Addressing Barriers to Chronic Pain Treatment in Australia

Hayley attended the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva in 2018. She is a PhD candidate at the University of South Australia and is currently a physiotherapist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and a pain science tutor at UniSA.​​​​​​​ 


Chronic pain imposes a significant social and economic burden on the individual and the Australian community. There is a large gap between the volume of pain science knowledge generated through research and the application of that research in current policy and community settings. As a result, healthcare professionals do not receive adequate training in pain assessment and treatment, funding systems do not effectively meet needs in primary or tertiary care, and societal myths that encourage detrimental behaviour and increase fear and anxiety perpetuate. 

This paper will review the current state of pain management in Australia; consider international efforts to change the way the concept of pain is taught, classified and funded and; propose recommendations to align clinician and community views with a contemporary, biopsychosocial understanding of pain, with the ultimate aim of improving outcomes and reducing the economic and social impact of chronic pain.

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Increasing female representation in politics: A top down approach to gender issues across Australia

Kyle attended the 2017 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women 61st session representing the University of South Australia. Kyle is studying a Bachelor of Arts - International Relations with a Bachelor in Social Work.


While roughly 50% of the Australian population is made up of women, the number of women in Australian politics is significantly less. Not only does a government comprising mostly of men not accurately represent the Australian community, it also runs the risk of not putting forward issues that matter to women. Furthermore, women approach issues in a different way to men, providing different perspectives based on their values, concerns and experiences, which ultimately provides a new insight on current issues (UN Women, 1995. p. 120). Therefore, it is imperative to have the input of both men and women in Australian parliament. This fact is summarised succinctly and clearly by the Youth for Technology Foundation (2013), who states “no government can claim to be democratic until women are guaranteed the right to equal representation”.

Former Prime Minister John Howard recently stated at the National Press Club in Canberra that gender equality in Parliament is unrealistic due to the fact that women are often hindered in the pursuit of a political career because of family and caring responsibilities (McIlroy, 2016). While family responsibilities may be a key reason as to why women are less likely to pursue a career, political or otherwise, this should be seen as an obstacle that needs to be overcome, not an inherent aspect of life that cannot be altered. Three recommendations will be put forward in this paper as a means of overcoming such obstacles, in order to ensure that women are in a position to run for political office.

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Increasing Australia's economic productivity by creating an entrepreneurial economy

By Almira De Vera

Almira attended the 2016 World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in Washington D.C. She is studying a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of South Australia.


In order for Australia to maintain its economic prosperity, it is imperative to find new ways to stimulate productivity and encourage entrepreneurship and start-ups. Entrepreneurship propels innovation, job creation and competition which are integral for productivity growth. The Australian government is currently pursuing a number of entrepreneurial and innovative policies. To ensure the efficacy of these policy changes, an entrepreneurial mindset must be instilled in Australian culture. Introducing school programs and training into curriculum's is vital in motivating entrepreneurial initiatives. Creating a supportive and collaborative ecosystem involves working with the private sector, universities, industries, professional bodies and other start-ups. Sharing and recognising success can change the attitudes and perceptions of Australians starting their own business.

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Global Energy Transitions - Rational and innovative solutions

By Jerome De Vera

Jerome represented the University of South Australia at the Y20 China summit.


Each of the G20 countries has the responsibility to respond to the climate change crisis and the global energy demand by developing their respective energy industries. Utilising effective transitions in global energy use to help solve these key issues requires technological ingenuity, government compliance, economic viability and public acceptance. The signing of Paris agreement led to many countries pledging to achieve their climate goals in which the energy industry will be front and centre. This paper will explore and address the challenges and opportunities held by the global energy industry to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and keep lights up in our homes.  The following research will use sources such as scientific papers and policy documents from federal governments and internationally renowned organisations. The findings of this research is expected. Through this paper I hope to highlight the key developments and structural reforms needed to successfully attain these energy objectives.

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Latin America as a model for the provision of renewable energy

Christopher attended the 2012 United Nations Rio+20 Summit where he represented the University of South Australia. Christopher is studying a Bachelor of International Relations & Journalism.


This paper presents Latin America as a model for the developing world to highlight the challenges that developing countries face in providing clean, sustainable access to energy to their most isolated and deprived communities. As the host of the Rio+20 summit and the regional power of Latin America, Brazil was chosen for analysis as it presents both the progress already made in the provision of renewable energy as well as the obstacles which stand in the way of further progress.

This study shows how regional progress and challenges of renewable energy provision are applicable to the wider developing world and how institutions can learn from this to ensure a greater efficiency when working toward renewable energy targets for the future. The following recommendations are the product of this study:

  •   A forum for the exchange of ideas on renewable energy provision between developing nations must be established;

  •   The Brazilian model of using local products and innovation to develop new technology should be adopted by developing states;

  •   Education of local communities regarding sustainable energy access must complement the provision of new energy technology;

  •   Renewed financial commitment by states to render renewable energy options more competitive in the market is encouraging and essential;

  •   An improvement on data gathering must be made to assist developing states in sourcing sustainable energy; and a continued increase in the co-operation between the International Renewable Energy Agency and the UN and its member states will facilitate the reaching of global energy targets.

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