes
the consequences of particular and two species of native rodents
management actions. It is challenging using camera traps in 21 different
because it requires a lot of data on landscapes of the Big Desert-
all the individual species and other Wyperfeld region of Victoria.

A native hopping mouse or a

bandicoot might manage to survive
a fire but then has fewer places to
hide from hungry cats and foxes.

They were able to create statistical Dr Ritchie’s models suggest

models of the environmental factors that recently burnt areas are
that influence foxes and dingoes preferentially used by dingoes,
and look at potential interactions. probably to hunt kangaroos that
are attracted by the new plant
‘Fire management is critical because
growth, and the presence of the
fire promotes grass growth, which
dingoes could deter foxes from
attracts some native mammals such
entering the area and in turn
as kangaroos, but also potentially
hunting smaller native animals.
exposes others to higher predation risk
because there’s less cover. A native ‘The next, crucial step is to test
hopping mouse or a bandicoot might our model with an experiment.
manage to survive a fire but then has We could burn areas where dingoes
fewer places to hide from hungry cats are present or nearby, and in areas
and foxes. Our modeling shows that where they are absent, and see the
the presence of a larger predator, such impact on foxes and native wildlife,’
as the dingo, in a recently burnt area says Ritchie.
in the Mallee might make foxes more
‘Once the experiment is completed,
cautious because they are also at risk
and if we determine our model
while out in the open,’ says Ritchie.
is correct, we would also need
Aside from humans, the dingo is the to work with farmers to ensure
largest, land-based predator in Australia that they are able to protect their
and before Europeans arrived dingoes livestock from dingoes in ways
occupied the whole of the mainland. that are not lethal, for example,
Within Victoria, they are now largely using guardian dogs and fencing.
restricted to the Alpine, Gippsland and
‘Bringing dingoes back into
Mallee regions because of habitat loss
some Victorian landscapes to
and, predominantly, direct lethal control
help control foxes, kangaroos,
to protect livestock. Dingoes are the
feral goats, and potentially feral
main predator of grey kangaroos and
cats, pigs and deer, is certainly
feral goats in Victoria, which are now
a bold and challenging idea,
overabundant in many regions, and
but it just might work!’
can cause severe overgrazing of
native vegetation.


Professor Kon Mouzakis, CoDirector,

Applied Artificial Intelligence
Institute (A²I²), and his team are using
technology to transform dementia
care at home and in aged care facilities.

Dementia currently affects 50 million people

worldwide and is predicted to increase to
over 130 million people by 2050. In Australia,
it’s estimated to affect more than 447,000
people. Almost 1.5 million people are involved
in the care of people living with dementia in
Australia and the cost to our economy in 2019
is estimated to be more than A$15 billion.

The app is an interactive

experience that allows
you to move through the
rooms of a typical home
and immediately see the
elements that need to be
changed to transform the
house into a better place
for a person with dementia.

‘We have been working with Dementia immediately see the elements that
Australia to improve the quality of need to be changed to transform the
life of people living with dementia by house into a better place for a person
increasing the understanding of those with dementia. In the kitchen, you can
who care for them,’ says Mouzakis. look at the stove, cupboards or floor
and see hotspots and make simple
‘Dementia Australia originally came
changes such as adding labels and
to us with a problem. They knew
pictures to cupboards or changing
that people with dementia could
solid cabinet doors to glass.
be supported to stay at home longer
if a few adjustments were made ‘The aim was to make it possible for
to accommodate their symptoms. people with dementia to stay in their
They had a website about how to own homes for as long as possible,’
create a dementia-friendly home, says Mouzakis.
but it had a lot of information and
Following the success of this
not enough practical examples.
application, Dementia Australia asked
We took the information from
A2I2 to explore how technology could
that website and created The
be used to train carers in aged care
Dementia-Friendly Home app.
facilities. The aged care sector has
‘The app is an interactive experience expanded dramatically in recent years
that allows you to move through and one of the biggest issues is training
the rooms of a typical home and people who care for the elderly.

Using various lighting, sound,

and other special effects, the application
highlights how dementia can complicate
a person’s perception.

