Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne
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In this lecture, Dr Brodie Lawson demonstrates how mathematical models and computer simulations help us better understand the complexities of the heart.
Underlying the heartbeat is in fact a rich signalling process, in which cells receive electrical stimulus that triggers them to beat. In the normal heartbeat, these stimuli are waves of excitation that travel through the heart, causing each cell to contract in turn and together produce a coordinated pumping motion. The body then controls the heartbeat by choosing how quickly to initiate these waves ー for example, more rapidly during exercise.
Unfortunately, it’s surprisingly easy for this to go wrong. Each heart cell waits for a signal, but can’t tell if a signal was legitimately initiated by the body. When this causes coordination to be lost, the result is arrhythmia, in which heart function is impaired or even lost entirely (ventricular fibrillation). Worse, our treatments for these issues remain unacceptably inconsistent. Understanding why antiarrhythmic medicines or surgeries work for some and not others remains a key question in cardiac physiology.
Enter mathematical models, and ACEMS. This talk will show the astounding complexity of one of the body’s most important organs, and how through virtual computer simulations, we can come to understand it in new ways that traditional experiments could never reveal.
The journeys of Indigenous people in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand have taken different paths in the treaty negotiation process between sovereign Indigenous people and Western settlers.
In Aoteaora New Zealand, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840. Yet repeated breaches by the Crown led to the necessity of a Treaty Tribunal to mediate disputes between iwi (tribes) and the Government. For the past 40 years the challenges of sharing and building relationships between Māori and the State have continued.
In Australia – the only Commonwealth nation without an agreement with the Indigenous peoples of the lands, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – a long history of treaty attempts have galvanised in recent times into an array of models. In Victoria, an elected First Peoples’ Assembly has started a key piece in the treaty process, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission examining history and reparations. The Northern Territory Treaty Commission has developed a treaty model and is undertaking consultations with community. In Queensland, the Treaty Advancement Committee is developing its model after securing government commitment to a treaty process. And at the federal level, an Indigenous Voice proposal is being moved forward. Each model has similarities – the need to tell truth, to embed truth in curricula and to make binding agreements – and subtle differences, and all models recognise time will be needed for these complex talks.
For National Reconciliation Week 2021, the Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity (AFSE), a lifelong, Indigenous-focused social change program at the University of Melbourne, has invited an exciting panel of leaders from these sovereign nations to take a snapshot of their respective treaty journeys.
In line with the Reconciliation Week theme, this panel is asked: If treaty is more than a word, what action will it need?