Tuesday, December 23, 2014

OzTREKK holiday hours

It’s that time of year again! It’s dark by 4 p.m. and we’ve been stuffing our faces with Christmas goodies since mid-December.

Okay, since early December.

All of us at OzTREKK would like to that you—all of our OzTREKKers—for making 2014 such a great year! We are so excited for the OzTREKK Orientations in Australia. We will be there to meet you on Aussie soil, to help you get settled and to introduce you to fellow students. The orientations at our Australian universities are one of our favourite things, so be sure to fit in the OzTREKK Welcome events before you attend your university’s official orientation.

OzTREKK Study in Australia
Merry Christmas, everyone! Love, OzTREKK!

Here are few more of our favourite things (not counting bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens)….

Adam: Hot drinks with booze in them, and turkey dinner and holiday smorgasbords.

Beth: My favourite things at Christmas include singing Christmas carols, opening my stocking on Christmas morning, and remembering having my Aunt Penny stay overnight every Christmas Eve, and she would wake me up in the middle of the night to tell me she’d heard Santa’s sleigh on the roof, and did I hear it, too!?

Chris: Christmas music at home, beer with friends over the holidays, and getting our kids fired up for the season!

Glenn: My mother would make a huge gingerbread house full of candy well before Christmas and we had to wait to touch it until Christmas. On the 25th we would all gather around an unbelievable gingerbread house and tear it apart to eat the candy. My family is from Nova Scotia and to this day Christmas means rappie pie, which is a very Acadian dish of chicken, onions, and pureed potato (derived from the French “patates râpées” meaning “grated potatoes”). I love it; it makes Christmas for me. People who haven’t seen this dish are taken aback when they first see it—not visually appealing at all.

Jaime: Chicken wing dip off the best fancy dishes!

Julie: Walter Wick’s I Spy Christmas books, old-fashioned Christmas music (Bing! Nat! Andy! Lawrence Welk! Johnny!), Christmas lights, Christmas movies, and the line, “Clark, I don’t want to spend the holidays dead!”

Matt: Spending time with my family.

Molly: Mom’s antique Christmas ornaments, snowmobiling, and coffee with Baileys.

Nicole: My favourite Christmas things are counting down the days to Christmas with the kids, family get-togethers, and finding the perfect gift for someone.

Rachel: My fav childhood Christmas memory is dancing around the house to Raffi’s Christmas Album (available on iTunes!).

Sarah: Spending Christmas Eve with my family and each of us opening PJs, then listening to my mom read The Night Before Christmas—no matter how old we are.

Shannon: I love Christmas movies… and non-stop eating!

So, what are your favourite things?

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful, Happy New Year!

The OzTREKK office will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 24 – Friday, Jan. 2, 2015 and will reopen Monday, Jan. 5, 2015!


If you are a current OzTREKK student getting ready to study in Australia for semester 1, 2015 intake and you have an emergency, please contact OzTREKK at info@oztrekk.com, as it will be checked periodically during the holidays.

Merry Christmas from all of us at OzTREKK!

About the UQ Master of Counselling

The Master of Counselling at the University of Queensland provides graduate students with an in-depth knowledge base, and practice skills in professional counselling. The program is one of the largest in Australia and has a strong focus on counselling and applied psychotherapy strategies to enhance outcomes for clients struggling with a wide range of challenges. These challenges may vary from intra-personal issues to inter-personal (relationship) and systemic problems. A wide variety of theoretical models are taught with special emphasis on cutting edge brain-based therapies.

UQ Master of Counselling
Study counselling at the University of Queensland

This program is intended for students who desire to develop knowledge, skills and competencies for professional practice in counselling. Graduates will develop the skills to competently serve individuals, couples, families, and groups in the community. This program also promotes the professional status, identity and visibility of counsellors within our community and seeks to extend students’ abilities to consider counselling within the broader social context as well as within individual client work. The staff involved in this program provide global leadership in the field of counselling and psychotherapy.

