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Thursday, June 24, 2021

‘Grim picture’ for ACT homeless

Safe Shelter ACT has closed its doors for 2018, having provided emergency shelter every night in either Braddon or Ainslie at one of three locations for 95 homeless men for a total of 743 ‘guest nights’.

In 2017, Safe Shelter ACT took in 60 total guests for 381 guest nights, with shelters only open Monday to Friday.

Safe Shelter ACT says 50 guests stayed for less than a week, moving onto more permanent accommodation. However, 10-15 guests returned to the shelters over several weeks, and 21 stayed for months, suggesting that welfare agencies were unable to make contact or help them find accommodation. Several of the long-term guests were refugees, who had difficulty accessing help due to language and cultural barriers.

Safe Shelter ACT says there is great need for immediate, walk-in shelter for the ACT’s homeless every night, and follow-on arrangements are often disjointed and ineffective in getting people into permanent accommodation, painting a ‘grim picture’ for homelessness in the ACT.

A full report is being prepared, while preparations for winter 2019 will begin shortly.

UC climbs rankings

The University of Canberra (UC) has risen in international rankings, with the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankingsplacing UC among the world’s top 300 universities.

UC now sits in the 251-300 band, up from its place in the 351-400 band in 2018.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Deep Saini said the result was particularly impressive for a university that is only 28 years old.

“It reflects how far we’ve come in a short time, since our institution only gained university status in 1990,” Professor Saini said.

An increase in research influence is the main factor behind the higher ranking, with UC scoring 95 out of 100 for “citation impact”, the highest among Australian universities.

“Our researchers are putting UC on the world stage,” Professor Saini said. “They are researching ways to solve real-world problems and their work is having an impact.

“The increase in citation impact is indicative of the quality, breadth and depth of their research, as well as its impressive, fast-growing influence and reach. It’s a marker of the regard in which the university’s research is held globally.

UC was recently named the top university in the ACT for graduate full-time employment and starting salaries.

Search for ‘7 wonders’

Three Canberra sites – Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial and the National Museum of Australia – have been nominated in Australia’s largest ever online travel poll, trying to determine the ‘7 Wonders of Australia’.

                The poll, by online travel company Experience Oz, asks Australians to select from a shortlist of 50 iconic Australian natural sites, landmarks and architectural icons submitted by tourism organisations nationally.

The wonders will be selected based on criteria that consider the “level of recognition, natural, architectural or cultural value, desirability and aspiration, rarity and uniqueness and tourism value of the wonder”. Voting closes on Sunday 7 October.

To cast a vote, visit experienceoz.com.au/7Wonders

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