UOW expert commentary (14 February)

UOW expert commentary (14 February)

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

Delivery of humanitarian aid into Syria after earthquake

Associate Professor Phil Orchard is an international relations expert who can discuss the challenges of getting aid into Syria after the recent earthquake. Associate Professor Orchard is an expert on international refugee matters and humanitarian efforts. His research focuses on the international response to refugees, forced migrants, and war-affected civilians. Professor Orchard is from the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry.

Extending leave entitlements for NDIS workers

Social welfare expert Dr Mona Nikidehaghani can provide commentary on a new report by The McKell Institute that found extending leave entitlements to all National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) workers would help stem a looming workforce exodus in the disability support sector. Dr Nikidehaghani is an expert in the relationship between accounting and public policies. She is particularly interested in accounting, social welfare and the NDIS. Dr Nikidehaghani is a Lecturer in the School of Business.

West Papua

Decolonisation ethnographer, Dr Cammi Webb-Gannon, can provide commentary on the New Zealand pilot taken hostage last week by members of the West Papuan Liberation Army (TPN-PB) in Nduga Regency. In an article for The Conversation Dr Webb-Gannon writes:

How such a nice guy became a pawn in the decades-long conflict between West Papua and the Indonesian government is a tragic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But it is also a symbolic and desperate attempt to attract international attention towards the West Papuan crisis.

Dr Webb-Gannon is a Lecturer with the School of Health and Society and Coordinator of the West Papua Project at UOW. Her research focuses on the Pacific Islands region. Dr Webb-Gannon is the author of Morning Star Rising: The Politics of Decolonization in West Papua (2021, University of Hawai’i Press).

What happens to our brain and body when we’re in love?

Dr Theresa Larkin wants to talk about the science of love. In an article she co-authored for The Conversation Dr Larkin writes:

At the most basic level, science sees love as a cocktail of chemicals released by the brain. 

Though we think of love as an emotion, it has been suggested that we should consider love as a motivation, like hunger, thirst, sleep or sex.  From an evolutionary perspective, romantic love evolved from the primitive animal drive to find and keep preferred mates.  Love keeps people bonded and committed to one another, to raise children through infancy. This ensures that our species will continue to reproduce, survive and thrive.

Dr Larkin is an expert in anatomy and medical science. She is a Senior Lecturer in UOW’s Graduate School of Medicine.

Removal of Chinese-made cameras from Australian government buildings

Privacy and cybersecurity expert, Honorary Professor Katina Michael, can discuss the Australian government’s decision to remove Chinese-made cameras from its buildings. Honorary Professor Michael is from the School of Business and comments regularly on the social implications of emerging technologies with an emphasis on privacy and national security. She is also a Professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and School of Computing and Augmented Intelligence at Arizona State University.

ABS data release – Labour Force statistics (16 February)

Associate Professor Martin O’Brien is available for interview about the ABS Labour Force Statistics which will be released on Thursday 16 February. He can discuss employment, unemployment, underemployment, participation and hours worked in January 2023 from the monthly Labour Force Survey. Associate Professor O’Brien is an economist and the Director of the Centre for Human and Social Capital Research. His research interests include segmented labour market theory, econometrics, older worker employment issues and hidden unemployment. 

Interest rates

Dr Paul Mazzola is available for interviews about interest rates. Dr Mazzola is a Lecturer in banking and finance in the School of Business. He has more than 25 years’ banking and finance experience in the Australian, European and Asian Pacific markets. 

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.