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Events for the public
 August 2012
Tuesday 14
13:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Blue Stockings in the Cultural Precinct : Panel Discussion More Information
For Blue Stockings Week this year (13-17 August), the Berndt Museum is presenting a panel discussion on the important role of women within the UWA Cultural Precinct. Blue Stockings Week is a commemoration of the Blue Stockings Society, an 18th century club for 'clever ladies and their gentlemen friends'. The club encouraged women to discuss intellectual topics over a cup of tea, thereby bucking the trend of succumbing to the frivolous topics and endeavours expected of women during that time. The name emerged from the habit of dressing down during the club's meetings, whereby the women wore blue woolen legwear, as opposed to the silk stockings traditional to evening meetings.

The panel will consist of Emeritus Professor Margaret Seares AO, Professor Sandy Toussaint and Curator Lee Kinsella.

18:30 - EVENT - The Shakespeare Songbook Website | More Information
A public lecture and performance by Julianne Baird, Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University and Internationally Acclaimed Early Music Scholar-Performer.

What can we learn from Shakespeare’s use of music and from musical references in his plays? In this lecture-performance, renowned soprano Julianne Baird will discuss and perform music from Elizabethan and Jacobean times conceived for performance in the plays of the great Bard. William Shakespeare alludes to or includes the texts of well over 160 songs in his plays.

Music in Shakespeare’s time ran the gamut of lute songs by the famous contrapuntalist, John Dowland, madrigals and fa la’s (ballets) by Morely and, of course, the great polyphonies and verse anthems by William Byrd. But extant Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre music is much more simple and vivid, often almost ballad-like in style and the playwright seems to have had a genuine fondness for honest English popular and traditional songs. The poignancy of having Desdemona sing the Willow Song in her fatal hour shows his full commitment to music’s emotional power.

The audience of Shakespeare’s time would have expected each drama to have included at least one song per play, (with the exception of tragedies which usually contained only the heraldic and militaristic sounds of trumpets and drums.)

Not only are the musical references far more numerous, but Shakespeare defied this orthodoxy and wrote poetry for the tragedies which movingly uses musical reference as dramatic device.

Among the Elizabethan pieces performed at the lecture-recital will be “The Willow Song”, “Farewell Dear Heart” “O Mistriss Mine”, and “Ah Robyn, Gentil Robyn.” A number of pieces written for the Jacobean revivals of Shakespeare’s plays composers John Wilson and Robert Johnson will also be discussed and performed.

Cost: free, however RSVP is essential to [email protected] or 6488 1340.

19:00 - PUBLIC LECTURE - Friends of the Library Speaker : Almost a French Australia More Information
French-British Rivalry in the Southern Oceans

Australia was very nearly a nation divided, like Canada, with two languages and cultures, nevertheless Australian history books neglected these early chapters of our nation’s history for almost two centuries.

In a strategic battle with her rival across the English Channel in the 18th and early 19th centuries, France sent numerous scientific and commercial expeditions to the Indian and Pacific Oceans, attempting to solve the mysteries of the legendary Terra Australis Incognita, and hoping to locate suitable ports for commercial ventures below the Equator. However, because of shipwreck or illness, many French captains and officers perished, and could not report their exciting discoveries directly to their King or Emperor. With the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789 and its subsequent mayhem meant that France was not politically or financially stable enough to develop colonies in the southern oceans until the mid 19th century.

Therefore France, despite having claimed the western side of this country, and making many thousands of important scientific discoveries in this region, eventually withdrew from Australia, allowing the British carte blanche to develop this nation and effectively block the French from both Australia and New Zealand.

Noelene Bloomfield, BA (Hons), MA, CertT, Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques, who is currently a Research Fellow in European Languages and Studies at The University of Western Australia, taught French in NSW before lecturing at the University of Oregon in the USA in the 1960s. She then joined the staff of French Studies at The University of Western Australia, from 1968 till 2002.

Noelene has published a textbook entitled Voyage de Découverte and produced a DVD and a CD-ROM on the extensive French exploration in Australian waters. She also created an exhibition entitled A French Australia? Almost!, which was displayed in Australia and overseas, including a French version currently touring in France. Last year Noelene co-authored a book on the first 100 years of the Alliance Française association in Perth, Western Australia. Her forthcoming book, entitled Almost a French Australia: French-British Rivalry in the Southern Oceans, will be released by Halstead Press in September this year.

