NEW BOOK SHEDS LIGHT ON BAINES’S "AUDACIOUS" AUSTRALIAN FORAY

NEW BOOK SHEDS LIGHT ON BAINES’S

A new book co-edited by UKZN’s English Studies Professor Lindy Stiebel and Professor Jane Carruthers (UNISA) focuses on a little-known but fascinating contribution by Thomas Baines to Augustus Gregory’s North Australian Expedition.

Entitled Thomas Baines: Exploring tropical Australia 1855 to 1857, the book depicts the artist-explorer’s audacious attempt, in an open longboat with two companions, to link up with Gregory at the Albert River at the southern end of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

‘In this book, for the first time, the remarkably accurate map that Baines compiled of this voyage, and extracts from the accompanying manuscript journals are evaluated and published,’ said Stiebel. ‘The hardships suffered by these men, their courage in dangerous waters and their encounters with Aboriginal Australians provide detailed insights into the complexities of Australian mid-nineteenth century history.’

The book also illuminates important general issues related to imperial maritime history, the colonial encounter and colonial art. Illustrated by Baines’s accomplished sketches and paintings inspired by the expedition, the work arises from a partnership between South African and Australian scholars. ‘Their combined insights substantially augment current scholarship on Thomas Baines as colonial explorer, naturalist, diarist, cartographer and artist,’ said Stiebel.

The cover image is taken from an oil painting Baines made from the expedition titled, The Baines River and its side channel just above Curiosity Peak, Victoria River, North Australia, 1868.

Stiebel said the book, which took eight years to produce, was “a long time in the making”. ‘Originally I had envisaged the material around this expedition (the essays, map, paintings and journals) appearing in electronic format as I had done with the first Baines project I co-ordinated,’ she said.

‘This earlier project appeared in CD-ROM format through the Killie Campbell Library. I was, however, keen to have an Australian publisher for the book given its subject matter – however the electronic format was hard to achieve and we settled for a conventional book format which includes the essays linked to the map and the Gregory Expedition, a selection of Baines’s paintings done as part of the expedition, selected journal entries, and the map in fold-out form at the back of the book,’ said Stiebel.

* Thomas Baines: Exploring tropical Australia 1855 to 1857 is published by the National Museum of Australia based in Canberra, Australia.
author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN HYDROLOGY HONOURS STUDENTS PRODUCE SIGNIFICANT RESEARCH

UKZN HYDROLOGY HONOURS STUDENTS PRODUCE SIGNIFICANT RESEARCH

Integrating Honours classes into research efforts has paid off for Hydrology at UKZN after research conducted by former Hydrology Honours students in 2010 and submitted as a paper last year was published in last month’s Koedoe, the African Protected Area Conservation and Science Journal.

Professor of Hydrology, Professor Graham Jewitt, said that the paper, which arose out of a research project on burn plots in the Kruger National Park, resulted from a week of initial fieldwork undertaken in August 2010. The class of 10, led by postdoctoral fellow, Dr Eddie Riddell, submitted its paper in December 2011 and was thrilled when it was published in July 2012.

‘I think the paper’s publication highlights how integrating Honours classes into our research efforts brings great benefits,’ said Jewitt.  ‘Of the students who contributed to the paper, four are currently MSc students in Hydrology and one in Agrometeorology, whilst Riddell continues his postdoctoral research.’

The students’ paper presented a preliminary assessment of the impact of long-term fire treatments on in situ soil hydrology in the Kruger National Park (KNP).

The students argued that there has been significant attention on the impacts of fire frequency and season of burn on ecological processes in the KNP. Whilst there has been some examination of these fire effects on soil properties, the explicit linkages of these effects to the hydrology of soils in burnt areas has remained a gap in our understanding.

During August 2010, a field scoping campaign was undertaken to assess the impacts, if any, of long-term fire treatments on the hydrology of soils on the experimental burn plots (EBPs) in the KNP.

Using various hydrometric and soil physical characterisation instruments,  soil hydraulic conductivity and soil strength variations were determined across the extreme fire treatment on the EBPs, the annual August (high fire frequency) plots and the control (no burn) plots, on both the granite and basalt geologies of Pretoriuskop and Satara, respectively.

