How can we leverage digital technologies to share knowledge and bridge the gap towards reconciliation for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians?

April attended the 2018 OECD Forum in Paris. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at Central Queensland University and she is a is a proud Noonuccal woman of the Quandamooka nation from North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah). ​​​​​​​

Abstract

Digital technologies have provided individuals, communities and countries with opportunities to enhance their thinking, way of living and interactions with those around them. As the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform (2018) highlights, ‘Digital transformation can contribute to reducing inequality and achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. Using this as a foundation, the following paper seeks to develop recommendations for how we can share and learn the Indigenous ways of knowing, doing and learning, through leveraging digital technologies to work towards reconciliation for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians. Digital technology can be the conduit towards greater preservation, inclusiveness and respect for Indigenous cultures. The focus of the recommendations will be the development of an educational app as a tool to preserve Indigenous Australian languages, share cultural history and knowledge, and provide learnings about the ongoing sustainability of our land. Paired with a focus on stronger partnerships between Indigenous communities and government, and improved access to digital technology and infrastructure, this paper identifies a real opportunity to break down barriers and build reconciliation between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians.

Read More

Fostering Resilience and Coping to Mitigate the Dangerous Effects of Climate Change on Mental Health.

Natalie attended the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva in 2018. She is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Ultrasound at Central Queensland University, alongside a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery degree and a Masters degree in Public Health.

Abstract

Climate change has been described as the greatest global threat of the 21stcentury. The risk it poses to human health is multifaceted and complicated. Already, the health effects of climate change are being experienced, with the impact on health projected to increase with forecasted population growth. Only now is the threat to mental health posed by climate change being raised by governments around the world. 

This paper will review the direct and indirect impacts of climate change on mental health. It will also explore the international actions dedicated to addressing the mental health impacts on climate change, focussing on investigating applicability to the Australian population. Finally, it will outline two key strategies to mitigate the potentially-dangerous effect of climate change on mental health, with a focus on psychological preparedness training and integrating mental health information into existing community programs. 

Read More

Gender stereotyping in the media: contributing to gender inequality

Rebekah attended the United Nation's Commission on the Status of the Women (CSW62) in 2018. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Law at Central Queensland University (CQU).

Abstract

The portrayal of women is paramount to influencing cultural attitudes and educating the generations towards a gender equal future. As we are living in a digital age, the media has the potential and power to influence a culture which empowers and celebrates women. 

The current portrayal of women in the media falls short of Australia’s commitment towards encouraging women into leadership and influence in the country. The media is too often reinforcing gender stereotypes and sexualized images of women. A disappointing, yet prime example can be seen from the frequent sexist remarks of Australia’s first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The media often focussed on her looks, sexual attractiveness and family situation in conjunction with her political movements (Trimble, 2018). The portrayal of women needs to be altered in a way that prevents exploitation and the degradation of women.  Rather than reinforcing gender stereotypes, the media ought to be utilized as an outreach platform to inspire and encourage women.

The current advertising system is too lenient and lacks any form of accountability. A strategic move is for Australia to revolutionize the standards of advertising involving women.  

This paper discusses the issues associated with the media’s exploitation and degradation of women, thereby affecting women’s choices, aspirations and advancement in Australia. This paper recommends creating firm monitoring systems and punitive actions to achieve unity and equality.

Read More

Damaged, but not yet lost: exploring gaps in loss and damage mitigation, and the necessity of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage and its review at COP22

By Caitlin Petersen

Caitlin attended the 2016 UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP22) where she represented Central Queensland University. Caitlin is studying a Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Laws.

Abstract

Climate change is having a clear and devastating impact on the environment with the global mean sea level predicted to increase by 3.4(±0.4)mm/year (Beckley et al. 2010; Beckley et al. 2015). Whilst we are all experiencing the effects of climate change, the degree of loss and damage experienced by populations is disproportionate. Global rising sea levels mean that vulnerable coastal communities are experiencing the intrusion of saltwater, and whilst many communities adopt adaptive strategies, these adaptations may not be sufficient in mitigating loss and damage (Warner & Van der Geest, 2013). Three main gaps in mitigation of loss and damage will be explored in this paper: insufficient adaptive strategies, adoption of no adaptive strategies, and adoption of erosive adaptive strategies. In light of the revision of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage at COP22 (UNFCCC, 2014. para 15), the following recommendations have been made to better mitigate loss and damage experienced by these vulnerable populations.

Read More

Diversification for Greener Regional Industry and Sustainable Development

Rachel Stock

Rachel Stock represented Central Queensland University at the Y20 Summit

Abstract

Diversification is currently being promoted as a means of ensuring continued growth in the economy as the mining slow down begins having an increased effect. However can this also establish a demand and willingness to create, promote and adopt the kind of environmentally friendly technologies that must be adopted moving forward to combat climate change. 
With the winding down of both manufacturing and mining operations across the country, much focus has turned to how Australians can utilise innovation to carry the economy forward. However, regional Australia has unique challenges with the reductions in these industries. Issues surrounding the labour benefits afforded by industry, economic reliance and public support relating to the industries will be considered. The problem of industry reliance can also be considered on a global scale, with similar projects being undertaken in the communities of the Appalachian Mountains in the United States, where regional communities were reliant upon mining and milling. By comparing the economic characteristics of affected regions across the G20 with those where the Murray Darling Basin Economic Diversification Program was successful in assisting businesses to diversify, recommendations can be made as to how such economies can be assisted to develop sustainable growth and industry using an adaptation of the program. Further this research, will investigate how a region’s industry reliance may hamper support, development and implementation of new sustainable technologies.

Read More