Will Your Studies Make a Difference to the World

Posted on March 30, 2017 by Sarah Price

There is no doubt that any kind of learning will have an impact on the person doing the learning. Not only do you acquire new knowledge but it can help you grow and develop as a person. How great the impact is will depend on how much of yourself you put into it. But what we as students often don’t think about is how we can use our studies and the knowledge we’ve acquired to make a difference to the world outside of university. Making a difference is can mean anything from impacting your local community to improve the way things function or it can just mean changing the lives for the better of people withina c ommunity. The community may be your local community near where your live. Or part of a broader global community of which all citizens of the world belong.

There are plenty of examples on CDU’s Launchpad on how what students have learnt at university  have  made a difference but if you really want to change the world ( even just a little) , there a few things you need to do to make that happen. 

  1. You have to want to make a difference. Consciously wanting to make a difference can affect how you view opportunities that will arise after university and whether or take advantage of certain opportunities over others. It may mean that you follow opportunities for work that allows you to make a difference to a community to those that perhaps just offer the best salary or the most convenient location.

  2. Be open to changing your path or following a different path to that you which started from. Often those that seek to make a difference find themselves following a different direction to that from which they intended. Current CDU PHD candidate Samuel Keitaanpaa initially set out to study dentistry but realising the impact pharmacy could have on the world changed his focus and is now looking to impact the rates of smoking on Indigenous community. Often to make a difference you have to allow yourself to follow opportunities that enable you to do just that – wherever or whatever they are. 

  3. Seek experience – There is an old Chinese proverb that says “experience is the best teacher”. Seeking out different types of experience can be invaluable in helping you decide just where to use your newly acquired knowledge to make a difference. Seek experience through volunteering, explore job opportunities in industries or organisations you are unfamiliar with and travel as much as you can.

  4. Never stop learning. Learning can help facilitate difference. Whether it’s formal education or just making ti your goal to learn from life experience, make it your mission to never stop learning and building on the knowledge you’ve acquired from university and you will inevitably make a difference on those around you .

  5. Start from the immediate world. Don’t feel you have to take on the big bad world as soon as you graduate. Take time to assess and think about how you can use your newly acquired knowledge to make even a small difference in your local community.

  6. Think big By the same token, don’t be afraid to think big. A big impact often start from small beginnings. The important thing is that you do start.

Are you wanting to make a difference after study?



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Surviving the Mid Semester Break and the Return to Study Afterwards

Posted on March 30, 2017 by Sarah Price


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Book review: The Dry

Posted on March 16, 2017 by Sarah Price


The Dry is not your average whodunnit.  Australian crime fiction at its best, it paints a startlingly detailed (and some might say accurate) picture of small Outback towns struggling through the challenges posed by Australia’s harsh highly changeable climate and day to day life.

The story follows a meandering path ( much like the dry riverbed at the heart of the town – a focal point in the plot) through the life of federal police agent Aaron Falk and the small rural Australian town where he grew up that is in the throes of the worst drought on record. Falk returns to his hometown to attend the funeral of a childhood friend, Luke Hadler, who we discover is suspected of murdering his family before turning his gun on himself. Falk finds himself drawn into unofficially investigating the case at the request of Luke’s parents, and like any good crime novel, things are not what they seem.

This mystery is closely interwoven with a mystery from Aaron and Luke’s past. Vignettes to the past slowly unravel both the present and past mysteries in a slowly filling in pieces of the puzzle, although as we discover, there’s always a  new to be found.

The story is chock full of irony and oh so many twists. There is irony in that escaping urban sprawl for a sea change or tree change often leaves the escapees finding themselves left with nowhere to run. That wide open spaces can be as equally oppressive as packed as a high density city-scape. And, there is very much a lesson in the fact that when we try to run from our problems, they almost always find a way to catch up with us.

A debut novel for Melbourne author Jane harper, this is an incredible achievement for one of Australia’s rising literary talents. Indeed, it has made the world sit up an take notice with international distribution deals for the book in the works and interest for a film from Reese Witherspoon’s production company.

If there is a criticism of this novel, it is that some of the characters fall a little bit flat. Especially our “hero” who despite his apparent mysterious background and seemingly fascinating job as a federal ppolice agent, seems a bit too one dimensional. The focus seems to be on the juxtaposition of the landscape with the constantly evolving mysteries unravelling across time and space. Some character development would have added a richer and more fascinating dimension to the novel. The novel is definitely a page turner however – easy to sink into and hard to put down. We look forward to the next big thing from Jane Harper.