It was found that there were soil hydrological and structural differences to fire treatments on the basalt burn plots, but that these were not as clear on the granite burn plots. In particular, hot, frequent fires appeared to reduce the variation in soil hydraulic conductivity on the annual burn plots on the basalts and led to reduced cohesive soil strength at the surface.

In terms of the conservation implications of their findings, the hydrology students argued that the KNP burn plots form one of the longest running and well-studied fire experiments on African savannahs. However, the impacts of fire management on hydrological processes in these water-limited ecosystems remains a gap in our understanding and needs to be considered within the context of climate and land-use changes in the savannah biome.

School Manager, Mr Brendan Boyce, said that the research output by the Hydrology Honours students was fresh, exciting and highlighted some of the good work being done in the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences at UKZN.
author email : frosts@ukzn.ac.za

UNASA-UKZN CHAPTER LAUNCHED

UNASA-UKZN CHAPTER LAUNCHED

The United Nations Association of South Africa (UNASA) UKZN chapter was launched recently at the Howard College Theatre, making UKZN one of three universities in the country to have a UNASA chapter.

UNASA is a non-governmental organisation, the aims and objectives of which are to support the principles, goals and programmes of the United Nations (UN) and its agencies.

According to the Chairperson of UNASA-UKZN and postgraduate student in Criminology, Mr Samuel Fikiri, the local chapter aims to encourage and facilitate research, organise conferences, and initiate programmes that raise awareness about the United Nations and its work.

‘The UNASA Chapter is considered a milestone for UKZN because it opens a network to students to attend conferences at national and international level. It is a way of advertising UKZN as a research institution and markets the University to the rest of the world,’ explained Fikiri.

Fikiri also said it gives UKZN students and all its members the opportunity to be connected to the country and to the rest of the world.

‘Students will be able to put into practice some of the knowledge gained in their modules when dealing with people and will also have the opportunity to improve and develop different skills and experiences once involved in the activities and projects of the chapter.’

Students, who wish to participate or become a member of the UNASA-UKZN Chapter, will need to fill in a membership form and pay a membership fee of R25.

All queries can be addressed to unasa.ukzn@gmail.com
author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE PATIENTS RECEIVE HELP FROM INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS

INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE PATIENTS RECEIVE HELP FROM INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS

People living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in KwaZulu-Natal benefited recently from an informal meeting of the South African Gastroenterological Society (SAGES)*, which gave sufferers an opportunity to learn more about the condition from international experts.

Offered free of charge and open to all members of the public, the Durban meeting was a platform for patients to meet other people with the condition, learn about treatment options and receive advice on how to live successfully with IBD. The last open meeting of the society was held in Cape Town.

Dr Vasudevan Naidoo from UKZN’s Department of Gastroenterology, who is a council member of SAGES, said that IBD represents a group of idiopathic chronic inflammatory intestinal conditions. The two main disease categories covered by the term are Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), with both having overlapping and distinct clinical and pathological features.

IBD is a chronic disorder mainly affecting young adults who are in the prime of their lives. According to Naidoo, the pathogenesis of IBD is incompletely understood by doctors and the symptoms can mimic other bowel disorders which makes early diagnosis of IBD very difficult.

Patients may present with abdominal pain, weight loss and blood on the stool after going to the toilet. People living with the condition say it affects them both socially and economically, as the condition requires expensive treatment. 

Naidoo explained that in certain instances, some patients may require surgery.  ‘Ultimately, the treatment of patients with IBD really involves the physician gastroenterologist, and as required, a surgeon, who are supposed to work jointly to optimally control the disease and ensure a good quality of life.’

‘IBD was formerly perceived as a disease of the Western world but evidence from Asian countries says this is not the case anymore,’ said Naidoo.

‘It’s very important for patients to come in and listen to international experts on the disease,’ said Naidoo.

