The University of Sydney
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JUNE 2012
Dear alumni and friends

We are seeking alumni with an interest in supporting current University students through our AlumniOnline Mentoring Program. This Program provides a unique opportunity for alumni to contribute to the career and development of a student by sharing your knowledge acquired through experience. Visit the mentoring website to get involved.

For our Sydney alumni, don’t miss a lively debate about the way forward for the Greek Debt Crisis, to be held at 6pm on 7 June in the CBD. Register online.

With kind regards
Tracey Beck | Director, Alumni Relations and Events
SYDNEY NEWS
Helping Indigenous students achieve their potential
Alumnus Jack Manning Bancroft, founder of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) and one of Australia's youngest CEOs, has been profiled on ABC TV's Australian Story program.

Alumnus Jack Manning Bancroft, founder of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) and one of Australia's youngest CEOs, has been profiled on ABC TV's Australian Story program.

Jack started AIME at the age of 19 while studying a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) at the University in 2005.

Starting with just 25 high school and University of Sydney student pairs, AIME now works with close to 2500 people in partnerships with 75 schools and 10 university campuses across Australia.

"We're seeing now that an Indigenous kid with AIME is almost finishing school now at the same rate as other Australian kids. This is a chance for our uni students to connect and be a part of something bigger and something better," Manning Bancroft told Australian Story.

While studying, Manning Bancroft organised the National Indigenous University Games, was the Indigenous Convenor at the University of Sydney Union, was Indigenous Affairs Officer on the Students' Representative Council, represented the University in the Grade Cricket competition, and founded a reconciliation music festival, 'Indigenous Carnivale'.

He was named New South Wales Young Australian of the Year and won the University of Sydney's Young Alumni Award in 2010.

"When I went along to the Indigenous Uni games, that really lit a spark in my mind - this was something that not only should Australia be able to see, but also Indigenous kids be able to see that there was, physically, a brighter future in front of them," Manning Bancroft told Australian Story.

"It's pretty humbling to see what AIME has done for a lot of different people. Personally, I think that it doesn't make sense today that an Australian kid who is Indigenous doesn't have the same chances that every other Australian kid has. And until I can see an Australia where that happens, I don't think I'll be happy or satisfied," he said.

Watch Jack Manning Bancroft on Australian Story via ABC's iview here.
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University of Sydney's shining lights at Vivid
University of Sydney staff and students have been busy in recent weeks building giant dandelion light sculptures for this year's Vivid Sydney festival.

University of Sydney staff and students have been busy in recent weeks building giant dandelion light sculptures for this year's Vivid Sydney festival.

The installation, called Chromapollination, is one of the centrepieces of the Vivid light festival. The interactive light sculpture transforms an otherwise nondescript corner of Circular Quay with giant glowing dandelions projecting colour and motion onto passing pedestrians and festival goers.

The dandelions' flowers change colours in response to the movement of passing pedestrians and trains overhead. The seeds are created by the glowing bulbs of different coloured energy-efficient LEDs. As the seeds mix, they cross-pollinate the dandelions, 'germinating' into new colours.

The work has been devised by staff and students from the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning. Dr Wendy Davis, the faculty's director of illumination design, says Vivid is a unique opportunity to showcase the leading work that students and staff at the University are doing in this specialised, but important field.

"It's a presentation of emerging lighting technologies and aesthetic design. Vivid's focus on the intersection of technology and culture makes it a stand-out festival for anyone interested in science and the arts," she said.

Architecture alumnus William Chan’s Palette of Urban Green demonstrates how sustainable design can create engaging public spaces. Using 'upcycled' shipping pallets, his twisting towers create a mirage of light as festival participants move through the installation.

Light the Night is a guerrilla projection installation by Master of Design Science (Illumination Design) students Michael Kellis and James Nagel. They are moving mobile carts around Circular Quay, projecting graffiti onto public spaces and adding visual interest to otherwise dull city buildings.

Vivid Sydney, a festival of lights, music and inspiring ideas, runs from 25 May to 11 June along Circular Quay's foreshores.

 

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Alumnus Kip Williams hits the big stage
The drive from the University to the Sydney Opera House is a short one. But for Kip Williams, it represents a long, exciting journey in his budding theatre career.