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Things You Need to Do Before Census Date

Posted on March 16, 2017 by Sarah Price

 Census Date

Census date is just around the corner, on March 31st. And for many of us, it’s a day that may just pass without you even noticing, but there a few things you might want to think about  as the census date emerges. If you’re thinking about changing your study path in any way, it’s always a good idea to talk to your lecturer, unit coordinator or course coordinator as there may be implications for your current or future study. If you are wanting to make a change, it is a good idea to plan ahead and give yourself as much time as possible to consider your options. Here are a few things that you won’t be able to do after census date.

  1. Get Free postage for textbooks.
    Up until March 31st, when your order online, you can get free postage if you use the code SSAF. So make sure you get your orders in!

  2. Get a Return for refund
    If you need to return your textbooks because you’ve changed your units or for any other reason, you will need to do it before Census. After that date, we can’t offer refunds, however you may be able to get a credit note or exchange.

  3. Withdraw from courses or units. March 31st is also the last date you will be able to withdraw from units or courses without incurring a fee or academic penalty. It’s always a good idea to do this well before the census date and before you make decision, so talk to your lecturer, course coordinator or both as it may impact your future study path.
  1. Change courses or units. Similarly, if you’re wanting to transfer your degree or unit you will need to do this before census without occurring any penalty. As above, please do consult with your lecturer or course coordinator before you make any changes so you are aware of how it might impact any future study.
  2. Defer a course. If you thinking about putting your course on hold and taking a bit of a break, you need to make sure your do this before census date. You will be unable to defer your studies after census without incurring academic or fee penalties.
  1. Apply for a break from studies
    Similarly if you’ve started studying this semester, but thinking about takin a break for a period of time, you also need to apply for this well before the census date. Your course  coordinator or student central can assist you on the process as well as the impact for this. 

Census is only a couple of weeks away, so make sure you really start thinking about how your semester 1, 2017 is travelling so far and if you need to make changes now’s the time. Don’t leave it to the last minute.

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Could a Study Guide Help You?

Posted on March 02, 2017 by CDU Bookshop

Study Guides can be an invaluable aide to study, learning or writing at university. But when you’ve got a substantial textbook bill to work through, it can be difficult to justify spending more money on additional resources. However, they can add real value to your studies, and we’ve put together some great reasons why a study guide might be beneficial for you.

  1. If you’re new to tertiary study or haven’t studied for a while. Staring down the barrel of 3 or 4 years of study after not studying or coming straight from school can be a daunting prospect. Study guides can help you understand what to expect and set up good habits from the get go.
  2. If English is not your first language. There are plenty of study guides specially designed for students for whom English is not a first language, and they can specifically help with writing for assignments, navigating grammar and other nuances you’ll need to know about study, assignments and general learning in English
  3. If you’re not sure what skills you’ll need for successful study. If you’re new to study or not sure what skills you’ll need, study guides can be a great help? Do you need to be good at writing? Spelling? Communicating? There are even specific study guides designed for whatever specialty your studying
  4. If you’re not confident about certain skills such as grammar. If you know what skills you’ll need but are not confident you have them, a study guide can help you hone and refine your skills to help you gain valuable marks in your assignments or just study and learn more effectively. Look for specialty guides that focus on those areas you need the most such as grammar, writing or communication.
  5. If you need a bit of motivation to get you into study mode. Just reading about having good study habits can give you the motivation to build your own and get in the zone of study. It can also be very useful in providing much needed focus
  6. If you’re returning to study after the break and are keen to develop good study habits. Study guides can also be great if you’re returning for a 2nd or 3rd year of study but feel you’d like to start afresh with some good habits and skills  that may have escaped you in first year.

If any of these strike a chord, then it might just be worthwhile adding study guides to your textbook order. It can only help!

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Your Guide to Textbook Buying

Posted on March 02, 2017 by CDU Bookshop

Buying textbooks is the bane of many students existence. They can be expensive, time consuming and it can be difficult to even know if or when you need them. We’ll here’s a guide to cut through the whys and the wherefores of textbook buying

  1.  Prescribed vs recommended texts . There is often a great deal of confusion around prescribed and recommended texts. Do you need to buy both types? The short answer is, it depends. Generally speaking, prescribed texts are a mandatory part of your unit’s curriculum and you will most likely be at a disadvantage if you don’t purchase these ones. Recommended texts are those texts that are recommended you purchase them, in that the knowledge contained therein will add value but they may only provide background or supplementary knowledge, or a small component of the text may be relevant. How important recommended texts are to your learning  depends on your unit and your lecturer, so it’s a good idea to check this with your lecturer once classes commence. You may even find you don’t need them unitl later in the semester which can help with the impact on your wallet. 

