Friday, August 29, 2014

An Hour with the Expert: University of Melbourne Facebook chat

Are you wondering what it’s like to study at one of the world’s most highly ranked universities?
The University of Melbourne will be hosting hour-long Facebook chats—An Hour with the Expert!

University of Melbourne
Learn more about the University of Melbourne

This is a great way to find out more about the following programs:
  • Speech Pathology – Monday, Sept. 1 @ 3:15 p.m.
  • Public Health – Tuesday, Sept. 2 @ 3:15 p.m.
  • Audiology – Monday, Sept. 8 @ 3:15 p.m.
Check out Time Zone Converter to find the time in your location:

Speech Pathology

Master of Speech Pathology program is designed to provide comprehensive training in all aspects of speech pathology and to produce graduates who are ready to enter the profession. The first year of the course provides the scientific background in anatomy and physiology, auditory and acoustic phonetics, linguistics, speech and language disorders, clinical practice and processes. The second year builds on the specialized knowledge acquired in first year, develops clinical skills and introduces students to research methods in the field.

Program: Master of Speech Pathology
Location: Parkville campus, Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: September 30, 2014


Melbourne Audiology School’s audiology program focuses on developing professional skills through a large program component of comprehensive clinical training. Clinical skills are supplemented by coursework and lectures that introduce students to graduate-level research methods, while maintaining a strong level of scientific acumen expected of students in the health sciences at the University of Melbourne.

Program: Master of Clinical Audiology
Location: Parkville campus, Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: September 30, 2014

Public Health

The Melbourne School of Population and Global Health aims to strengthen the understanding, capacity and services of society to meet population health needs and to improve the quality and equity of health care. The population health approach recognizes that health is a capacity or resource rather than a state, a definition which corresponds more to the notion of being able to pursue one’s goals, to acquire skills and education, and to grow. This broader notion of health recognizes the range of social, economic and physical environmental factors that contribute to health (Public Health Agency of Canada).

Program: Master of Public Health
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February/March
Duration: 1.5 – 2 years (depending on background of candidate)
Application deadline: While there is no set application deadline for this public health program, applicants are strongly encouraged by the University of Melbourne to submit their applications a minimum of three months prior to the program’s start date.


For more information about these Facebook chats and to register, visit and look for your program of interest!

UQ researchers’ water additive on the nose with concrete sewers

A team of University of Queensland researchers has found a way to save water providers hundreds of millions of dollars a year by reducing sewer corrosion. Team leader and Deputy Director of UQ Advanced Water Management Centre (AWMC) Professor Zhiguo Yuan said sewer systems were recognised as one of the most critical infrastructure assets for urban societies.

“Maintenance costs for these concrete sewers run into the billions of dollars a year across the world,’’ Professor Yuan said.

In a paper published in the leading international journal Science, the research team shows that a common coagulant added in the drinking water treatment, aluminium sulfate, can be a key contributor to the sulfate levels in sewage.

“This, in turn, is the primary source of hydrogen sulfide, which creates rapid concrete degradation and is the main cause of global sewer corrosion,” he said.

“This could be avoided by switching to sulfate-free coagulants at little or no extra cost compared with the large potential savings in sewer maintenance and corrosion costs.

“To get to this point, we performed a two-year sampling campaign in southeast Queensland, an extensive industry survey across Australia, a global literature review, and a comprehensive model-based scenario analysis of the various sources of sulfate.”

Coagulants are added in the drinking water treatment process to remove turbidity from the water.

University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the publishing of the team’s paper in Science was recognition of the high-calibre of research that had been undertaken and underscored the importance of industry collaboration.

“Strong industry partnerships at both researcher and institution level allow us to better leverage resources and facilities and to ensure the benefits from excellent research flow to end users,” Professor Høj said.

“What Zhiguo and his team have achieved is a perfect example of a successful industry collaboration that has added the ‘plus factor’ to excellent research and delivered an innovative, cost-effective solution to a global problem.

“We call it the path from excellence to excellence-plus.”

Established 10 years ago, Professor Yuan said the AWMC’s sewer research team had received more than $10 million in funding from industry and research grants.

“A decade ago we established the ‘Putting Science into Sewers’ research program and, since then, we have delivered more than $400 million in documented savings to the Australian water industry, with much more to come,” he said.

“We are particularly pleased that we were able to simultaneously achieve both academic and industry impact in the same research program—something that we have always strived to achieve.”

In undertaking sewer research, The University of Queensland partnered with The University of New South Wales, The University of Newcastle, The University of Sydney, Curtin University of Technology, Barwon Water Corporation, CH2MHILL, City of Gold Coast, Hunter Water Corporation, Melbourne Water Corporation, South Australian Water Corporation, South East Water Limited, Sydney Water Corporation, Veolia Water, Water Research Australia Limited, and Water Corporation of Western Australia.

Master of Integrated Water Management

The Master of Integrated Water Management program aims to build future leaders in water management with an emphasis on working either in rural international development, in urban water policy and management, or across stakeholders in the context of integrating water resource management for water, food, energy and environment. The program draws on the expertise of international leaders in education and research across a wide breadth of disciplines, taking a trans-disciplinary whole-of-water-cycle approach that equips students with practical tools and skills for developing and managing the implementation of innovative solutions to local, regional, national and international water challenges. Graduates will be part of a growing and vibrant global professional network of alumni, lecturers and institutions, with continued access to a pool of expertise and opportunities for professional development. For more information, visit the IWC website (  

Program: Master of Integrated Water Management
Location: Brisbane, Queensland  
Duration: 1.5 years
Semester intake: February  
Application deadline: November 30, 2014

Sydney Medical School students finish the race

How long does it take to walk 100 km of Australian bushland—in the rain?

University of Sydney Medical School
The Walking Med, pumped and ready to go!

Two OzTREKK Sydney Medical School students decided to find out, and did it for a great cause!  Oxfam works to find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive. They save lives and help rebuild livelihoods when crisis strikes, and campaign so that the voices of the poor influence the local and global decisions that affect them. Oxfam works with partner organisations and alongside vulnerable women and men to end the injustices that cause poverty.

University of Sydney Medical School
Adam’s selfie: So far, so good!

In order to assist people who live in poverty, Oxfam holds Trailwalker around the world. The Sydney Medical School students, Kate and Adam, along with two others, volunteered their time for this worthy cause and participated in the Oxfam Trailwalker Australia, Sydney.

While the weather wasn’t spectacular, the four med students pressed on, crossing New South Wales countryside and bushland in the rain and muck. When asked if they had taken photos for OzTREKK, they replied, “Not surprisingly, we didn’t take a whole lot of them as it was raining and gross and we were somewhat delirious the longer things went on!”

University of Sydney Medical School
Kate: What’s a little rain?

When you realize how far these students walked (on sketchy terrain), you can understand their delirium!

The Walking Med finished in 38 hours and 58 minutes (no sleep!) and raised more than $3,000 for Oxfam to help them continue their efforts to give people the education, tools and nutrition they need to raise themselves out of poverty!

