Friday, June 27, 2014

Surgery steps away from the cutting edge

No cuts, no wounds to heal, no blood loss and no extended hospital stay: that is the promise being extended by ultrasound surgery.

Monash University systems engineer Professor Sunita Chauhan, a specialist in medical robotics, says ultrasound is already used for diagnostic imaging and therapeutic purposes, but the potential of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) as a surgical technique is only just beginning to be realised.

Monash University Engineering School
Study engineering at Monash University
HIFU techniques make surgery without a scalpel possible, reducing the potential for complications inherent in any procedure that cuts into the body. However, most HIFU treatments are still considered experimental.

“It is usually offered to patients who have no alternatives,” Professor Chauhan said. “Some people do not want to have surgery and others are poor candidates for various reasons…. Some people might require multiple surgeries and you can’t operate on the same place over and over again because of the scar tissue. Or they might be offered this technique when other treatments, such as radiotherapy, have failed.”

HIFU, which uses precisely targeted soundwaves oscillating at up to 4000 kilohertz, has gradually gained acceptance in procedures to remove benign tumours in the uterus (uterine fibroids), and for tumours associated with prostate cancer.
In her research, The Monash Engineering professor is particularly interested in developing neurosurgery that does not involve cutting into the brain, or even opening the skull.

The most common sufferers of brain tumours are children and the elderly—both also high-risk candidates for conventional neurosurgery. Moreover, parts of the brain carry an extremely high risk for surgery in terms of the potential for damage to cognitive and motor functions—but these areas can be precisely targeted with robotically assisted HIFU.

Fundamental research is continuing into the mechanisms of ultrasound transmission through multi-layered brain structures, and imaging techniques to ensure the most accurate and safest targeting of lesions in the brain.

“But we’ve still a long way to go,” Professor Chauhan says. “We are still working to prove our techniques in non-critical surgeries, before we advance to the brain—our ultimate goal.”

Monash Faculty of Engineering

The Monash Faculty of Engineering is one of the largest and most prestigious centres for engineering education in Australia and provides teaching, research, professional and community services to the highest standards. Students enjoy studying at Monash University as the university is recognized as an international leader in many fields and is dedicated to preparing students for the competitive job market.

UQ researcher joins superstar line-up at US oceans conference

The University of Queensland’s acclaimed marine biologist Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg has joined US President Barack Obama and actor Leonardo DiCaprio at an international conference on ways to protect the world’s oceans.

UQ Environmental Sciences
What does the future hold for the world’s oceans?

Director of the UQ Global Change Institute Professor Hoegh-Guldberg presented the opening address at the Our Ocean Conference hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington DC recently.

He outlined the potential impact of climate change on the world’s oceans to researchers, environmental advocates and government leaders from 80 countries.

“Given the importance of the ocean to humanity, understanding chemical changes in the ocean caused by human activity couldn’t be more important,” he said.

“There are three issues that concern biologists when it comes to these changes—the rate at which it’s occurring, the timeframe it will take to come back from this and the undeniable mountain of evidence that it will affect the health and distribution of organisms and ecosystems.”

His comments mirrored those of Secretary Kerry, who said that most people didn’t realise that if the world didn’t work together to protect oceans then it ran the risk of breaking entire ecosystems.

“The good news is that at this point we know what we need to do to address the threats facing the ocean,” Secretary Kerry said. “It’s not a mystery. It’s not beyond our capacity.” 

In a video address, President Obama reiterated the need for action and called on all countries to join forces to tackle ocean issues.

“Rising levels of carbon dioxide are causing our oceans to acidify, pollution endangers marine life, overfishing threatens whole species, as well as the people who depend on them for food and their livelihoods,” he said.

“If we ignore these problems, if we drain our oceans of their resources … we’ll be cutting off one of the world’s major sources of food and economic growth … and we cannot afford to let that happen.”

Professor Hoegh-Guldberg was Contributing Lead Author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s first chapter on oceans, and  chaired the Blue Ribbon Panel for the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Oceans.

“It was a true honour to share the stage with President Barack Obama and Leonardo DiCaprio, and a privilege to be asked to provide insight into the best ways to protect our oceans for future generations,” he said.

“It will take ten thousand years to undo the effects of ocean acidification but it only took one hundred years to cause it. This is a long time to pass on a broken ocean to future generations,” Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said.

About the Global Change Institute

The Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, Australia, is an independent source of game-changing research, ideas and advice for addressing the challenges of global change. The Global Change Institute advances discovery, creates solutions and advocates responses that meet the challenges presented by climate change, technological innovation and population change.

UQ Medical School offers are out!

Yep, it’s true! OzTREKK received a boatload of Doctor of Medicine offers from UQ Medical School overnight.

Waiting for your offer? Keep your eyes on your email inbox today! Congratulations!

Still wondering if you should apply? UQ Medical School applications are assessed on a rolling admissions (first come, first served) basis. While it is recommended that applicants apply early to increase their chances of timely assessment, you are still permitted to apply as long as there are spots available!

Students who have completed their MCAT and have met the minimum MCAT requirements, and those who have completed their studies with a minimum 65% cumulative average are encouraged to apply.

Entry Requirements

  • Completed degree (Bachelor, Master, PhD)
  • GPA equivalent to 5.0 on UQ’s 7.0 scale
  • MCAT score (minimum of 8/8/8 or 8/8/M/8) or GAMSAT score (minimum of 50 in each section)
  • Compulsory consultative meeting with the UQ School of Medicine

About the UQ Medical School Program

Program: Doctor of Medicine (MD) commencing 2015
Location: Brisbane or Ipswich, Queensland
Semester intake: January 2015
Duration: 4 years

Sydney Health Sciences expands discussions for collaboration in Saudi Arabia

In April, the Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences sent a delegation to Saudi Arabia to explore opportunities for student recruitment and research collaboration, following a previous delegation to the region in October 2013, led by FHS Dean Kathy Refshauge.

University of Sydney Physiotherapy School
University of Sydney Cumberland Campus

The objective of this trip was to attend the International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education in Riyadh to expand discussions undertaken in 2013 for collaborative research projects and sponsored PhD health sciences students with major Riyadh-based hospitals, universities and industry.

Potential collaborative research projects identified during the visit included optimising breast cancer screening, early mobility of stroke patients, rehabilitation of patients with traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury, physical activity promotion in diabetic patients, lymphoedema management and mental and physical disability in children.

Professor Patrick Brennan, Associate Dean and Director International Research & Development, and Dr Martin Mackey, Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Physiotherapy, were part of the delegation. Dr Mackey is also a Sydney Health Sciences representative on the Middle East Regional Advisory Group.

Successful outcomes of the trip include recruitment of four new PhD students for the Faculty, with one beginning in semester two this year, and a further three beginning in semester one next year.
A new joint supervision PhD program was also agreed upon to be developed between King Saud University in Riyadh and the University of Sydney, as well as potential research projects with King Fahd Medical City (KFMC).

Professor Brennan identified “Progressing relationships and finalising research proposals” and “a proposal to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health that, if successful, would launch an exciting new program of research around breast cancer” as the most promising outcomes of the discussions. Dr Martin Mackey identified the progress undertaken to establish a Musculoskeletal Research Network in Saudi Arabia as the trip’s most successful outcome.

