Queensland University of Technology

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    Multi-stakeholder Partnerships in Affordable Rental Housing: An Investigation Using Soft Systems Framework

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    Queensland Department of Housing has proposed the use of partnerships as one possible option to deliver affordable housing outcomes. Although this initiative is supported by other stakeholders, many constraints have impeded its implementation for the delivery of real projects. Whilst it might find application for mixed housing projects with some relaxation on tax and/ or planning requirements, in general, affordable housing has not been seen as a valuable investment. Moreover, the partnerships require stakeholders to work across boundaries and outside their comfort zones. This initial study examines the use of soft systems framework to explore stakeholders’ views of multi-stakeholder partnerships in affordable rental housing. A series of in-depth interviews with major stakeholders representing housing providers, regulators and users in Queensland has been conducted. Soft systems methodology has been used to express the unstructured problem by using systematic thinking to develop a conceptual model to solve the problem. A complex problem is broken down into role, social system and political system analyses. This study provides an example of using systematic thinking in solving conflicting problems. The gap between the conceptual model and implementation in the real world situation was also investigated. Major changes in the socio-cultural aspects of the broader community as well as between stakeholders were required to implement the further development of multi-stakeholder partnerships for affordable rental housing

    Challenges of measuring learning outcomes for property students engaged in work integrated learning

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    Work integrated learning (WIL) or professional practice units are recognised as providing learning experiences that help students make successful transitions to professional practice. These units require students to engage in learning in the workplace; to reflect on this learning; and to integrate it with learning at university. However, an analysis of a recent cohort of property economics students at a large urban university provides evidence that there is great variation in work based learning experiences undertaken and that this impacts on students’capacity to respond to assessment tasks which involve critiquing these experiences in the form of reflective reports. This paper highlights the need to recognise the diversity of work based experiences; the impact this has on learning outcomes; and to find more effective and equitable ways of measuring these outcomes. The paper briefly discusses assessing learning outcomes in WIL and then describes the model of WIL in the Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). The paper elaborates on the diversity of students’ experiences and backgrounds including variations in the length of work experience, placement opportunities and conditions of employment.For example, the analysis shows that students with limited work experience often have difficulty critiquing this work experience and producing high level reflective reports. On the other hand students with extensive, discipline relevant work experience can be frustrated by assessment requirements that do not take their experience into account. Added to this the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) has restricted both part time and full time placement opportunities for some students. These factors affect students’ capacity to a) secure a relevant work experience, b) reflect critically on the work experiences and c) appreciate the impact the overall experience can have on their learning outcomes and future professional opportunities. Our investigation highlights some of the challenges faced in implementing effective and equitable approaches across diverse student cohorts. We suggest that increased flexibility in assessment requirements and increased feedback from industry may help address these challenges

    Chemical composition of outdoor airborne particles at urban schools and possible implications for the air quality in classrooms

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    Vehicle emissions are a significant source of fine particles (Dp < 2.5 µm) in an urban environment. These fine particles have been shown to have detrimental health effects, with children thought to be more susceptible. Vehicle emissions are mainly carbonaceous in nature, and carbonaceous aerosols can be defined as either elemental carbon (EC) or organic carbon (OC). EC is a soot-like material emitted from primary sources while OC fraction is a complex mixture of hundreds of organic compounds from either primary or secondary sources (Cao et al., 2006). Therefore the ratio of OC/EC can aid in the identification of source. The purpose of this paper is to use the concentration of OC and EC in fine particles to determine the levels of vehicle emissions in schools. It is expected that this will improve the understanding of the potential exposure of children in a school environment to vehicle emissions

    Higher Order Spectra (HOS) Analysis of Epileptic EEG Signals

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    Epilepsy is a neurological condition, which affects the nervous system. Automatic seizure detection is very important in clinical practice and has to be achieved by analyzing the electroencephalogram (EEG). Seizures are the clinical manifestations of excessive and hypersynchronous activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex and represent one of the most frequent malfunctions of the human central nervous system. Therefore, the search for precursors and predictors of a seizure in the human EEG is of utmost clinical relevance and may even lead to a deeper understanding of the seizure generating mechanisms. In this paper, the normal, pre-ictal (background) and ictal (epileptic) EEG signals are studied using higher order spectra. HOS based measures are shown to be able to distinguish epileptic EEG from normal and background EEG with high confident level ( p-value of less than 0.05)

    Refugees, Radio Journalism And Communications For Social Change

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    Federal Government policies aimed at preventing boatpeople from reaching Australian shores have cost taxpayers an estimated $300 million per year since 2001. Staff and students at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have embarked on a new project to ask whether a more deliberative form of public engagement might have yielded a different, more composed response to the increase in numbers of boatpeople arrivals that occurred after 1999. This QUT project explores the potential for journalists to facilitate community deliberation about viable and realistic responses to the challenges created by asylum seeker and refugee arrivals. This paper presents the findings of a pilot radio project aimed at promoting deliberation and redressing some of the imbalances in current media coverage on these issues