The meeting also focused on pregnancy and women living with IBD. “If a female patient wants to fall pregnant it is important to inform the primary caregiver [of the IBS] before conception,” said experts who attended the meeting.

Patients and accompanying family members said the meeting was an amazing opportunity for all IBD patients in KwaZulu-Natal.

It is hoped that successful support groups will be formed in the region by the patients following the success of the meeting.

*SAGES aspires to be the driving force in gastroenterology in South Africa and to contribute constructively to the development of the discipline on the African continent, with the primary aim of improving the health of those suffering from diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

NIH GRANT-WRITING AND MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP EMPOWERS MEDICAL STAFF

NIH GRANT-WRITING AND MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP EMPOWERS MEDICAL STAFF

UKZN’s Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Programme sponsored a total of 20 researchers, PhD candidates and research administrative staff to attend a two-day workshop focusing on grant-writing and grant management for the United States’ National Institutes for Health (NIH).

One of the world's foremost medical research agencies and a leading supporter of biomedical research globally, NIH provides financial support in the form of grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts. This assistance supports the advancement of the NIH mission of enhancing health, extending healthy life, and reducing the burdens of illness and disability.

At a global level, UKZN strives to nurture international institutional partnerships such as its long-standing relationship with the NIH.

Early last year, Dr Francis Collins, Director for NIH, along with the Head of the US President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) led a US delegation on a visit of UKZN HIV/AIDS research project sites. Delegates started with a tour of the Doris Duke Medical Research Institute, followed by a visit to the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), and had an opportunity to see the building site and the plans for the new K-RITH building, currently under construction on the medical campus.

Along with CAPRISA, UKZN’S Enhancing Care Initiative (ECI) is part of the NIH-funded network. In 2010 ECI successfully applied for the MEPI grant and was awarded $10 million over five years for medical training and training in the management of HIV and TB.

Consequently, the workshop appealed to attendees who are currently managing NIH grants or plan to apply for and/or manage NIH grants in the foreseeable future.

It allowed participants to gain an in-depth understanding of NIH policies, funding opportunities, application processes, budgeting, management of awards and reporting, and how these are applied and implemented at UKZN.

The workshop also covered the various types of NIH grants, UKZN’s financial support role, the NIH’s review process, financial conflict of interest and included lots of group work. Participants also benefited from presentations on subcontracting and consortiums, and payment management systems.

CAPRISA partnered with UKZN’s Legal Services Unit to facilitate the workshop.

Ms Marian Swart, Chief Operations Officer for CAPRISA and workshop facilitator, said it was important to hold the workshop and participants had many questions.

Dr Ozayr Mohamed from the Department of Public Health Medicine who attended the workshop said the information disseminated was relevant to anybody who is interested in NIH grants.

Dr Okpara Azu, a Senior Lecturer and researcher in UKZN’s Discipline of Clinical Anatomy said: ‘NIH is one of the biggest sources of funding at UKZN. To remain at an advantage in research at UKZN, it is important to attend such workshops because the NIH looks for quality.’
author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

LAW GRADUATE MAKES GREAT STRIDES IN THE LEGAL SECTOR

LAW GRADUATE MAKES GREAT STRIDES IN THE LEGAL SECTOR

Becoming the first person of colour to qualify in 2002 as a trade mark practitioner under the auspices of the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law was a sign that UKZN Law graduate Ms Nishi Chetty was destined for greater things.

 

And so she was. Today, Chetty holds the position of Managing Partner at legal firm Adams & Adams based in Umhlanga.

 

According to Professor Managay Reddi, Dean and Head of the School of Law, Chetty’s success in the legal profession is a source of immense pride to the School.

 

‘The School of Law has a long history of its graduates being rated amongst the best legal minds in the profession. Ms Chetty’s achievement exemplifies not only the excellence of the legal education she received in our School but also the confidence that leading law firms have in our graduates and the high esteem in which they hold our School.’

 

Chetty, who graduated with BA (1997) and LLB (1999) degrees from the University's Pietermaritzburg campus, said her career path was mapped out for her from an early age by her interest in the rule of law.