Reasons to study counselling at UQ

Important issues to consider when choosing to become a professional counsellor at The University of Queensland:
  1. The Master of Counselling is a multi-disciplinary program that is based on the development and use of integrative theoretical approaches to counselling.
  2. It offers full-time and part-time options.
  3. The program seeks to develop a strong sense of community among its students and provide a supportive atmosphere for students.
  4. It recognises and seeks to develop not only skills, but actively encourages personal reflection and understanding of the person as counsellor
  5. It also draws students from other programs into its courses broadening the ability of students to work with other professions.
  6. It offers a comprehensiveness list of courses that will equip students to work among varying groups and in varying situations.
  7. It is taught by lecturers and tutors who also work as practitioners and/or maintain very strong connections to the broader community in a professional capacity.
  8. It seeks to develop in students skills beyond face-to-face counselling that will make the student able to work independently as a counselling practitioner in small organizations and within multi-disciplinary teams.
  9. It seeks to consider counselling across the broad spectrum from mental health promotion to early intervention to therapy.
  10. It offers varied placement experiences.
  11. It seeks to ensure students are able to meet milestones of competence across the period of their study.
  12. It seeks to maintain contact with graduates from the program to enrich the experience of both graduates and new students.
The Master of Counselling provides career opportunities in human service settings:
  • Health
  • Welfare
  • Community services  and Non-Government Organizations
  • Human resources and personnel management
  • Private practice
  • Schools

It is well suited to people who work with individuals, families, groups and communities in many different fields and circumstances:
  • Loss and grief issues
  • Mental health and well-being
  • Violence
  • Sexual abuse
  • Drug and alcohol issues
  • Relationship issues
  • Crisis
  • Working with children
  • Challenges to health

Program: Master of Counselling
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline for 2016 intake: September 30, 2015

Sydney School of Biological Sciences studies rapid bird evolution

The most ambitious genetic study ever undertaken on bird evolution has found that almost all modern birds diversified after the dinosaurs became extinct 66 million years ago.

“The popular view until now has been that the extraordinary diversity of birds began during the dinosaur age but we found little support for this,” said Associate Professor Simon Ho, from the University of Sydney who led a major component of the research looking at evolutionary timescale.

An international collaboration of scientists worked for four years to sequence, assemble and compare the full genomes of 48 bird species representing all major branches of modern birds. It is the largest whole genomic study across a single vertebrate class ever undertaken.

Sydney School of Biological Sciences
Study biological sciences at Sydney Pictured is an Australian white ibis
Their results appear in a special edition of Science on Dec. 12 (with simultaneous publications of related articles in other high-profile journals).

Associate Professor Ho, from the Sydney School of Biological Sciences, is an author on a Science paper and two articles in GigaScience. He contributed his expertise in using a technique known as ‘molecular clock’ analysis to estimate birds’ evolutionary timescales, using genome data and fossil evidence.

His research helped confirm that some of the first lineages of modern birds appeared about 100 million years ago but that almost all of the modern groups of birds diversified in a small window of less than 10 million years, just after the dinosaurs were wiped out by an asteroid.

“Our team had to develop a range of new methods to handle the largest bird data set ever assembled. These required the equivalent of more than 400 years of computing power across nine supercomputers,” said Associate Professor Ho.

“The team was able to work out the relationships among the major groups of modern birds, showing that our previous understanding of birds had been clouded by the appearance of similar traits and habits in distantly related groups.

“So while grebes and cormorants are both waterbirds with webbed feet that dive to catch their prey they are, despite these similarities, from completely distinct lineages.”

Another significant finding is that the ancestor of most of the land birds we see today is probably an apex predator that gave rise to raptors, eagles, owls and falcons in rapid succession before leading to land birds such as songbirds and woodpeckers.

“With the demise of the dinosaurs, birds and mammals were able to become more diverse and to occupy all of the niches that had previously been dominated by dinosaurs,” said Associate Professor Simon Ho.

“This was one of the most significant episodes in the history of life on earth and it is tremendously exciting that this major scientific international effort has made these advances in our understanding,” said Associate Professor Simon Ho.

Professor Eddie Holmes from the Sydney School of Biological Sciences and Associate Professor Jaime Gongora and his research team from the Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science also contributed to the international project and are authors on papers in Science and accompanying journals.

Sydney School of Biological Sciences

The Sydney School of Biological Sciences has over 30 academic staff members who are active in teaching, research, and have outstanding international reputations. The interests of the academic staff span molecular biology; genetics; cell biology; physiology; behaviour; biodiversity; ecology and evolution of Australian plants and animals; and student-learning in biology. The practical applications of this expertise include conservation and management of natural resources; biotechnology; bioinformatics; disease control; and teaching and learning procedures and resources.

Monday, December 22, 2014

University of Melbourne climate change researchers say 2014 will be Europe’s hottest year on record

There is evidence that human-induced climate change has played a significant role in Europe’s hottest year on record.

The data comes from three teams of scientists across the world that each used different methodologies to come to this conclusion.