Master of Physiotherapy at the University of Sydney

The Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences has a whole campus dedicated to its programs, located on the Cumberland Campus in Lidcombe, which is 16 km from the city centre. Students entering the Master of Physiotherapy on this campus will have access to amenities such as a Health Science Library, specialized laboratories and discipline specific equipment, on-site health clinics a state-of-the-art sports centre and recreational and social amenities.

The University of Sydney offers a two-year graduate-entry Master of Physiotherapy program, which is intended for students coming from an undergraduate degree in a related field and who wish to gain the requirements to become a physiotherapist.

Master of Physiotherapy (MPT)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Duration: 2 years
Semester intake: February 2015
Application deadline: October 1, 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Upcoming medical licensing information sessions

Deciding to study medicine at an Australian Medical School is a huge decision, one that affects both the student and his or her family. OzTREKK wants to ensure our Canadian student applicants have the most up-to-date knowledge about their options to practice medicine following graduation from an Australian Medical School.

Sydney Dental School
Don’t miss the OzTREKK Medical Licensing Seminars!

Whether you would like to return to Canada or remain in Australia, those who log in to our online seminars learn about the avenues to practice medicine. We did our research and broke down the process for you, our applicants, (and your families) so that you can make an informed decision whether studying medicine in Australia is the best option for you.

OzTREKK Medical Licensing Seminars

Webinar #1
Date: Tuesday, August 12
Time: 6 p.m. (Ontario time)

Webinar #2
Date: Tuesday, September 16
Time: 6 p.m. (Ontario time)

Webinar #3
Date: Tuesday, October 21
Time: 6 p.m. (Ontario time)

Important topics covered at the seminars

  • The Australian Medical School systems and structure
  • Australian med school rankings
  • Medical degree titles such as MD and MBBS
  • Medical school rotations in Canada
  • Coming back to Canada to practice medicine
  • Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE), MCCQE1 and MCCQE2
  • The Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) program and rates
  • Provincially specific programs available to international medical graduates
  • The Australian Internship and Residency Program

University of Melbourne entrepreneurial program ranked in top 25 in the world

The University of Melbourne’s in-house entrepreneur incubator, the Melbourne Accelerator Program, has been ranked 13th in the world by the leading Swedish-based UBI Index.

The Director of Research at the UBI Index, Dhruv Bhatli, described the MAP as an exceptional program.

University of Melbourne Business School
Study business at the Melbourne Business School

“It performs really well on our global benchmark especially on access to network and competence development indicators,” he said. “Furthermore, MAP’s clients have a higher survival and growth rate and perform much better than the global average.”

MAP Manager Rohan Workman said there is a vibrant culture of entrepreneurship in Melbourne that is starting to be recognised globally.

“We’re exceptionally pleased that our hard work over the past two years has been validated by the UBI Index,” he said.

The UBI Index ranks more than 300 university-affiliated business incubators in 67 countries in three performance categories, including value to the ecosystem, value to startup clients and attractiveness of the incubator program.

In total, more than 60 program components were used to compare incubation programs, with the MAP performing highly in both access to a high-quality network and coaching services.

Of the world’s top universities (as ranked by the Times Higher Education Ranking) only the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Accelerator Program and Georgia Tech’s Venture Lab were in the list.

Mr Bhatli said successful entrepreneurial programs require broad support.

“This proves our hypothesis that creating a competitive business incubation program requires a clear focus from the university,” said Bhatli.

MAP is part of the Carlton Connect Initiative at the University of Melbourne.  More information can be found at

University of Melbourne Graduate School of Business & Economics

The  University of Melbourne Graduate School of Business & Economics provides business education of the highest quality, with a focus on programs for recent graduates and for specialist professionals. The Melbourne Institute ranked the university as having the leading Australian business and economics school, based on performance in areas including publications, citations, research grants and peer assessment.

Macquarie research determines that fish can feel pain

Do you still believe that fish are dumb and cannot feel pain? That we do not have to worry much about how they are cared for or caught? Think again, says Associate Professor Culum Brown of the Macquarie Department of Biological Sciences in a review article in Springer’s journal Animal Cognition. The research notes that fish cognition and their sensory perception are generally on par with that of other animals. Brown therefore argues that more consideration should be given to fish welfare and anti-cruelty issues.

Macquarie University biological sciences
Macquarie researcher says fish cognition and their sensory perception are on par with that of other animals.

Brown says that most people rarely think about fish other than as food, or as pets. However, they are second only to mice in terms of the numbers used in scientific research, and the more than 32,000 known species of fish far outweigh the diversity of all other vertebrates combined. Very little public concern—which is so important to inform policy—is ever noted about fish welfare issues. Brown believes this relates to incorrect perceptions about the intelligence of fish, and ultimately of whether they are conscious. Such attitudes are also influenced because humans rarely come into contact with fish in their natural environments.

Brown’s review focuses especially on bony fish. It suggests that fish are, in fact, far more intelligent than many previously believed. Fish have very good memories, live in complex social communities where they keep track of individuals, and can learn from one another. This helps to develop stable cultural traditions. Fish even recognise themselves and others. They also cooperate with one another and show signs of Machiavellian intelligence, such as cooperation and reconciliation. They build complex structures, are capable of using tools, and use the same methods for keeping track of quantities as humans do. For the most part the primary senses of fish are just as good, and in many cases, better, than that of humans. Their behaviour is very much the same as that of primates, except that fish do not have the ability to imitate.

The level of mental complexity fish display is on a par with most other vertebrates, while there is mounting evidence that they can feel pain in a manner similar to humans. While the brains of fish differ from other vertebrates, fish have many analogous structures that perform similar functions. Brown concludes that if any animals are sentient, fish must be considered to be so too.

“Although scientists cannot provide a definitive answer on the level of consciousness for any non-human vertebrate, the extensive evidence of fish behavioural and cognitive sophistication and pain perception suggests that best practice would be to lend fish the same level of protection as any other vertebrate,” concludes Brown, who acknowledges that such a move has implications for the fishing industry, among others. “We should therefore include fish in our ‘moral circle’ and afford them the protection they deserve.”

Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University

The Macquarie Department of Biological Sciences integrates research and teaching across all levels of biological organization as well as across a diversity of taxa. The department’s work links structure with function and processes that influence the evolution and ecology of organisms, using models ranging from microbes through to fungi, plants and animals. They offer comprehensive undergraduate and postgraduate education in the full range of biological disciplines, from molecules to ecosystems and the biosphere.

Master of Marine Science and Management at Macquarie University

The Master of Marine Science and Management at Macquarie University degree is suitable for students seeking a broad base in marine science as qualification for entry into the field including those wishing to gain new and specialized skills in a range of theoretical and practical applications.
  • Lets students tailor the degree to suit their interests and needs
  • Provides a unique multidisciplinary learning environment
  • Gives students access to the diverse facilities of the four participating universities and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science
It is also suitable for professionals looking to extend their area of expertise and acquire knowledge of managerial practices.