The drive from the University to the Sydney Opera House is a short one. But for Kip Williams, it represents a long, exciting journey in his budding theatre career.

Williams, who graduated just three years ago, will make his debut as a director later this month, in charge of the Sydney Theatre Company's production of Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas.

Through his time at University ("which I loved," he says) Williams completed a Bachelor of Media and Communications in 2008 and performed in SUDS, the University's dramatic society.

After graduating, he was accepted into NIDA’s director's course and worked on various productions with the Victorian Opera, the Australian Chamber Opera, the Sydney Theatre Company (STC) and Princeton University in the US.

"I found myself double-booked," Williams smiles. "By day, it was the STC and at night I would catch the bus from the Wharf to St Andrew's College and rehearse with the Chamber Opera till 11pm, then get up and do it again."

Recently, the original director of the upcoming production of Under Milk Wood, Andrew Upton from the STC, asked Williams to take over on the celebrated 1954 radio drama. Under Milk Wood invites the audience to listen to the dreams, hopes and fears of the inhabitants of a fictional small Welsh village, Llareggub ('bugger all' in reverse).

"The biggest question is to find a theatrical equivalent to radio," says Williams. "I go back to my first experience as a child, when a parent or grandparent would sit on my bed telling me a story. That is the sort of immediacy I am after."

In the STC production, which opens at the Opera House Drama Theatre on 26 May and runs till 7 July, Williams is working with a cast that includes legends of Australian theatre such as Jack Thompson, Sandy Gore, Bruce Spence and Drew Forsyth.

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Savvy students' solution can cut costs of power bills
Consumers could save on power bills thanks to an energy saving solution devised by two savvy PhD students from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.

Consumers could save on power bills thanks to an energy saving solution devised by two savvy PhD students from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.

The 'MyPower Energy Platform' has been designed to monitor the power use of individual appliances and to help consumers decide how and when to use or replace them. 

The system allows for continuous monitoring of major household appliances such as washing machines, clothes dryers, microwaves, electrical water heaters and refrigerators via a smart plug with an embedded GSM unit. 

"The plugs sense actual power usage and transmit the information via SMS reports to a cloud-based data warehouse every 30 minutes," says Waiho Wong, who developed the technology with Mahboobeh Mogaddham. "The householder can then access their electricity consumption data and drill down to individual appliances' cost based on peak, shoulder and off-peak rates, through the MyPower website." 

"Access to this data will allow users to optimise their appliance usage and take advantage of lower electricity rates by remotely scheduling or switching off the appliance via the smart plug,” adds Moghaddam. “We are excited because this platform can provide a technically and economically feasible solution for households to reduce their electricity consumption by up to 10 percent - a significant cost reduction over the life of their appliances." 

The solution has been awarded the inaugural NASSCOM IT Technical Innovation Award, with judges declaring it 'an example of practical innovation in taking a number of proven technology components and tackling a pressing issue'. 

The pair is conducting their PhD under the supervision of Professor Joseph Davis, Director of the Knowledge Discovery and Management Research Group.

He says the platform has the potential to be used by both manufactures and governments to develop incentive schemes for households to replace older, high-consumption appliances or to support education and awareness campaigns around energy efficiency and green house gas reduction.
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SYDNEY CONNECTIONS BREAKFASTS
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Catch up with old and new friends and colleagues over a delicious breakfast, with plenty of 'food for thought', as we bring you some of Australia's most intriguing speakers.

In July, Australian horticulturist, gardening author and TV presenter Angus Stewart will discuss whether science is an endangered species in the mass media, and later on in the year, we will hear from Chris Clyne, Chief Executive Officer of NAB, and Matt Barrie, 2011 BRW Entrepreneur of the Year.

REGIONAL EVENTS
Canberra | 8 June
Alumni drinks

London | 28 June
Alumni drinks

Boston | 2 – 5 June
Alumni drinks
WHAT MATTERS TO YOU?
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We have received more than 12,000 votes from people around the world telling us what matters to them by voting in our poll, and we have just added five new topics including meeting the global food demand and improving mental health care.

Do these issues matter to you?

Go to What Matters website to join the conversation, follow the polls and share what you are passionate about by voting.
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