 

‘I was always intrigued by the rule of law. I was acutely aware that in every aspect of society and business, one must always be aware of the laws governing and pertaining to the same. I became intrigued by Intellectual Property Law and the effects that it has on a developing country like South Africa. It became apparent that experts in this field were lacking and that the need for such lawyers in our country from previously disadvantaged backgrounds were needed,’ said Chetty.

 

While Intellectual Property Law is recognised as a niche market, with few law firms offering articles and extensive training, this never discouraged Chetty from giving up on her aspirations.

 

‘Whilst it was challenging, I was fortunate to obtain articles with Adams & Adams Attorneys, the largest Intellectual Property Law practice in the southern hemisphere.

 

‘All our services are characterised by a strong commitment to professionalism, blended with a progressive vision of efficiency and expertise. Partner accessibility and client relationships are also keys to our success. To service a broad spectrum of clients and to be an expert in Intellectual Property Law one has to ensure that one is always aware of and educated in the ever changing aspects of Intellectual Property Law,’ said Chetty.

 

Relying on support from her husband, family and friends, and extensive training, support and guidance received from the partners of Adams & Adams she is committed to excel in her position as Managing Partner.

 

‘My duties entail the supervising of the day-to-day running of the branch and practice. It also entails managing the staff and other service providers. One has to also ensure the sustainable growth of the practice. One also has to monitor and implement new policies and procedures to ensure optimal productivity and client care,’ said Chetty.
author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za

MEDICAL STUDENTS SEE THE WORLD THROUGH DIFFERENT LENSES

MEDICAL STUDENTS SEE THE WORLD THROUGH DIFFERENT LENSES

A diverse group of Medical undergraduate students from UKZN had a unique cultural awareness experience when lecturers and Professor Neil Prose, a visiting Fulbright Scholar from Duke University in the United States, took to the local Traditional Healers’ Market and a mosque as part of a cross-cultural communication lesson.

The first of its kind in the MBChB programme, the initiative was Prose’s brainchild, aimed at addressing common cross-cultural communication challenges that arise during the doctor/patient consultation.

Students were encouraged to interact and engage as much as they can with each other's cultures in the hope that such “cultural curiosity” will make them better doctors in the near future.

Each member of the group was given R10 pocket money to go out and consult for specific muthi (medication) sold by traditional healers at the market. They had to find out where the muthi is from and which ailment it is used to treat.

‘I knew people consult traditional healers but I didn't know it was such a huge industry,’ said Lache Pretorius, a student in the MBChB programme.

'It was so eye-opening. It's a completely different world that we didn't know existed,' said Khadeeja Manjra, also a student.

The group was fascinated to learn that the families of some of the healers have been practising for generations and come from far and wide to sell muthi that heals a variety of ailments also treated with Western medicine.

Walking through the fish and meat Market was also a unique experience for all.

At the neighbouring mosque, a tour was arranged during which students learnt about the Islamic way of life.

Students from the cultural backgrounds under discussion also took part in explaining to their peers why certain customs are practised in certain ways.

Described as “an enriching experience”, the group agreed that it is important for medical students to be conscious of traditional healing and different cultures, especially in a country like South Africa where people of various belief systems interact daily.

Students said they understood that patients come in to the consultation room with different histories. They learnt the importance of “winning” the patient's trust and showing respect and empathy.

Dr Margaret Matthews, Clinical Skills Co-ordinator for Undergraduate Education in the MBChB programme, said the day’s programme was a huge success and they intend to make it an annual event.


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

INQAYIZIVELE YEZOMCULO IGUBHE IMINYAKA EMCULWENI E-UKZN

INQAYIZIVELE YEZOMCULO IGUBHE IMINYAKA EMCULWENI E-UKZN

Inkaba yomculo weJazz nePopular eNyuvesi yaKwaZulu-Natali ihanjelwe inqayizivele yezomculo eNingizimu Afrika uNksz Sibongile Khumalo njengengxenye yokuguba inyanga yabesifazane nokuqeda iminyaka eyamashumi amabili esemculweni. UKhumalo ubabelana isitegi noMnu Mdu Mtshali kupiano, uMnu Themba Mokoena esiginzini, uMnu Bheka Mthethwa kubass noMnu Sabu Satsha kumadrums.

