Breakout Session 2

Day Two, 27th May.  1030-1215.

Short and long papers from HDR candidates, supervisors, research and professional staff across the following themes:

Room 1
Methodologies – Qualitative

Moderator: Dr Christine Edwards-Groves


How Muslims show compassion during challenging times: a neuropsychology and spiritual perspective
Nasreen Hanifi
Compassion is considered a powerful and instinctual emotion. It is a common central thread among many diverse religions and worldviews. However, there is a lack of research on the spiritual aspect of compassion despite being endorsed as a principle in human-to-human treatment. In response, this study proposes to investigate how Muslims use compassion to overcome major life crises through a psycho-spiritual perspective. The study is qualitative in nature and will use purposive sampling to recruit participants. Participants will be administered using Neff’s compassion rating scale to determine their level of compassion and eligibility into the study. A semi-structured interview approach will be used to carry on conversations that would elicit rich data. The questions will be framed in a manner that will provide participants with the flexibility and freedom to explore how compassionate they feel or think they are. Mostly open-ended questions will be used throughout the interview to encourage participants to talk freely and respond openly to queries.
An Autoethnography on training in Transactional Analysis
Lucia Wuersch
Communication is vital for organisational success; however, internal communication is often neglected. This study explored how internal training can improve communication skills when using Transactional Analysis (TA). A Swiss organisation that supports jobseekers to reintegrate into the workplace was used as a case study. Applying Anderson’s (2006) analytic autoethnography, I participated in a TA training for personal consultants and administrative staff. Analytic autoethnography includes being a full member of a group under investigation, reflective writing, being visible as-in the study, and committing to a theoretical agenda. Autoethnographic work aims to understand the various layers of a phenomenon (e.g., TA training) and to connect personal experience to the dimension of culture. As a result of reflection and abstraction, the Tree of Trust illustrates that long-lasting TA applications can provide a safe learning culture, enabling people to trust themselves and each other and to learn effectively in a group.  
A unique research approach: Plowright’s FraIM adopting a Bricolage approach
John Moy
My research into a new sustainable volunteer emergency services model, seeks to adopt an overarching pragmatic paradigm. It will utilise Plowright’s Frameworks for an Integrated Methodology (FraIM) as both a methodological approach and research design. This will be supported by adopting a Bricolage approach where the researcher takes on the role of the ‘bricoleur’. This presentation will show how the overall research design is informed by FraIM, drawing on the complimentary elements of Bricolage. This combined approach encourages a robust, multi-disciplinary investigation into a complex problem, declining emergency services volunteerism. The FraIM provides structure, but the concept deliberately lacks content. Bricolage however, advances the researcher as the bricoleur, who is able to deploy available and established strategies and methods, granting license to create new tools and techniques to solve a practical problem and creating a solution, the final bricolage; a new sustainable emergency services volunteer model.
Finding threads, weaving patterns: Using grounded theory methodology to build a communication evaluation tool for context
Wesley Ward
In many low-income countries, agricultural researchers often work in teams with members from high-income countries and the low-income country to address problems in food security and agricultural production. This is a ‘wickedly’ complex context for communication between team members, particularly as they are culturally, politically, and economically as well as geographically dispersed. Using a case study with such team members residing in (low-income) Lao PDR and (high-income) Australia, a study identified the most useful online tools for effective communication between these dispersed team members. Grounded theory methodology (GTM) was used to identify personal and organisational contingencies for communication between 30 team members operating in Lao PDR. These contingencies were operationalised to modify a standard Heuristic Evaluation tool into the Intercultural Heuristic Evaluation Tool, or I-CHET. This tool was used to evaluate the effectiveness of nine information and communication technologies utilised by these team members, including instant messaging, SMS, Facebook and email.