Entry requirements
  • Bachelor degree in a relevant field
  • Minimum GPA of 2.50 (out of 4.00)

Global youth reshape the boundaries says Monash sociologist

Cultural diversity is the norm for young people today: this may not always translate into easy living but neither does research support the common view of big ethnic groups clashing with each other.

Monash University sociologist Associate Professor Anita Harris, who is studying how young people deal with cultural diversity and manage conflict and change, said those in culturally diverse communities were shrugging off efforts to categorise them.

Monash University Arts
Study at the Monash Faculty of Arts
Her research is part of a four-year international project that includes Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, as well as Johannesburg in South Africa, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Prato in Italy. All are rapidly changing areas of high cultural diversity.

“Typically young people in those environments are seen as a problem. There is a lot of worry about ethnic youth gangs, young people fighting, or failing to understand each other’s backgrounds or needs,” Associate Professor Harris said.

Many young people’s sense of identity and their affiliations were in flux, she said: a mash-up of social and political networks that stretch from the local to the global, and incorporate ethnicity, religion, gender and individual interests.

The Australian component of her research has drawn on interviews with more than 100 people aged 15 to 25, from a wide range of backgrounds including Indigenous and Anglo Australians and young people with Afghan, African, Asian, European, Maori, Middle Eastern and Pacific Islander heritage.

“For this generation it is normal to be surrounded by diversity and to interact with people of different backgrounds in a way that it is not for older people. That doesn’t mean that young people in these diverse communities always get along well, or that they embrace diversity, but they accept it as normal,” the  Monash University Associate Professor said.

She found that when there was conflict it was most commonly the result of sexual jealousy, male posturing, or access to limited shared resources. Combatants might “play the race card” in the heat of conflict, but race was rarely the cause of the conflict.

“Young people weren’t saying that they didn’t fight, but talked about conflict that had been resolved, things that were in the past, but which local media or politicians would not let go of,” she says. “And the people they fought with were also, at other times, friends. The popular notion that there are big ethnic groupings clashing with each other just didn’t bear out.”

Associate Professor Harris said that when it came to the question of national identity, or “being Australian.” many young people resisted a single allegiance. Hybrid cultural identities allowed them to feel part of many different groups simultaneously, a feeling enhanced by their ability to join the flow of global youth culture, via the internet.

Monash University Faculty of Arts

Innovative programs, leading academics and a strong international presence are just some of the reasons students choose to study arts at Monash University. They will also tell you that from day one their learning journey has challenged, surprised and ultimately inspired them.

Over the past 50 years, Monash Arts has positioned itself as a faculty without borders. There are no limits on the faculty’s thinking and no boundaries on their knowledge. The faculty thrives on exploring new ways to see the world. This, combined with their extensive international connections and close to 60 areas of study, makes Monash Arts one of the most popular arts faculties in the world.

The Monash Sociology program is one of the largest sociology programs in Australia and there are more than 80 sociologists working throughout Monash. Monash is currently ranked among the world’s best sociology departments for our research.

The focus of sociology is the study of human society. It involves the investigation of human groups, communities, institutions and organisations, and the networks of meaning and association which link individuals and groups to the broader social structure of society. Sociologists are also concerned with the analysis of policy, for example public health policy, and its impact on society and individuals. Sociologists have developed a range of research methods and techniques, and theoretical approaches, that can be applied to diverse issues and problems in social life. Coursework studies in sociology at Monash aim to provide the student with a broad range of relevant and widely applicable research skills and equip them for careers in social research, government, industry and the public service.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Which Australian Medical Schools are still accepting applications for 2015?

Are you interested in studying medicine in Australia? While the application deadline for Melbourne Medical School has now passed (June 23, 2014), you still have the opportunity to apply to other Australian Medical Schools:

Australian Medical Schools in Australia
Study medicine at an Australian Medical School

University of Queensland Medical School

Program: Doctor of Medicine (MD) commencing 2015
Location: Brisbane or Ipswich, Queensland
Semester intake: January 2015
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: University of Queensland Medical School applications are assessed on a rolling admissions (first come, first served) basis. It is recommended that applicants apply early to increase their chances of timely assessment.


University of Sydney Medical School

Program: Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales (Camperdown/Darlington campus)
Semester intake: February 2015
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: University of Sydney Medical School application deadline is Friday, July 4, 2014.


James Cook University Medical School

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February 2015
Duration: 6 years
Application deadline: The application deadline for James Cook University Medical School  is August 29, 2014.


Monash University Medical School

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
Location: Gippsland Campus, Churchill, Victoria (approx. 2 hours southeast of Melbourne)
Semester intake: February 2015
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: September 26, 2014


What’s the Difference Between Undergraduate- and Graduate-entry Medical Programs?


Undergraduate Entry: Rather than having to earn a bachelor degree first, undergraduate-entry medical programs allow students to enter directly from high school.

James Cook University’s MBBS is an undergraduate-entry program that specializes in rural, remote and indigenous medicine and is located in north Queensland, Australia.

Monash University’s undergraduate-entry medical program provides a great pathway for students who are looking to gain entry into medical school directly from high school. Find out more about Monash University Medical School’s undergraduate MBBS program!

If you have completed high school studies or would like to apply to a medical school in Australia without using your MCAT score, you may wish to learn more about undergraduate-entry medical programs offered by Australian universities. Please visit OzTREKK’s Undergraduate Medicine page to learn more about undergraduate-entry medical programs.

Graduate Entry: Some Australian Medical Schools offer a graduate-entry medical program where you first have to complete an undergraduate degree, such as a Bachelor of Science, in order to apply to a four-year medical program.

New Dean heads UQ Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and IT

Internationally renowned engineering academic Professor Simon Biggs has been appointed as the new Executive Dean of The University of Queensland Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology.

UQ engineering, architecture IT
Study at the University of Queensland, Australia
Professor Biggs joins UQ from The University of Leeds in the UK, where he was Pro-Dean for Student Education for eight years.

He said he was looking forward to building on the faculty’s groundbreaking curriculum developments and outstanding research.

“The faculty is fortunate to have genuinely world-leading activities in both research and student education,” he said. “This is rare, and gives us a great opportunity to deliver a challenging research-led and problem-based curriculum.”

Professor Biggs takes over from Acting Executive Dean Professor Caroline Crosthwaite, who will return to her position as the Associate Dean (Academic).

Thefaculty’s Associate Dean (Research) is Professor Stuart Crozier, who co-invented and developed patented technology used in about 70 per cent of the world’s MRI machines.

Professor Biggs said he felt honoured to be working with a team with an outstanding reputation.
“It is my privilege to be able to work with Caroline and Stuart—two outstanding academic leaders who bring a wealth of expertise and innovative thinking into the team,” he said.

About Professor Biggs
Professor Simon Biggs is a chemical engineer and pioneer in the application of atomic force microscopy to the study of colloid particle science.  He was appointed to the Royal Academy of Engineering/BNFL Chair in Particle Science and Engineering at the University of Leeds in September 2002 after spending eight years at the University of Newcastle (New South Wales, Australia).  Professor Biggs has been Pro-Dean for Learning and Teaching at the University of Leeds since 2006.

