Faculty News


Novocastrians needing legal advice this summer are encouraged to tap into the expertise of the University of Newcastle Legal Centre at their Law on the Beach free community legal advice clinics.

Now in its 14th year, Law on the Beach runs for five weeks over summer, bringing University of Newcastle law students and lawyers from their Hunter Street location to Newcastle Beach. Law on the Beach gives later year law students and social work students the opportunity to gain practical experience towards their degrees as they work to help members of the community.

Visit www.newcastle.edu.au/lawonthebeach to stay up to date with the Law on the Beach clinic.


Building upon the Faculty's new state of the art Newcastle CBD campus location, we are developing a simulated financial trading environment for students studying in the areas of finance, decision making, business analytics and corporate governance.

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Times Higher Education (THE) recently released its 2018 subject rankings for Business and Economics with The University of Newcastle now placed in the top 150 in the world (equalling the performance of the University in Engineering and Technology).

For Business and Management subjects, UON is number one in Australia for citations, fifth for international outlook and sits equal eighth in Australia for overall performance.

The rankings highlight the universities that are leading across accounting and finance, business and management, and economics and econometrics subjects. Further information can be found at www.timeshighereducation.com

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Faculty Staff Awards

The Faculty Staff Awards are a time to thank our fellow colleagues for outstanding work undertaken within the Faculty. The winners of the Faculty Staff Awards are:

Faculty Professional Staff Award 
Robert Steyne and Rachel Brien

Faculty Research Supervision Award 
Dr Sarah Bankins

Faculty Student Engagement Award 
Dr Marcus Rodrigs

International Engagement Award 
Donna Reedy

Faculty Collaboration Award 
The Move Champ Team consisting of Matt Chester, Tracy Agnew, Melanie Gibson, Adrian Zaslona, Cath Seamer, Mellissa Coad

Faculty Health and Safety Award 
Dominica O’Reilly

Faculty External Engagement Award 
Dr Paul Stolk

Faculty Early Career Researcher and Innovation Award
Dr Richard Oloruntoba and Dr Alicia Kulczynski

Teaching and Learning Awards

Excellence in Teaching for an Early Career Teacher
Dr Elena Aydos, Newcastle Law School
Dr Sudpita Bose, Newcastle Business School

Excellence in Teaching for an Individual or a Team
Dr Tim Connor, Newcastle Law School
Dr Richard Oloruntoba, Newcastle Business School

Excellence in Teaching for a Sessional Staff Member
Syed Rahman, Newcastle Business School

Congratulations to our winners and our nominees.

The Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) has granted Newcastle Business School three years (2018-2020) for both the undergraduate Human Resources Management major in the Bachelor of Business, and the newly structured Masters of Human Resource Management. This is the first time the Business School’s postgraduate program has received accreditation from AHRI.

In August, the Federal Government approved six applications from the Faculty for New Colombo Plan 2018 Mobility Grants. The successful applicants were Dr Elena Aydos, for a mobility program on cultural identities shaping environmental regulation in Japan; Dr Nicola Ross, for funding for a Family Law internship in Cambodia; Dr Patricia Johnson, for an international work-integrated learning program in China; Dr Kevin Sobel-Read, for a Legal studies internship in the Cook Islands; and Dr Marcus Rodrigs, for an intensive business project in Singapore. Dr Hao Tan recieved a funding grant of $138,600 for three years to support a project of ‘industry-focused study tours’ in China.

These grants enable the Faculty to provide students with invaluable opportunities for international learning experiences.

Legal practitioners Daniel Matas and Sarah Breusch from Newcastle Law School took 14 Law students to Vietnam on an international study tour to learn all about the Vietnamese Criminal Justice system. Over 17 days participating Law students experienced a cultural immersion through a mix of education and tourism activities.

Their travels throughout the southern part of Vietnam included visits to the former Presidential Palace and War Museum in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). They also visited, presented to, and mixed with both staff and students at HCMC’s leading Law School. Before leaving HCMC, the group visited Rouse Legal, a leading global Intellectual Property Law Firm where they met up with former UoN Law student, Ellenor Hayes, who presented to the group on her role as a Lawyer with Rouse and Intellectual Property Laws in a rapidly developing economy.

