From the Director

As the chill of winter settles in, I hope this message finds you warm and in good spirits. It is my pleasure to welcome you to the latest edition of our winter newsletter.

The first half of 2023 has come and gone, in what feels like a blink. During the last six months we have celebrated many achievements, including the 2023 Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings. Western Sydney University once again has been named number one in the world for its social, economic and environmental impact. THE University Impact Rankings is the main global ranking system that assesses universities on their commitment to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Rankings are based on universities’ teaching, research, outreach and stewardship.­­­­ Professor Jennifer Westacott AO officially commenced (opens in a new window) her term as Chancellor of Western Sydney University in January this year to succeed Professor Peter Shergold AC, who recently retired from the University after 12 years of exemplary service and stewardship as Chancellor. Professor Westacott is one of Australia’s most prominent and highly regarded public figures who also serves as the chief executive of the Business Council of Australia and is the University’s first female Chancellor and only the fourth Chancellor in the University’s history. She also recently wrote an opinion piece for the Australian Financial Review­ (opens in a new window) about the University’s global leadership and THE University Impact Rankings.

In April, we celebrated the generous gift and new partnership with The Wilson Foundation. Through this gift, over the next three years Associate Professor Mike Armour will lead a clinical trial to investigate medicinal cannabis for endometriosis.

I am pleased to highlight the tireless efforts of our esteemed researchers and dedicated teams who work tirelessly and diligently to push the boundaries of research and increase the medical knowledge. Within this edition, you will find our latest research updates, including several highlights from our latest scientific publications. Moreover, you will read about our upcoming winter events, including the University’s Open Day which will be held in Parramatta on Tuesday 2 July, Research Week 10-14 July, and a special CPD workshop, Wellbeing for Doctors hosted jointly by NICM HRI and Next Practice – WSIH at the end of July.

In other news, Drs Mike Armour and Carolyn Ee have been promoted to Associate Professor, a great testament to their dedication and achievements in their respective fields. Furthermore, we extend our congratulations to Fiona Hargraves and Dr Phoebe Zhou. Fiona received Emerging Researcher Prize winner- Digital Health Week 2023. “The effect of an active virtual reality gaming intervention on physical activity and mood in young men with mild to moderate depression; a randomised controlled feasibility trial to improve physical and mental wellbeing during Covid-19.” and Student Oral Presentation Prize at Australasian Society of Health Behaviour and Medicine Conference 2023. While Dr Zhou received the NSW Cardiovascular Research Network 2023 Professional Development Award towards participation at the 8th International Congress on Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine Research and 2nd World Congress of Integrative Medicine and Health.

I hope you enjoy reading our winter edition.

With best wishes,

Professor Dennis Chang

30 June 2023