Before his appointment at Leeds, Professor Biggs developed his research career through post-doctoral positions at the Institut Charles Sadron (Strasbourg, France) and the University of Melbourne. His undergraduate and doctoral education was undertaken in the UK at the University of Bristol from where he received a PhD in Colloid Chemistry.

Professor Biggs is an author of more than 150 refereed publications. He is the Director of Chamelic Ltd and Escubed Ltd – spin-out companies from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Leeds. He received the 2005 Beilby Medal from the RSC/IMMM/SCI for his contribution to research of practical significance.

Sydney Public Health School studies the road to poor health

As little as two hours a day behind the wheel is a potential risk factor for a range of poor health behaviours and outcomes, a University of Sydney study has shown.

University of Sydney Public Health School
Study public health at the University of Sydney

Published in PLOS One journal, the study of nearly 40,000 Australians aged 47-75 years found that people who drive for two hours or more per day are more likely to smoke, to be obese, and to be less physically active.

Lead author Dr Ding Ding, from the University of Sydney School of Public Health, said that “The research also reveals that people who drive for two hours or more daily are more likely to be stressed, sleep-deprived, have poorer self-rated health and quality of life.

“We found a dose-response relationship between driving time and a clustering of health risk behaviours, particularly smoking, physical inactivity, and insufficient sleep. The more time people spent driving, the greater their odds of having poor health and risk factors for poor health.”

People who drive more than two hours a day had 78% elevated risk of being obese, and 57% elevated risk of insufficient physical activity.

“The study’s findings are relevant to middle aged and older people who drive on a daily basis, for any reason, not just professional drivers,” Dr Ding said.

Elevated risks linked to driving two hours or more a day:
  • 78% obesity
  • 57% insufficient physical activity (less than 150 minutes per week)
  • 86% insufficient sleep (less than 7 hours a day)
  • 43% poor quality of life
  • 33% psychological distress
The observed link between driving time and health risks were independent of socioeconomic factors such as age, gender and education levels.

This cross-sectional study is among the first to examine the associations of driving time with a range of health behaviors and outcomes.

“Findings from the current study are consistent with some previous research that linked driving to cardio-metabolic health,” says Dr Ding. “However, further research is needed to confirm causality and to understand the mechanisms for the observed associations.

“This study highlights driving as a potential lifestyle risk factor for public health, and future lifestyle interventions and transportation planning initiatives may consider reducing driving time as a strategy for promoting health and well-being in the community.”

About the public health program at the University of Sydney

The public health program at the Sydney Public Health School focuses on the prevention of illness and the promotion of health, with practitioners playing a proactive rather than a reactive role, especially with regard to the coordination of relevant community resources. The program provides the opportunity to develop skills and acquire knowledge essential for the effective practice of public health, including the effective management of community health problems.

Program: Master of Public Health
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intakes: July 2014 and March 2015
Duration: 1 year
Application deadline: June 30 for the July 2014 intake; January 31, 2015 for the March 2015 intake. International applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible (a minimum of three months prior to the program’s start date).

Melbourne studies extreme weather

Variations in high-altitude wind patterns expose particular parts of Europe, Asia and the US to different extreme weather conditions, a new study has shown.

Changes to air flow patterns around the Northern hemisphere are a major influence on prolonged bouts of unseasonal weather—whether it be hot, cold, wet or dry.

 University of Melbourne Science Degrees
Changes to air flow patterns can also influence extreme rainfall

The high altitude winds normally blow from west to east around the planet, but do not follow a straight path. The flow meanders to the north and south, in a wave-like path. These wave patterns are responsible for sucking either warm air from the tropics, or cold air from the Arctic, to Europe, Asia, or the US. They can also influence rainfall by steering rain-laden storms.

Pioneering new research, carried out by the University of Exeter and the University of Melbourne, has shown that the development of these wave patterns leaves certain Northern Hemisphere regions more susceptible to different types of prolonged, extreme weather.

Dr Screen, a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and lead author of the study, said, “The impacts of larger atmospheric waves are different in different places. In some places amplified waves increase the chance of unusually hot conditions, and in others the risk of cold, wet or dry conditions.”

The study showed that larger waves can lead to droughts in central North America, Europe and central Asia, and western Asia exposed to prolonged wet spells.

It also shows western North America and central Asia are more prone to heat waves, while eastern North America is more likely to experience prolonged outbreaks of cold.

The collaborative study used detailed land-based climate observations to identify episodes of abnormal temperature and rainfall from 1979–2012 and then examined the wave patterns during these events.

Co-author Professor Ian Simmonds, from the Melbourne School of Earth Sciences, said the weather extremes they examined were month-long heat waves, cold spells, droughts and prolonged wet periods, which occurred over large areas.

He said, “The study revealed that these types of events are strongly related to well-developed wave patterns, and that these patterns increase the chance of heat waves in western North America and central Asia, cold outbreaks in eastern North America, droughts in central North America, Europe and central Asia, and wet spells in western Asia.”

“The findings are very important for decision makers in assessing the risk of, and planning for the impacts of, extreme weather events in the future.”

“Amplified mid-latitude planetary waves favour particular regional weather extremes,” by Dr James Screen and Professor Ian Simmonds, is published in Nature Climate Change.

Melbourne School of Earth Sciences

The Melbourne School of Earth Sciences was formally established in 1990, following the amalgamation of the Department of Geology (1900) and the Department of Metrology (1937). Since its inception, the School has gained a national and international reputation for innovative research and teaching in the inter-disciplinary fields of Geological Sciences and the Atmospheric & Ocean Sciences. The School offers a wide range of undergraduate Science and Breadth subjects across these discipline areas, as well as several postgraduate degrees.

Located just north of the Melbourne downtown central business district, the Melbourne School of Earth Sciences forms part of the vibrant Parkville campus environment and represents an exciting learning environment.

The Master of Science – Earth Sciences offers two streams: one in Atmospheric Science and the other in Geology. In both streams students undertake core and elective coursework subjects, at least one Professional Tools subject of choice, and a research project.

As a graduate of this program, one can find a rewarding career in government organisations, research institutions, environmental consultancies, and the oil, gas and mining industries. Potential career opportunities include
  • Climatologist
  • Energy specialist
  • Environmental consultant
  • Environmental geologist
  • Exploration geologist
  • Geological surveyor
  • Mine geologist
  • Researcher
  • Resources geologist
  • Weather forecaster

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

UQ School of Biological Sciences studies evolutionary success

Research into reef fish species diversity will provide conservationists with new information to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

University of Queensland researchers who looked at species diversity patterns through fish family trees for the past 100 million years have  found that parents who guarded their young were more likely to yield new species.

UQ School of Biological Sciences
Study biological sciences at UQ
The study’s lead author, Dr Cynthia Riginos from the UQ School of Biological Sciences, said the discovery would help protect reefs as it provided an insight into ecosystem connections.

“We compared egg-guarding fish species with those that release eggs into the water column after fertilisation,” Dr Riginos said. “We found that fish hatched from guarded eggs settled closer to home than those from floating eggs, and were more likely to yield new species in the long term; however, egg-guarding fish species are more vulnerable to threats in the short term as they are less connected to other populations.”