‘Dementia Australia and A2I2 came the bathroom door and goes into the
up with EDIE (Educational Dementia wardrobe. When he manages to find
Immersive Experience), a virtual the bathroom he won’t go in because
reality application that puts the user he thinks there is a hole where
in the shoes of a person living with the mat is. Using various lighting,
dementia,’ says Professor Mouzakis. sound, and other special effects, the
application highlights how dementia
‘EDIE aims to build empathy and raise
can complicate a person’s perception.
awareness of the issues faced by those
A second scenario demonstrates the
living with dementia by helping the
simple changes that can be made to
user understand why someone with
improve EDIE’s quality of life.
dementia might behave the way they
do in certain situations. EDIE has proved to be a cost-effective
way to educate large numbers of
‘The view of EDIE’s world came from
people and has been picked up by
people living in the early stages of
dementia organisations in Canada,
dementia who were able to articulate
Singapore and the Czech Republic,
what they were seeing and feeling.
and translated into Czech.
For example, when they looked
at carpets with patterns they saw ‘At A2I2 we have a unique group
bugs moving across the floor.’ of individuals, including software
engineers and games developers,
When the user puts on the VR
and access to facilities such as the
goggles they step into the shoes of
Deakin Motion Capture Lab, that allow
EDIE, a person with dementia, as he
us to create world-class applications
navigates to the bathroom during
from the initial concept through to
the night, trying his best to avoid
the final product,’ says Mouzakis.
disrupting his partner. The curtains
aren’t drawn, there is a storm outside ‘Our aim is to use technology to give
and shadows appear in the room. our community something of value
Initially, EDIE forgets which door is that will have a positive impact on
their lives.’


Past Life
Songbirds and humans have something
in common that could help us better
understand the impact of stress on
speech and language development
in childhood.

‘Birds and humans are the only two groups

of animals that are known to have dedicated
centres in the brain associated with vocal
learning,’ says Professor Kate Buchanan, an
avian behavioural ecologist at Deakin University’s
Centre for Integrative Ecology. She has been
working with zebra finches, an Australian native
bird, to figure out how early life stress affects
the way that birds learn and remember the
songs they need to be successful adults.

Birds and humans are

the only two groups of
animals that are known
to have dedicated centres
in the brain associated
with vocal learning,

Scientists rely on animal models Professor Buchanan and her team

to gain insight into many aspects stressed young birds during the nesting
of human development. Birds are period by reducing food intake or food
a particularly good model for vocal predictability. They found that stressed
development because their brains birds were not as good at producing
are wired in a similar way to those or learning their songs as birds that
of humans. were not stressed in the nest.
‘Asking questions about whether ‘Birds sing to defend their territory
an early life trauma affects the way and to attract a mate. They learn
the brain is wired is interesting both their song from their father while
for understanding human speech they are in the nest. Stressed birds
development and also for predicting don’t show as strong a response
the impact of stressful conditions to their father’s song, which means
such as climate change on the they don’t recognise it as well as
survival of birds,’ says Buchanan. non-stressed birds.

‘Stress appears to affect how neural neglect are delayed, compared to

connections form, and when and children who have not experienced
how auditory memories are created. the same treatment.
We can look at the development of
In the bird world, adult females
the brain of young birds to understand
prefer males that have a complicated
how early life trauma affects that
song because these males tend to be
process. It is not unreasonable to
older, have a better immune system,
expect that the areas associated with
better territory and can provide a
speech and language development
high standard of care for offspring.
in humans may also be affected
Their offspring should have a greater
by stress,’ says Buchanan.
chance of survival. But as the world
There is some research that shows warms under climate change, how
that the language skills of children and when birds learn their songs
who have experienced abuse or is likely to be affected.

Professor Buchanan and her

team are also looking at whether
the effects of early life stress are
The field of epigenetics passed across generations. The
has taught us that team have bred a generation of
populations can exhibit birds that experienced stress to
see if this affects the way their
rapid evolutionary offspring sing or how well they
alteration in response remember their song. They are
to changes in their also assessing how the brains of
the offspring respond to playback
environment that affect of song, in order to assess how
how genes are expressed. well the birds have learnt.
‘The field of epigenetics has taught
us that populations can exhibit rapid
evolutionary alteration in response
to changes in their environment
‘As climate becomes more that affect how genes are expressed.
unpredictable there will be longer This is in contrast to changes to the
periods when it is not suitable for genetic code which occur through
birds to breed. Birds need to be able selection. We hope to use vocal
to adapt to these rapidly changing learning and stress to understand
conditions and song learning will be how bird populations respond to
vital to coordinate breeding,’ says stress. The greater understanding
Professor Buchanan. ‘Environmental we have of how stress affects
conditions will not always be optimal generations of birds, the better
for a growing brain,’ she says. our ability to ensure their survival.’

ADVANCEMENT A message from
Jimmy Buck
Chief Advancement Officer

This is my first edition of dKin Magazine, and

I am delighted and excited to share it with you.

