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UON Student Living was excited to launch its ResTalks speaker series with nationally renowned science commentator Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki on 28 July, 2015.

The new program was initiated by the Student Living Support team to inspire, and expose residents to innovative ideas from high-profile speakers, who are passionate about issues directly impacting young people. The ResTalks concept is in the spirit of the TEDTalks philosophy (an Edwards Hall tradition) and focuses on ‘ideas worth spreading’.

Dr Karl’s interactive presentation centered on ‘Science Mythconceptions’ impacting the youth of today and was well patronized by the residential community, with 300 residents turning out to see the popular scientist at the Griffith Duncan Theatre.

Josh Crompton, an on campus residential leader for UON Student Living, described Dr Karl’s passionate talk as “entertaining and interesting.” Josh explained that Dr Karl called for the audience as individuals to take charge of their future, “the worlds future” and emphasised how “achievable renewable energy” is within the power of individuals “to create real change.”

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For one on-campus resident Jack Gonzo, real change began as soon as he returned to his Edwards Hall residence and downloaded f.lux, a computer app that regulates the production of blue light waves from a computer screen. Jake explained how this app can assist in having a good night’s sleep. “Our eyes are highly receptive to the blue light given off by computer screens which reduces melatonin production thus keeping us awake and throwing off our sleep cycles. The f.lux app reduces the blue light waves basically allowing us to fall asleep”

ResTalks, in conjunction with the iLead International Leader Series events organised throughout the year by other units at the University of Newcastle, will give on-campus residents an additional avenue to broaden their minds and aspirations, supplementing their university studies.

The UON Student Living Support Team aims to deliver two speakers in semester 2, 2015 and four speakers throughout 2016 with each speaker covering a diversity of ideas and topics.

The success of Dr Karl has inspired the team to invite further prominent keynote speakers to continue to engage with the on-campus student community. The ResTalks Wish List includes comedian Josh Thomas, Australian of the Year 2014 recipient and sports personality Adam Goodes, Journalist Tracey Spicer and burns survivor Turia Pitt. For more information on ResTalks contact UONStudentLiving@newcastle.edu.au