This is what being an OzTREKK student is all about!

Good on ya, guys! We’re proud of you!

University of Sydney Medical School
Congratulations, guys!

Newcastle researchers look at new asthma therapy

A new therapy developed by Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) and UK-based respiratory researchers has recorded a marked reduction in acute asthma exacerbations triggered by the common cold. The international Phase 2 trial of a synthetic anti-viral "interferon," inhaled via a nebuliser, proved most effective in helping patients with more difficult asthma when they developed a virus or cold-induced attack.

Interferons are proteins that effectively 'interfere' with a virus's ability to interact with host cells and then spread. They also occur naturally as part of the body's immune response.

"We're not interested in curing the common cold—or rhinovirus as it's known—we want to limit the negative effect it has on asthma," Conjoint Professor Peter Wark, co-director of the University of Newcastle's Priority Research Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases, said.

"Around eighty per cent of acute exacerbations are triggered by respiratory tract infections and our existing treatments are, at best, only partially effective."

The Phase II trial, conducted in Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne and eight sites in the United Kingdom, in association with the University of Southampton and Imperial College London, asked patients to send an SMS text at the onset of cold-like symptoms. Patients were then assessed within 24 hours and administered either the interferon or a placebo.

The results, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, have encouraged the researchers to further explore the susceptibility and response factors.

"We didn't see a large benefit in everyone with asthma, especially those with already mild asthma," the University of Newcastle researcher said. "But in those whose asthma was more severe and difficult to control, the response was far better—we saw a significant reduction in their asthma exacerbation.

"The question is, where we go from here? People who are most at risk of virus-related acute asthma are not well defined and we think more work needs to be done."

A follow-up trial, starting soon, will aim to determine which patients respond better to the therapy while also looking for biomarker signatures. Professor Wark believes nebulised interferon could be applied to other patients with chronic respiratory diseases that suffer from recurring viral infections, including cystic fibrosis and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder).  

Professor Wark is a senior staff specialist at Hunter New England Health and a member of HMRI's VIVA program. HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.

Partnership accelerates drug delivery research

A recent visit by world-renowned polymer chemist Professor Sébastien Perrier was the latest step towards consolidating joint research in nanomedicine that is underpinned by the Monash Warwick Alliance.

Professor Perrier, who has been awarded four prestigious scientific awards spanning four continents in the past 12 months, visited Monash University in June to strengthen his research with Professor Tom Davis from the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Monash University Pharmacy School
Study at Monash’s Parkville Campus

The long-term collaborators are both Monash Warwick Alliance Joint Professors. Professor Perrier is based at the University of Warwick’s Department of Chemistry while Professor Davis is based at MIPS. They spend considerable time at each other’s university.

Together they design, create and test nanomaterials that can deliver therapeutics drugs directly to a disease site. These materials, designed on a scale at 1/1,000,000 of a millimetre, are set to revolutionise how we diagnose and treat conditions from cancer to heart disease.

Professor Perrier said meeting face to face with his Monash colleagues was essential for strengthening and progressing his research with Professor Davis’ team.

“During my visit we developed a joint research program with a variety of short- and long-term targets, discussed potential PhD projects, and identified funding opportunities,” Professor Perrier said.

It also meant he was on hand to help his new research manager, Dr Joaquín Sanchis-Martínez, settle into the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, where he will play a pivotal role.
“Dr Sanchis-Martínez spent three months training with me at Warwick to ensure our research is coordinated across the two groups,” Professor Perrier said.

Professor Perrier’s visit extended to the Department of Materials Engineering and School of Chemistry at Monash University, as well as CSIRO, all relevant to polymer research.

Recognised as an outstanding polymer chemistry scientist, Professor Perrier has received the Le Fèvre Memorial Prize from the Australian Academy of Science and the Royal Society’s Wolfson Research Merit Award. In the next two months he will be officially awarded the IUPAC-Samsung Young Polymer Scientist Award from the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, and the Biomacromolecules/Macromolecules Young Investigator Award from the American Chemical Society.

This year alone he has already published seven research papers in leading journals such as the Journal of the American Chemical Society and Polymer Chemistry.

Professor Perrier said he was looking forward to returning to Monash later this year for a two-month stay at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

The Monash Warwick Alliance is an innovative approach to higher education that is accelerating the exchange of people, ideas and information between Monash and Warwick Universities.

Monash University Faculty of Pharmacy and 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.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

OzTREKK students review the Melbourne DVM

Have you applied to the Melbourne Veterinary School? Wondering what the program is like? Don’t take our word for it! Read our student reviews about the Melbourne DVM! (P.S. Check out the star ratings—these students are serious!)

2014 Intake Reviews
“Love my program and the weather so far! I will definitely add more favourites to my list. Love the program, very hands on and the professors are very personal. Melb uni has an amazing teaching staff. I am already getting a lot I hands on experience and am able to talk to every professor on a one on one basis.”

University of Melbourne Veterinary School
Study veterinary medicine at the Melbourne Vet School

“Program, weather, Canadian students. Dislike- New & there are many things to get used to. Like- set number of students for program, and instructors/prof. all seemed to be consider students and subjects carefully. I would recommend Melbourne if anyone is interested in Vet Medicine.”

“I like the new culture, the weather and the Australian plants, trees, and animals! Everyone here is super friendly, as well and helpful when I get lost (which has been quite often in the first month of arriving!). I love my DVM program. I feel that the instructors truly care about how each student is progressing and that the University has put a lot of time and effort into planning an amazing hands-on and comprehensive program to teach future veterinarians. I feel confident that the DVM program at the University of Melbourne will prepare me to be the best future veterinarian that I can be. I would tell Canadians that this program focuses on veterinary skills from day one. They combine practicals skills and theory which is a great method to allow students to fully understand and appreciate both. I would also tell them that in going to the University of Melbourne for DVM I am fortunate enough to do more dissections, surgeries, techniques etc. than I would attending other DVM programs, allowing me to perfect these skills prior to starting my veterinary career.”

“I am in love with my program as we are one big family. It is so personal in comparison to my undergraduate degree where the few individuals I met in my program were through labs and I did not see them outside of school. In contrast, my fellow students in Vet Med are my support group and my best friends. We help each other study and get through the hard times. The University has organized our various groups (practicals, case studies, labs, mentor groups…) so that we are a mix of international students and locals. This way I can relate to people living so far from home but also get to know the Australians and know the area much better. I would tell other Canadians how practical the course is in comparison to other Veterinary Schools. After our first week, we were administering oral medication to dogs and sheep. We have also been exposed to horses and sheep and taught how to listen to their gut sounds in order to determine if there are any abnormalities present. Furthermore, we have 12 weeks of placement to complete, which the University has hundreds of enterprises on record that are willing to take students, some of which provide accommodation. During welcome week, the University went above and beyond catering to International students. We had dinner with the dean and a trip to the Zoo just to name a few events. Each event had students from upper years to guide us around the city and to talk to about their previous experience as first years and what to expect.”