University of Melbourne environmental sciences
Inside the Melbourne Graduate School of Science
Scientists from the University of Melbourne and Australian National University joined with those at University of Oxford and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) to conduct independent assessments of the data, using different approaches involving statistical analyses of the historical temperature record and the results of thousands of simulations with state-of-the-art climate models.“It is clear that human influences on climate have been the dominant factor in breaking of the previous record temperature averaged across Europe,” said Professor David Karoly, Research Director at the University of Melbourne’s European Union Centre on Shared Complex Challenges.

“This is further evidence that climate change is affecting all regions and an indication that urgent action from all national governments is needed to slow global warming by reducing greenhouse gasses.”

The Melbourne team utilised hundreds of climate model simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). They found that the odds of temperatures across Europe reaching these levels were increased by at least 35 times due to human influences on our climate.

“By comparing climate model simulations representing the world as it is with simulations of a world without humans, we show that the risk of record hot years like 2014 occurring has very likely increased by at least 35-fold,” said Andrew King, a climate scientist from the University of Melbourne who conducted the analysis.

The Dutch team used long records of observed temperatures across Europe and estimated that the chances of a very hot year like 2014 over Europe has been increased at least 80 times by the human influences on climate.

Using a large computing network (weather@home), Oxford scientists simulated possible European weather based on the observed global ocean temperatures. At the same time, they also simulated a 2014 where there is no human-influenced climate change. Comparing those two “worlds” they found that the 2014 European temperatures were much more likely in the world with climate change than the one without.

Nineteen European countries are very likely to see 2014 as their hottest year on record: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden (equal to 1953) and the United Kingdom.

University of Melbourne Master of Environment

Program title: Master of Environment
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: March 2015
Program duration: 1 – 2 years, depending on candidate’s background

Macquarie University Professional and Community Engagement program

As an Australian leader in international work-integrated and community-based service learning opportunities, Macquarie University will develop a new curriculum for its outbound international placement students, working with its international partners.

Macquarie University in Australia
Study at Macquarie University  (Photo credit: FJ Gaylor)

In this significant new project, with Office of Learning and Teaching funding announced by the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, the initiative will see new curriculum resources embedded into the university’s ambitious PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) program.

This project is led by Associate Professor Greg Downey in Anthropology and a unique cross faculty PACE team, including senior and early career researchers: Associate Professor Kate Lloyd, Dr Rebecca Bilous, Dr Michaela Baker, Dr Felicity Rawlings-Sanaei, Laura Hammersley and Eryn Coffey.

More than 160 students take part in PACE International programs annually. Macquarie University’s PACE program offers thorough pre-departure training in conjunction with Australian Volunteers International, with a focus on preparing students for health, safety and cross-cultural communication challenges.

“There’s a great deal more we can prepare our students for in the areas of social justice, political economy, poverty and underdevelopment,” says Downey, “so when they arrive in-country, they should be able to bypass some of the most easy-to-anticipate issues.”

The project will model intercultural collaboration and inclusion of diverse intercultural perspectives in the curriculum design.

“We will work with our PACE partners in Malaysia, India and the Philippines to include partner perspectives in pre-departure, in-country and re-entry educational programming,” says Lloyd. “The co-creation process will be documented to provide methods for curriculum adopters who wish to tailor the materials to their own international partnerships.”

Feedback from students has indicated that a more in-depth understanding of the complexities of the contexts they will be working in would be valuable in setting expectations and improving their ability to contribute to the work of partners. International partners who host PACE students have also indicated that they are eager to collaborate in the preparation of outbound students, before they embark on their placements.

Three well-established PACE partner organisations (Restless Development [India], Bahay Tulyan [Philippines], PACOS Trust [Malaysia]) have already signed up to be part of the project team, with others to come on board shortly, and a workshop of approximately 12 partners to be held in mid-2015.

“Extending the partner input into the classroom will not only internationalise the classroom but will enable the preparation to be more nuanced and appropriate to the needs of our valued PACE partners,” says PACE Academic and Programs Director, Lindie Clark. “Importantly, it will help to make the short time that our students spend with them more productive, as they’ll be able to move more quickly from orientation to operations.”

Practical experience that improves graduate outcomes

Macquarie is renowned for its interdisciplinary research and teaching, highly skilled graduates and first-class facilities. A key part of Macquarie University’s unique learning environment is PACE, an initiative that provides opportunities for students to apply what they are learning within their degree in real-life organisations and environments. Such experiences help Macquarie students develop communication, leadership, professional, and interpersonal skills, which greatly improves their career prospects.

