Masters Research


Recent Submissions

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    Perspectives on Key Competencies of Quality and Food Safety Internal Auditors: Adding Value for Continuous Improvement
    (2022-04-01) Dever, Nerolie

    The internal audit program is a fundamental component of a business’s quality and food safety management program and its effectiveness is based on the competencies of those that conduct the audits. The focus of this research is to explore and identify the key competencies that a quality and food safety internal auditor should possess, which will contribute to an effective internal audit program. Also, it determined if there are differences in the internal auditor competencies selected by Shopfloor, Middle Managers and Senior Managers. The research field was two manufacturing sites of Sanitarium Health Food Company, a leading Australian food and beverage manufacturer.

    The position of being an insider researcher was examined, and mitigation measures used throughout the project were identified. A sequential explanatory mixed methods approach was undertaken. A short questionnaire was distributed initially to obtain the base data, and this was enriched by information sourced from semi-structured interviews. The 11 essential qualities that the research identified a quality and food safety internal auditor should possess are: good verbal communication skills, an ability to collect and analyse information, a knowledge of the processes being audited, being truthful and accurate, having an eye for detail, integrity, acting professionally, having an ability to get along with people, having a knowledge of audit principles and procedures, being ethical and ensuring audit results are based on evidence, not hearsay. Of these, the majority were from the personal skills category thus confirming the criticality of an internal auditor having people skills. The research identified that Shopfloor people consider relational skills more important, while Middle and Senior Management attached more importance to the process of conducting and reporting on an audit.

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    The Impact of a Lifestyle Education Program (CHIP) on Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors: An Australasian Study
    (2014-12-01) Carrasco, Cheryl A.

    In 2011, 45,600 deaths were attributed to cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Australia (ABS, 2013). CVD causes disability and death, as well as creating a financial burden to the individual and also to the health care systems. The current treatment of CVD is a predominately medical approach involving the use of pharmaceuticals and cardiac surgery. It is widely recognized that CVD is largely a disease of comfort, caused by poor lifestyle choices (Choi, Hunter, Tsou, & Sainsbury, 2005). Given CVD’s lifestyle origins it is not surprising that an estimated 70 - 90% of coronary episodes can be avoided through positive lifestyle choices ( Aldana et al., 2006). Residential lifestyle education programs, such as those which are delivered at the Pritikin Longevity Centre, have demonstrated success in reducing CVD risk factors through lifestyle modification, however these programs are expensive and separate the participants from their “home” environment. The CHIP intervention is a lifestyle education program that can be delivered inexpensively by volunteers and operates in a community setting so that participants are educated on making positive lifestyle choices while living in their normal living environment.

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    Chemistry Experiences of First-Year Nursing Students: The Interplay of Self-Efficacy, Anxiety, Prior Chemistry Experience and Academic Performance - A Mixed Method Approach
    (2012-11-01) Boddey, Kerrie

    Previous research has established that students with a limited science background find chemistry difficult, with many nursing students experiencing anxiety and a lack of confidence when faced with studying chemistry as part of their degree. One strategy employed by the institution where this research was conducted to help alleviate stress and build confidence in students with a poor chemistry background has been to offer a non-compulsory, 3-day chemistry bridging course prior to the beginning of the semester.

    With Social Cognitive Theory and Cognitive Load Theory acting as a theoretical framework and employing a mixed method approach operating within a pragmatic paradigm, the purpose of this research was to investigate the chemistry experiences of first-year nursing students enrolled in a chemistry course in order to determine relationships between the key variables of self-efficacy, anxiety, prior chemistry experience, perceptions of chemistry and academic performance. The effectiveness of a 3-day chemistry bridging course was examined in light of these findings.

    A pilot study was conducted to develop appropriate chemistry self-efficacy and anxiety instruments. In the first phase of the predominantly explanatory sequential design of the main study, quantitative data (N=101) from the Chemistry for Nurses Self-efficacy Scale (CNSS) and Chemistry for Nurses Anxiety Scale (CNAS) obtained at the beginning and end of the chemistry component of Health Science I and qualitative data in the form of focus group interviews based on prior chemistry experience (N=27) were collected in parallel. During phase two, individual interviewees (N=6) reflected on the integrated findings from Phase 1. Factor analysis revealed four chemistry dimensions: cognitive self-efficacy (CS), laboratory self-efficacy (LS), test anxiety (TA), and laboratory anxiety (LA). The laboratory dimensions and demographic variables proved to be of little predictive use, but significant correlations were found between CS, TA, prior chemistry experience, perceptions of chemistry and academic performance. t-tests showed an increase in CS and enjoyment for all academic performance and prior chemistry experience groups as a result of studying chemistry in Health Science I.