“I love having the opportunity to travel and experience another country while studying and completing my life long dream of becoming a veterinarian. I have a great group of friends, other international students and Australians that make my experience amazing! I love University of Melbourne. The professors make every effort they can to get to know the students. They are very approachable and want you to succeed. My program is very intense but I like the way everything is integrated. I would tell other Canadians if they have the opportunity to study in Australia to take it! I have loved every minute of it. Melbourne is an amazing city, very clean and the people are friendly. Australia is a lot like Canada and very easy to get around. University of Melbourne is amazing and I am still in shock at the fact the DVM faculty involves themselves with the students. It makes learning much easier when the professors are mentors that are there for you every step of the way. ”
“I love my uni and my program because I’ve always dreamed about going to DVM at University of Melbourne! I love how friendly people are here. I love the city of Melbourne because there’s always something to do and somewhere to go. I love that I see cafes everywhere and that I can get very good coffee on my way to school. I love Queen Victoria Market which is only 2min walk from where I live! Every day is like a festival there. I like the staff and professors here. I feel very lucky to be taught things I never knew by intelligent professors every day. I have worked very hard in Canadian university, but I work even harder here. I need to try to be on top of everything every day or else it would be really hard to catch up in last two days before the quizzes. I don’t think I could work this hard if it was for something I was not sure I want to do. I have wanted to get into this program and so I feel very lucky and it’s my pleasure to be here. So I recommend that you get into the right program for you and that you can do your best for it.”


University of Melbourne’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program

Program title: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: Late February/early March
Program duration: 4 years
Application deadline: December 23, 2014. Note: If you are interested in the Melbourne DVM program for the 2015 intake, it is advised that you apply as soon as possible in order to allow yourself time for the pre-departure process should you receive an offer.

Australian Hearing Hub celebrates Hearing Awareness Week

To celebrate Hearing Awareness Week (Aug. 24 – 30), the partner organisations of the Australian Hearing Hub (AHH) hosted an open house event on Saturday, August 23.

Macquarie Audiology School
Macquarie University Australian Hearing Hub

As 1 in 6 Australians are impacted by hearing loss, the open house focused on healthy hearing, with opportunities for the local community to explore the amazing features of the North Ryde facility, arrange free hearing screening tests and a range of other hearing-related services offered within the hub.

The day was designed for all ages, with everything from a jumping castle to tours of the hub’s anechoic chamber, a purpose-built room not often open to the public, where sound is completely absorbed to provide true silence.

As this event is one of the first for Hearing Awareness week, The Hon Jillian Skinner MP will open the festivities at midday. A range of short talks will also explore different topics, including stories from local ‘Hearing heroes’, such as Macquarie University student Leah McConnell.

Leah’s journey with hearing loss started early: when she was 11 months old, Leah and her family were hit with the news that Leah was profoundly deaf in both ears. She was enrolled into an early intervention program and started a hearing aid trial, before receiving her first cochlear implant at four years of age.

It was still an uphill struggle for Leah to be accepted by the hearing world, but she was determined not to let her hearing loss place any limitations on what she could achieve. Now, she is studying at Macquarie University to become a teacher, and shared her inspirational story at the event.

Hot topics covered a range of hearing-related talks during the open house:
  • How to protect your hearing at home, work and play
  • The Interactive Ear: Hearing loss and hearing technology made easy
  • Dealing with child and adolescent anxiety
  • Key ideas in early language development
  • How to help kids with dyslexia/reading difficulties

Other highlights of the celebration included
  • free hearing screening tests for adults and children;
  • volume safety testing on music players and headphones; and
  • free activities for children, including a jumping castle, face painting and more.

The Australian Hearing Hub

The Australian Hearing Hub unites researchers, educators, clinicians and innovators with expertise in audiology, speech pathology, cognitive and language sciences, psychology, nanofabrication and engineering sciences.

Macquarie University’s Australian Hearing Hub is a global leader in speech, hearing and language research. The Australian Hearing Hub leverages the university’s extensive international expertise in language sciences and cognitive sciences research, and in clinical research and professional training teams in audiology and speech language pathology.

Program: Master of Clinical Audiology
Location: North Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: February
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: October 31, 2014

Sydney Engineering researchers study recycling to benefit agriculture

Urine could be successfully recycled to fertilise crops according to University of Sydney civil engineering researchers who have examined the effectiveness of reusing nutrients from the human waste.

University of Sydney Engineering School
Find out more about civil engineering at Sydney

Dr Federico Maggi, senior lecturer in the Sydney School of Civil Engineering and expert in environmental modelling says there is growing evidence that the use of human urine in agriculture is completely viable.

“Our preliminary results indicate that human urine can be effectively used extensively in agriculture to reduce the production and use of mineral commercial fertilisers.

“It contains the highest levels of nutrients among all the human excreta and yields considerable amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These are the most essential nutrients for the growth of plants, and substantially all micronutrients plants need for healthy growth,” the Sydney Engineering lecturer explained.

The researchers believe the model they have developed could be used to increase the effectiveness of urine fertilisation as well as crop yield, substantially lowering costs in terms of supplied nutrient.

Fiona Tang Ph.D. candidate, who studied the use of urine during her Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree, explains: “In human urine we have complex compounds that can be broken down into simpler molecules that plants and crops actually want to take up as their food source. Soybean, cabbage, cauliflower for example flourish with it.”

As part of her undergraduate studies Fiona conducted a survey investigating attitudes towards the use of human urine as a substitution to mineral fertiliser. She found there was a high acceptance level to its application in agriculture.

“Human waste has been used as organic fertiliser since ancient times. Its use in agriculture is still commonly practiced in many areas around the world, including parts of Southeast Asia and Africa,” Fiona says.

“Over seventy percent of the respondents in the survey were very positive towards the idea of applying human urine in agriculture and were willing to buy and consume crops grown by urine-based fertiliser,” she says.

Fiona says that unless we find alternatives to phosphorus or a similar mineral the world will potentially run out of these natural resources.

“Extensive reliance on mineral fertilizer is consuming copious amounts of fossil energy and mineral resources. Phosphorus, especially, is depleting and some studies have revealed the reserves of phosphate rock that are economically exploitable will only last for about a hundred years at current extraction rates. Recycling nutrients from human urine is a promising solution to the depletion of mineral resources,” Fiona said.

Taking the concept forward the researchers say it would be possible to design a toilet system that separates human waste at the point of deposit.

“Years ago society baulked at the idea of separating their household waste into recyclable and non-recyclable bins, now in Australia it is second nature,” states Dr Maggi.

University of Sydney School of Civil Engineering

The Sydney School of Civil Engineering offers students a well-rounded understanding of the discipline, combined with the much sought-after design, research and problem-solving skills needed to help create and manage sustainable built and natural environments.

Civil engineering is behind many aspects of everyday life we take for granted. It incorporates the intricate behind-the-scenes planning and design, and the construction, maintenance and all-important recycling of community facilities and infrastructures all over the world. It’s why our high-rise buildings, roads, bridges, railways, power stations, airports, dams and harbours are safe, efficient and easy to use.