Social connections keep workers on board says Monash University Business School

Contrary to popular belief, new research suggests that some employees adapt well to pressures caused by changes in the workplace.

Pay cuts, reduced working hours, fewer training and promotion opportunities are just a few of the measures organisations employ to combat economic downturn and industry competition. Where previous research has suggested cutbacks result in a demotivated and unhappy workforce, experts from Monash University and The University of Iowa say this might not necessarily be the case.

Monash University Business School
Monash University Caufield Campus

A new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, shows some employees can respond positively to change in the workplace—but only if they are well connected and are a good fit for the organisation.

Dr Kohyar Kiazad from Monash University and Professor Scott Seibert and Professor Maria Kraimer from the University of Iowa used an online survey to find out worker’s responses to “psychological contract breach”—a term experts use to describe what employees experience when they believe their employer has broken its promises. Previous research suggested that withdrawing from work, reduced productivity and generally feeling unhappy in the workplace are all typical employee reactions to psychological contract breach.

The new findings, which surveyed around 100 people at two time-points spanning 6 months, suggest some employees react positively to a negative workplace. Examples included implementing new working methods or techniques, coaching team members on new skills to improve efficiency or establishing new goals and targets.

Lead researcher Dr Kiazad from the Department of Management at Monash University Business School said the research shows employees are active participants in the workplace and not just passive recipients of environmental pressures and demands.

“Employees do not always respond destructively to broken promises by their employer, especially when they are well connected, fit the organisation and have little to lose if they were to leave,” he said.

The findings suggest that organisations should review their recruitment and selection processes. Providing applicants with realistic information about an organisation’s values is one way to ensure that an employer’s values will be compatible with their workplace.

Dr Kiazad said the findings do not mean companies should break their promises to trigger better employee performance.

“Today’s volatile business environment makes it increasingly difficult for organisations to fulfill all their obligations to employees. By implementing human resource practices that increase employees’ social connectivity and fit within the workplace, companies may empower employees to adopt a constructive response if or when breach does occur.

“That might mean regular social events, mentoring programs or the use of role models as a means to improve employees’ social connectivity within the workplace,” he said.

About the Monash Department of Management

The Monash Department of Management is one of six in the Faculty of Business and Economics and the largest grouping of management educators and researchers in the Asia-Pacific region. Our expertise embraces both the public and private sectors at home and overseas. Monash University Business School’s research informs our teaching and makes a significant contribution to the body of management knowledge and professional practice. Monash provides an essential insight and understanding of the context of increasingly complex global, technological, environmental and ethical challenges within which management takes place.

Master of Management

This course focuses on advancing your management, decision-making and problem-solving skills to grow your expertise so you can move into senior managerial positions. The program focuses on changing and dynamic organisational environments, and is suitable for experienced professionals from a range of backgrounds, including government, community service and not-for-profit organisations as well as people with technical backgrounds in engineering and medicine, who are seeking to enhance their management skills.

Degree: Master of Management
Location: Caufield, Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intakes: March and July

Sydney Master of Public Health

Public health aims to improve the health of populations through knowledge (collecting data to develop and test explanations and hypotheses), values (combining ethics with knowledge to assist in decision-making), action (making decisions to translate research into policy and practice and advocate for change) and outcomes (understanding research and practice to systematically evaluate public health programs).

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

About Sydney Public Health School

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.

Students in the public health program at the University of Sydney will be exposed to public health values, decision-making, practice and policy throughout their studies.

Graduate opportunities

The Master of Public Health leads to hands on careers in public health, such as working with people in the field, as well as research-oriented jobs which involve conducting studies and examining overall health trends. Careers in public health include working as a public health officer in government health departments; health education/promotion officer; clinical research manager; health information manager or health project manager.

Program: Master of Public Health
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intakes: March and July
Duration: 1 year

Friday, December 19, 2014

UQ Master of Energy Studies

The Master of Energy Studies is a new and innovative program developed by the International Energy Centre (IEC)—a network of three leading Australian universities (The University of Queensland, The University of Western Australia and The University of Newcastle) and industry collaborators.

The Master of Energy Studies program equips the next generation of energy leaders, managers and decision makers with the skills and knowledge to address the challenges at the nexus of energy, climate change and sustainability. It pursues a multi-disciplinary approach in order to expose students to science and technology, business management, policy and economics in the context of clean energy generation and carbon management.

