Home' InDaily : November 18th 2010 Contents Research
Head of News and Media
m 0417 784 044
Ashton Claridge, iStockphoto.com
The Media Team
m 0434 101 516
m 0434 109 963
Mixing culture with cocktails in Asia
Popularity usually carries the sense of
being well liked, but among teenage girls,
popularity can hinge on an entirely
different set of factors.
A survey of female students at two
Adelaide secondary schools found that
being considered popular with boys can
be the most important aspect in the
estimation of fellow students. But having
a reputation for anti-social behaviour can
also be a source of esteem.
Professor Larry Owens of the School of
Education said some studies in the US
and Europe that used interviews and
observational techniques had found that
attributes of popularity, such as public
visibility, prominence and prestige, were
not necessarily related to being well liked.
“In fact you could be disliked but still
popular, in the sense that people wanted
to associate with you,” he said.
To explore the concept locally, the
researchers surveyed a middle class school
and one in a lower socio-economic area.
When nice does not mean popular at school
“We got the kids to work out what
characteristics they associated with
popularity and with unpopularity,” Professor
One strand, dubbed “Barbie Girl popularity”
by the researchers, saw students give high
ratings to factors such as attractiveness,
popularity with boys, having fashionable
clothes, having well-to-do parents and
access to money.
“Being well liked is not necessarily crucial,”
Professor Owens said.
“And being well behaved and liked by the
teachers could make you unpopular, so there
is a streak of rebelliousness in there as well.
Kids in both schools showed up in this group.”
A distinct second group, however, emerged
from the lower income school. “Mean
popularity” derived from factors such as
smoking, drug and alcohol use and even
fighting with other girls.
“There’s a more anti-social element to it,”
Professor Owens said.
Performing in the nightclubs of South
East Asia’s capitals was not only a
lucrative circuit for Australian performers
in the 1950s and 60s, but constituted de
facto cultural exchanges between
Australia and its near neighbours.
A research project by Flinders Drama
lecturer Dr Jonathan Bollen is devoted to
tracking down the artists and troupes of
performers who toured the nightclub
circuit that centred on Hong Kong,
Singapore and Manila, locations chiefly
determined by the stopovers of early
passenger air routes to Europe and Japan.
Dr Bollen said that some of the names he
has traced are still familiar.
“But many of the Australian performers
are unknowns or are not well
remembered: there were a lot of couples
doing adagio or acrobatic dances,” he said.
Dr Bollen said some of the dancers traded
on what Toni Lamond called “the mystique
of white flesh in the Orient”; Queenie
Dancers of the Bubla Ballet perform in Singapore
in 1956. Source: The Straits Times Reproduced
with permission of Singapore Press Holdings Ltd.
Professor Larry Owens
Paul’s 1953 touring troupe of Sunkissed
Cuties certainly fell into this category.
The traffic wasn’t all one way; in the
1950s, Australian promoters began to
bring out Filipino singers and bands to
tour Australian hotel chains. Pilita
Corrales, who Dr Bollen interviewed in
Manila, even made the dizzying heights
of Graham Kennedy’s TV variety show.
Dr Bollen said touring performers often
had to adapt their acts to local tastes.
“Many of the touring singers sang in
multiple languages,” Dr Bollen said.
The audiences, too, were mixed: ex-pats
rubbed shoulders with local business
people and regional business tourists.
Dr Bollen said the period coincided with
the founding of national theatres in
many countries, and the two strands
presented a fascinating contrast
“The nightclub world was cosmopolitan,
and was potentially mixing and
hybridising cultures: the governmental
projects were producing folkloric styles
of performance in which national
distinctions were very clearly made.”
“These kids don’t do well in school, and
the middle-class values of getting a good
education and going to university are
not in their experience.
“They are not getting their rewards in the
mainstream, so they go to more
hardcore, anti-social activities, putting
them at risk for juvenile delinquency and
2 | Vol 21 No 10 November 2010
... continued from page 1
Flinders supplying antibodies to world
Since its inception some 40 years ago, the
Department of Human Physiology has
been engaged in making antibodies
against proteins and small peptides for
various research projects undertaken by
its key researchers, mainly in the areas of
neuroscience and lung physiology.
Antibodies, proteins found in blood and
other body fluids, are the body’s first line
of defence in fighting foreign objects such
as viruses and bacteria.
Although they are critical components of
the body’s immune system, they have
now become an important part of a
The Polyclonal Antibody Facility is
emerging as an important supplier of
antibodies for research internationally.
Facility Director, Associate Professor John
Oliver told Flinders Journal that “in the
early period, antibodies made by
researchers were unavoidably produced
in excess to their needs”.
“Many of these antibodies were simply
stored away and not fully exploited nor
used for the greater good of discovery in
medical research,” Associate Professor
“However, during the past 10 to 15 years,
the Department has formed what is now a
successful small operation selling these
earlier antibodies, as well as engaging in
the preparation of new well-characterised
and highly specific novel antibodies for use
by researchers within the Department of
Human Physiology, in Flinders University,
nationally and internationally,” he said.
“With the help of Flinders Partners [the
University’s commercialisation arm] we
now supply antibodies to distributors in
the US, UK, Germany and Canada who
on-sell them to the international
With the approval of the University’s
Animal Welfare Committee, the Antibody
Facility uses the Flinders Animal House
and operates under their strict code for
ethics and quarantine regulations.
Animals, usually sheep or rabbits, are
immunised with selected proteins.
“We can see through blood tests the
amount of antibody the animal is
producing. When it is producing sufficient
antibody, we harvest plasma from blood,”
Associate Professor Oliver said.
Once the antibody has been isolated,
purified and characterised by chemical/
immuno techniques, it is freeze-dried
and packaged for transport along with
Dr Kaewkla isolated some 570 cultures
from a variety of native eucalyptus, pine
and apricot trees.
She then undertook a range of gene
sequencing, biochemical and
physiological tests and discovered 30 new
species of bugs – four of which have
already been recognised internationally so
far – and the new genus.
all customs and quarantine
The Facility has 46 different products from
27 antibodies that are distributed
internationally through companies such
as Millipore in the US and Abcam in the UK.
Flinders Partners Senior Associate, Dr
Sinead O’Connell said the financial return
to the Antibody Facility is used for
support of ongoing research in the
Department of Human Physiology, to
assist students travelling to scientific
conferences, for teaching purposes, and
to purchase small items of equipment
that can be used by all members of
“The convention is to name genera after
the place of discovery, and so Flindersiella
it is,” she said.
Professor Franco said work continues to
find out what compounds the genus
“The discovery also opens up an ecological
examination, too. Why is this particular
bug in the plant? What is its usefulness?
Associate Professor John Oliver and research assistant Nusha Chegeni
“It’s a real coup and shows the outside
world that the Medical Biotechnology
group at Flinders can isolate new strains
that are potentially very useful to
agriculture, pharmaceuticals and
Cover photo: Dr Onuma Kaewkla
Links Archive November 17th 2010 November 19th 2010 Navigation Previous Page