Free parking is available via Entrance 1, Car Park No.3.

If glass door is unmanned, please enter via spiral staircase to 1st floor, then go down the stairs to the ground floor meeting room.

Refreshments 7:00pm, Presentation at 7:30pm

Member: Free, Non Members $5 donation
Wednesday 15
12:00 - SEMINAR - Accomplished Education Researcher Seminar Series : Reflecting on how education researchers are tackling some of Australia's pressing issues Website | More Information
The Graduate School of Education invites you to participate in this inaugural Seminar Series.

With a focus on sharing personal insights into timely and relevant topics in education research, these seminars will engage participants in a lively discussion of some of the pressing issues affecting Australia’s academics, schools and society today.

Speakers and topics for 2012

15 August

Winthrop Professor Grady Venville

“Choosing science comes more from the heart than from the brain (or the pocket)”: A retrospective study of why scientists chose to study science.”

26 September

Winthrop Professor Stephen Houghton

“Are the seeds of antisociality and psychopathic traits sown early in life?”

10 October

Winthrop Professor and Chapple Chair David Andrich

“Sliding Doors in Academe: Idiosyncrasies of autobiography and controversy in psychometrics”

31 October

Winthrop Professor and Faculty Dean Helen Wildy

“NAPLAN Data: Improving student learning OR doing the work of the Devil?”

14 November

Winthrop Professor Thomas O’Donoghue

The primary school’s invasion of the privacy of the child: Unmasking the potential of some current practices

Venue Details

RSVP to Ms. Alyce Green, Administrative Assistant, GSE [email protected]

Abstracts and additional details will be distributed closer to the event date.

Regulation of the utility industries is relatively new in Western Australia. The Economic Regulation Authority was established to licence, monitor and set customer protection standards across the utility industries, particularly water, gas and electricity. In addition, the Authority determines arrangements for access to key gas, electricity and rail assets in Western Australia. The presentation will cover the work of the Authority with particular emphasis on the licensing, monitoring and customer protection functions of the Authority, how they operate and opportunities for the private sector in these industries.

There will be a particular focus on the Water Sector.


Paul has had 25 years experience at Senior and Senior Executive levels in the Public Sector with extensive experience in :

* the development of high level government policy;

* the negotiation of State/Commonwealth Agreements;

* advice to senior levels of government;

* public administration and regulation.

He was responsible for major State wide reforms in purchasing and contracting of services for Government in the human services industry involving over 600 contracts totalling $42m.

He was previously Executive Director of the Office of Water Regulation in Western Australia, responsible for the establishment of a state wide licensing regime for Water Service Providers and reported to Government on the operations and performance of the water industry. Paul is currently Executive Director of the Economic Regulation Authority.

The Authority was established in 2004 as an independent entity to regulate the Water, Gas, Electricity and Rail industries in Western Australia. Its functions include licensing, monitoring and setting customer protection standards of utility service providers as well as determining access arrangements to infrastructure in the electricity, gas and rail industries. In addition to these roles the Authority can be requested to provide independent advice to Government.

PS* This seminar is free and open to the public & no RSVP required.

****All Welcome****

18:00 - PUBLIC LECTURE - The Frontiers of Ethics Website | More Information
A public lecture by Dale Jamieson, Director of Environmental Studies, New York University.

Climate change presents us with problems of utmost complexity. In particular, climate change poses the largest-scale and most difficult collective action problem that humanity has ever faced. Considerations ranging from our biological nature to facts about our political institutions all bear on the explanation of why we have failed to act.In the face of such problems, two broad families of considerations are sometimes effective in motivating action. Economics can sometimes succeed in showing that particular solutions appeal to our interests. Ethics can sometimes show that particular responses accord with our moral ideals. Economics is severely limited in demonstrating that aggressive responses to climate change are in our interests because it is permeated with ethical considerations. Our hope for motivating action on climate change must therefore to a great extent turn on ethical concerns.

In this lecture Dr Jamieson will explain why this hope largely has been disappointed. Just as the problems of climate change overwhelm our cognitive and affective systems, and our ability to do reliable economic calculations, so they also swamp the machinery of morality, at least as it currently manifests in our moral consciousness.