The program is aimed at young and mid-level professionals looking to obtain a unique qualification that prepares them to strategically address the challenges posed by a carbon-constrained economy, positioning them to take on management and leadership roles in a field of growing importance.

Graduates receive a co-badged Master of Energy Studies by all three universities.

University of Queensland Master of Energy Studies

Program: Master of Energy Studies
Semester intake: February
Duration: 1.5 years

JCU archaeology researcher says rare tree carvings may not last

James Cook University archaeologists believe Aboriginal tree carvings in Far North Queensland are as rare as the Giant Panda—and just as endangered.

A project led by JCU postgraduate researcher Alice Buhrich, with the support of the Jirrbal and Mamu Traditional Owners, is investigating the preservation of tree markings, called dendroglyphs.

James Cook University
There are fewer than 15 recorded sites containing Indigenous dendroglyphs in rainforest, and all are within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area

Worldwide, there are fewer than 15 recorded sites containing Indigenous dendroglyphs in rainforest, and all are within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

Ms Buhrich says the carvings are impossible to date exactly, but all are certainly more than 100 years old. “We don’t know exactly what they represent, other than they are of decorative rather than practical use,” she said.

Mamu people, in the Innisfail region, have located a number of dendroglyphs that hadn’t been seen since logging ended in 1988.

Ms Buhrich is working with both groups of Traditional Owners to understand how resilient the trees are to extreme weather events such as cyclones.

She said the age of the dendroglyphs’ trees meant they were fragile and would become more vulnerable to fungal growth and insect attack.

The JCU researcher said the dendroglyphs connected the rainforest to culture and tradition, making the management of the sites a complex task.

“As carvings on living trees, dendroglyphs embody both natural and cultural values, so managing these sites is a balancing act.

“Protecting natural sites often means limiting access, to prevent weed and feral animal incursion, but that could work against the desire of Aboriginal people to visit and care for rainforest dendroglyphs as part of a living cultural landscape.

“We found, particularly on Jirrbal country in the Ravenshoe area, that road closures can make it difficult for Traditional Owners to visit some sites and share their knowledge about the trees with younger generations.”

Ms Buhrich said both the Jirrbal and Mamu Traditional Owners are considering ways to preserve and display the carvings, that don’t require removing them from the forest.

“There is the option of using 3D laser scanners, to document them and preserve the images in a non-invasive way,” she said.

Ms Buhrich plans to work with other rainforest Aboriginal groups who have dendroglyphs on their traditional land.

Program: Bachelor of Archaeology
Location: Townsville or Cairns, Queensland
Semester intakes: February and July
Duration: 3 years

Monash researcher honoured as leader in sustainability

Environmental business magazine WME has announced its Leaders List for 2014, with the Director of the Monash Sustainability Institute (MSI), Professor Dave Griggs, taking out the X-Factor category.

Monash University Environmental Sciences
Study sustainability at Monash University

The annual WME Leaders List awards, running since 2008, honour individuals who have provided extraordinary environment leadership in business, the environmental services sector, government and non-government organisations.

This year’s program attracted more than 1500 votes by readers to determine ‘leaders’ in the categories of Corporate Sustainability, Energy and Carbon, Resources and Waste, Urban and Industrial Water, and the X-Factor.

Managing Editor at WME, Richard Collins, said the awards were about recognising leadership qualities and the industry electing those that stand out above the rest.

“Now is a critical time in environmental leadership in Australia,” Mr Collins said.

“It’s important to identify those outstanding individuals who are working towards a truly sustainable future.”

Professor Griggs, who has spent decades warning the world about the threat of climate change, is a former leading figure in the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Part of Professor Griggs’ mission when he came to Australia from the UK in 2007 to head up MSI was to create an international community of ‘smart’ people, working together on the community’s most intractable sustainability issues.

“My focus has been on sustainable development in the broadest sense: environmental, social and economic. When I came here I wanted to make MSI a real interdisciplinary effort,” Professor Griggs said.

Professor Griggs has been heading Monash University’s widely lauded Sustainable Development program alongside Sir Bob Watson (named a UN Champion of the Earth last month), and Professor John Thwaites, chair of MSI and a previous winner of the X-Factor award.

“It is obviously a great honour to receive this award, but I would like to acknowledge Monash University, who had the vision to create a sustainability institute, and my MSI colleagues, who have made it such an exciting and rewarding place to work,” Professor Griggs said.

Monash University Provost and Senior Vice-President, Professor Edwina Cornish, said the award was recognition that Professor Griggs has had wide-ranging impact across academia, government, industry and the community sectors.