Dr Riginos said identifying and protecting key reef areas would be critical for the long-term survival of tropical marine biodiversity.

“This research provides an important evaluation of how different species move between separate reefs,” she said.

“Existing theories and tools for designing marine reserves suffer from a lack of information about how marine larvae move among reefs.

“These findings will help us to fine tune assessments of the connections between reefs, such as those of the Great Barrier Reef, with the aim of identifying critical areas for conservation and determining the different management strategies which are most suited for different species.”

Biological Sciences at the University of Queensland

The UQ School of Biological Sciences is situated on the St Lucia campus in Brisbane and is part of the Faculty of Science.

Academic staff conduct research in evolution, global change biology, ecology, aquaculture, behaviour, physiology, entomology, zoology, botany, genomics, development and conservation biology. World-class infrastructure, proximity to stunning habitats and biodiversity, and UQ’s tropical-subtropical location contribute to its unique working environment.

James Cook University Dental Student Association

The JCU Dental School was established at the end of 2010. Situated on the Cairns campus it is one of only three Australian universities located outside an Australian capital city, and is the only one outside the metropolitan areas of south-east Queensland. JCU Dental School’s establishment, funded by a grant of $52.5m from the federal government, includes a new purpose-built building set up on the Smithfield Campus. Its state-of-the art facilities include an 80-seat dental simulation laboratory, prosthodontics and science laboratories, dental clinic and student home group rooms. Every OzTREKK student who begins his/her studies in the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) program raves about the incredible facilities!

James Cook University Dental School
Welcome to JCU Dental School!

If you’re interested in studying dentistry in Australia, and are especially interested in caring for people who live in rural, remote, and tropical places, consider JCU Dental School. Not only do they have an amazing program, but they also have a wonderful and supportive student organisation, the James Cook University Dental Student Association.

About the James Cook University Dental Student Association


Mission Statement
“To support members of the James Cook University Dentistry School by the organisation of social events, mediating academic matters, community involvement activities and the sponsorship of attendance to appropriate conventions.”

The Committee
The Committee consists of members across all current years of Dentistry. The purpose of the committee is to organise and facilitate Dentistry-related academic and non-academic events. The committee also functions as the voice of the student body raising and discussing concerns with academic staff. Certain positions are only available to certain year levels of Dentistry.

And clearly, they know how to have fun! Check out this video!

James Cook University Dental School

The James Cook University Dental School’s Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) is a broad-based program that includes all aspects of dental practice and aims to promote improved oral health care delivery, particularly to people living in rural, remote and tropical regions of Australia. The curriculum integrates the basic sciences with dental clinical sciences and preventative oral health strategies. JCU Dental School students will have early exposure to clinical practice, with an increasing proportion of the course dedicated to clinical skills in the later years.

Semester intake: February
Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: August 29, 2014

Monash pharmacy PhD student named Victorian Young Achiever

Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD student, Lori Ferrins, has won the Science and Technology prize in the 2014 Victorian Young Achiever Awards.

Ms Ferrins won the award from a strong field of nominees and was one of seven category winners announced in front of 330 guests at the Medallion room at Etihad stadium.

Monash Pharmacy School
Study pharmacy at Monash University

Her PhD which focuses on the design of new drugs to treat human African trypanosomiasis, known as African sleeping sickness, clearly impressed the judges and it is an illness Lori believes flies under the radar.

“This parasitic disease is devastating to many isolated communities across Africa and once a village is affected by the disease it is very difficult to prevent cross-infection and this leads to the eventual destruction of the entire community.

“The overarching goal of the project is to uncover a novel, safe and potent compound that could be used in the treatment and it is this goal that drives us to complete the research,” she said.

While Lori is clearly a rising star, she is quick to heap praise on her colleagues from Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

“I am truly honoured to have received this award, the quality of the work from the other finalists was exceptionally high and the fact that I have won is something I am really proud of.

“I am a part of a great team and I could not have achieved my research outcomes without the support and guidance of Dr Raphael Rahmani, a research fellow also working on the project,” she said.

Lori’s supervisor Professor Jonathan Baell described the accolade as a just reward for her commitment and hard work.

“Lori is a young researcher with a very bright future. This award acknowledges her research and it is great to see one of our up and comers singled out as one of the best,” he said.

With less than 12 months before finishing her PhD, Lori has her eyes set on a future in medicinal chemistry and is hoping a career in research will lead her overseas.

“Once I have completed my PhD, I would like to gain further experience by travelling to do a post doc in medicinal chemistry.”

Monash University Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Monash Pharmacy School engages in world-class research and has a long history as a leading provider of undergraduate and postgraduate education. The faculty’s curriculum is purpose designed for the study of pharmacy and pharmaceutical science and taught by discipline experts.

Home to the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Centre for Medication Use and Safety, the faculty is internationally recognized for its contribution to research in the pharmaceutical science and pharmacy practice fields.

Pharmaceutical Sciences
Pharmaceutical scientists are experts in the chemistry, biology and biotechnology required to design and develop medicines. They play a key role in improving human health and well-being by researching and developing reliable, accessible and effective treatments.

They understand the impact of medicines on the body and diseases. They’re also experts in bringing safe and effective products to market.

If you enjoy solving problems, love chemistry or biology, and want to improve human health, then a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science could be your calling. It equips you to work in the pharmaceutical science and biomedical fields.

Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science rewards cats

The Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science wants to do the best for all animals, but sometimes there are special furry friends who need a little extra. Thanks to some hard work, dedication and passion, five very important cats can now enjoy luxury day accommodation and a greatly improved quality of life.

University of Sydney Veterinary School
Learn more about Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science

Louise McGregor, a nurse at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Sydney, wanted to enrich the lives of these cats, who are blood donors in our clinic. Blood donor cats play a vital role in saving the lives of seriously sick or injured feline patients at the clinic. The donor cats spend three years in residence at the clinic, after which they are given to specially selected homes to live the rest of their lives as pets. Louise saw that although these five boys were much loved and extremely well cared for by the staff, they were housed indoors. She could see that more could be done to enhance the lives of these beautiful cats; it just needed a little planning.

There were two stages in bringing her plans to fruition:
    1. In stage one of the project, Louise and the clinic staff organised a bake sale and raised $700 to provide environmental enrichment for the five cats. With a matching donation by the clinic, a selection of scratch poles, cat gymnasiums and toys were purchased for their indoor accommodation. Still seeing more that could be done, Louise approached the UVTHS Veterinary Director A/Professor Vanessa Barrs, the curator of the blood donor program Dr Sanaa Zaki, and Hospital Manager Mr Keith Merchant with her ideas, and together a plan was hatched to go ahead with stage two.
    2. With the enthusiastic involvement of the hospital and the Development Office of the faculty, money was raised through a variety of avenues: some generous donations from clients of our clinic, a checkerboard cake bake-off and a naming competition for one of the new blood donors. The students also contributed via VetSoc, the Veterinary Student Society. Due to this great combined effort, the necessary $9,000 was raised in one year, and in December 2013 the enclosure was built.
The result is a spacious indoor-outdoor cat space with grass, tree branches, a tower where cats can sit up high and observe, and an indoor space for their beds. Once introduced to their new day home, the cats showed their approval; they quickly found the sunny and grassy patches and began exploring their surroundings. Their first experience with rain was a delight—after initial hesitation, the boys ran through the rain to feel the new sensation on their backs.

