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Are 457 workers turning down big business?

Are migrant workers on 457 visas turning down the chance to work for resources industry giants and instead choosing employment with smaller firms? This question is the focus of a new study by ECU researchers. Last year Dr Susanne Bahn completed an industry-first study into the use of 457 visas in the WA resources sector as a whole. But that study also highlighted how smaller firms were using 457 visas, raising some interesting questions for further investigation.

Building on the 2012 study Dr Bahn, together with her co-researchers in the Centre for Innovative Practice, including School of Management Head Professor Rowena Barrett, who is an expert in small firm research, is now investigating these claims and is recruiting participants to help further explain the use of 457 visas within Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs). Dr Bahn said this new study would give SMEs greater understanding of the recruitment process, given that a worker on a 457 visa can cost up to $60,000 in recruitment and relocation costs.

Our Planning Lecturer helps students obtain work placements

Through senior lecturer Dr Edward Andre's support and industry links, Graduate Diploma of Planning student, Matt Robinson and Bachelor of Planning student, Daniel Bouwer, have been fortunate in gaining workplace experience to complement their studies.

Matt has recently completed work experience over the summer holidays with the City of Wanneroo and Daniel will complete a 4-week placement with the WA Young Planners in the East Pilbara region during the 2011 semester break.

The WA Young Planners work placement is a new initiative designed to interest young planners in working in regional areas. Dr Andre said, "It's important to encourage our students to assist with creating socially cohesive, liveable and sustainable communities. It helps them take theory out of the classroom and apply it in the real-world. It also provides an opportunity to explore the different aspects of the planning industry and identify their area of interest."

Countless career opportunities

Business courses aren't just for corporate high-flyers. A business degree can lead to careers in not-for-profit or public sectors and industries as diverse as mining, tourism, school management, fashion or agriculture.

No matter what they do, most organisations need an accountant, a manager or a marketing professional. Plus many business graduates put their skills to use as specialist consultants or in operating their own small business.

Senior lecturer researches the impact of leisure on family wellbeing

Mr David Lamb, Senior Lecturer in Event, Sport and Recreation Management has completed a research project on leisure service providers and their awareness of the impact of leisure on family wellbeing.

Though Mr Lamb has acknowledged the wealth of general research into families, he identified a shortage of research into the providers of leisure and the effect that leisure services can have on families. To combat this issue, Mr Lamb undertook a qualitative study by interviewing the managers of a number of leisure facilities across Christchurch in New Zealand.

His study examined leisure managers' understanding of these groups and how they manage the needs of family members, both as groups and as individuals. He also observed the perceived problems and solutions with regards to providing leisure services for families and whether or not they had developed specific programs to cater for this group.

Mr Lamb found that leisure service managers were indeed aware of their significance with regards to family wellbeing, but that most struggled to meet their requirements.

Ensuring needs are met

All Urban & Regional Planning courses have been designed in consultation with representatives from the planning profession, government, industry and the community.

"ECU has taken a good solid approach to planning. The holistic integrated approach of the course structure means students are well prepared for a dynamic and proactive planning career"

- Director General of the Department of Planning and Infrastructure, Eric Lumsden

"The knowledge I gained through my studies at ECU is priceless."

I chose ECU because I wanted to study at a University that encourages innovation, open mindedness and social entrepreneurship. The knowledge I gained through my studies as ECU is priceless. I've applied what I have learned in a number of senior executive roles here in Australia and internationally. My learning experience with ECU has contributed directly to my success including being recognised in the WA Business News 40under40 Hall of Fame and receiving the prestigious 2011 Future Summit Australian Leadership Award.

Brad McManus
MBA and Master of International Business graduate

Postgraduate sustainability seminar a hit

The Perth Graduate School of Business (PGSB) launched the Leadership Seminar Series in March 2012 to great success, with the first event drawing a crowd of Postgraduate Business and Law students, staff and industry.

The theme for the first event was sustainability, with special guest speaker Dr Ian Martinus. Dr Martinus has a Doctorate of Business Administration in Information Systems from ECU, and has had an extensive international career. He addressed attendees on the challenges and opportunities faced by organisational leaders in regards to sustainability. He provided examples of the balance and tension between ‘development’ and ‘sustainability’, sharing many of his international experiences from his work in Iraq, Afghanistan, the United States of America and Australia.

Program Director of MBA and Graduate Studies, Associate Professor Maryam Omari, found the event to be a valuable occasion for Postgraduate students. Not only did it offer an excellent opportunity to learn about leadership and the responsibility leaders have for sustainable business practice, but the chance to network with other Postgraduate students.

New urbanism under the spotlight

Field trips, practical projects and case studies are an integral part of our Urban & Regional Planning disciplines.

Western Australia is used as a living laboratory together with an overview of international planning practice. Students assess examples of new urbanism in communities such as Joondalup and Subiaco.

Academic joins Conservation Commission

An ECU Professor has been appointed as a Member of the Conservation Commission of Western Australia. Professor Ross Dowling OAM from ECU's School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure will join six new members on the council, including new chairman, Brian Easton. The appointment was formally announced by Environment Minister Hon. Bill Marmion.

The Conservation Commission is the controlling body for the State’s conservation work, and consists of nine members of the community who are appointed by the minister for their work in conservation and land management.

Professor Dowling actively contributes to national and international tourism research and development. He is considered to be a pioneer in the field of Ecotourism and actively contributes to the areas of Cruise Ship Tourism and Geotourism. His background as an environmental scientist working to develop tourism in natural areas will also be beneficial to the Commission, which oversees the state's national parks.

In the spotlight: lecturer Tara Smith

Human Resource Management lecturer Tara Smith, is one of six ECU staff members to win a 2011 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Tara shares her teaching journey. "After nearly 10 years I remain passionate. I really believe in the benefits of good HRM practices and helping others to discover its importance is what makes my job so special".

Tara comments, "To achieve this, I work hard at building relationships with my students, not just during their time at ECU but also as they begin to develop careers as HRM professionals."

Learn more about how Tara can assist your HR career

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