Vice-Chancellor and President, Charles Darwin University
Welcome to the 2023 Charles Darwin University (CDU) Higher Degree by Research
Conference, which is another opportunity for our higher degree by research student
community to shine. In this two-day conference, our research students will show why they will be the future changemakers and influencers in their fields.
Importantly, this conference will enable our research cohorts to come together to share
their stories. CDU is proud to bring together in a virtual sense and a physical presence of
more than 50 research students from across our Faculties and Research Institutes.
The theme, “Deep engagement, lasting impact: Making a difference through research”,
is core to our values as a connected university. We believe we can only succeed through
our connections with all our partners and people of the Northern Territory, Australia and
These connections help us realise the mutual benefits of learning, undertaking research and working together to allow our communities to grow and prosper.
The academic papers that will be presented at this conference, include the significance of
material handling for deep engagement and learning, how informal immigrant caregivers are represented in Australian data, and how to strengthen Australian farmers’ climate change readiness, just to name a few.
This year’s panel discussion will be on Artificial Intelligence and its role in, and threat to,
research and higher education. This panel will be an exciting discussion on a burning issue
for universities where no one, particularly academics, is sitting on the fence.
I want to thank everyone who has made this conference possible and those students putting themselves in front of a room full of peers. It’s not always easy.
With that, I hope you enjoy the conference.
Professor Scott Bowman AO,
Vice-Chancellor and President
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation,
Charles Darwin University
I am pleased to introduce this year’s CDU Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Conference. After the success of last year’s conference, we decided to run it again this year with only a few changes.
This year we have decided to group our research into areas that address one or more of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. It is no accident that CDU’s research fits in with these goals as our researchers are studying for solutions to issues identified in the sustainable development goals.
It’s also why our university is in the Top 200 universities around the work for research impact, which benchmarks our research against the Sustainable Development Goals.
We are the University of the Northern Territory and closer to many of our neighbours to the north than we are to our major cities to the South. It’s a region undergoing a transformation that requires responsible growth.
Quality and responsible research that has real-world applications is needed to address
Sustainable Development in our region.
We have also provided presentation training opportunities in the lead-up to this year’s event so that all our HDR student presenters learn valuable skills that they can use to advance their research and academic careers.
Investing in our HDR students helps us improve the research quality of CDU.
Students from across CDU Faculties, Menzies School of Health Research, and Research
Institutes and Centres will come together and present their work across two days.
Let us support and encourage everyone by working together to deliver research that has a real impact.
Professor Steve Rogers
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation
CDU Dean of Graduate Studies
Professor Tara Brabazon
The ability to read, write, think and create new knowledge is a privilege that we must never take for granted.
As the Dean of Graduate Studies at CDU, I know the great gift of supporting, caring for and developing the next generation of researchers, clinicians, professionals and practitioners.
Research is not singular. It does not stop. It must be disseminated, shared, peer reviewed
and enhanced through commentary and critique.
Perhaps the greatest challenge of this century has been the creation of silos and bubbles,
isolating people and places and ideas. However, for knowledge to develop, it must be
disseminated. Widely, courageously and expansively.
Disseminating research takes courage. We are vulnerable when we share our deep thinking and hard work.
But this HDR conference offers an opportunity to share knowledge with confidence, clarity and boldness. When we share ideas, we intensify their importance.
CDU is a special university. We care. We support. We transform. We live in a special place and through this living, we learn. When we continue to learn, we transform and transcend ignorance, fear and confusion.
Congratulations to all students presenting at the conference, it is so wonderful to see you
taking this opportunity and sharing your work with others.
May we walk together in and through knowledge.
Professor Tara Brabazon
Dean of Graduate Studies
Foreword from the Organising Committee
Every researcher in Australia strives to improve society in some way. Every university in Australia values impact—the capacity of research to benefit people and communities. Yet, some academics secretly like to perceive themselves as the font of extensive knowledge and the source of great wisdom who, on occasion, vacate their ivory tower to inform the masses of the changes that people must implement or the beliefs that people should adopt.
But CDU does not believe in ivory towers or academic superiority. Instead, at CDU, researchers tend to be embedded in the communities they serve. They are friends, neighbours, and partners of the leaders and individuals that could benefit from their research. They listen and learn, respectfully and humbly. Although CDU researchers will share information about the latest technologies, discoveries, and methods in their fields, their industry partners and communities will help these researchers apply these advances as effectively and sensitively as possible.
The CDU HDR Conference is designed to epitomize this approach. Our keynote speakers will present some inspiring insights on how to enhance the impact of research in First Nations communities, commercial enterprises, government agencies, and other sectors Research students will present research plans, findings, and advances—enabling other academics, industry partners, community representatives, government agencies, and other sectors to learn, contribute, and collaborate in the future. Networking opportunities will be designed to assist these students on their journey and to translate their research into reality