In Can Tho, the group sat in on two appellant trials in the Provisional Court and met privately with one of the judges who answered many questions posed by students. Whilst in Can Tho, the group formed friendships and strong ties with staff and Law students from Can Tho University with the visit culminating in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. The group then travelled to Hanoi in the north of Vietnam where the students participated in a two day lecture series which included visits to both the District and Supreme Courts.

In recognition of teaching and learning excellence, the Faculty held its annual Excellence in Education ceremony in September. Top students from the 2016 academic year joined staff and the generous prize donors for the awards evening held in NeW Space.

The Excellence in Education event saw over 50 prizes being awarded to undergraduate and postgraduate students. The Faculty recognised those who completed their Honours theses in 2016 as well as the contribution of PASS leaders to the success of their classmates.

After the formalities, proud family members and friends were invited to enjoy refreshments and chat with external donors and Faculty staff. The Faculty appreciates the continued support and generosity of the donors for helping to recognise our high achieving students.

As part of UoN Scholars’ Week 2017, the Faculty of Business and Law held their annual Scholarships Celebration to acknowledge the continued support of scholarship donors and to celebrate the achievements of 2017 scholarship recipients.

Thanks to the donations from individual, industry, university faculties, and the Commonwealth Government a range of scholarships are on offer to provide opportunities for students to excel in their studies. The event brought together donors, UoN staff and recipients and their families. The evening was well attended, with the Vice Chancellor, Caroline McMillen also presenting awards.

Congratulations to all our scholarship recipients for 2017.

Mr Shaun McCarthy, Director of UON’s Legal Centre, has been recognised for his quality teaching practice and outstanding contributions to student learning, in particular his leadership of the clinical program at the Newcastle Law School.

Shaun has been presented with a 2017 Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, awarded by the Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT).

An advocate for innovative and multidisciplinary initiatives within the Bachelor of Laws and Juris Doctor, Shaun has noticeably transformed the way students think about clients and the law, while also supporting the Newcastle community.

“I am passionate about providing people from all walks of life the means to access the law, whilst also ensuring our students have the opportunity to undertake important client casework.”

Dr Asit Bhattacharyya and Professor Sue Wright have been awarded an external research grant from the Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand (AFAANZ), following a competitive round of applications. The AFAANZ Research Grants are provided to AFAANZ members working on small-scale projects who are able to demonstrate the impact of their research within the accounting and finance discipline. The project for which Dr Bhattacharyya and Professor Wright have received funding for focuses on “The Impacts of Mandated CSR Expenditure and Financial Inclusion on Banking Performance.”

The Australian Centre for Financial Studies recently awarded a grant of $10,000 to Professor Stephen Easton and his colleague, Associate Professor Sean Pinder, from the University of Melbourne. The grant was awarded for the research project titled “The Valuation of Speculative Position-Taking and Imputation Tax Credits within the BHP Billiton Group Dual-Listed Structure.”

Sher Campbell, Convenor and Law Lecturer at the Newcastle Law School is working together with Law and Psychology researchers at the University of Newcastle and the Australian National University (ANU) College of Law to reduce breaching of Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs) in New South Wales (NSW).

The team consists of University of Newcastle academic, Dr Lynne McCormack, Senior Lecturer and Clinical Psychologist and Dr Colin James, Solicitor and Conjoint Senior Lecturer from the ANU College of Law. The three colleagues won a pitch tournament as part of the NSW Government Innovation Launch Program securing a grant of $150,000 from the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation to develop a mobile phone application for defendants of ADVOs.

The team are participating in an incubation program run with access to mentors and subject matter experts, education and support, as well as networking opportunities with potential partners and investors. The project will develop a mobile phone application called ‘Bernie’ that will be freely available through Lawyers employed by the Hunter Community Legal Centre advising respondents in ADVO applications at Newcastle Local Court. ‘Bernie’ reinforces practical and legal information provided by Lawyers, information that is often forgotten due to heightened anxiety in court.

Later versions of ‘Bernie’ will be able to be personalised to include appointment reminders and court dates. The application also provides useful support contacts, an emergency button for stressful situations, and psycho-social resources.

The future of energy and the Hunter were the focus at the Upper Hunter Economic breakfast on 20 September, hosted by the Hunter Research Foundation Centre. AGL Macquarie was the HRF Centre’s major partner for the breakfast, which was also supported by Bengalla Coal.

