UOW experts available for comment this week (16 - 20 August)

UOW experts available for comment this week (16 - 20 August)

UOW academics provide expert comment, opinion and analysis on a range of ongoing and breaking news stories

Scott Morrison and ministry appointments during the pandemic

Professor Greg Melleuish is a political expert who can talk about former Prime Minister Scott Morrison being sworn in to run the health, finance and resources ministries during the pandemic. Professor Melleuish is a lecturer and researcher with expertise in political theory, Australian politics, ancient history and world history. He is from the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry. 

First anniversary of the taliban’s return to power in kabul

Afghanistan war expert, Professor Theo Farrell, can discuss the first anniversary of the Taliban returning to power in Kabul. Professor Farrell is a leading academic expert on the war in Afghanistan and served as an advisor to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Command in Kabul.

Professor Farrell is the author of Unwinnable: Britain’s War in Afghanistan 2001-2014 (Penguin Random House 2017), which draws on his first-hand experience on the ground in Afghanistan, along with extensive access to classified documents, hundreds of interviews with senior coalition and Taliban leaders, Afghan elders, and coalition political leaders, backed by a comprehensive historical analysis dating back to Britain’s first Afghan war in 1864.

Workforce Australia

Social welfare expert Dr Mona Nikidehaghani can provide commentary on recent criticism of the government’s new employment services program, Workforce Australia. Dr Nikidehaghani is an expert in the relationship between accounting and public policies. She is a Lecturer in the School of Business, Faculty of Business and Law.

Declining rates of volunteering

Volunteer retention expert, Dr Vivien Forner, describes the declining rates of volunteers in Australia as devastating. She says:

“In Australia, the steady decline in volunteering over the past 15 years has been further exacerbated by the COVID pandemic, and COVID-related restrictions and lock-downs that followed. In 2020 the percentage of Australians who volunteered for an organisation or group (25%) was not only lower than in 2019 (30%), but also the lowest rate ever recorded by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.”

Dr Forner is Visiting Research Associate in the Faculty of Business and Law. She is an applied psychology researcher with expertise across social psychology, workplace dynamics, motivation theory and leadership development. Dr Forner authored a policy paper for Volunteering Australia on this topic titled “The great (volunteer) resignation: An evidence-based strategy for retaining volunteers”.

UOW to host international labour econometrics workshop

Dr Alfredo Paloyo is available for interviews about the 24th annual Labour Econometrics Workshop, being held from 18 to 19 August at UOW. Workshop organiser Dr Paloyo, Associate Professor of Economics at UOW, said that the focus will be on sharing and discussing the latest research and findings in the field of labour economics and applied econometrics.

Science Week (13 – 21 August)

Dr Melinda Waterman is an early career biotechnologist who can talk about the protective mechanisms and chemical signatures of moss species that live in temperate and Antarctic regions. Dr Waterman is part of UOW’s Antarctic Futures 2022 which opens this week. The event is an exhibitionseminar series and set of early learning workshops that considers the nature and future of the Antarctic continent.

Distinguished Professor Gordon Wallace, an esteemed innovator and educator is a scientist at the forefront of health technologies, where medical devices complement the body’s own systems to treat disease and repair injuries. An example of this is the ‘Biopen’, used by surgeons to directly print healing cells into a patient’s body during procedures, like knee surgery.

With research interests in organic conductors, nanomaterials and electrochemical probe methods of analysis in intelligent polymer systems, Professor Wallace’s extensive scientific contributions have broken new ground in every aspect of electromaterials research; academic performance and outcomes, training the next generation of researchers, and facilities development.

Dr Nicolas Flament can speak about being awarded the prestigious David Syme Research Prize in recognition of his ground-breaking work on dynamic earth models. The Research Prize is one of the oldest science awards in Australia and is awarded annually for the best original work in biology, physics, chemistry or geology. Dr Flament, a senior lecturer in the School of earth, atmospheric and life sciences, develops dynamic earth models that explain and enhance geological observations.

UOW academics exercise academic freedom by providing expert commentary, opinion and analysis on a range of ongoing social issues and current affairs. This expert commentary reflects the views of those individual academics and does not necessarily reflect the views or policy positions of the University of Wollongong.