The University of Sydney is the top ranked Australian university and 15th in the world for civil engineering and their leadership is reflected in the outcomes of teaching and research, and leading alumni.

Master of Engineering (Civil Engineering)
A postgraduate specialisation in civil engineering will teach you about planning, designing and testing structures within the built environment. It is concerned with all types of infrastructures including dams, bridges, pipelines, roads, towers and buildings. You may engage in areas of study including steel/concrete structures, environmental geotechnics, advanced water resources management and numerical methods in engineering.

Program: Master of Engineering (Civil Engineering)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Duration: 1.5 years
Semester intakes: March and July
Application deadline: January 31, 2015 for the March 2015 intake; however, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply a minimum of three months in advance of the program start date.

JCU Medical School students form Surgical Interest Group

The Surgical Interest Group (SIG) at JCU Medical School was formed in 2014 by a group of surgically-minded students.

The SIG is now linked to a wider Australian university network of student surgical groups and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. It aims to organise events and information sessions for medical students in all years of the course who are interested in finding out more about the specialty.

JCU Medical School
Study medicine at James Cook University

The collaborative group has already hosted two events in 2014—a careers night and surgical skills competition—and wants to bring more surgical opportunities and knowledge to JCU medical students.

At present, the group has no formal governance structure and is organised by a group of nine students interested in surgery.

One of the committee members, Tom O’Donohoe, said the group is by no means exclusive to students in clinical years and encouraged all medical students to get involved in the group’s events.

“We were pleasantly surprised with the success of our first event, the careers night, which we hoped would benefit students with an interest in surgery as well as those who haven’t made their minds up about a future career path,” Mr O’Donohoe said.

“One consultant and two registrars from the Townsville Hospital came to the Padua lecture theatre to share their experiences and then take a question-and-answer session from the audience.

“They spoke about the positives and negatives of a surgical career, what training is involved, what made them want to be a surgeon and what students can do to develop their interest in surgery, among other things.

“It can be a little overwhelming when there are so many options available to you as a medical student, so the Surgical Interest Group is helping provide information for students to help them in making what is a difficult decision about their future career.”

The surgical skills event was organised by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, who provided pig trotters and laparoscopic equipment to assess students’ proficiency at a range of skills.

The inaugural competition began in 2013 and was only held at Griffith University and the University of Queensland in the state of Queensland.

The establishment of JCU Medical School’s Surgical Interest Group meant the College was able to extend the competition to students in the north, a coup for budding surgeons looking to gain face to face time with College members.

The committee of the Surgical Interest Group can be reached at

Are you interested in studying medicine at James Cook University? The application deadline for the 2015 intake is coming up—August 29!


JCU Medical School’s MBBS

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February 2015
Duration: 6 years
Application deadline: August 29, 2014

UQ establishes Algae Energy Farm and helps feed beef cattle

Beef producers could soon benefit from a protein-rich and sustainable livestock feed supplement in the form of microalgae.

The University of Queensland has established an Algae Energy Farm to cultivate and harvest microalgae for a range of uses, including as a feed supplement for beef cattle.

UQ Agricultural Sciences
Study agricultural sciences at UQ’s beautiful Gatton Campus

The Algae Energy Farm, established by the UQ School of Agriculture and Food Sciences with assistance from Meat and Livestock Australia, is an off-grid 250,000-litre demonstration farm at UQ’s Pinjarra Hills campus.

Lead researcher Professor Peer Schenk said the farm showed that algae could be grown easily in Australian conditions, leveraging feed and fuel, and without competing for arable land needed for food production.

“We are working closely with Australian primary producers to produce protein-rich feed to meet the nutritional needs of cattle and other livestock,” Professor Schenk said.

Such a feed source would help mitigate large seasonal variations in pasture nutritive value and boost cattle growth.

The UQ Algae Energy Farm was officially opened on Aug. 19 by Australian Minister for Agriculture John McVeigh.

“UQ, including the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, has worked closely with Meat and Livestock Australia and Xstrata Technology to establish this pilot algae farm,” Mr McVeigh said.

“Agriculture is one of the four pillars of our Queensland economy and it is pleasing to see collaboration between different groups to establish technologies which will assist the beef industry grow.”

University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the university was delighted to target its research excellence—confirmed recently with a prestigious global universities ranking of 37th for life and agricultural sciences—to a project with prospective benefits for individual farmers, the industry and the economy.

“Being able to work with Meat and Livestock Australia and use Xstrata technology enabled the researchers to work towards a farm-ready solution suitable for the tough conditions faced by so many Australian producers,” Professor Høj said.

“Such industry partnerships help turn excellent research into high-quality outcomes for society, the economy and the environment, a process of translation that we call excellence-plus.” 

Professor Schenk said the fact that dry season pasture in northern Australia was typically low in protein and energy acted as a constraint on beef production.

“Microalgae would help with management of prolonged dry conditions, such as those affecting much of Queensland,” he said. “The challenge is to develop technology that can be readily and cost-effectively applied on beef properties as a home-grown source of high-quality protein feed.”

The technology used by UQ is farm-ready and can use virtually any type of water, which means that cultivation of microalgae offers a cost-effective way of producing feed and fuel all year round with minimal use of land and water.

The Pinjarra Hills farm can produce about 50 tonnes of algal biomass and 60 barrels (about 12,480 litres) of biodiesel per hectare a year.

Xstrata Technology provided UQ with mining industry flotation technology—an XT Jameson Cell—for a nine-month trial. Early results show it has significantly increased algae production.

UQ School of Agriculture and Food Sciences

The UQ School of Agriculture and Food Sciences provides study and practical experience covering several disciplines. Students are encouraged to participate in scientific activities not only as a component of their formal studies but also as a cooperative contribution to the life of the university and its surrounding community. Disciplines that have an environmental focus include agribusiness, agricultural science, and rural development.

About the UQ Master of Agricultural Science
The Master of Agricultural Science covers the integrative disciplines within the animal, plant, soil, food and social sciences continuum in 1.5 years. Select from one of four specialised fields of study to gain comprehensive theoretical and practical knowledge. Learn to apply your leadership, research and problem solving skills to meet the global challenges associated with feeding the world, and maintaining our environment in situations of increasing community expectations of animal welfare, biosecurity concerns, and competition for limited resources.

Studies may be undertaken in the following specialisations.
  • Agronomy
  • Animal Production
  • Horticulture
  • Plant Protection
Program: Master of Agricultural Science
Location: Gatton Campus, (Lockyer Valley; about a one-hour drive west of Brisbane)
Duration: 1.5 years
Semester intakes: February and July
Application deadline: November 20, 2014 for the February 2015 intake

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bond Law scoops second teaching awards

Bond Law School has scooped the Australasian Law Teachers’ Association (ALTA) / Lexis Nexis Early Career Award for the second year in a row, placing its law program firmly at the top of the field for teaching excellence.