    Test of a model of the effects of parental illness on youth and family functioning

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    Objective: Parental illness (PI) may have adverse impacts on youth and family functioning. Research in this area has suffered from the absence of a guiding comprehensive framework. This study tested a conceptual model of the effects of PI on youth and family functioning derived from the Family Ecology Framework (FEF; Pedersen &amp; Revenson, 2005). Method. A total of 85 parents with multiple sclerosis and 127 youth completed questionnaires at Time 1 and 12 months later at Time 2. Results. Structural equation modeling results supported the FEF with regards to physical-illness disability. Specifically, the proposed mediators (role redistribution, stress, and stigma) were implicated in the processes that link parental disability to several domains of youth adjustment. The results suggest that the effects of parental depression (PD) are not mediated through these processes; rather, PD directly affects family functioning, which in turn mediates the effects onto youth adjustment. Family functioning further mediated between PD and youth well-being and behavioral-social difficulties. Conclusions. Although results support the effects of parental-illness disability on youth and family functioning via the proposed mediational mechanisms, the additive effects of PD on youth physical and mental health occur through direct and indirect (via family functioning) pathways, respectively

    The importance of a new kind of learning in collaborative networks

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    There is wide agreement that in order to manage the increasingly complex and uncertain tasks of business, government and community, organizations can no longer operate in supreme isolation, but must develop a more networked approach. Networks are not ‘business as usual’. Of particular note is what has been referred to as collaborative networks. Collaborative networks now constitute a significant part of our institutional infrastructure. A key driver for the proliferation of these multiorganizational arrangements is their ability to facilitate the learning and knowledge necessary to survive or to respond to increasingly complex social issues In this regard the emphasis is on the importance of learning in networks. Learning applies to networks in two different ways. These refer to the kinds of learning that occur as part of the interactive processes of networks. This paper looks at the importance of these two kinds of learning in collaborative networks. The first kind of learning relates to networks as learning networks or communities of practice. In learning networks people exchange ideas with each other and bring back this new knowledge for use in their own organizations. The second type of learning is referred to as network learning. Network learning refers to how people in collaborative networks learn new ways of communicating and behaving with each other. Network learning has been described as transformational in terms of leading to major systems changes and innovation. In order to be effective, all networks need to be involved as learning networks; however, collaborative networks must also be involved in network learning to be effective. In addition to these two kinds of learning in collaborative networks this paper also focuses on the importance of how we learn about collaborative networks. Maximizing the benefits of working through collaborative networks is dependent on understanding their unique characteristics and how this impacts on their operation. This requires a new look at how we specifically teach about collaborative networks and how this is similar to and/or different from how we currently teach about interorgnizational relations

    An innovative technique for rapid product development by using stereolithography process and microwave radiation

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    This work attempts to investigate the feasibility of curing epoxy resin layers using microwaves for physical models and prototypes. Investigations have been carried out to use epoxy resins or a combination of epoxy resin mixed with a different material in powder form followed by a curing process using microwave radiation. The microwave radiation supports the polarisation of epoxy resin through heating based on the effect of the dielectric property. The curing process of the epoxy resin using microwave radiation takes place more rapidly and supports the temperature rise, as the dielectric value of the epoxy resin rises with an increase in temperature, primarily through changes in frequency. The maximum increase in temperature takes place at a critical frequency. The penetration of the microwaves through the epoxy resin is controlled by the wavelength of microwave radiation as a function of the frequency. Reducing the operational frequency of microwave radiation compensates an increase in thickness of the layer. In this work attempts have been made to determine the relationship between curing time, curing temperature for different mixtures of epoxy resin and hardener. The physical model is built using the layer technique, in which the epoxy resin or mixture of epoxy resin and material powder is applied as a thin film sprayed on top of the previous layer

    Health Choices for an Ageing Population

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    The author discusses some of the likely services where hard choices may have to be made -residential care, community care, workforce issues and cost cutting measures - before commenting on the nature of healthcare choices in a liberal, and increasingly privatised, mass democracy

    Issues and challenges in higher education leadership: Engaging for change

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    It is proposed from this study that engaging productively with others to achieve change has never been more critical in educational environments, such as universities. Via semi-structured interviews with a cohort of senior leaders from one Australian university, this paper explores their perceptions of the key issues and challenges facing them in their work. The study found that the most significant challenges centred around the need for strategic leadership, flexibility, creativity and change-capability; responding to competing tensions and remaining relevant; maintaining academic quality; and managing fiscal and people resources. Sound interpersonal engagement, particularly in terms of change leadership capability, was found to be critical to meeting the key challenges identified by most participants. In light of the findings from the sample studied some tentative implications for leadership and leadership development in university environments are proposed, along with suggestions for further empirical exploration


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