The donors are in residence on a day on/day off basis, enjoying daily visits and interaction from staff members and students who wander past. The new accommodation is working well for both cats and humans, as people love spending relaxing time out in the company of these cats, and the cats get extra cuddles and play opportunities.

All five have come alive with the stimulus of the new cat hotel. “Anchovy,” previously a shy boy, has really come out of his shell and revels in the increased human interactions in the “day spa.” But even the longer-term residents have demonstrated brighter eyes and more spirit; they are thriving.

The next stage is a campaign to raise money to provide some heat lamps for winter.

About the Sydney Veterinary School

The Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science has a strong commitment to provide students with an exceptional learning environment. This ensures the very best start to a fulfilling, diverse and successful veterinary career.

Sydney Veterinary School’s aim is to ensure students are able to view issues from a population health framework, with a strong animal welfare consciousness, and provide influence and expertise at a local, national and global level.

To achieve this, the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program is designed with five broad competency themes:
  1. Veterinary Sciences
  2. Individual Animal Health and Welfare
  3. Population Health, Welfare and Production
  4. Professional Practice
  5. Research
Program title: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: March 2015
Program duration: 4 years
Application deadline: TBC by the faculty. In previous years, the application deadline for the vet science program was October 31.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Don’t miss the Bond Law School info sessions this week!

Are you curious about why so many Canadian students choose to study at Bond University Law School in Australia?

We’ve got the answers to your questions! Bond University will be in Canada this week to host their popular Bond University Law Information Sessions.

Bond University Law School
Find out what it’s like to study at Bond University

Come along to your nearest event to find out more about Bond University Law School’s renowned Juris Doctor (JD) program from International Regional Manager and Bond alumni Stuart Floyd, and take the opportunity to discover more about life at Bond University on the Gold Coast, Queensland!

Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Time: 7:30 – 9 p.m.

Date: Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Time: 7:30 – 9 p.m.

Date: Saturday, June 28, 2014
Time: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Bond Law School and Juris Doctor (JD) Program

Bond University’s Juris Doctor (JD) program is a professional legal qualification designed to equip students for a career in the legal profession, business, industry or government, in Australia and overseas. This law program features excellent teaching, small classes and an extensive legal skills program, which provides an exciting learning experience that challenges students academically and prepares them practically for a legal career.

Program: Juris Doctor (JD)
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Semester intake: January, May, September
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: There is no official application deadline. It is recommended that students apply at least three months prior to the program start date.

Sydney Medical School application deadline is only two weeks away

Hey, future Australian medical school OzTREKKers! You’ve got two weeks left to submit all of your Sydney Medical School application documents, as the application deadline is Friday, July 4, 2014* in order to meet the Sydney application deadline of July 7.

Sydney Dental School
Study medicine at the University of Sydney!

Assessment Criteria

Admission into the Sydney Medical program is offered based on three criteria:
  1. Performance in an undergraduate degree
  2. Performance in a medical admissions test (MCAT or GAMSAT)
  3. Performance in an interview
1. Performance in an undergraduate degree
Students can apply to the University of Sydney Medical School if they have completed a bachelor’s degree in any discipline, and have achieved a grade point average (GPA) of 5.5 out of 7 (or equivalent) from a recognized university. The grade requirement, according to the medical school, is equivalent to a GPA of 2.7 out of 4.0.

Students from a wide variety of undergraduate studies are welcome and encouraged to apply.

NEW: Sydney Medical School has decided to continue their trial including the results from coursework master degrees in the calculation of the GPA. The trial will be limited to international applicants who are applying in 2014 for enrolment in Sydney medical program in 2015. During the trial, international applicants who hold a master’s degree by coursework as well as a bachelor’s degree will be permitted to either
  • nominate their bachelor’s degree for use in the GPA calculation, or
  • nominate that both their master’s and their bachelor’s degree be used in the GPA calculation.
2. Performance in a medical admissions test (MCAT or GAMSAT)
Students must achieve a minimum performance in a medical school admissions test:
Most North American-based applicants choose to sit the Medical Colleges Admissions Test (MCAT), although international applicants can complete either the MCAT or the Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admissions Test (GAMSAT).

Sydney MD applicants must meet a minimum level of achievement in the admissions test to be eligible. The minimum score required for the MCAT for the 2015 intake is 8/8/8 or 8/8/M/8. MCAT test results from January 2012 onward will be accepted for the 2015 intake.

3. Performance in an online interview
The Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) aims to sample a candidate’s competencies in order to gain a more accurate picture of strengths, weaknesses and suitability for the Sydney medical program.

Application deadline for the 2015 intake: July 7, 2014 (10 a.m. Sydney time)*
Last test date of MCAT for 2015 entry: May 31, 2014
Interview invitations: July 16 – 19, 2014
Interviews held: July 28 – August 1, 2014 & August 4 – 5, 2014
Offers will begin to be sent: August 11, 2014
Late round interview invitations: September 29 – October 2, 2014
Late round interviews held: October 13 – 15, 2014
Late round offers: October 20, 2014

Don’t forget the Sydney Dental School application deadline!

Only two weeks left! The application deadline for the the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program at the Sydney Dental School is Friday, July 4, 2014!

Application Timeline

Application deadline for the 2015 intake: July 7, 2014 (10 a.m. Sydney time; July 4, 2014 Canada time)
Interview invitations: July 16 – 19, 2014
Interviews held: July 28 – August 1, 2014 & August 4 – 5, 2014
Offers will begin to be sent: August 11, 2014
Late round interview invitations: September 29 – October 2, 2014
Late round interviews held: October 13 – 15, 2014
Late round offers: October 20, 2014

Monash clears the air for a smoke-free environment

As Monash University values the health of all staff, students and visitors, we are taking another step towards a healthier environment.

Monash University in Australia
Monash University aims to be smoke-free by 2016
From July 28, 2014, smoking will be prohibited at any Monash campus or site, including Monash vehicles, except for the designated smoking points. This applies to all staff, students, contractors and visitors.

Under the smoke-free initiative, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, water pipes and electronic nicotine devices will be prohibited, along with any other implements that emit harmful or toxic smoke for the purpose of inhaling. Substances that contain tobacco leaf, including hookah tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, bidis, blunts and clove cigarettes, will also be banned.

All cigarette bins and ashtrays will be removed, except for those at the designated smoking points.

Transitioning to a smoke-free campus requires respect for others, both non-smokers and smokers. After July 28, 2014, you are free to respectfully and politely remind smokers that they must only smoke at designated smoking points.

The second and final phase of the smoke-free initiative will be implemented following a consultation process with stakeholders, with the removal of smoking points in 2016.

Monash University actively supports staff who wish to quit or reduce smoking through a range of services. University Health Services, counselling, and funded workplace QUIT programs are all available to staff.