“Monash has been enriched by his leadership and I am delighted that this award celebrates the unique contribution he has made to Australia,” Professor Cornish said.

Professor Griggs is stepping aside as Director of MSI to take on a more research-based role with the Institute. He will be replaced by Professor Rebekah Brown in February next year.

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.

UQ School of Medicine celebrates outstanding clinical teachers

So, you’ll be attending  UQ Medical School in 2015. Wondering about who will be teaching you?

Part of the Doctor of Medicine program is clinical training, and recently the UQ School of Medicine and UQMS was proud to announce the winners of the 2014 Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching and the Clinical School Teaching Awards. These awards are student nominated and below are comments from those students about the award recipients.

UQ School of Medicine
Study medicine at UQ Medical School

The Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching

This year the Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching was not given to an individual but to the RBWH Critical Care team for their simulation-based training program, which forms one component of the Critical Care course. The simulations are designed to create an appropriate level of anxiety in performance to increase learning from the various situations of being on call or responding to patients arriving to the emergency department.

Each simulation is accompanied with an appropriate debrief designed to understand the care, hospital processes and the various elements described. The simulation-based teaching has the advantage of being deliberate rather than opportunistic, it is standardized and safe as it does not directly affect human patients, and produces reflective learning. The simulation-based learning is supplemented by learning from patient care, which is opportunistic, but involves direct care and clinician involvement.

Clinical School Teaching awards

Royal Brisbane Clinical School
Associate Professor Kersi Taraporewalla, Consultant Anesthetist at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

“There have also been countless instances in which Associate Professor Taraporewalla provided my fellow students and me with great clinical teaching on the fly. His best examples of devotion to student learning would be the simulation days run for students at the RBWH during the Critical Care Rotation.”

Greenslopes Clinical School
Dr Barry Hickey, Consultant Respiratory Physician at the Greenslopes Private Hospital.
“Dr Hickey unsparingly shared his knowledge and experiences at every opportunity with us. He not only set the example of how to be a clinician with solid understanding of disease process but encouraged students to build rapport with patients to bring better outcomes of the treatment.”

Dr Glen Wood, Consultant Urologist at Greenslopes Private Hospital.
“Dr Wood is a great teacher and cares for his students. His VOPPS are well done and he is very funny and willing to make time for students. He would come to tutes excited to teach, has a fantastic ability to make a comfortable atmosphere where people could freely give their own opinion, which encouraged input from everyone.”

PA -Southside Clinical School
Dr Raman Parthasarathy, Psychiatrist at Princess Alexandra Hospital.
“Dr Raman is an enthusiastic and approachable teacher who has inspired my learning in the subject. He is encouraging and supportive, and provides valuable, constructive feedback in a way that motivates students to actively make improvements.”

Ipswich Clinical School
Dr Wayne Harris, Paediatrician at Ipswich Hospital.
“Dr Harris is an enthusiastic clinical teacher who goes out of his way to provide quality teaching to medical students in paediatrics, is a masterful storyteller and his depth and breadth of knowledge ensured there was never a dull moment during his teaching sessions.”

Rural Clinical School
Ms Julie Bennett, Lead Clinical Educator (Clinical Skills and Simulation) at Rural Clinical School Hervey Bay.
“Ms Julie Bennett displays all the qualities necessary to be an effective teacher, inspiring her students to continue learning and to always improve. Her leadership and compassion are qualities that come to mind and I feel that her style of teaching reflects this.”

Sunshine Coast Clinical School
Dr Arif Manji, Clinical Director of General Medicine for the Sunshine Coast Hospital Health Service.
“Dr Manji is very passionate about teaching and goes out of his way to give us tutorials. He is very thorough and has a unique approach in helping us understand concepts. He is always willing to listen to us present cases and give us valuable feedback.”

Ochsner Clinical School
Dr Shontell Thomas, Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics & Gynaecology at Ochsner Clinical School.
“Dr Thomas embodies the clinical and educational characteristics that mould medical students into skilled and compassionate clinicians. She consistently goes beyond expectations and is always looking for teaching moments. Seeing her practice and how well she interacted with patients was informative on its own.”

Mater Clinical School
Dr John Bingley, Vascular Surgeon at Mater Hospital.
“Dr Bingley has a unique approach to both life and medicine and as such provides an interesting take on teaching and practicing modern medicine in the surgery context, especially around improved performance, self and peer review and safety with a patient-centered focus.”

