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JULY 2012
Dear alumni and friends

Join us for the 2012 Comedy Debate on Thursday 30 August to see the alumni and student teams debate the motion: We should chase idle dreams. It will be a fabulous evening, and family and friends are welcome, but be sure to book your tickets early to reserve your place.

Stay connected with the University by "liking" us on our Facebook page to hear about the latest news, events and special offers available, including ticket giveaways to our upcoming events. We'd love to hear about what you're interested in and what events you're looking forward to, so take the opportunity to leave a comment and let us know.

With kind regards
Tracey Beck | Director, Alumni Relations and Events
SYDNEY NEWS
University launches strategy to boost Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation
The University of Sydney has unveiled a major strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander higher education, research and engagement.

The University of Sydney has unveiled a major strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander higher education, research and engagement.

'Wingara Mura - Bunga Barrabugu' – meaning "thinking path to make tomorrow" – is a core part of the University's overall Strategic Plan 2011–15, and one that establishes a vision for the University of Sydney as a uniquely Australian institution.

The strategy was launched at the University by Senator the Honourable Chris Evans, Federal Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research. Senator Evans said the University was leading the way in setting ambitious targets for reform that would benefit students, staff and researchers and have wide implications. 

"We believe that higher education, and education more generally, is transformational in people's lives," the minister told the audience. "If we don't tap the potential of large sections of our population, we're underselling not only them and their capability, we're underselling the nation."

More than 100 invited guests were welcomed by the University's Chancellor, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir, following a performance by the Doonooch Dance Company and a Welcome to Country Speech by Gadigal elder Uncle Charles 'Chika' Madden.

The Vice-Chancellor said that much of the thinking behind the development of the strategy had considered what it would mean to be an Australian university – in the sense of understanding Australia as a partnership between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Australians, and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

The complete version of the University's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Integrated Strategy is available online at sydney.edu.au/indigenous.

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Higgs boson breakthrough – alumnus involved in research responds
University of Sydney alumnus and PhD candidate Mark Scarcella is still taking in the significance of the announcement on 4 July of evidence that the Higgs boson particle exists.
University of Sydney alumnus and PhD candidate Mark Scarcella is still taking in the significance of the announcement on 4 July of evidence that the Higgs boson particle exists.

"Even though we have assumed for some time the Higgs has existed, to see this bump in the data and have evidence is truly exciting. We can write it down - it is here!" said Scarcella, who completes his PhD this year and is part of the University's School of Physics team contributing to Higgs boson research.

Scarcella has been part of the worldwide scientific research collaboration, dedicated to pinpointing the Higgs boson, for several years. Thirteen University of Sydney staff and students are currently involved in the effort being conducted at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, which made the announcement.

The result comes out of experiments done by teams of scientists operating two detectors - ATLAS and CMS - at the world's biggest atom smasher or particle collider, the Large Hadron Collider based in Geneva.

Scarcella's work is on detecting different particles called taus. According to the current theory of particle physics, the Higgs boson can decay into these taus after it is produced by collisions of particles. Looking for their signature is a way to search for the Higgs boson. "Now we know Higgs boson is there, our work will be even more important for studying its properties,” said Scarcella.

In 2010, Scarcella spent three months in Geneva at the Large Hadron Collider, training to work in the control room. Scarcella plans to visit Geneva again soon and next time he plans to update his skills in light of the new announcement.

"This is a great time to be working in physics and I feel really lucky to be in the right place at the right time," said Scarcella. "This breakthrough means there will be many new areas of research for future students. Lots more work is now required to confirm what this Higgs boson particle actually is."
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A positive framework of inspiring women
A number of University of Sydney women are featured in a photographic project that documents 50 inspiring women who have had a positive impact on the community.

A number of University of Sydney women are featured in a photographic project that documents 50 inspiring women who have had a positive impact on the community.

The project is the brainchild of Sydney College of the Arts graduate Diane Macdonald, who came up with the idea when she needed to create a major work as a master's student in the SCA's Graduate School.

Her subjects include former or current University of Sydney staff, students and alumnae: paediatrician Professor Elizabeth Elliott; the distinguished Australian literature expert Elizabeth Webby; women's rights activist Hilarie Lindsay; fundraiser Jo Davison; media identity and volunteer Julie McCrossin; security expert Dr Leanne Piggott; and Annie Crawford, the founder of Can Too, which raises funds for cancer research.

The seed for the project started 11 years ago when Macdonald was an expatriate living in Malaysia, she explains. She befriended a woman who, as a fellow foreigner, couldn't work, and so decided to raise money for a special needs school instead.

"I was always a little awed that someone could set out to change the lives of people she had never known, and in the long run create such positive meaningful change for people who weren't able to do it for themselves, for whatever reason," Diane says. "I was curious to meet more people that were doing this kind of work."

Diane's first subjects were people she knew and admired, and she then asked each of them for recommendations of other women they admired.

The photographs can be seen online at the website Positively Remarkable Women, where each image is accompanied by a short story about the inspiring woman captured in the frame.

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What Matters to you?
More than 14 000 votes have been cast in our What Matters campaign from the world, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to tell us what matters to you. We’ve just added five new topics, and they are:

More than 14 000 votes have been cast in our What Matters campaign from the world, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to tell us what matters to you. We’ve just added five new topics, and they are:
  • Preventing human rights abuses 
  • Reducing childhood obesity 
  • Averting global conflict  
  • Using robotics to improve safety 
  • Identifying athletic genes 
Do these issues matter to you?

Go to sydney.edu.au/what-matters to join the conversation, follow the polls and share what you are passionate about by voting.

What matters to you, matters to us.
sydney.edu.au/what-matters
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In other news ...
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SYDNEY EVENTS
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CONTENTS
Sydney news
Sydney events
Upcoming Sydney Ideas
'Extreme South' Tour
Events at the Con
Regional events
Social media
UPCOMING SYDNEY IDEAS
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The Sydney Ideas program offers talks from some of Sydney’s, Australia’s and the world’s leading thinkers. Upcoming events include:

Sir Christopher Bayly | 24 July
British Empire

Tom Murphy | 26 July
City revitalisation

Sebastiano Tusa | 30 July
Ancient shipwrecks
'EXTREME SOUTH' TOUR
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Don’t miss your chance to be inspired by two extraordinary Australian adventurers, when the 'Extreme South' Australian Tour 2012 passes through a city near you. Find out more.


EVENTS AT THE CON
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The Sydney Conservatorium of Music will be holding an array of events in the coming weeks. Find out more.
REGIONAL EVENTS
Hong Kong | 20 July
Picasso Exhibition

Hobart | 22 July
Alumni gathering

Beijing | 28 July
Alumni forum

Melbourne | 2 August
Alumni drinks

Boston | 2–5 August
SUGUNA Annual Conference

SOCIAL MEDIA
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