Friday, June 20, 2014

University of Melbourne to get new accommodation facilities

A 648-bed student accommodation facility will be built in Carlton under a new agreement between the University of Melbourne and Campus Living Villages (CLV) in a 38-year Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) contract.

University of Melbourne Australia
Learn more about the University of Melbourne
The agreement with CLV will enable the University of Melbourne to substantially increase accommodation for its students and enhance the student experience on campus. The project is a key component of the University’s overall Student Accommodation Program.

It is the first time the University has opted into a BOOT scheme to provide new, high-quality, affordable student accommodation options to domestic and international students as part of its long-term strategy to provide at least 2,000 new student beds by 2020.

The new 14-storey student accommodation facility will be developed on the site located at 108-128 Leicester Street and is expected to be completed in late 2015 and opened in time for Semester 1, 2016.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis said student accommodation was extremely important to the life and vibrancy of the University.

“CLV brings the highest level of international expertise in developing student accommodation projects. We look forward to working closely with CLV to achieve our vision for the facility,” he said.

The University’s Senior Vice-Principal Ian Marshman who has oversight of the Student Accommodation Program said the project was in line with the University’s ambition to offer a student experience of unmatched quality.

“As well as the provision of beds, the development of this facility South of the campus aims to enhance the urban amenity and contribute to a greater level of ‘24/7 life’ within the area,” he said.

The Leicester Street facility will offer students a coordinated resident life program to build a sense of community within the facility and strong connections with the University, its campus and an enhanced experience of the Melbourne CBD. This will include sporting and social activities, cultural and art events and volunteering opportunities.

CLV Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Heffernan said: “We are very pleased to be working in partnership with the University of Melbourne. This is a partnership two years in the making. We look forward to applying our global experience to provide quality facilities and a supportive residential community for University of Melbourne students.”

“It was important to both CLV and the University that the design of the accommodation achieved a 5 Green Star Sustainability Design Rating,” Mr Heffernan said. “Features such as high performance insulation and glazing systems, solar panels, cross ventilation, and high efficiency fixtures and fittings have been incorporated into the design to achieve this important environmental rating.”

The new facility, which will be built by Watpac Construction, will offer extensive common room spaces, ground level retail outlets, secure access and staff support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

State Manager for Watpac Construction in Victoria Nick Pavlovic said the work undertaken to date would see the delivery of an exceptional facility that meets the 5 star Green Star Rating for a multi-unit residential complex and was planned to maximize solar access and amenity.

The new BOOT contract with CLV follows an announcement in March that the University had purchased an 11-storey tower at 303-305 Royal Parade and five terrace houses at 80-90 The Avenue, Parkville from the Salvation Army. These sites will provide an additional 200-300 student beds by as early as 2017.

About the Leicester Street Student Accommodation facility:
• 648 bed student accommodation facility
• 14 levels of accommodation plus ground level common areas
• A mix of Studio, 1, and 4 bedroom units will be available within the development
• Site has an approximate total area of 3600m2
• Estimated completion date: end 2015, opening February 2016

Enactus Bond takes its eco-friendly message to Robina Primary School

A group of socially and environmentally active Bond University students from Enactus Bond will be visiting Robina State Primary School this week for the third time to help educate the young students on how to be more eco-friendly.

Bond University environmental sciences
Bond University Sustainable Development

The visit, which is part of Enactus’ Eco-kids project, will be the largest held at the school, with all the Year 6 classes participating —more than 100 children in total. The students will be involved in a range of interactive and practical activities that focus on re-using and recycling materials.

These activities are hugely beneficial for the children, as in addition to helping them to create a more environmentally friendly future, they also get to sharpen their teamwork and problem solving skills and are encouraged to become more responsible and proactive.

Earlier this year, the Eco-kids team visited a class of Year 2 students from the same school to help teach them the importance of saving water, all the ways we use water in our daily lives and the need to be conscious of the amount of water we waste.

The Eco-Kids project started in September last year, when the Enactus Bond team decided they wanted to create a project that involved children.

“We believe in the power that kids have to make a difference in the world,” said the project leader for Eco-Kids, Stephanie Smith.

“The best way to start changing the world we live in is by changing the community around us, which is why we’re running this project with local Gold Coast schools,” she said.

“Robina State Primary School was the first school to agree to get involved in this project, and both Robina School and Enactus Bond are really happy with the outcomes.”

Bond Enactus member, Christopher Talia, said it was a hugely rewarding experience to be part of the Enactus Bond team.

“The Enactus Bond team is determined to make a real impact in the world, and there is no better way to start achieving this than by educating young schoolchildren,” he said.

“We’re really keen to expand and grow the Eco-kids project here on the Gold Coast and spread the word about eco-friendly activities like recycling and water conservation amongst schools and the broader community.”

Bond University Sustainable Development Building
As we move into the future, Bond knows that ensuring a balance between human needs and the environment is of the utmost importance.

Understanding the practices of sustainable development will become a necessity for all professionals. Bond University’s Sustainable Development building seeks to embody world’s best sustainable processes, becoming an example for the future and a working laboratory for the eco leaders of tomorrow.

The building at a glance:
  • First in Australia to achieve a 6 Star Green Star – Education PILOT Certified Rating for design by the Green Building Council of Australia.
  • Interactive ‘Living Laboratory’ where students and the community can learn more about the future of development.
  • Energy consumption is minimized through the use of natural light and mixed mode ventilation.
  • Water tanks and a grey water recycling system means less reliance on the local water supply.
  • Extensive use of recycled materials, including recycled timber and loose furniture, as well as low-emission paints and environmentally friendly carpet.
Students are encouraged to undertake relevant work experience or internships as part of their degree. Bond professors can help arrange placements through their extensive industry contacts. This program also includes a real-world client-based project.

University of Sydney Business School course challenges students to help the poor

Postgraduate students are being told to “radically rethink” many traditional business principles and focus on a five trillion dollar international market that has been all but ignored by the world’s investors.

The four billion people in the developing world who exist on less than five dollars a day, says Associate Professor Ranjit Voola, provide the private sector with an enormous opportunity to genuinely engage with them in alleviating poverty and making profits.

University of Sydney Business School
Study at the Sydney Business School

Dr Voola has developed a unit titled “Poverty alleviation and profitability” for approximately 50 students engaged in the CEMS Masters in International Management. CEMS in an elite global alliance of 29 business schools which includes the University of Sydney Business School.

“This unit is unique in its content in Australia and the University of Sydney Business School is among the first CEMS partner to introduce this into its curriculum,” he said.

“The unit is aimed at encouraging students to radically rethink the traditional business focus on prosperous middle class markets and engage with the world’s poor,” Dr Voola explains. “We are not talking about exploitation but rather a novel role for business in poverty alleviation.”

Dr Voola says that while poverty alleviation had been the exclusive domain of not-for-profits, governments and multinational organisations like the World Bank, there is now both moral and economic imperative for businesses to become involved.