Northside Clinical School
Dr Vesna Markovic, Paediatrician at Redcliffe Hospital.
“Dr Markovic is an excellent teacher. Her teaching style employs a combination of anecdotal stories about her experiences with patients as well as highly relevant didactic information. She will encourage students to research a specific topic and then follow up by quizzing students on the subject.”

UQ Medical School Doctor of Medicine Program

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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bond University receives actuaries accreditation

Bond University has become the first in Queensland, and just the seventh university Australia-wide, to receive accreditation from the Actuaries Institute to deliver undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the growing sector of Actuarial Science.

Bond University Business School
Inside the Macquarie Trading Room at Bond University

The accreditation was received this week and applies immediately to the programs that commence next year (2015).

Bond University Head of Actuarial Science, Professor Terry O’Neill, said the launch of the degrees had been well received by the industry in Queensland, which had previously had to hire students from the southern states.

To date, actuarial science programs have only been available in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Perth, with actuaries experiencing very low unemployment rates and high graduate starting salaries.

“This accreditation is a significant milestone for Bond University and for the industry in Queensland,” said Professor O’Neill.

“The demand for actuaries is rising across Queensland and particularly in Brisbane, in line with the growth of the sector across the Asia-Pacific region, with new areas for employment actively emerging in the city as the collection and in-depth analysis of ‘big data’ is utilised by an ever increasing number of businesses.

“At the same time, employers have found they hire and train graduates, only to lose them to their home states after a few years, so they are looking forward to having the option of putting on local students with a view to holding on to them over the longer term.”

Professor O’Neill said the introduction of the programs meant Queensland businesses would also have access to students for internships and the ability to collaborate on research projects, through Bond University’s newly established Centre for Actuarial Research.  The Centre is already undertaking two Australian Research Council projects, analysing how prepared people are for retirement and Treasury bonds.

Bond Vice Chancellor, Professor Tim Brailsford, said Bond’s unique academic model was ideally suited to producing top quality actuaries.

“Bond’s trademark is its genuine focus on personalised learning, with small class sizes, an immersive program and outstanding teaching facilities,” he said.

“Our strengths in financial studies and data analytics include the Macquarie Trading Room, offering students access to  licensed Bloomberg Terminals that provide real experience in the day to day operations of global financial markets.”

Professor O’Neill – who recently moved from the Australian National University in Canberra where he held the role of Director of the Research School of Finance, Actuarial Studies and Applied Statistics—was appointed to Bond University in February this year to head the new program, and is considered a globally respected and in-demand statistical consultant.

Bond University will offer the Bachelor of Actuarial Science from January 2015 and Master of Actuarial Practice and Actuarial Science from May 2015.

A full-time Actuarial Science degree at Bond will take two years to complete, with an Honours degree including an additional two semesters, meaning students can graduate as qualified actuaries in three years.

The provisional accreditation is staged and initially covers half of the Actuaries Institute CT exams, with accreditation for the remainder expected to follow early next year in-line with the development of later year subjects.

Actuarial Science at Bond University Business School

Actuaries are business professionals who combine the elements of economics, finance, statistics and advanced mathematics to interpret, manage and evaluate risk. The Master of Actuarial Science is an innovative and immersive program that combines advanced mathematics, statistics, data analytics, actuarial risk theory, finance, economics and accounting subjects with large-scale, real-life commercial data analysis.

Developed and taught by Professor Terence O’Neill, one of Australia’s leading academic authorities in the field, the Master of Actuarial Science will deliver smaller classes for personalised attention and unparalleled access to Bond University’s Macquarie Trading Room and Bloomberg data-sourcing terminals.

The Master of Actuarial Science will prepare students for rewarding careers in a range of disciplines, including climatology, finance, health, insurance, research, safety, science and technology.

Program: Master of Actuarial Science
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Duration: 1.3 years (4 semesters)
Semester intake: September 2015

Monash takes top spot with most employable graduates

Monash University has been voted the best university in Victoria and second in Australia from which to hire graduates by Global recruiters.

The annual 2014 Global Employability University Ranking, polled by the French Human Resources consultancy Emerging, and German polling institute Trendence, placed Monash 33rd in the world.

Monash University Australia
Monash University’s motto: “I am still learning”

The survey canvassed the views of 4,500 major company managers and recruiters in 20 countries on what they are looking for in university systems around the world. It found that employability was the number one criterion recruiters looked at when choosing a university according to 37.1 per cent of respondents.

Monash President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AO said the achievement reflected the university’s focus on providing students with the skills and mindset they need to not only secure a ‘job’, but to build a long-term career.