Bond Law School
Inside the Bond University Law Court

Assistant Professor Francina Cantatore received the accolade for 2014, following in the footsteps of colleague Danielle Ireland-Piper who was the 2013 recipient.

Dr Cantatore commenced teaching at Bond Law School three years ago, adding to her successful career practicing commercial law as a solicitor and barrister, specialising in IP law, Property Law, Consumer Credit Law and Media Law.

She also facilitates the Bond Law Clinic—a pro-bono clinic that offers free legal advice to the community on a range of matters.

Dr Cantatore said the award was a great honour and an inspiration to continue improving on her teaching initiatives.

“From my perspective a practice-based learning approach makes commercial law subjects much more vivid and gives students an insight into ‘real world’ law scenarios,” she said.

“I’m able to provide my students with experiential learning opportunities in the subjects I teach, especially through the Bond Law Clinic, which allows them to interact with the public and resolve real legal issues.

“Bond University supports this hands-on approach as a way of giving our students an edge when they enter the workforce.”

About 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 intakes: January, May, or September
Next intake: January 2015
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: Students from Canada should apply at least three months prior to the program start date

OzTREKK Note: The NCA has formally notified Bond University that it will no longer be waiving the requirement for Bond graduates to sit the four exams that other graduates from non-Canadian law schools must sit. This decision by the NCA was not the result of any concern about the quality of Bond’s subjects or its graduates, but the result of numerous requests from law schools in the US and elsewhere for the same arrangement to be extended to them.

This change does not affect current students or new students enrolling in September 2014 and January 2015 at Bond Law School, who will continue to benefit from the present arrangement; however, Canadian students enrolling in May 2015 and onwards will have to sit the 5 NCA exams upon their return to Canada. Since it takes two years to complete the JD full time, Bond students will not start sitting these exams until after the end of the January 2017 semester. Bond Law School will continue to offer the current Canadian subjects into the future to assist Canadian students enrolling from May 2015 onwards to prepare for these exams.

Melbourne named world’s most liveable city—again!

Well, it’s official: Melbourne has once again been named the world’s most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Survey—for the fourth year in a row!

University of Melbourne
Always something to do in Melbourne

Another bonus? Melbourne was also pronounced the world’s friendliest city by Conde Nast Traveller magazine.

So what makes Melbourne so special, you ask? Pull up a chair and grab a primo coffee and we’ll fill you in!

About the city
Melbourne is the capital of Victoria and home to nearly four million people. It is the second-largest and most cosmopolitan city in Australia. Here are some Melbourne fast facts:
  • Melbourne was judged as the Most Liveable City in the world in 2014 for a fourth consecutive year by the Economist Intelligence Unit (as we’ve just pointed out!).
  • Melbourne has been ranked the sixth most student-friendly city in the world in the QS Best Student City Rankings in 2013.
  • Melbourne has been recognized as a UNESCO City of Literature—they have more bookshops per head of population than anywhere else in Australia and more people borrow more books from libraries in Melbourne than anywhere else in Australia.
  • More than 100 languages are spoken by the city’s residents—the multicultural hub of Australia!
Monash University
Melbourne boasts about its coffee
Dance to the beat
Melbourne claims to be the “heart of Australia’s live music scene.” With a bit of sleuthing, you’ll soon realize there are plenty of places where you can catch cheap, even free, quality local music. And with a bit of extra snooping around, you may be able to catch big, expensive acts for virtually nothing at one of the “secret” shows that abound at the small venues. Melbourne is also the birthplace of the “Melbourne Shuffle”—in case you didn’t know!

Coffee to go? No!
Australians love coffee. But keep in mind that they don’t “enjoy” coffee the same way we do, especially the Melburnians! Australians love the café atmosphere, so when you’re in search of a cup o’ Joe, take the time to enjoy it! You’ll be very, very surprised at the difference between a Timmy’s coffee and a coffee from Australia. Melbourne boasts superb coffee shops throughout the CBD and suburbs.

Melbourne’s must-see arts scene always has a huge line-up of events. From the colourful to the inspiring, Melbourne’s art is packed with character. Check out the Art Gallery of Ballarat and Geelong Gallery. There is always something going on in vibrant Melbourne. Don’t forget to visit some of the city’s wonderful old theatres, rich in history, fame and infamy.

University of Melbourne
Melburnians stay active
Sporty McSportington
Melbourne is home to Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, Australian Rules Football, Australian Tennis Open, Formula 1 Grand Prix, and the Melbourne Cup. Melburnians are sports mad, regardless of the sport being played!

What OzTREKK students say about Melbourne

“I like the new culture, the weather and the Australian plants, trees, and animals! Everyone here is super friendly!”

“To be completely honest I am loving the weather here. I can handle the 15C winter no problem! Besides that, the people in Australia are so friendly and quite cheerful. There is a great cafe environment here, which is the perfect opportunity to escape studying (if only for a few hours) and socialise outside of school.”

“Melbourne is an amazing city, very clean and the people are friendly. Australia is a lot like Canada and very easy to get around.”

University of Melbourne
Plenty to see and hear in Melbourne, too!

“I love the city of Melbourne because there’s always something to do and somewhere to go. I love that I see cafés everywhere and that I can get very good coffee on my way to school. I love Queen Victoria Market which is only 2min walk from where I live! Every day is like a festival there.”

“Culture—laid back yet studious when need be. Melbourne the city is beautiful, clean, organized.”

“Melbourne is a great city to live in and the different types of cultures and foods is phenomenal.”

“Melbourne is an amazing city to live in. There is so much variety and excitement in this city. Everywhere is accessible with bike paths and public transport. Australia has been an incredibly easy country to settle into. I’ve made wonderful friends and established a very nice life here.”

Monash University
Great Ocean Road

OzTREKK Australian Universities in Melbourne


University of Melbourne – The University of Melbourne is a leading international university with a tradition of excellence in teaching and research. Established in 1853, it is Australia’s second oldest university, and has been ranked as the country’s top university in both worldwide and national standings.

Monash University – As a member of the prestigious Group of 8 universities, Monash offers a wide range of courses that give students access to flexible learning options and innovative course combinations. Monash is dedicated to preparing students for the increasingly competitive job market, and as a result, Monash graduates are highly sought after by employers internationally.

Monash appoints new Sustainability Institute head

Renowned Monash University water researcher Professor Rebekah Brown has been appointed Director of the Monash Sustainability Institute (MSI).

Monash University Environmental Sciences
Australia must guard its water resources

Professor Brown is recognised internationally for her scientific innovation and world-leading research in urban water and sustainability. She will be taking over the position from Professor Dave Griggs, who is moving to a more research-focused role within the institute.

Monash University Provost and Senior Vice-President Professor Edwina Cornish said the appointment was a great outcome for the university.

“Rebekah has an outstanding record of scholarship, a great record of research impact and an outstanding ability to lead interdisciplinary research with industry,” Professor Cornish said. “I am very pleased to have such an acclaimed and accomplished researcher leading one of the university’s stand-out institutes.”

