6 merry apps to download this holiday season

Oh deer, Christmas is almost here!  

It’s a busy time of year with presents to buy (and wrap), a gazillion parties to attend, family to visit and food to prepare.

To help you stay merry and bright during the holiday hustle and bustle, we’ve sleighed through the best Christmas Apps for 2018.

From festive recipes to DIY gift wrapping, we’ve made a list (and checked it twice) of apps that will give you clause for celebration.

Christmas Food

By: Mobtopus
Cost: Free
Available: Google Play 

Need some #FoodInspo for your big celebrations? This app is chock full of tasty traditional Christmas recipes.

DIY Christmas Decorations

By: Doknow…
Cost: Free
Available: Google Play 

Unleash your creative side and make easy DIY and up-cycled Christmas decorations. If you are on a tight budget, use this app to DIY a cute Christmas gift for your friends and family. Thoughtful, personal and inexpensive!

Christmas Countdown!

By: VisialSoft
Cost: Free
Available: App Store

If you’re a true Christmas lover, you’ll be counting down the days… hours… minutes. You’re going to need more than just an advent calendar! Christmas Countdown will take you down to seconds and even heartbeats!

Gift Wrapping Tutorial

By: Peli Ngacengan
Cost: Free
Available: Google Play 

From basic to advanced – use DIY Gift Wrapping Ideas to assist you through the gift wrapping process, with tutorials as well as design and packing ideas.

Message From Santa!

By: Fist Class Media B.V.
Cost: Free
Available: App Store and Google Play 

The children in your life will love this app. You can request free personalised phone calls or video messages from Santa!

Christmas RADIO

By: MyIndieApp.com
Cost: Free
Available: App Store and Google Play 

What’s on your party playlist? This app has got you sorted!

World Energy Conservation Day

Globally, 14 December marks World Energy Conservation Day – a day to highlight the importance of energy consumption and its impact on the sustainability of global ecosystems.

We can all do our part in energy conservation on the individual level – check out these tips by WWF and the Australian Government for some ideas.

However, there’s also conversation around energy conservation at a larger scale. One significant issue in energy conservation under discussion is around how buildings, particularly government or public buildings, can be retrospectively re-fitted to significantly reduce their energy and water consumption.

Interested? The following snapshot of open access research, held in Griffith Research Online, reflects some of the conversations being held around energy efficiency and building retrofits:

You can read more Griffith University research on energy conservation here.

Get free tutoring and feedback on drafts with Smarthinking

Did you know that you can get free personalised tutoring and feedback on drafts, 24/7, with expert online tutors?

We know, sounds too good to be true, right? But it’s not! It’s Smarthinking.

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Griffith students seeking advice on improving their writing skills, with options to:

  • submit your writing for detailed review
  • request an appointment with a tutor, or
  • submit questions online.

A tutor will then respond within 24 hours. The tutors can review your assessment pieces, and provide you with comments and suggestions for your writing including:

  • paragraph, standard essay or long essay review
  • grammar and documentation review.

Remember, though, the tutors are there to help you improve your writing – they’re not going to edit, proofread and fix your work though. That’s up to you! And an essential uni skill.

Follow the instructions on the Smarthinking webpage to access the service.

In addition to the Smarthinking service, the library also has a range of online self-help resources available, such as:

Logan campus turns 20!

It’s a very special day today – it’s our Logan campus’ 20th birthday!

To celebrate, we thought we’d bring you a bit of Logan campus history.

– – – – – – – – – –

Significant population growth in Logan City and surrounding areas in the early ’90’s gained the attention of elected powers. By 1993, with around 40% of the Logan population under 20 years of age, the Queensland and Australian Governments made establishing tertiary centres in this south-east Queensland area a priority.

In late 1994, Griffith University was asked to assist government in planning higher education facilities, not just for Logan City, but the entire Brisbane-Gold Coast corridor.

A hastily prepared and yet detailed master plan was released so that construction could begin in mid-1996. However, many challenges were faced along the way, including uncertainty over government and securing funding, constructing the campus and actually organising the staffing, academic structure, enrolments and teaching details for the University campus!

Despite the many challenges, by the end of 1998, all major construction and infrastructure works for Stage 1 had been completed at a cost of $38 million.

Logan campus was officially opened on 11 December 1998. 500 foundation students commenced at Logan studying 13 different courses. In many ways, Logan campus was an ‘experiment’ in tertiary education and continued our long tradition of innovative and alternative approaches to university education.

For example, the study areas offered had been developed in detailed consultation with local students, businesses and community groups. Over 4000 local year 11 and 12 students from the Greater Logan area responded to a Griffith University survey about what they wanted to see from a university in their area.

The campus held its first graduation ceremony in 2001 with 184 students graduating.

– – – – – – – – – –

Find out more about Logan campus and Griffith’s history on the Griffith Archive website.

Fastrack your research using our Library Guides


Imagine a place that had all your study guides ready to go; key information, databases, resources at your fingertips.

Well, lucky the trusty Griffith librarians are on it. Two words.

Library. Guides.

Our Library Guides compile all the databases and key information resources you’ll need for your subject area into one centralised area. Just go to the Borrowing and Resources library page and select your discipline under Library guides.