Uzalelwe eSoweto eholwa ubaba wakhe kwezomculo, uKhumalo ufunde ukudlala i-violin, ukucula, ukudlala imidlalo yasesitegi nokudansa. Uneziqu zeBachelor of Arts (BA) emculweni azithole eNyuvesi yaseZululand neziqu eziphakeme zeBA azithole eNyuvesi yaseWitwatersrand. Ngo1993 waklonyeliswa ngeStandard Bank Young Artist Award.

Lombukiswano womculo kaKhumalo uyingxenye yohambo lwakhe kumanyuvesi ahlukene olubizwa nge“Reflect. Celebrate. Live”. Lolusuku obekade lulangazelelwe abaningi lukhombise ngokusobala ikhono lalomculi lokukwazi ukuthatha izihlwele zakhe ohambeni oluchaza impilo yakhe yonke, ekwenza lokhu ngomculo wakhe.

Longoti waseNingizimu Afrika ohamba phambili uchaze uhambo lwakhe kanje: ‘IReflect. Celebrate. Live ikhombisa ukubaluleka kwezifundiso ezidlulile nokuthi singaziphila kanjani manje, ukuze nami ngiqhubeke ukufunda okunye nokuzithuthukisa. Uma usubhekile wakugubha ukuphumelela kwakho kubalulekile ukuphila esikhathini samanje.’

Click here for English version


author email : Makalima@ukzn.ac.za

WORKSHOP PROVIDES TAILORED FINANCE SKILLS FOR UNIVERSITY CONTEXT

WORKSHOP PROVIDES TAILORED FINANCE SKILLS FOR UNIVERSITY CONTEXT

A "Finances for Non-financial Managers” workshop was recently hosted by the College of Law and Management Studies.

College leadership, Deans, Heads of School and School Operations Managers were invited to participate and the College was joined by colleagues from the Colleges Humanities and Health Sciences. Run over two days by an external consultant, the workshop was custom-made for the needs of an institution such as a university in which shareholders and profit are not the prime drivers.

Participants were introduced to the basics of accounting and the UKZN chart of accounts. They were taught how to read and interpret various financial statements and were taken through the year-end process in which Colleges are going to be actively involved. Some discussion also took place around forecasting and budgeting.

Professor Kriben Pillay, Dean of Teaching and Learning, said the workshop provided invaluable elementary finance skills for the UKZN context. ‘We not only learnt how to read financial reports pertaining to the University, but were also given a thorough overview of how the University finances are managed,’ he said.

Many participants left the workshop with a renewed (or new) respect for their colleagues in Finances in Colleges and the University, and with much greater insight into the consolidated annual financial statements of the University – guaranteed to see them raising questions and concerns at appropriate fora within the Institution in future.
author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za

TOP COMPANIES ATTEND SUCCESSFUL CAREERS EXPO

TOP COMPANIES ATTEND SUCCESSFUL CAREERS EXPO

Over 3 500 students attended the annual Employer Exhibition held at UKZN’s Westville campus recently and had a chance to interact face-to-face with some of the country’s top employers. 

 

Organised by the College of Law and Management Studies in partnership with the College of Health Sciences, the event saw 63 of the country’s top employers engaging with students on full-time job opportunities, vacation employment, training contracts, learnerships, bursary opportunities and international work-placement.

 

Exhibitors included Ethekwini Municipality, ABSA, Unilever, the Department of Health and KPMG, among many others.

 

Career Information/Graduate Recruitment Co-ordinator Ms Rosheena Jeawon said the aim of the event, which targeted only the top 100 companies, is to ensure that students are aware of all employment opportunities available to them, thus making it easy for them to plan for their future.

 

‘The exhibition is open to all students, including first years and we expose them to all aspects of recruitment which ensures that they are able to make informed career choices. I would like to thank all of the staff that assisted in making the event a success,’ said Jeawon.