The choice we face is whether to remain complacent in the face climate change, or undertake the challenge of revising our morality.

Cost: Free, RSVP your attendance to [email protected] .

This lecture is a part of the Institute of Advanced Studies 2012 lecture series ‘Global Transformation and Public Ethics’. This series of free public lectures aims to stimulate considered debate about urgent issues in public ethics and policy as well as reflecting on ways we can improve public discourse about such issues.
Thursday 16
13:10 - CANCELLED - PERFORMANCE - Free Lunchtime Concert: : UWA Clarinet Quartet Website | More Information
Unfortunately this event has been cancelled.


14:00 - EVENT - Approximate Computation for Spatial Point Processes : Statistics Seminar More Information
We propose an approximation to the moments of a spatial point process of Gibbs type. In the examples studied, the approximation is accurate, and fast to compute. This has important implications for data analysis and statistical inference for spatial data.[This is joint work with Gopalan Nair] All are welcome to attend the seminar No RSVP required.

18:00 - PUBLIC LECTURE - More Powerful than Politicians? The Media in Australia Today Website | More Information
A public lecture by Sally Young, Associate Professor and Reader, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne.

For those who work in the news media, power is usually viewed as something that happens outside of the walls of their media organisation. “We scrutinise power,” journalists and news media organisations frequently proclaim, but there is a strange failure to recognise that the media, as a collective, are just as influential (and arguably, much more so) than the hundreds of individual politicians sitting in parliaments across Australia. And, while politicians are elected, regularly scrutinised by journalists (and others) and held to account at the ballot box at elections, none of these mechanisms apply to media organisations or to their reporters.

In Australia today, we know quite a lot about politicians and how they govern but we still know worryingly little about the media and how they operate. In this lecture, Dr Young will argue that this is an urgent problem and that, of all the much-lamented problems with media reporting, the biggest is that the media do a poor job of scrutinising and reporting on their own role. She will look at this in terms of an interesting paradox. How is it that news journalism in Australia is said to currently be in ‘crisis’ - with declining revenues/ratings, job losses and a broken business model – yet, as a collective, the Australian media remain so powerful?

Cost: This is a free public lecture, RSVP to [email protected]

18:00 - PUBLIC LECTURE - Public Lecture: A/Prof Louise D'Arcens: 'Reception, Recovery, Recreation: The Singular Story of the Middle Ages in Australia' : This talk will explore the varied, surprising, and persistent afterlife of the Middle Ages in Australian culture. More Information
This talk will explore the varied, surprising, and persistent afterlife of the Middle Ages in Australian culture. As the late eighteenth century was the foundational period of British settlement in the Australian colonies, High Enlightenment ideals have had an indisputable impact on Australian public life. Yet the story is not so simple. A growing recognition of the greater complexity of colonial Australia’s relationship with the European past has led to a more nuanced account of its distinctive engagement with a cultural legacy stretching back to the medieval period. A picture is now emerging of a colonial culture in which medievalism — the creative modern response to the Middle Ages and adaptation of medieval concepts — has existed as a major aesthetic and cultural presence in Australian literature, architecture, political ceremony, theatre,art, and even sport. This thriving but often unacknowledged subculture, with its preoccupations with either romance and chivalry and folklore, or irrationality, disorder, and Gothic gloom, has been far more formative of settler Australia’s cultural identity than has been recognized. Looking at examples from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this talk will explore just some of the large body of medievalism Australia has produced, and will discuss some of the ways we can understand its highly localized interpretations of medieval motifs, narrative forms, legends, and personages.

18:00 - PERFORMANCE - Winthrop Singers Choral Evensong : Evensong at St George's College Chapel Website | More Information
This week's introit is a preview of the "Earthquake" Mass by Antoine Brumel, a full performance of which will take place on September 13th at St George's, and again alongside Louis Vierne's Symphony No 6 for organ, September 23rd at St Patrick’s Basilica Fremantle.