MSI Chair Professor John Thwaites said he was excited by the unique skills and exemplary industry engagement experience Professor Brown brought to the role and was looking forward to working with her to consolidate and build upon Monash Sustainability Institute’s success.

“Rebekah’s research and her role as a leader at the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Water Sensitive Cities, has set a benchmark in research translation and industry collaboration. It makes her ideally placed to lead MSI into the future and to help us translate our work into practical real-world outcomes,” Professor Thwaites said.

“Professor Dave Griggs has been an outstanding leader at MSI and built its excellent reputation. We are very pleased that he will stay on with MSI in a more research-focused role including his work on the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Professor Brown has successfully founded and facilitated a number of large multi-stakeholder consortiums, and played a central role in bringing together more than 70 organisations to invest in the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, one of the largest interdisciplinary research centres in Australia.

Professor Brown said she felt privileged to be given this opportunity and looked forward to harnessing the significant scope and calibre of Monash expertise in tackling some of the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges.

“I’m very much looking forward to joining the MSI team and building upon the many notable achievements to date,” Professor Brown said.

Professor Brown is also a co-founder and Associate Director of the multi-disciplinary Monash Water for Liveability Centre. She has been honoured with research and industry awards and her innovative approach has been recognised by a number of international scientific communities. Her work has influenced policy and international funding programs to improve water resources in developing countries.

About the Monash Sustainability Institute

Climate change and sustainability, and their intrinsic multiple crises, are some of the most challenging issues facing society today. Many of these issues however often end up in the “too hard” basket. Monash, through the Monash Sustainability Institute, is tackling these great challenges head on with a unique and distinctive interdisciplinary approach.

The institute brings together the best minds from multiple fields of endeavour in world-leading cross-disciplinary programs and centres of excellence. Monash has pulled together scientists, lawyers, economists, psychologists, biologists, engineers, health professionals, training experts and more to nut out the ‘wicked’ problems.

Together, world-leading experts from the Monash Sustainability Institute combine with the best from across Monash University, industry, academia and civic society to envisage and create the world of the future.

Monash asks the tough questions
  • How do you make Australia’s economy carbon neutral?
  • How do we solve the water crisis?
  • What does a sustainable city look like?
While the researchers, educators, partners and funders may speak different “languages” (science, the arts, engineering and policy for example) they are working together to achieve a common purpose.

The Monash Sustainability Institute programs and initiatives investigate how to build water-sensitive cities and better manage water resources. They are catalysing action across Australia’s economy to reduce greenhouse emissions and valuing and integrating indigenous knowledge to help manage natural resources, putting environmental sustainability at the centre of decision making. Monash is understanding and influencing human behaviour, training and educating the next generation of leaders in sustainability, and much more.

Sydney Conservatorium of Music: more to a skilled ear in music

“That was a great performance, but you were a little ‘pitchy.’”

Um, pardon me?

What exactly is “pitchy,” anyway? Is it a real word, or is it a newfangled addition to the urban dictionary being slung around by television program “judges” who—let’s be honest—most of the time are not truly qualified to judge a true musician or singer? We suspect it’s no longer just an adjective.

The first pilot study in Australia to give musicians the skills and training to critically assess music by what they hear rather than what they see began this month at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. The study aims to address a lack of skill and formal training in the industry that enables music judges to critically assess sound—an important skill when it comes to auditions and judging music in the real world.

Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Leading the research is Dr Helen Mitchell, a senior lecturer in musicology at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, following a grant received by the Federal Government in June this year.

The study builds on previous research by Dr Mitchell in 2011 and 2012, which found that musicians are not reliable in recognising the sound quality of individual performers and use limited descriptors to articulate sound.

“Music judges or assessors are generally not well equipped to assess sound. The difficulty lies in the availability of common descriptors or language to express what we hear. People find it hard to critically quantify or qualify sound or what they are hearing when listening to music,” said Dr Mitchell.

“We take for granted that musicians can readily discriminate between performers playing the same instrument. Remarkably, research¹ has shown that judges often can’t identify individual performers from a homogeneous line-up of musicians.

“In the real world, we not only rely on expert musicians to differentiate between performers but, more critically, judge performances to determine an individual’s suitability for a specific music role.”

There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that even expert musicians are unable to judge audio-only and audio-visual music performances in the same way. Recent research² has found that judges are often influenced by the ‘vision’ of performers, at the expense of what they hear.

“Whilst it is consistently recognised in the industry that sound is the critical factor when evaluating music performance. Judges still turn to visuals as their primary source of information for evaluating a performance. In fact, music examiners have been noted to cite a performer’s dress and stage manner ahead of describing sound quality.”

The pilot project will see tertiary students from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music take part in a series of practical sessions, playing the roles of judge and performer. They will experience performances both visible to a judging panel and behind a screen—replicating the blind audition process, which removes all visual factors that may influence judges.

The verbal and written critique delivered by judges in the study will be shared with Australian experts in music auditions and examinations to reflect on the best practice in performance evaluation.

“This project will also enable music students to experience the complexities and pitfalls of performance evaluation. They will learn from music industry experts and develop training strategies to advance their listening acuity for performing and performer evaluation,” said Dr Mitchell.

The findings of the Australian study will inform future music education curricula to ensure that there is a high standard of music assessment delivered by the next generation of music leaders and experts in Australia.
¹Mitchell & MacDonald 2011, 2012, 2014
²Tsay, 2013

Sydney Conservatorium of Music

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music is a creative hub for musicians and scholars, a magical and inspired place where talented musicians and researchers of tomorrow can develop their skills in a fertile academic and performance environment.

The strength and heart of the Sydney Conservatorium is their talented faculty with their significant contributions to research, creative activity and outstanding teaching. The faculty includes award-winning performers and composers, world-class scholars and acclaimed musicians with high-level contacts in the music world, spanning Europe, the USA and Asia.

With an internationally benchmarked degree or diploma from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, students can be confident that their education will stand them in good stead the world over.

Melbourne ranked 44th in Academic Ranking of World Universities

The University of Melbourne recently received welcome news of the 2014 Academic Rankings of World Universities from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. This year Melbourne is placed at number 44. This is the first time an Australian institution has been numbered below 50 on the ARWU list of best research universities in the world.

University of Melbourne Australia
Study at the University of Melbourne, Australia

Such a strong result reflects the extraordinary academic contribution of researchers at the University of Melbourne, and excellent research partnerships with institutes, hospitals, companies, think tanks, government agencies and community organisations.

The University of Melbourne has worked hard to encourage an ecosystem of organisations committed to research collaboration, working closely together to address the grand challenges of our times.

The latest ARWU ranking is a collective achievement that celebrates great research for the benefit of our city, state and nation. It also reinforces the importance of the vision of Believe – the Campaign for the University of Melbourneto give Australia a university equal to the best in the world.

