07 December 2011

RMIT news in brief

Researchers win AIDS Council award

The Victorian AIDS Council/Gay Men's Health Centre (VAC/GMHC) has recognised Ian Woodruff and Dr Nattavud Pimpa for their research on volunteer experiences with a Community Award.

The two Senior Lecturers in RMIT University's School of Management recently completed the first phase of a research project exploring aspects of volunteerism in the VAC/GMHC.

They tracked volunteers' pre-commencement expectations and later their actual experiences of volunteering within the agency.

This was matched against other information about the volunteers to better understand the nature of their experience and to inform volunteer management and support strategies.

Biodiversity article published

Dr Sarah Bekessy, Senior Lecturer in the School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, has co-authored an article on biodiversity conservation under climate change that has been published in Nature Climate Change.

The publication is an outcome of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, of which Dr Bekessy is the leader of the RMIT node.

The authors write: "There is little specific advice or precedent in the literature to guide climate adaptation investment for conserving biodiversity within realistic economic constraints.

"Here we present a systematic ecological and economic analysis of a climate adaptation problem in one of the world's most species-rich and threatened ecosystems: the South African fynbos."

Students off to South Korea and Indonesia

Four journalism students have been awarded Australia Korea Foundation fellowships enabling them to undertake seven-week work placements with South Korean news organisations.

Undergraduates Zachary Hubber and Chito Santos will head to Seoul in January, while postgraduates Sean O'Callaghan and Belinda Smith will do their placements in June. RMIT is the first Victorian university to participate in the AKF program.

Meanwhile, five undergraduate and postgraduate students have obtained placements with an Indonesian media organisation through ACICIS, the Australian Consortium of In-Country Studies.

Undergraduates James Fettes and Estelle Griepink, and postgraduates Katherine Watts, Sumisha Naidu and Chloe Booker head overseas next year.

Alumnus wins China award

RMIT alumnus Michael Mittasch has won the Austrade Australia China Alumni Award for Entrepreneurship.

Mr Mittasch is CEO and owner of Mitchells Equipment (Hebei) and Mitchells Holdings Asia. He received his award at a ceremony at the Beijing Marriott.

Textile body appoints Webster

The Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia has appointed Associate Professor Karen Webster from the School of Architecture and Design as its first female director.

She has been appointed as Chair of the Australian Fashion Council, a division of the TFIA.

Sylvester steps up

Professor Sylvester Abanteriba, Director of the RMIT International Industry Experience and Research Program, has begun his role as Chair of the board of directors of the International Energy Foundation.

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