AGL Macquarie’s General Manager, Kate Coates, described the rationale behind the closure of AGL’s Liddell and Bayswater power stations in 2022 and 2035.

Ms Coates was joined by Professor Richard Bush, the University’s Global Innovation Chair in the International Centre for Balanced Land Use, in a panel discussion. Other panelists were Dr Geoff Doherty, Senior Biotechnologist for Ethanol Technologies (Ethtec), and Pat Conroy, MP, Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy.

Ethtec, the University and Muswellbrook Shire Council have been working toward transformation of the Upper Hunter region into a national bio-renewables hub, turning agricultural wastes into valuable fuels, such as ethanol, and chemical feedstocks.

Prof. Bush said that renewable energy ventures could enable the Hunter to become an exemplar, noting the region’s competitive advantages with a research-intensive university, industrial capability and supply chains, and natural resources. He cautioned that the prosperity of our past can be hampering some from opening their minds to new opportunities.

The HRF Centre’s lead economist, Dr Anthea Bill, expanded on this point by explaining that the “near-term economic imperative to transition away from coal is not strong”, meaning the longer-term economic case for pursuing bio-renewables remains a challenge for energy companies, the University, and other researchers.

Sher Campbell, First Year Program Convenor and Lecturer at the Law School was nominated for the 2017 NSW Women Lawyers Achievement Awards in the category of ‘Change Champion of the Year’. The ‘Change Champion of the Year’ category seeks to recognise women Lawyers who have demonstrated passion for the growth and development of the legal profession for women practising Law.

Sher Campbell was nominated by her colleagues in the Law School, Dean Tania Sourdin and Professor Lisa Toohey, in recognition of her passion for social justice, particularly in facilitating opportunities for women to succeed in the Law. This year she was involved in a team that successfully secured a Commonwealth Grant to support and mentor women from regional Australia so they may realise their educational and career goals.

Professor Siggi Gudergan and Dr Ralf Wilden co-authored two articles that have been recognised as being among the top five cited articles within their respective journals.

“The impact of dynamic capabilities on operational marketing and technological capabilities: investigating the role of environmental turbulence” was published in The Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science (JAMS) where recently it was recognised as being among the journal’s top five cited articles. As a result of the article’s impact, the journal is now offering open access to their paper, a significant achievement considering that this journal is recognised as having one of the highest impact factors in marketing.

The second “Dynamic Capabilities and Performance: Strategy, Structure and Environment” was published in the journal Long Range Planning, and was also recently recognised as one of the journal’s top five most cited articles since 2012.

This collaboration has seen further success when Professor Gudergan and Dr Wilden joined Conjoint Professors Christian Ringle and Marko Sarstedt to co-author two articles. “The Use of Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling in Strategic Management Research: A Review of Past Practices and Recommendations for Future Applications” and “Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling: Rigorous Applications, Better Results and Higher Acceptance”. Both articles were published in the journal Long Range Planning and were recognised as among the journal’s top five cited articles in the last few years.

Gudergan, Ringle and Sarstedt’s article, entitled “Estimation Issues with PLS and CBSEM: Where the Bias Lies!” is among the most downloaded articles from the Journal of Business Research in the last 90 days.

Additionally, both Ringle and Sarstedt published an article entitled “A new criterion for assessing discriminant validity in variance-based structural equation modelling”, which was also recognised as being among the top five cited papers in The Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. The latter article is, as per Shugan’s list, currently the most cited marketing article across all published articles in marketing (as defined by web-of-science in a four-year moving window).

Dr Kcasey McLoughlin has been awarded the Australian Political Studies (APSA) PhD prize for 2017.

The Australian Political Studies Association is the professional association for those teaching and researching in the fields of politics and international relations. Dr Kcasey’s thesis, titled “Situating Women on the High Court of Australia: Not Just Men in Skirts?” was announced as the winner at this year’s APSA conference in Melbourne where she received a trophy and a cheque for $500. The prize is awarded annually to the author of the best PhD dissertation completed in the previous year and this is the first time a student from Newcastle has won the award.

Dr McLoughlin’s thesis explored what the arrival of an ‘almost equal’ gender balance (or ‘three of seven’) on the High Court of Australia means for the masculinist gender regime that has long shaped the operations of the court. Drawing on both Political Science and Law, the thesis examined how the Court’s gender relations have accommodated the presence of women, and the extent to which legal judgments and reasoning have changed as a result of changing gender dynamics on the bench. Concluding that while the near majority of women judges has had an impact, and that they were not necessarily ‘just men in skirts,’ she found that it will take more than simply the arrival of women judges to dismantle the Court’s gender regime.