As examples of how business can engage with the poor, profitably, Dr Voola points to the Safaricom/Vodofone M-Pesa venture in Kenya, which allows money transfers and access to microfinance via a mobile phone. “This enhances financial literacy and financial inclusion, amongst the poor,” he said.

Another firm, Saathi, a small start-up has developed an innovative way of providing Indian women with affordable access to sanitary protection and a sustainable business.

“A lack of access to affordable sanitary protection robs around two hundred million Indian women of vital work and education opportunities,” Dr Voola explains. “Saathi has developed a way of making sanitary products from banana fibre and it has partnered with local women, who buy the machinery, manufacture the products and distribute them. This business model, engages the poor as both consumers and as producers.”

The Sydney Business School professor admits that “poverty alleviation and profitability” is challenging students to rethink all that they have been taught about business priorities and business risk in a developed marketplace like Australia and Europe.

“We are asking them to consider a business strategy that targets illiterate people with very little money who currently operate in an informal economy,” he says. “We are also asking them to base their engagement with these people on social justice principles.”

“The UN and others in the field now recognise that the private sector will eventually have a leading role to play in the alleviation of poverty,” Dr Voola concludes. “By 2050, the world’s population is forecast to be 9.3 billion, with a significant percentage who are poor.”

Master of International Business  at Sydney Business School

The Sydney Master of International Business will equip you with the knowledge and skills to advance your career to the global level in industry, government and non-government organisations.

The Master of International Business is a specialised program tailored to students seeking to build a career with a global outlook. It is also appropriate for more seasoned managers who are looking to progress their global learning curve and to advance their skills in managing culturally diverse employees and teams.

Program: Master of International Business
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Duration: 1.15 years (60 weeks)
Semester intake: March or July
Application deadline: June 30 for the July 2014 intake; January 31, 2015 for the March 2015 intake

Entry requirements
A successful applicant for admission to the Master of International Business will hold a bachelor’s degree, graduate diploma/certificate in commerce/business or equivalent from a recognized post-secondary institution with a minimum credit (65%) average.

Australia placed to be world water management leader

Improved water productivity and increased export incomes are at the heart of a new National water management blueprint launched at the University of Melbourne recently.

The Blueprint for Regional Water Productivity launched by Minister for Environment, The Hon Greg Hunt will position Australia as a world leader in water resource management.

Melbourne water resource management
Study environmental sciences at Melbourne!

The Blueprint will provide an innovative and collaborative framework relevant from the farm scale to the national level and will guide efforts to tackle a range of water management issues.

The Blueprint was developed as part of the Carlton Connect Initiative led by Professor Peter Scales from the Melbourne School of Engineering.

“We have some major objectives in mind. We want to look at irrigated and rain-fed agriculture that takes maximum advantage of variable water availability. We need to move towards environmental water management that is underpinned by a strong evidence base,” he said.

“The project will also look at efficient water distribution and markets that promote multiple benefits and planning that will enrich regional communities.”

Achievement of the objectives will result in a more sustainable approach to economic development and help create more resilient regional communities.

Master of Environment – Integrated Water Catchment Management

With global climate change and more extreme weather conditions, water catchments have never been under more pressure, and professionals with skills in their management are in high demand.

Catchment management involves the integration of sound biophysical information with social and economic analysis. This is used to achieve the best outcomes for a catchment’s natural resources and the people who live and work there.

Students studying Integrated Water Catchment Management major in the Master of Environment will look into the functioning of catchments and the constraints to improving catchment management; particularly, how these constraints can be eased.

Integrated Water Catchment Management is appropriate for professionals working in soil and water regulation, land management, and conservation in the private and public sectors. It is suitable for students with a first degree in physical science, life science, social science, engineering, forestry, horticulture or agriculture.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Australasian veterinary schools lead the future on welfare and ethics teaching

James Cook University’s School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences will share in a significant research grant designed to improve the teaching of animal welfare and ethics for future veterinarians.

JCU Veterinary School
Learn more about JCU Veterinary School

The Federal Government recently approved a $378,000 Office for Learning & Teaching (OLT) research grant to produce nationally shared curriculum resources for veterinary undergraduate learning in animal welfare and ethics.

All of Australia and New Zealand’s eight veterinary schools are involved, and the project is being led by the University of Sydney.

JCU’s team leader on the project, Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Behaviour, Welfare and Ethics, Dr Janice Lloyd, said animal welfare involves the psychological and physical well-being of animals.

“Concern for animal welfare is based on knowing that animals are aware and can feel pain, and that consideration should be given to their well-being,” Dr Lloyd said.

“This project will improve Australia’s international standing on animal welfare issues.

“For example, there is growing public concern about the treatment of animals from puppy farming to the live export industry, and the Australian community looks to veterinarians as leading advocates for the welfare of all animals, so this generous funding could not have come at a better time.”

Dr Lloyd said the project aimed to keep veterinarians in Australia and New Zealand well informed about a wide range of animal welfare issues so they can apply what they learn in veterinary school when they are making decisions about an animal’s well-being as qualified vets.

There will be many subjects taught throughout all year levels, depending on the participating school’s preference.

The research project is being led by the University of Sydney in collaboration with JCU, Charles Sturt University, Massey University, The University of Queensland, The University of Melbourne, The University of Adelaide, and Murdoch University.

Each participating university will play a leading role? in developing themes mandated by the Federal Government’s Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS) including Animals used for work, sport, recreation or display; Animals in the wild; Companion animals; Livestock/production animals; Aquatic animals; and Animals used in research and teaching.

“The combined experience and expertise from all veterinary schools will be pooled together using an online teaching portal that will reflect world’s best practice. Each school will use the resource differently but essentially a national curriculum will be created to help standardise the teaching of welfare and ethics.”

Dr Lloyd said she had just attended the project’s first workshop in Sydney along with the other team members from all of the veterinary schools.

“It was really collegial and productive, and the next step is for the theme leaders to come up with some teaching scenarios that can be imbedded and tested in the online portal,” she said.

“Ultimately we hope to offer the learning resources to our undergraduate and graduate veterinarians to reshape veterinary education to help ensure our graduates are competent in the often tricky field of making ethical decisions about animal welfare.

“The World Organisation for Animal Health has recently acknowledged the importance of teaching welfare and ethics in veterinary schools, and the World Society for the Protection of Animals, with the support of the World Veterinary Association, is currently looking at ways to develop international standards for teaching animal welfare in veterinary schools around the world.

“So this funding provides a wonderful opportunity for JCU to show itself as a Centre for Excellence in the teaching of animal welfare and ethics in a global sense.”

James Cook University Veterinary School

The JCU Veterinary School has offered the Bachelor of Veterinary Science program since 2006. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills to diagnose, treat and prevent disease in a wide range of animals including companion animals, farm animals, aquatic species and native fauna. In addition, students will acquire a thorough knowledge of animal production systems, particularly tropical animal husbandry and aquaculture.

James Cook University’s veterinary science program offers state-of-the-art teaching facilities in a new veterinary emergency and referral clinic on the Townsville campus and a specialist large-animal treatment facility on the tablelands, which provide clinical experience and training for final-year students.

Program title: Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc)
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Program duration: 5 years
Application deadline: September 30, 2014