Building a Pollinator Garden Lucia Wuersch Alain Neher, Felicity Small, Rachel Cavallaro and Heather Salmon
Birds, bees, and various types of insects play a vital role in pollinating the plants that provide our food and make up our ecosystem. However, scientists notice that the number of pollinators across Australia is decreasing. This development endangers biodiversity and crop yields. Studies show that urban areas can be hotspots for biodiversity if plants are carefully selected. We will build a ‘Pollinator Garden’ on Charles Sturt Bathurst campus and research the effects of a native low-water garden on local pollinators, and the volunteering and educational opportunities for employees, students and interested communities. Hence, our project team will collaboratively examine the research question: How do stakeholder groups co-create meaning around Charles Sturt’s Pollinator Garden? Various artefacts will emerge such as a video, radio spots and memos. Using the method of collaborative ethnography, these artefacts will be put together to an ‘Assemblage’ enabling us to answer the research question.
Crochet as research methodology
Tracy Sorensen
My interdisciplinary creative practice research aims to address the question: how can crochet produce knowledge about the problem of communication in the Anthropocene? As a reflection on the affordances of crochet, the project examines how a traditional domestic feminine skill can be deployed to evoke the agency and force of the more-than-human world, a riposte to imaginaries that cast nature as inert, passive and infinitely exploitable. Using both stitching and writing as reflective, inventive processes that also contain and constrain, this research explores pathways into embodied knowledge of human beings as transient ecosystems within ecosystems rather than as transcendent, unified subjects standing outside of nature.  
Philosophical foundations and the shaping of a mixed-methods study design: An example from a social ecology study on HIV prevention in Uganda Francis Okello This paper discusses the philosophical foundations for the design of a mixed-methods social ecological study on Uganda’s HIV prevention program results. The study applied post-positivist and constructivist ontological positions, a positivist objectivism epistemology, and axiological analysis to develop the study design, founded on social ecological theoretical framework. Between 1992 and 2002, Uganda had succeeded in reducing HIV prevalence from 18% to 6.1%. Most studies attribute this earlier success to the widespread adoption of low-risk sexual behaviours and high AIDS-related mortality. Since 2002, Uganda’s HIV prevalence has fluctuated between 6.2% and 7.3%, but there is a dearth of studies on the factors for revitalising prevention outcomes. A Philosophical interrogation informed the choice a multi-level theoretical framework (social ecology) and a robust study methodology (mixed methods) of this study. This study’s methodology effectively established that adherence to prevention behaviours had waned and how socio-cultural, structural and policy issues affected HIV prevention in Uganda.
Enacting resilience in emerging communication students
Victoria Erskine
As communication scholars we explored undergraduate students understanding of the concept of resilience as well as the protective factors they employed to mobilise resilience while undertaking higher education study.  Concern over the resilience and mental health of university students is a global issue preceding the pandemic of 2020 (Brewer, et al., 2019).  In this presentation we report on the types of interactions and participation that support student resilience alongside the knowledge and skills required for communication professionals.  Internal factors, such as self-efficacy and social support, as well as external factors, caring and supportive relationships, positive interactions with others and clear direction from academics were instrumental in supporting students’ academic progression and completion.   Our research found opportunities to interact and engage with peers, academics and practitioners, as part of academic discourse, were important in developing relationship building skills critical for supporting student wellbeing, academic success and professional outcomes of these emerging communication practitioners.  Occasions to practice resilient behaviours over time and in supported spaces, can facilitate durable changes that support self-reliance and wellbeing alongside academic success (Hassed & Chambers, 2014). 

