UOW expert commentary (7 February)

UOW expert commentary (7 February)

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

Voice to Parliament

Dr Summer May Finlay can discuss an Indigenous Voice to Parliament and the resignation of Lidia Thorpe from the Greens. Dr Finlay says she supports the voice, but also supports other Aboriginal people’s right to voice opposition. Dr Finlay is a Yorta Yorta woman who grew up on Awabakal country (West Lake Macquarie) and is a passionate advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. She is a Senior Lecturer of Indigenous Health in the School of Health and Society.

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. 


Professor Theo Farrell can discuss how universities are responding to the growing popularity of ChatGPT and other robot writing tools. In an opinion piece for The Australian Professor Farrell said we can’t ban ChatGPT from education so we have to use it. He writes:

 AI will increasingly become endemic in our work and everyday lives. We shouldn’t be scared of it. Instead, we must try to understand and embrace it while constantly re-evaluating the moral and pragmatic implications of this revolutionary technology.

Professor Farrell is the Deputy-Vice Chancellor (Academic and Student Life) and is responsible for innovation and excellence in education and student experience at UOW.

World Pulses Day (10 February)

Accredited dietician Gynette Reyneke is available to talk about the dietary importance of pulses and legumes in the lead up to World Pulses Day on 10 February. Ms Reyneke is undertaking a PhD on legumes. A paper she co-authored last year found that despite their prominence in guidelines, average legume and whole grain consumption in Australia remains lower than recommendations outlined in the Australian Dietary Guidelines. 

International Day of Women and Girls in Science (11 February) 

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science aims to connect the international community to women and girls in science, strengthening the ties between science, policy, and society for strategies oriented towards the future.  

Dr Theresa Larkin is an expert in anatomy and medical science. She is a Senior Lecturer in UOW’s Graduate School of Medicine. Dr Larkin was recently named a by Science & Technology Australia. The program is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science and Resources, and aims to smash gender assumptions about who can and should work in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  

Distinguished Professor Sharon Robinson researches how Antarctic plants respond to climate change. Professor Robinson is also the Deputy Director of the Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future, a Special Research Initiative for Excellence in Antarctic Science by the Australian Research Council. She is also the Executive Director of the Global Challenges program and is currently Challenge Leader for the Sustaining Coastal and Marine Zones within the program. The latest paper Professor Robinson has co-authored explores the interactive effects of changes in UV radiation and climate on terrestrial ecosystems, biogeochemical cycles, and feedbacks to the climate system.

Dr Bethany Hoye is an ecologist working on microbes, pathogens, host physiology and animal migration. Her research spans the fields of disease ecology and migration biology. Dr Hoye tries to figure out how parasites, pathogens, and symbionts are transmitted and maintained, what impact they have on animal performance, how environmental disturbance alters animal movements, and the ecological consequences of these changed movement patterns. A new paper co-authored by Dr Hoye explores avian influenza in Australian wild birds. She is a Lecturer in the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences.  

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.