Faculties with the University of Melbourne:
  • Architecture, Building and Planning
  • Arts
  • Business and Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Land and Environment
  • Law
  • Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences
  • Science
  • Veterinary & Agricultural Sciences
  • Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sydney Faculty of Pharmacy research studies safe use of NSAIDs

Research by the Sydney Faculty of Pharmacy has found that older Australians are taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for too long and without sufficient precautions to minimise harmful side-effects.

University of Sydney Pharmacy School
Learn more about Sydney Pharmacy School

NSAIDs are commonly used to treat pain and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders. In Australia, NSAIDs include both prescription and over-the-counter medicines, such as celecoxib (Celebrex), ibuprofen (Nurofen) and diclofenac (Voltaren).

Despite guidelines recommending the short-term use of NSAIDs, the study of 1,700 older Australian men aged 70 years and older reports that patients were prescribed these drugs for five years on average.

“Prescribing doctors are not adhering to the specific guidelines for the safe use of NSAIDs in older people” said lead author of the paper Dr Danijela Gnjidic from the Sydney Faculty of Pharmacy.

“Australian and international guidelines suggest NSAIDS should be used for short-term treatment and be taken as needed. This is clearly not what is happening in reality.

“Our study found that although NSAID use was relatively low, it was more likely to be on a regular basis than an as-needed basis.

“Older people have a higher risk of developing serious complications from taking NSAIDs, so they should be used with caution.

“Use of these drugs has been linked with adverse gastrointestinal and cardiovascular effects, including ulceration and bleeding, elevated blood pressure, stroke and worsening heart failure.

“Only 25 per cent of NSAIDs users were prescribed a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) to prevent or manage side-effects, despite guideline recommendations that this should be standard.

“Our study also found that older people taking NSAIDs were more likely to take other potentially harmful interacting drugs.

“The difference between the guideline recommendations for prescribing NSAIDs and what is happening in the real world is alarming, and should be explored further. This study shines a light on a topic where little research has been done.

“Our study has highlighted the need for health practitioners and consumers to work together to determine the most effective strategies for ensuring safe and appropriate prescribing of NSAIDs for older people.

“It is important to regularly review medicines taken by older people to ensure they meet their treatment goals while avoiding putting patients at greater risk of harmful side effects,” Dr Gnjidic said.

About the University of Sydney Faculty of Pharmacy

Sydney Pharmacy’s internationally renowned researchers are experts in a broad spectrum of pharmaceutical and clinical sciences, including the design, synthesis, testing and mechanism of action of drugs, studies on advanced drug delivery, investigation of the fate of drugs in humans including pharmacogenomics and other aspects of drug disposition, and research on the clinical and sociological aspects of pharmacy and health services research.

Bachelor of Pharmacy Program at the University of Sydney

The Bachelor of Pharmacy requires four years of full-time study. There are two semesters and one entry period per year. Major topics studied include chemical, physical, pharmaceutical and pharmacological properties of medicines and the application of these in the practice of pharmacy.

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: September 30, 2014

New executive dean to lead medical faculty at Macquarie University

Professor H Patrick McNeil has been appointed inaugural Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Macquarie University. He will commence in the role on November 3.

Macquarie University Health Sciences
Learn more about Macquarie University

Professor McNeil currently leads a research team within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of New South Wales. He is also Executive Clinical Director of Liverpool Hospital, and Chair of Arthritis Australia.

He has been a continuous Chief Investigator on NHMRC or ARC project grants since 1995, has published more than 90 articles and has supervised 21 higher degree research students. His academic expertise is in the areas of cellular immunology, rheumatology and arthritis; however, he has also published extensively in the field of medical education.

Vice-Chancellor of Macquarie University, Professor S Bruce Dowton, said Professor McNeil’s appointment marked a pivotal moment in the university’s history.

“In our fiftieth year it is extremely exciting to announce the formation of a new medical faculty and to appoint its first Executive Dean, particularly someone as eminent as Patrick McNeil,” he said.

“Professor McNeil embodies excellence in the tripartite and integrated missions of clinical care, education and research and is therefore the ideal person to not only grow and lead our medical faculty, but also to contribute towards our vision of hosting Australia’s first fully integrated Academic Health Sciences Centre under a university’s leadership.”

The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Macquarie University was created in July 2014, building upon the establishment of the Australian School of Advanced Medicine and the Macquarie University Hospital in recent years.

Also in July, Macquarie announced that the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, currently based at the University of New South Wales, would join the new faculty by the end of the year, bringing around 75 internationally-regarded researchers in health systems, e-health, patient safety and implementation science to Macquarie University.

Sydney nursing students a vital resource in Vietnam

Thanks to Học Mãi, the Australia Vietnam Medical Foundation, two Master of Nursing graduates, Kate Murchie and Susi Summers, were given the incredible opportunity to travel to Vietnam over the summer to undertake an additional clinical placement. The placement gave them the opportunity to gain invaluable nursing experience and a deeper understanding of issues in the developing world.

How was this placement arranged?
KATE: The Hoc Mai placement and scholarship was offered to Sydney Nursing School students through the Hoc Mai Foundation and Sydney University. The application included an interview, an essay on why I wanted to apply, and details of my academic achievements.

University of Sydney Nursing School
Study nursing at the University of Sydney

SUSI: The Hoc Mai Foundation offered a scholarship and arranged our placements—working alongside fellow student nurses from the University of Sydney—as well as our peers in other health-related disciplines.

What motivated you to apply for this placement?
SUSI: I was interested in the program because I would eventually like to nurse internationally. I thought it would be a good chance to see another health system in action and develop skills and knowledge in a different culture.

KATE: I wanted to go to work in Vietnam to understand how a different sociopolitical landscape affects the health of a population. Vietnam interested me in particular because of its long and fascinating history of war and unrest. At a grassroots level, I was interested to find out how nurses function in their day-to-day practice in a developing country.

What is life like as a nurse in Vietnam?
SUSI: I went to Vietnam with an open mind, hoping to learn and contribute whatever I could. I was placed at the Da Nang Hospital for Women and Children for a month where I worked alongside two Sydney University medical students.

I spent my first week on the paediatric respiratory ward, mostly administering nebulisers and IV antibiotics, assisting with the medication rounds, and taking patient observations. I saw patients with tropical diseases like dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis, which were new to me. I watched a caesarian section, spent a week in the neonatal ICU and observed babies who had been born prematurely, and with a range of congenital conditions including spina bifida, VATER syndrome.

I was amazed by the generosity of the staff and impressed at the skill and speed with which the children on the wards were treated. The ward routine was completely different to how we do things here in Australia—in some of the wards only two or three nurses would administer IV medications to almost a hundred patients twice a day—it showed me just how vital resource nurses are, particularly in a developing country.

KATE: I worked in the emergency department of the National Paediatric Hospital in Ha Noi. Vietnam is very large country with a huge population and the majority of the population live in rural areas where there is very limited healthcare available. For this reason the sick often present to the city hospitals in very advanced stages of their illness. I had the opportunity to work closely with the doctors and finely tune my paediatric primary assessment and advanced life support skills. Nurses in Vietnam are very busy people and extremely deft at their nursing skills.