Introit: Brumel Agnus Dei (from Et ecce terrae motus)

Responses: Rose

Canticles: Pinel Magnificat

Gregorian Chant Nunc Dimittis for Candlemas

Anthem: J. S. Bach Jesu, joy of man’s desiring

Hymn: Praise to the Holiest in the Height
Friday 17
9:00 - CONFERENCE - CMEMS/PMRG Annual Conference: 'Receptions: Medieval and Early Modern Cultural Appropriations' : Conference of UWA Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies / Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group Website | More Information
The conference explores cultural appropriations in, by and of the medieval and early modern world, across a range of disciplines. The three main sub-themes are: 1. the appropriation of earlier cultures by the medieval or early modern world; 2. cultural exchanges and frontier encounters within the medieval and early modern world; and 3. the reception or appropriation of the medieval or early modern by later periods. Those interested can register online at https://www.pmrg.arts.uwa.edu.au/2012_conference or pay at the door.

13:00 - SEMINAR - Ireland: Church, State and Society, 1800-1870 : Seminar Series More Information
"The Catholic Church and the Union"

Professor Oliver Rafferty SJ, the 2012 St Thomas More College Chair of Jesuit Studies, will present the second in a series of six lectures on nineteenth century Irish history.

The Chair of Jesuit Studies is jointly recognised by the the University of Western Australia and the University of Notre Dame Australia, and aims to bring a leading academic from the worldwide Jesuit community to Perth each year.

Professor Rafferty is visiting from Heythrop College, University of London, where he specialises in Irish and Ecclesiastical history. He will present the remaining four seminars in the same locations, and at the same time, on Friday 24th August, and Fridays 7th, 14th, and 21st September.

15:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Public seminar with Audiologist Glenn Johnson ***CANCELLED*** Website | More Information
Due to illness Glenn Johnson's talk will be moved to a later date
Sunday 19
15:00 - PERFORMANCE - Keyed Up! Three : Geoffrey Lancaster (piano) Website | More Information
For the past 30 years, Geoffrey Lancaster has been at the forefront of the historically informed performance practice movement. Associate Professor Lancaster has appeared as conductor or soloist with all the Symphony Australia orchestras and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
Monday 20
15:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - New and Complementary Approaches to Equality : Guest lecture regarding alternative ways to achieve equality policy objectives More Information
The presentation is concerned with alternative ways to achieve equality policy objectives - drawing upon unrelated areas such as dietary health or workplace health and safety. It is based on current inter-disciplinary work with the UK Government to generate practical insights to inform policy and institutional design. It begins by assessing how well - and why - interventions work to mitigate public harm or detriment in other unrelated spheres (such as public health, food safety, professional standards and financial regulation). Citing the public interest, government and regulatory agencies are able to utilise such knowledge to deliver safer homes, more punctual pupils, healthier diets, cleaner streets, and so on. It then looks at how far attitudinal change and behavioural change are interconnected, and specifically the degree to which attitudinal change serves as a pre-requisite to behavioural change. For instance, securing a legal framework that creates minimum standards of fire safety in workplaces or homes may be influenced by public attitudes but is certainly not dependent on such settled public attitudes to start with. Indeed, legislation, and what this requires of employers and households in practice, can have a demonstration effect, normalising behavioural change in the process. And attitudinal change alone is unlikely to drive behavioural change and may be unwanted or unnecessary in any case, particularly where the potential citizen detriment is hard to spot by individuals themselves. Finally, it considers the implications for policymaking in three regards: first, optimally blending incentives and sanctions to sustain behavioural change relevant to equalities outcomes; second, mapping relationships between background factors that indirectly shape decision-making and choices and foreground factors that can be influenced through policy; and third, targeting policy instruments at hard-to-move individuals, groups and interests.
Tuesday 21
17:00 - CANCELLED - LECTURE - Distinguished International Guest Lecture Series : Dr Penelope Woods Website | More Information
Unfortunately this event has been cancelled.

Lecture not longer taking place


Dr Penelope Woods, ARC Centre of Excellence for History of Emotions, The University of Western Australia. Musical Emotions on the Shakespearean Stage.

18:00 - PUBLIC LECTURE - **SOLD OUT ** Beauty, Love, and Art: The Legacy of Ancient Greece Website | More Information
A public lecture by David Konstan, Professor of Classics, New York University and visiting UWA Institute of Advanced Studies Professor-at-Large.

There is a deep problem with beauty. Beauty is commonly equated with sexual attractiveness. Yet there is also the beauty of art, which arouses an aesthetic response of disinterested contemplation.

