June 30, 2011

Speech Pathology Australia National Conference in Darwin

This year's Speech Pathology Australia National Conference was held in Darwin from 26-29 June.
With the conference being held in Darwin, there were opportunities to learn from Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island people.

Keynote speakers at the conference were:
  • Dr Anne Lowell and her Yolngu colleagues Elaine Maypilama, Phyllis Batumbil and Helen Nyomba from the remote Indigenous Arnhem Land Community of Galiwin’ku. Their powerful presentation was titled: Closing the communication gap in Indigenous health: Working together to improve practice and outcomes
  • Prof Deborah Theodoros: A new era in speech pathology practice: Innovation and diversification
  • Prof Tim Sharp: Happiness at work...and beyond: Applying the principles of positive psychology!
My colleagues and I presented the following papers:
  • Williams, C. J. & McLeod, S. Working with children from multilingual backgrounds: Knowledge and practices of Australian speech pathologists.
  • McCormack, J., McLeod, S., McAllister, L., & Harrison, L. J. Living with speech impairment: Reflections on life from early childhood to adulthood.
  • McCormack, J., Harrison, L. J., McLeod, S., & McAllister, L. The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children: School outcomes for children identified with communication impairment in early childhood.

While at the conference, I enjoyed learning from Australia's speech pathology community, and also from people working as speech pathologists in New Zealand, UK, Vietnam, Uganda, and Senegal.
Also at the conference, I was busy in my role as the editor of Speech Pathology Australia's journal, International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (see previous blog entry for exciting news!)

More information about the conference is here
Dr Caroline Bowen (centre) who was awarded life membership
of Speech Pathology Australia with Jane McCormack  and Sharynne

Sharynne, Dr Sally Hewat (U of Newcastle), Dr Diane Jacobs (LaTrobe University),
and Dr Emma McLaughlin (LaTrobe University)

Sharynne in Darwin with Dr Clare McCann and Dr Dean Sutherland
from University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

June 29, 2011

International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology's first ISI impact factor

Today the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology received it's first ISI Web of Knowledge Journal Citation Index impact factor. Our impact factor is 1.12 and it has been ranked 28th (of 62) in the world for all rehabilitation journals.
Speech Pathology Australia, informahealthcare and the editorial board have been working on this for 6+ years, so this ranking is a great achievement.
Thank you to EVERYONE who has supported the journal in so many ways (as authors, readers, citers, reviewers, board members etc).

Professor Fiona Gibbon (Ireland) described how the day progressed as the news was learned by the speech pathology community: "it was like a slow-motion Mexican wave of congratulatory emails as people turned on their computers around the world!"

L-R Prof Deborah Theodoros, Prof Sharynne McLeod (current editor),
Alla Kaploun (informa), Prof Beth Armstrong (previous editor)

June 15, 2011

Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education, CSU

The Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education (RIPPLE) Research Symposium was held in Wagga Wagga from 15-16 June. It was a time to celebrate the achievements of the researchers and to plan for the future of the Institute. I also spent time discussing my Future Fellowship progress and plans with Professor Tom Lowrie (Director of RIPPLE), Janet Wilks (RIPPLE), and Robert Doubleday (CSU Research Office). I really appreciate the support and encouragement from my CSU and RIPPLE colleagues.

Tom Lowrie, Sharynne, Janet Wilks and Jo-Anne Masters

June 10, 2011

Exciting news about early years education research at CSU

I participate within a team of early years education researchers at Charles Sturt University (CSU). Recently we received this exciting news. I have copied the announcement from our faculty's research bulletin:

CRN (Collaborative Research Network) Success!
News from the Charles Sturt University (CSU) Faculty of Education Research Bulletin
The University received the excellent news last week that its submission to the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) for funding to establish an Early Years Education Collaborative Research Network (CRN) scheme was successful. The funding is for a total of $5.4m, for 3 years from mid 2011-mid 2014. CSU’s partners in the CRN are QUT (Queensland University of Technology) and Monash University…
As you can see from the project summary from the funding proposal, the CRN has ambitious aims:
Early childhood is a critical period in human development. Early Years Education (EYE) has life-long impacts on wellbeing, learning and socioeconomic outcomes. A Collaborative Research Network between Charles Sturt University (CSU), Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Monash University (MU) would create one of the largest networks of research-productive EYE academics in the world. Structured collaboration would deliver world-class research capacity and enable the development of the next generation of international level researchers. The CRN will make possible landmark research on critical areas of childhood learning, establishing a cumulative base of knowledge to drive Australian and international policy and programs.
Achieving these aims will require sustained commitment from all involved! CSU’s leadership team consists of Prof Jennifer Sumsion (network co-leader) and Prof Sue Docket, Prof Bob Perry, and A/Prof Linda Harrison as respective co-leaders of the three research programs that will drive the CRN. In total, approximately 20 early childhood / early years academics and 10 doctoral students from the Faculty will be devoting their research energies to the CRN for the next 3 years.
The feedback from DIISR concerning CSU’s proposal was very positive: “The CRN assessment panel noted that the University’s proposed project was a good exemplar, with strong support from partners. The proposal presented a convincing case for practice-based research that could be applied as an example of research capacity building across the university. The proposal was well-focused in the field of early childhood education, which is an area of importance, nationally and regionally. The panel found that the proposal presented a convincing case in terms of its connectivity with the university's research plan and broader strategic priorities”...

June 9, 2011

January - June 2011 summary

Written by Kim Woodland, Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education for the June 2011 RIPPLE  Update
Sharynne has commenced the second year of her Commonwealth-sponsored Future Fellowship, and we look forward to hearing about another busy and exciting twelve months of research into international speech acquisition in Australia. She began the year by collaborating with other researchers on a range of Fellowship-related research and publication projects, including Gail Fuller (CSU), Rebekah Lockart (Macquarie University), Elise Baker (University of Sydney), Yvonne Wren (University of West England), Sue Roulstone (University of West England), and Helen Grech (University of Malta). In late February, Sharynne delivered an aptly-titled presentation—‘International speech acquisition: A world tour’—at a one-day workshop in Sydney for Speech Pathology Australia. She then continued her research collaboration during March, receiving a visit at CSU Bathurst from Carol Kit Sum To (University of Hong Kong), with whom she is preparing a range of publications, presentations, and a grant. April then saw Sharynne working with Bill Hardcastle (Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh), on a co-authored book about electropalatography. This year, progress has also been made on a prototype computer program being developed in the United States, which will support the International Speech Assessment (ISA)—one of the outputs of Sharynne’s Fellowship. Finally, during May, Sharynne travelled to Vietnam to teach students in the Speech Therapy Training program at the Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine. In late May, she presented a workshop to speech therapists for the Hong Kong Association of Speech Therapists.

June 7, 2011

Defining speech sound disorder (SSD)

Dr Elise Baker from The University of Sydney recently visited Bathurst to work with me on our book titled: Children's speech. One of our major accomplishments was Elise's elegant definition of speech sound disorder:

"Children with speech sound disorder (SSD) have difficulty with:
• the representation of speech in the mind (phonology) and/or
• the production of speech in the mouth (articulation/motor speech)"