In Australia we are far better resourced and have access to more staff, technology and medicines than Vietnam. Although the differences were glaringly obvious, providing care to the rural population in a geographically large country is a challenge we share in Australia too. This encourages me to think about how nurses can identify the need for, and make changes globally.

What was the greatest challenge—for you, or for nurses in Vietnam?
SUSI: The most challenging part of the exchange was definitely patient communication. It can be difficult to gain patient and parental consent without the ability to speak a common language, but this experience has equipped me with techniques to overcome language barriers in the future, and the skills to put patients and their families at ease.

KATE: I also visited a rural hospital to understand the divide between rural and urban healthcare. Overcrowding and lack of resources were the two challenges that leapt out at me during the visit. Despite all the challenges, what became very clear was how stoic and resilient the people of Vietnam are, including their sick and dying.

How did your study prepare you for your placement in Vietnam?
KATE: My degree has taught me to base my nursing practice on current research, to think critically about the evidence, and form clinical decisions independently. This strong foundation helped me to work with confidence in Vietnam. A strong collegial network was also formed during my studies with other nursing students. We are now supporting each other throughout our new graduate year and will no doubt remain in contact throughout our nursing careers.

SUSI: There were many clinical facilitators and staff members who were also good sources of advice and support in preparing. This definitely helped me to get my current job.

About the Hoc Mai foundation and scholarship
The Học Mãi Medical Foundation is a non-profit foundation of the University of Sydney. It was established to unify collective knowledge of Australian and Vietnam in educational partnership.
The Hoc Mai Foundation scholarship is offered in December each year to students of Nursing, Medicine, Public Health, Dentistry and Health science.

Nursing at the University of Sydney

Program: Master of Nursing
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: March
Duration: 2 years

Entry Requirements: A successful applicant for admission to the Master of Nursing will hold a bachelor degree in a discipline other than nursing from the University of Sydney or equivalent qualification; or a Diploma of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, or equivalent qualification, and relevant work experience.

Monash Faculty of Law celebrates 50th Anniversary

The Grand Hyatt Melbourne came to life recently as the Monash Faculty of Law celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gala dinner.

There was much joy and exuberance among the 400-plus attendees as those from the first and subsequent decades reacquainted themselves with old classmates and fellow alumni from the faculty.

The MC for the night was ABC broadcaster and Monash University alumnus Jon Faine, whose wit and honesty captivated the ballroom. He shared many Monash memories and also donated to the live auction his Fan of the High Court of Australia T-shirt, which he wore as a law student activist at the 1980 opening of Australia’s High Court building.

Also present for the celebrations were Chief Justice Marilyn Warren AC and Chief Justice Robert French AC, who spoke fondly about their time at Monash. Justice French also shared his interpretation of the history of the Monash Faculty of Law, as he launched Pericleans, Plumbers and Practitioners, the First Fifty Years of the Monash Law School, with authors Fay Woodhouse and Peter Yule.

Monash Law School alumnus Will Fowles conducted the live auction with great humour; the proceeds will fund scholarships for Indigenous students. Among the auction lots were some rare Wolfgang Sievers photographs depicting the early Clayton campus donated by Julian Burnside AO QC; an Aboriginal artwork donated by Michelle Possum Nungurrayi; and some original Chesterfield furniture, donated by the Monash Law Library. Other items auctioned included a lunch with Jon Faine at the Essoign club.

In the spirit of the evening, original law alumnus Mr Jack Hammond donated a cassette and disk recording of the infamous 1976 Campbell McComas hoax lecture, which was attended by many and remembered by all. This last-minute auction inclusion added an extra and unexpected amount to the faculty’s fundraising efforts.

The Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Bryan Horrigan, spoke about the development of the Monash Law School to date, and then officially closed the night with a toast. As they left, guests could enjoy slide shows from each of the decades in the foyer, and try to name their old classmates.

About Monash Law School Juris Doctor

The Monash JD is a graduate law degree designed to teach the knowledge and skills required to practice law. This innovative law degree recognizes the needs of graduates who wish to study law, providing the transferable skills and knowledge only a law degree from one of Australia’s leading universities can provide.

 Program: Juris Doctor (JD)
 Location: Melbourne, Victoria  
Duration: 3 years (accelerated option: a minimum of 2.5 years)  
Application deadline: Applications are generally assessed on a rolling admissions basis.  

Starting semesters for the Monash University JD program:
  • January 2015
  • May 2015
  • August 2015

Monday, August 25, 2014

JCUHealth clinic opens in Townsville

The innovative and modern health facilities at JCU Health allied health clinics opened to the public for the first time on Sunday, Aug. 24 during JCU’s Open Day in Townsville.

JCU health sciences degrees
Learn more about JCU health sciences degrees

The facility offers a wide range of health services, including General Practice, Physiotherapy, Exercise Physiology, Occupational Therapy, an Inter-professional Clinic, Speech Pathology and Psychology.

Many of the clinics relocated into James Cook University’s Clinical Practice Building (CPB) at the end of 2013, and the last two clinics moved in April this year.

Associate Professor Bev Raasch, Clinical Director, JCUHealth said Sunday would be an exciting day, with a variety of information sessions, free health assessments, tours and displays available to the public.

“We would really encourage the public, JCU staff, students and prospective JCU students to take this opportunity to walk around the JCUHealth clinics which are spread across two floors in the CPB,” Associate Professor Raasch said. “The clinics offer a professional health service not only to the JCU community but to all of Townsville.”

JCUHealth is a patient-focused health care facility which also provides an opportunity for JCU students to work alongside the clinicians to gain firsthand experience.

Other health services in the CPB include the state-of-the-art JCU Dental and recently opened Queensland X-Ray practice.

Monash Master of Teaching

The Monash Master of Teaching is a graduate-entry course that prepares you for a career as an educator in the early childhood sector, primary schools or secondary schools—or even a combination of these.

Monash Master of Teaching
Study teacher education at Monash University

The course is suited to applicants who have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline and are seeking a teaching qualification. The Monash Master of Teaching prepares students for leadership in education by building their
  • professional knowledge of education systems, theories of learning and teaching, and curriculum content;
  • professional skills and abilities to teach, organise and manage classrooms, assess and report learning, reflection and develop evidence-based practice; and
  • professional values to be a compassionate, collaborative, ethical leader committed to lifelong learning.
The Monash University Master of Teaching builds your knowledge of teaching and learning by immersing you in a minimum of 60 days of teaching practice throughout the course in urban, rural, remote or international settings and schools. This includes opportunities to gain firsthand teaching experience in locations such as the Cook Islands, Malaysia, Italy and South Africa!

Program: Master of Teaching (Primary or Secondary)
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: March 2015
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: Although there is no strict application deadline for either of these programs, it is recommended that students apply at least three months prior to the program start date. Doing so will provide students with a sufficient amount of time to complete the assessment and pre-departure process.