I started at Deakin in early The importance of shared experience The values of Deakin have really
2019 and I was immediately cannot be underestimated. It is the stood out to me, especially the
personal stories that inspire, make emphasis placed on sustainability,
impressed by the calibre of
us reflect and even change our life both in looking after the environment
researchers and alumni in attitudes and direction. I continue and ensuring the future of education.
our community. In each edition to look forward to meeting as I hope that during my time at
of dKin, we highlight alumni many of you as I can. Deakin I can strengthen our culture
from our global network and of giving and connection to the
I arrived at Deakin after roles in
share their stories and life Boston, and Sydney, and I look
communities we serve. If you see
since graduation. Deakin me around campus or at an event, I
forward to providing opportunities
alumni have taken so many encourage you to introduce yourself!
for our community to make an
varied paths, it is important impact on the things that matter
that this diversity and depth is most to them through philanthropy
both promoted and celebrated. and our alumni program. Photography:
Simon Fox
Melbourne Burwood Campus

We believe that while you
may not change the whole
world, you can make a
difference to someone’s
world in a very small way.

Lifetime educators Professor Lawrence

and Dr Pamela St. Leger’s passion for
education has created extraordinary gifts.

Education has provided more to teaching in secondary schools a lot of opportunities for growth
than just careers for long-time to teacher education and later that wouldn’t have happened
as a Senior Lecturer in Program without it.’
teachers and dynamic husband
Evaluation at The University of
and wife duo Professor Melbourne, Lawry’s journey from
Pam and Lawry believe that
Lawrence (Lawry) St. Leger conversations are key when it
school teacher to Deakin University
and Pamela (Pam) St. Leger. comes to planning for the future.
was less straightforward.
‘A number of people have
It has also provided them with Lawry’s expertise as a health
said to me, “Oh, can you send
a lifelong passion and belief that promotion educator, researcher
me the information about that?
education provides a way forward and consultant led to leadership
I must get onto that” because
for making the world a better roles in the Ministries of Education
they can see the value in making
place where people are more and Health before he arrived
a decision now rather than leaving
thoughtful, critical and reflective. at Deakin University in 1988.
it to somebody else.
This passion has led Lawry and Lawry speaks fondly of his time at
‘Having conversations with people
Pam to confirm a gift in their wills Deakin, particularly his role as Dean
opens up different ideas, different
that will fund the Lawrence and of the Faculty of Health, Medicine
ways of thinking about what you
Pamela St. Leger PhD Scholarship and Behavioural Sciences from
might do and then you go away,
in Deakin’s Faculty of Health. 1995 to 2002 where he was a driving
and you think about it. I think that
force behind the development
Following this important decision, would be a really good first step –
of Deakin’s Faculty of Health.
Lawry and Pam got thinking about to just find out what excites you,
the impact of their gift and realised ‘I had a lot of trust placed in me what you’re interested in, and
they would love the opportunity by the then Vice-Chancellor and what might be possible.’
to see their gift in action. And so Deputy Vice-Chancellor and I
At Deakin, we believe that leaving
an additional living gift was born. had a lot of freedom, which I really
a gift in your will is an investment
valued, and good people around
‘We believe that while you may in the future of your community
me who I trusted,’ Lawry said.
not change the whole world, that affects far-reaching change
you can make a difference to After lots of conversation and for generations to come.
someone’s world in a very small research, Pam and Lawry believe
way,’ Pam explained. they have chosen the right place
for their gift.
‘We’ve seen how life can easily catch
up with postgraduate students – ‘We also know that what sets If you can just free up
whether it’s kids or ageing parents Deakin apart from a number of
or not having an income. other universities – and Deakin some of those stressors
‘If you can just free up some
isn’t down the novice end of the for people – by helping
pack, Deakin is moving rapidly
of those stressors for people – them pay rent, or childcare,
up and with its size – is that it’s
by helping them pay rent, or incredibly innovative. or whatever it may be –
childcare, or whatever it may
be – you’re giving them every ‘The place is good and the you’re giving them every
chance to complete their PhD.’ research is exciting and we can chance to complete
definitely see how that gives the their PhD.
While Pam’s expertise as a opportunity for the gift in our will
qualitative evaluator led her to be used very wisely and with
from a career in fashion design

How can
your Will
the next

Your legacy
will drive

For more information

please contact Tracey King.
+61 3 9244 5024
Janet Dore
Master of Business Administration 1985
Graduate Certificate of Management (Personal Injury) 2011 Deakin University
Alumni of the Year 2013 CRICOS Provider Code: 00113B