You can select a broad discipline, such as science and technology, or further narrow your selection to a specific subject, such as information technology.

This will help to ensure you’re not wasting time on research that isn’t the exact piece of information you need. Yep, we can hear you asking, ‘where has this been my whole life?!’

We have library guides for the below disciplines; click within the discipline for further subject-specific guides.

Notice something phishy? Here’s how to report it

Did you know that Australians spend nearly seven hours a day on phones, computers and tablets? (ABC News). That’s a lot of scrolling, clicking, liking, swiping, avoiding cyber-scams…

Griffith University’s cybersecurity team work hard to protect you online, but they need your help too.

If you’ve noticed activity that seems a little ‘phishy’–perhaps received an email, telephone call or strange request which doesn’t seem quite right–report it!

Why should you report a cyber security incident?

It helps protect our data, devices, identities and helps us keep on top of new threats as they evolve.  Also, reporting an incident can help reduce the potential for damage to the University by allowing the incident to be quickly brought under control.

What types of incidents should you report?

Anything that seems off, for example:

  • phishing emails
  • lost or stolen devices (such as laptops or unencrypted USBs)
  • unauthorised system access
  • unintended information disclosure
  • password compromise
  • malware or ransomware
  • a cybersecurity attack, such as a website defacement or other intrusion.

How to report an incident

Simply contact Griffith’s IT Service Centre:

  • email: ithelp@griffith.edu.au
  • phone: (07) 3735 555
  • online form.

Provide whatever information you are aware of based on:

  • what you observed or know about the incident
  • dates and times
  • people and places involved
  • any impact you are aware of
  • any other background information.

Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, and we all need to be aware of suspicious attempts to obtain personal or university information in order to stay cybersafe. Let’s face it, no one enjoys having their data encrypted or losing money in an online scam.

For more information visit our cybersecurity website or email cybersecurity@griffith.edu.au.

The road to marriage equality

Same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia last year, following a nation-wide Marriage Law Postal Survey. However, the road to marriage equality and to changes in state and federal laws affecting same-sex couples, started prior to federation in 1901.

Whilst there have been many milestones along the road, the social, political and personal reverberations of the Marriage Law Postal Survey will continue into the future.  These reverberations will be explored by an expert panel on Monday 10 December 2018 at a Lightning Talk, being hosted at the Gold Coast by Griffith Review and Griffith Library (we suggest you register to attend!).

The evolution in social, political and personal attitudes and approaches towards same-sex couples is also illustrated in academic research.

The below snapshot of open access research, held in Griffith Research Online, reflects both this evolution, as well as personal experience in relation to religious freedom and same-sex relationships:

Coding desire: The emergence of a homosexualaubculture in Queensland, 1890-1914 (2007)

  • Several homosexuality-related cases brought to Queensland courts between 1899 and 1914, are analysed to explore the emergence of a homosexual subculture due to interaction of homosexual men from the fluid rural and urban spheres. The behavioral codes and patterns used by such men to attract other similar men also contributed to the emergence of the subculture.

The socio-political evolution of lesbian reality in Queensland into the 21st century (2010)

  • A photo documentary project collecting and publishing the stories of lesbian-identified-women who experienced living in Queensland in the pre-feminist era through to present day, and how they perceive the era to have defined their reality in the 21st century.

Money up front and no kissing (2014)

  • In the last three decades, gays have become increasingly mainstream. Gay representations are now commonplace in the popular media. Money Up Front and No Kissing asks how an interpretation of this legitimacy might be enhanced by creative practice. The study begins with Dennis Altman, Australian queer culture theorist’s 1982 observation of a ‘new homosexual’ emerging in the decade after the birth of the gay rights movement.

The formal recognition of sex identity (2014)

  • Until March 2014, it was widely assumed that a person’s sex could only be recorded in the Australian state and territory Registers of Births, Deaths and Marriages as either female or male. This assumption is no longer accurate, following two significant developments.

The ebb and flow of homophobia: A gender taboo theory (2014)

  • A key challenge for gender theory and practice is to explain the circumstances in which homophobia either intensifies or declines. In addition to the important theoretical implications of such an explanation, being able to clearly delineate the mechanisms that drive the ebb and flow of homophobia, raises the prospect that one day it might be possible to eradicate this important antisocial problem.

When Christianity and homosexuality collide: Understanding the potential intrapersonal conflict (2012)

  • Reconciling sexual orientation with religious and spiritual beliefs can be challenging for Christian homosexuals, since many Christian churches teach that homosexual behavior is sinful. This article seeks to explore the potential conflict between Christianity and homosexuality faced by the respondents of a quantitative study of Christian homosexuals (male and female). Participants’ life stories and experiences varied widely.

A better understanding of the potential conflict between Christianity and homosexuality (2011)

  • Most organised religions, including Christianity, still regard homosexuality as being against their teachings, as sinful and contrary to scripture. Thus, the matter of reconciling sexual orientation with religious and spiritual beliefs can be a very challenging and complicated process for those homosexual persons who uphold Christianity as their religion. This paper seeks to explore the potential conflict between Christianity and homosexuality faced by the respondents.