    Further, TA decreased for the total cohort. Hierarchical regression showed that CS xviii and TA measured at the end of the course accounted for an additional 20.4% of the variance in academic performance after controlling for cognitive capacity and prior knowledge. A path model for academic performance was derived. In addition, themes of ‘connectivity’, ‘reductivity’ and ‘reflexivity’ emerged from the qualitative data, giving rise to a dynamic and interactive model for ‘learning and academic performance’ in chemistry. The 3-day bridging course was shown to be successful inraising CS due to the acquisition of foundation knowledge allowing participants to begin the semester at a level comparable with students who studied senior chemistry. Benefits in academic performance were noted for bridging course attendees when the distribution of scores in the low, average and high achievement groups was examined.

    These findings have implications for chemistry educators, particularly of the novice student, and recommendations for implementation are made.

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    A Reflective and Quantitative Investigation of Relationships Between Aural Dictation, Sight Singing, Performance and Composition Skills
    (2012-01-01) Rogers, Melissa Jo

    This study combined two independent investigations into the relationships between aural dictation, sight singing, performance and composition skills. The first investigation involved the composition of a suite of piano pieces as a means of reflecting on the functional relationships between these skills. These reflections found evidence for strong relationships between skills. The second investigation involved results obtained from the NSW Board of Studies Music 2 2010 and 2011 HSC Examinations. Data was taken from the mandatory aural dictation, sight singing, performance and composition examination tasks. The statistical correlation between each task was examined with the highest correlations being between aural dictation and sight singing. Further analysis of top achieving students found that top results in multipart aural dictations were the best predictor of high achievement in other skill areas including sight singing, performance and composition.

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    The Perceived Value and Use of Public Open Space in High- and Low-density Communities
    (2019-12-01) Smedley, Lyndall Kate

    The way in which residents value and use public open space is relevant to many urban and recreation planners. As rapid population growth occurs in urban areas, public infrastructure often becomes strained. It is fundamental that urban and recreation planners understand the wants and needs of a community in order to provide well-planned public open spaces. The aim of this study was to understand the differences between how residents in high- and low-density areas value and use public open space. This knowledge can be used by urban planners to design public open space to provide a space which positively impacts the health of future communities. This cross-sectional study explored the perceived value and use of public open space in high- and low-density communities in a select area within the Blacktown local government, New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Population growth in this area has been rapid and ongoing. High-density housing developments are proposed as a solution to this demand. A questionnaire was developed for the study and then distributed to a purposive sample of 1089 high- and low-density residents, resulting in 159 responses. Residents’ responses to the questionnaire covered the topics of public open space usage and value, as well as self-reported health data. Responses were analysed using descriptive statistical methods and comparative techniques. Results indicated that all respondents valued their local public open space, however public open space was used differently by residents depending on their level of housing density. The results of this research may be utilised by local governments, policymakers and planning agencies who are working in communities where rapid population growth is occurring, to guide the provision of public open space specific to the needs of their communities. Future research could involve the replication of this study within other local government areas to expand the body of knowledge surrounding the differences in public open space value and usage between high- and low-density communities.

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    A Profile Comparison of Perceptions Regarding What Constitutes Effective Worship Team Leadership Held by Adventist Church Stakeholders: Similarities, Contrasts, and Suggestions for a Direction for More Effective Development of the Role
    (2008-10-01) Courtney, Lee-Anne

    As church programs have become more complex and varied, the variety of roles and number of people involved in church management and leadership has also increased. The worship team leader is one of these emerging roles. As a result of these changes it has become essential that more attention be given to the design and implementation of educational programs aimed at raising the incumbent’s understanding of, and personal competence for, conducting these roles in an effective and co-ordinated fashion. As a first step in designing educational programs for worship team leaders it is expedient to develop a holistic view of the present situation.

    This research project, then, is firstly aimed at generating a profile of the perspectives held by various stakeholders (Local Church and System Administration Pastors, Worship Team Members, Local Church Leaders and Congregational Members) within the North New South Wales (NNSW) Conference of Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Churches, relating to the practice of and education programs for worship team leaders. Along with this the research explored the stakeholders’ understandings of the characteristics of an effective worship team leader. Finally, the respective stakeholders’ perspectives of effective worship team leadership were compared with that presented in the literature.

    The results of this research investigation indicated that (i) across the various stakeholder groups there is an inconsistent and quite limited understanding of the theological foundations for such a function as a worship team leader; (ii) there are very few commonly held beliefs by the various stakeholder groups regarding what qualities and characteristics are considered to be important to the effective 4 functioning of a worship team leader; and, (iii) significant differences exist between ‘highly valued characteristics’ espoused by prominent and reputable authors and those advocated by the respective stakeholders. Indeed, what emerged from the literature was that an effective worship team leader is, firstly, a person that grows, both spiritually and professionally, and encourages others to grow. In contrast, the stakeholder groups highlighted the need for containing and managing problematic aspects of worship ministry.

    Finally, it is recommended that education programs that facilitate a process where stakeholders become reflective and self-directed life-long learners in both spiritual and practical matters pertaining to the worship life of the local church. This program of education should be designed and implemented in response to the varying needs of the different stakeholder groups.