Room 2
Methodologies – Quantitative

Moderator: Dr James Deeham


An appropriate methodology for studying certain factors impact the negotiation of customs Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs)
Tuan Pham
This presentation aims to present an appropriate methodology for examining how certain factors impact the negotiation of international agreements, specifically agreements between countries that are designed to mutually recognise each other’s customs programs.  It is widely recognised that national and international negotiation represents a sequence of events for discussing proposals and reaching an agreement between at least two parties in a wide variety of fields, such as political and economic. In studying such matters, scholars have utilised a range of different methodologies, including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches.   The convergent parallel mixed-methods design was selected to study factors that impact the negotiation of customs Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs). It is argued that this design enhances the validity and credibility of the research findings due to advantages in the triangulation and corroboration of quantitative results and qualitative findings. The rationale behind this is that most international negotiations are confidential, and MRA negotiations (at both the bilateral and multilateral level) are no exception. Also, the full text of the MRAs that result from such negotiations are not usually made available to the public and therefore access to information is restricted.
Using photo-elicitation as a research tool to inform inquiry and practice within paramedicine 
Jessica Houston

Presented here is a case for photo-elicitation to be used as a research tool to inform inquiry and practice within paramedicine. Photo-elicitation is an arts-based tool that can be used in research. In this paper, paramedics were asked to observe photographs in relation to how they perceive individuals with mental illness in the pre-hospital setting. The use of photo-elicitation provides an innovative approach to research and in turn may assist paramedicine policymakers and educators in knowing how to respond to people as well as determining what educational and other interventions should be applied to strengthen paramedic practice.
Next Generation Cloud Computing: Security, Privacy and Trust Issues from the System View
Ron Bester

Cloud Computing has become the key resource providing the computing needs. The inclusion of Internet of Things (IoT) along with the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) provide endless opportunities with a new extended reach into all facets of human life. This platform brings new and unprecedented challenges, particularly the combination of end user devices and service provided systems; as such, there is a need to develop an end-to-end architecture that is modular whilst addresses four key parameters being, system architecture, security, privacy, and trust.  Within this work in progress article, I identify the new and emerging security, privacy, and trust issues along with the gaps within Next Generation Cloud Computing when viewed in entirety, the system and view; propose a novel modular architecture for use when consuming these services that reduces identified security risks; and develop a new framework for mitigating issues utilising Machine Learning. 
So, you want to run a survey…? Gail Fuller
Manager of the Spatial Data Analysis Network (SPAN)
This presentation will take you through the process of designing and setting up a survey and the support that is available to HDR students from our very experienced team at SPAN.
Recombinant expression and purification of the replicase associated protein from beak and feather disease virus and insights into structural biology
Babu Nath
The replication associated protein (Rep) plays an important role in circovirus biology through its two putative functional domains (the endonuclease domain and the helicase domain). In the absence of established cell culture system, an efficient method for recombinant protein production is essential for structural characterisation of these domains. In this study, a total of seven different Rep constructs from two BFDV genotypes were used for recombinant expression in E. coli using two expression media (auto-induction and IPTG-induction). Over-expression was observed for all constructs using E. coli BL21 (DE3) Rosetta 2 cell lines under IPTG induction, however among different targets, variation in protein solubility was observed. The endonuclease domain and full length native Rep were purified using a two-step purification process using affinity purification buffer comprising 50 mM phosphate buffer, 300 mM NaCl with a gradient of buffer containing 20-500 mM imidazole followed by size exclusion chromatography using glutathione S-transferase (GST) buffer containing 50 mM Tris and 125 mM NaCl at pH 8.0. The putative helicase domain constructs were insoluble and formed inclusion bodies within expression cells. Crystallisation trials of the soluble replicase domain and full length native Rep were unsuccessful but negative staining electron micrographs suggested that the full length native Rep oligomerises to a higher order macromolecule with accumulated molecular weight ~140 KDa forming 10-15 nm homogenous particles, and potentially suitable for cryo-EM reconstruction of the entire protein complex.
Tests for identifying Canine Circovirus in dogs in Australia
Alison Neef
To date there has been no investigation into CanineCV infection in dogs in Australia, and this research aims to develop tests to determine the prevalence of this virus in dogs in Australia. Antigen PCR and antibody ELISA assays were developed to test 580 canine blood samples that were submitted to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at CSU Wagga Wagga from 2018 to 2020. These tests will allow practicing veterinarians to test for CanineCV in suspicious clinical cases, and lead to further investigation of the role of CanineCV in disease in dogs.

Room3
First Nations Methodologies
Closed session for First Nations researchers only.

Moderator: Prof. Sue Green