 

Jeawon said the target for next year’s exhibition is 80 companies. ‘I hope to extend the expo to a new target of 80 companies for 2013 and I am already planning as we speak to achieve this.’

 

At the event students seized the opportunity to engage with the exhibitors by enquiring about graduate programmes and the necessary requirements.

 

Business Administration fourth-year student, Steven Rogers, said he learnt a lot through attending the exhibition.

 

‘It is quite impressive to see so many employers gathered under one roof and dedicated to giving us students direction on our career paths. The brochures that were handed out are very informative. They also directed us to their websites for more information and to apply for the programmes on offer,’ he said.

 

Pharmacy students, Muneeza Nakhuda and Jameela Rassool, said they were excited to engage with the health exhibitors and want to go out there and make a difference in people’s lives.

 

‘I want to be a sports journalist and that’s why I’m doing my honours in Sports Science,’ said Musa Dlamini, who benefited from learning about job opportunities and bursaries from exhibitors.                                    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

KPMG Human Resources Manager Maheshni Gounden said that her company was impressed by the interest expressed by students and was grateful for a platform to meet and interact with some of the country’s top young talent.

 

'The event has been a success in that we had a chance to mingle with students from all disciplines. The student were motivated and asked a lot of questions, making this a really mutually beneficial relationship between us and the University,’ she said.

 

Unilever’s Talent Officer, Azvir Rampursad, said his company was pleased that the students were knowledgeable and excited about its brand.

 

‘We are glad that we had an opportunity to engage with students and that through our recruitment programmes we are able to cultivate home-grown talent,’ he said.
author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za

LAW STUDENTS BUILD AWARENESS AROUND DISABILITY

LAW STUDENTS BUILD AWARENESS AROUND DISABILITY

The School of Law reinforced its commitment to responding to its students’ needs by supporting the law students’ inaugural Disability Awareness Day held at Howard College recently.

The event, which was aimed at creating awareness of the plight of students with visual impairments and physical challenges, was organised by Visually Impaired Positivism, a subcommittee of Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ), an organisation dedicated to protecting human rights, preventing discrimination and promoting social justice.

The campaign saw able-bodied students blind-folded, participate in braille name writing activities and use wheelchair-bound simulators.

Booths offering interactive dialogue and information, together with minor simulations on Braille reading and writing offered by the Disability Unit, as well as autism simulations by Action in Autism and the QuadPara Association of KZN, attracted large numbers of students and lecturers, including Law Professor Karthy Govender who participated in some of the simulation activities.

Mr Neville Balakrishna, Co-ordinator, Disability Support, said their objective to create social inclusion and support for disabled students will see the Unit engage in programmes to educate academics and support staff about students with disability, as well as hosting workshops for University management.

Visually Impaired Positivism founder and Head Co-ordinator Mr Muhammad Zakaria Suleman said the collaboration of students with and without disabilities made the event a success.

‘Those who participated left with a greater and first-hand understanding of the societal, psychological, facilitative and physical experiences of those with a disability, whether it is visual impairment, autism or a physical disability.’

The feedback from students who participated will be included in the research that SLSJ is conducting on improving facilities at tertiary institutions for students with disabilities. This is not confined to physical facilitation, but also social facilitation in accordance with an inclusive model.

‘We would like to thank the School of Law and the Disability Unit, sponsors, as well as all other parties and organisations involved,’ said Suleman.

First-year Social Sciences student Busi Tshabalala, who is blind, said events such as these can give able-bodied people a chance to find out that they are not so different from disabled people.

‘I was involved in a car accident five years ago and lost my sight. After learning to accept my disability I discovered that I can do most of the stuff that abled-bodied people can do. I can type, read and make my way around places. Initiatives such as this are important to show people that we are all the same,’ she said.

Professor Managay Reddi, Dean and Head of the School of Law, said that the School of Law and the entire University, recognises the importance of effective two-way communication with students and encourages any endeavour that ensures that all students enjoy an enriched campus experience. ‘Therefore, initiatives that address challenges within the University and unlock students’ academic potential are applauded and supported by the School of Law,’ she said.
author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za