  2. Where to Buy All textbooks on recommended or prescribed lists are available through the CDU Bookshop ( unless sold out or delayed by the publisher).We have direct communication with your lecturers and can tell you what you’ll need, plus we offer free shipping until census date of 31 March. We can also tell you which edition you need which is important as the info in the text can change with each new edition. So CDU Bookshop is a really good first stop. If you feel you can get it cheaper elsewhere though, do make sure you are getting the right edition of the text, as it can be confusing,.
  3. Buying online. If you do purchase online, make sure you are purchasing the right edition of your text, and also check out the refund and returns policy. Also opt for a provider that offers free postage. CDU Bookshop offers returns on unopened items before census date and free shipping before census, so it pays to shop around. Or just come to us first!
  4. To buy or not to buy. Many students agonise about whether or not to buy the textbooks, and often leave it to late, meaning it might be sold out, or you might have missed valuable learning support as a result of not having your text. Whether you will need your text this semester or whether you can get away with not buying it, will really depend on your unit requirements. Id you’re unsure, talk to your lecturer or unit coordinator as they will be the bes tperson to help you decide. Don’t rely on feedback from past students or friends as the unit may have changed or have a different lecturer.
  1. Need to return it? If you do need to return your textbook, make sure you review our returns policy. Also make sure your textbook is in the same condition you bought it or you might not be able to get your money back.

  2. Free postage. Don’t forget CDU offers free postage for all textbooks up until the census date of 31 March. Just use the code SSAF online when you buy.

  3. E books. Many textbooks offer ebook versions, and they can be a way of reducing the financial burden of buying textbooks. But before you rush out and click on that download button, there’s a few things you need to remember. Many students find that knowledge is retained more effectively when acquired from a hardcopy book. Consider your own learning/ reading style before you click. Some publishers offer limited access to ebooks. Meaning you may only be able to access the information for a limited time frame or you may not be able to copy or carry the information with you via a download. It may only be available via a device which could prove problematic if you are studying remotely and perhaps do not have consistent, reliable access to the internet.

Whatever or however you decide to purchase your textbooks, make sure you make an informed choice, shop around, and be clear about the process if you need to return an item. Happy Textbook shopping!

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Student recipe; Easy Chicken Curry

Posted on February 14, 2017 by Sarah Price

The perfect recipe for rainy wet season nights or when friends pop over for an evening study session.


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil ( you can also use olive or peanut oil )
  • ¼ cup onion, minced
  • 12-2teaspoons curry powder
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • ¾ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp shredded ginger ( fresh is best)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1cup chicken stock
  • 1cup milk
  • ½ kg  chicken, diced, 
  • I cup of mixed vegetables (capsicum/broccoli/snow peas/Chinese cabbage/mushroom/bok choy – whatever you have in the fridge)
  • 12teaspoon lemon juice
  • Chopped coriander for garnish
  • 3- 4 cups cooked rice


  1. Heat oil over low heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan or wok
  2. Sauté onion ,curry power and garlic in oil for 2-3 minutes
  3. Blend in flour, salt, sugar and ground ginger. Cook over low heat until mixture is smooth and bubbles
  4. Add chicken and lightly brown.
  5. Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in chicken stock and milk
  6. Return to heat, bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute until mixture thickens.
  7. Add lemon juice.
  8. Add vegetables
  9. Allow to simmer on low heat for 20 minutes

10.Spoon Chicken Curry over the cooked rice and serve with accompaniments on the side so everyone can top as desired.

NB: You can also replace the chicken with prawn or fish or just add tofu and more veggies for a vegetarian option.

 Serve with::(optional)

These are up to you but any of these will add another dimension to your curry.
Chutney, tomato wedges, raisins, slivered almonds, chopped salted peanuts, sautéed onion rings, pineapple, chopped hard cooked eggs, crispy bacon bits, pickles (sweet or sour), flaked coconut, sliced avocado, natural yogurt

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