The judging panel noted that Dr McLoughlin’s thesis makes a seminal contribution internationally to understanding the gender politics of constitutional courts. Heads of Department in Australian Universities are invited to nominate student doctoral dissertations passed in the previous year for consideration for the Australian Political Studies Association PhD Thesis Prize. The prize is determined by a sub-committee established by the Executive Committee of APSA. The judging committee relies both upon the examiners’ reports and their own reading of the thesis to make their determination. Congratulations to Dr McLoughlin.

Mr Stephen Key, a renowned intellectual property strategist and a lifelong entrepreneur, was invited to UoN this month as a Visiting Fellow participating in UoN’s Enterprise and Innovation Week activities. As a respected thought leader in the field of open innovation, Stephen has worked with companies such as Disney, Wal-Mart and 7 Eleven to design products that have been sold in their stores worldwide. His bestselling book about licensing, titled “One Simple Idea” has been translated into six languages.

Stephen delivered a presentation to UoN students and alumni at our Sydney campus on the topic of his book, and instructed guests on how to ‘take action on one simple idea’. He then travelled to Newcastle where he gave a keynote lecture that evening on “How to Launch a Product Without Starting a Business”. The following day Stephen attended a networking event with local start-ups in the area and academics in the university’s innovation space.

Stephen’s visit formed an integral part of the Enterprise and Innovation Week program and we are pleased to have hosted him.

In August, the Hunter Research Foundation Centre hosted a breakfast on the topic of employment pathways for young people in a rapidly changing world.

Maggie Hill, from the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), addressed the guests at the breakfast. Ms Hill’s visit was sponsored by the Commonwealth Department of Employment. FYA have commissioned analysis of 2.7 million job advertisements. Their results provide insights into the patterns of skills that young people are being asked to exhibit which was a core focus of Ms Hill’s presentation.

Dr Anthea Bill, the HRF Centre’s lead economist, addressed the context and implications for young people in the Hunter, alongside an expert panel. Dr Bill spoke about how higher rates of youth unemployment illustrates how young people are often ‘on the margin’ - in part-time or casual employment, where they are easier to hire and let go.

A UoN research team, composed of academic staff from Law, Marketing and Economics, has presented at a national conference of consumers affairs professionals from some of Australia’s leading organisations.

The multi-disciplinary team, Professor Tania Sourdin, Professor Alison Dean, Professor Martin Watts, Dr Jamie Carlson and Ms Christine Armstrong, is nearing the end of its work into the Return on Investment of Complaint Handling, a project in partnership with conference organisers, the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals (SOCAP) Australia.

Leading the research team is Dean of Law, Professor Tania Sourdin. Professor Sourdin affirmed that the research project will be of great value to the consumer affairs services profession stating, “This project is timely because it focuses attention on a relatively under-researched, but very important topic, namely how organisations respond to customer complaints and the economic gains and losses from doing so”.

The research team has visited the headquarters of participating organisations to study their complaint handling processes and the data held that relates to the costs and benefits of handling complaints.

From 31 July to 3 August 2017, the Faculty of Business and Law in conjunction with the Centre for Teaching and Learning hosted a Teaching and Learning Workshop in Shanghai for our Chinese Partner Institutions. The workshop provided both new and experienced teachers a basis for establishment and expansion of their repertoire of teaching strategies and skills. The workshop focused on numerous areas including effective development of course/lesson plans and presenting to students, blended teaching practices, methods and ways of assessing student learning, and effective classroom management techniques

The workshop sessions operated over four continuous days with 42 people attending from 16 Chinese Partner Institutions. At the end of the workshop, participants were presented with a Certificate in University Teaching from the University of Newcastle.

With the support of Alessandra Alvaro, from International Student Engagement, three Newcastle Business School students from our Sydney Campus participated in the Premier’s New South Wales Export Awards 2017 - Application Assistant Program (AAP). This is New South Wale’s largest networking and recognition program, containing the State’s top exporters who will be competing across many award categories. Companies of all shapes and sizes are involved in the awards culminating in a gala dinner at The Star with over 700 people attending.

Faculty News Archive