As Roger Scruton writes in his recent book, Beauty (2009): “In the realm of art beauty is an object of contemplation, not desire.”

Are there, then, two kinds of beauty? By looking back the classical Greek conception of beauty, we may see how it gave rise to the modern dilemma, and some possible ways of resolving it.

This lecture is presented by the Institute of Advanced Studies at UWA and the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions.

This event is sold out.
Wednesday 22
16:00 - SEMINAR - CWR Presents : Current Knowledge of the Brain of Sharks and Their Relatives: Evolution and Adaptation Website | More Information
Cartilaginous fishes are comprised of approximately c. 1185 species worldwide and occupy a range of niches and primary habitats. It is a widely accepted view that neural development can reflect morphological adaptations and sensory specializations and that similar patterns of brain organization, termed cerebrotypes, exist in species of that share certain lifestyle characteristics. Clear patterns of brain organization exist across cartilaginous fishes, irrespective of phylogenetic grouping.

Examination of brain size (encephalization, n = 151) and interspecific variation in brain organization (n = 84) across this group suggests that chondrichthyan brain structures might have developed in conjunction with specific behaviours or enhanced cognitive capabilities. Larger brains, with well-developed telencephala (associated with spatial learning and memory) and large, highly foliated cerebella (associated with motor control) are reported in species that occupy complex reef or oceanic habitats, such as Prionace glauca and Sphyrna zygaena. In contrast, benthic and benthopelagic demersal species comprise the group with the smallest brains, such as Cephaloscyllium spp. and Squatina californica, with a relatively reduced telencephalon and a smooth cerebellar corpus.

There is also evidence of a bathyal cerebrotype; deep-sea benthopelagic sharks, such as Centroselachus crepidater and Harriotta raleighana possess relatively small brains and show a clear relative hypertrophy of the hindbrain and the structures that receive non-visual sensory input. Using this broad dataset, this talk will explore how brain morphology may serve as a tool to make predictions about the behavioral ecology, sensory specialization, and predatory habits of species that are difficult to acquire and/or study in the wild.

I will also discuss the development of new techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and its impact to the field of comparative marine biology. While it does not have the spatial resolution of histological data, MRI offers distinct advantages over traditional methods by allowing for in situ brain imaging of rare specimens where gross dissection is difficult or impossible. In a case study, the brain size and brain organization in the large-bodied whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is described, where I investigate the digital reconstruction of rare, damaged specimens and discuss the advantages, drawbacks, and future of MRI in comparative neuroanatomical studies.


Dr. Kara E. Yopak’s (née) research focuses on the evolution of neural systems, particularly how brains have diversified within some of the earliest vertebrate groups, namely sharks, skates, rays, and chimaerids, a group collectively referred to as Chondrichthyans. Dr. Yopak received her B.A. in Biology (with a specialization in marine science) from Boston University in 2002 and completed her PhD at the University of Auckland in New Zealand in 2007. For her PhD and beyond, Dr. Yopak’s research has focused on comparative neuroanatomy within the clade of cartilaginous fishes, and how the development of major brain areas vary between species in conjunction with the adaptive evolution of their sensory and motor systems.

She has explored a variety of traditional and novel techniques to explore questions related to brain evolution of sharks and their relatives, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Her data suggest that brain organization and the relative development of major brain structures reflect an animal’s ecology, even in phylogenetically unrelated species that share certain lifestyle characteristics, a pattern similarly documented in other vertebrate groups.

She is currently working within the Neuroecology Group, within the School of Animal Biology at UWA. Here she is exploring a multitude of questions relating to brain development, including how the brain, major brain components, and cell classes within these brain components scale across this unique group of animals. This work will potentially highlight a developmental plan that originated at least as early as cartilaginous fishes and may have been carried through evolutionary time to mammals. In addition, she is investigating whether alterations during early development in these animals can lead to changes in brain development, and by extension cognitive capabilities. This work could have far reaching implications for preservation of Australia’s biodiversity, particularly for improving survival strategies for captively-reared endangered species.

PS* This seminar is free and open to the public & no RSVP required.

****All Welcome****
Thursday 23
13:10 - PERFORMANCE - Free Lunchtime Concert : Thea Rossen (percussion) Website | More Information

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