Vehicle child restraint- not as easy as click-clack

Date: 24/10/2002

Raising awareness about how to secure children in motor vehicles is one of 24 projects recently completed by University of Western Sydney students in the local community.

Megan Mansfield, a communications student from Bella Vista, found that many people did not know how to operate the child restraint through a sample survey in Blacktown.

She then collaborated with officers from the Road Traffic Authority (RTA) to run workshops where families learnt to apply the restraint.

"The RTA officers conducted the lessons while I organized events attracting families and parents in various suburbs. Some sessions were full with more than 100 participants while others attracted fewer numbers, around 15.

"It was a definite learning curve for me and not as easy as a click-clack," says Megan.

Megan was among several UWS students who were recently given special recognition for making a difference, combining their studies with practical industry and research experiences.

The students have been involved in various community projects, helping businesses and government organizations to undertake research in various areas, through the UWS Cooperatives Program.

Some of the initiatives that were given special recognition include Westbus transport trend analysis and linen distribution in hospital wards in the Western Sydney Area Health region.

The students have provided the UWS industry partners with crucial information on which to make strategic decisions.

Cooperative Programs manager, Freny Tayebjee, sees this exercise as a stepping-stone into the real world for UWS students.

Industry partners are often too busy to develop a new project or do research. Instead they rely on the UWS students to provide the answers while learning. UWS academics play a supervisory role in some projects, she says.

The program has established links with 270 industry partners where more than 500 students have been involved.

Ms Tayebjee says the underlying aim of the program is to provide industry research opportunities for students and to strengthen links with industry for UWS.

"The valuable research experience spurs students to achieve their potential and gives them a competitive edge."

Research and Information officer at the Penrith City Council, which has sponsored 33 projects in the past four years, Ray Richardson says, "The UWS Cooperative Program students provide us with excellent data through their research which helps Penrith City Council to make better informed decisions.

"The students fit in easily and make a valuable contribution to the outcomes of our programs. We count on UWS students undertaking research projects for us every year."

For more information contact:
Freny Tayebjee on:
Phone: (02) 96787646

For more media information contact:
Asha Chand
Senior Media Officer
Phone: 9678 7473