“We aim to equip our graduates not just for the world as it is now, but as it will be in five, ten or twenty-five years.”

“As educators and researchers, we are a global institution charged with educating and training the workforce that will underpin Asia-Pacific’s future success. We are producing the leaders of tomorrow,” Professor Gardner said.

The Global Employability University Survey and Ranking differs from ranking systems by focusing less on academic achievement in terms of research and development, and more on the working skills of graduates, across a considerably wider range of countries.

Currently Monash University is ranked 83 by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and is positioned at 70 by the QS World University Rankings.

Monash is positioned at 5 in the region and 88 in the world in the US News and World Report’s first global rankings released in October.

UQ launches new postgraduate program for the resources industry

To help meet the changing professional training and development needs of the extractive resources sector, the University of Queensland has launched a new postgraduate coursework program for 2015.

The Master of Responsible Resource Development program is offered by UQ’s Sustainable Minerals Institute, the largest and most diverse education and research group in the world for sustainability in the extractive resources industry.

UQ Environmental sciences
Learn more about environmental sciences at UQ

Sustainable Minerals Institute Deputy Director Professor David Brereton said the new program was for both industry professionals seeking to broaden their knowledge base, as well as graduates planning on exploring future career opportunities within the sector.

“This initiative is being launched at a time when the mining industry faces the critical challenge of continuing to improve its sustainability performance while operating under significant financial constraints,” Professor Brereton said.

“This unique program will provide graduates with in-depth understanding of sustainability and its role in the extractives industry.

“We aim to facilitate the development of higher order skill sets in problem solving, effective communication, project management and teamwork, in addition to content specialisation for a more holistic approach to future career development.

“Through the Sustainable Mineral Institute’s community, students will have access to Australian and global industry experts through courses delivered in flexible and intensive modes, providing face time with lecturers through online webinars and periodic campus workshops.”

Professor Brereton said the program would be offered at graduate certificate, diploma and masters level, and built around common core courses with the opportunity to specialise in one of three topic areas: environment, health and safety and community relations.

About the UQ Sustainable Minerals Institute

Established in 2001, the UQ Sustainable Minerals Institute is comprised of seven centres featuring scientists, engineers, sociologists and natural resource specialists with expertise in mining, processing, water, energy, environment, safety and risk management, unconventional gas and social performance.

Working with industry, governments and communities all over the world, the institute provides innovative education and research solutions to improve performance, practice and meet long-term commitments to global sustainability in the mining, oil and gas industries.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Study occupational therapy at the University of Sydney

Occupational therapy is a profession that focuses on enabling people’s full participation and meaning in life. It assists people to achieve their goals by focusing on their strengths rather than their restrictions or barriers.

Sydney Occupational Therapy School
Study occupational therapy at the University of Sydney

The occupational therapy program comprises an applied science award at bachelor’s level, and a professional, graduate entry master’s degree. Graduates of these courses are eligible for membership with Occupational Therapy Australia and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

Sydney OT graduates work in many different settings and roles, and the breath of the field allows them to change careers a number of times while remaining in the same profession. Some practitioners work with clients in hospitals, the home, school, work and/or other community settings. Other occupational therapists are researchers, policy makers or advocates.

Program: Master of Occupational Therapy
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Semester intake: February
Duration: 2 years

Newcastle Pharmacy students benefit from theoretical and clinical training

Throughout the Bachelor of Pharmacy Honours program at Newcastle Pharmacy School, students will develop an extensive knowledge of the essential underpinning sciences, pharmacotherapeutics and pharmaceutical sciences that are required to practice as a pharmacist.

University of Newcastle Pharmacy School
Learn more about pharmacy at the University of Newcastle.

Pharmacy students will develop and practice the core competencies required to work in clinical, hospital and community pharmacy settings. These attributes include strong interpersonal and communication skills, clinical leadership and ability to provide health care to culturally diverse communities.

In particular, students will study
  • core biomedical sciences, including anatomy and physiology;
  • dosage formulations;
  • chemistry;
  • drug design and discovery;
  • pharmacotherapeutics;
  • mental health first aid;
  • epidemiology and pharmacoeconomics; and
  • clinical leadership and communication.
Throughout the Bachelor of Pharmacy, students also have the opportunity to develop outstanding research capabilities under the guidance of the university’s experienced academic staff who are world leaders in their respective fields.

Through research, students can further investigate drug design and discovery, formulation development, pharmacy practice, personalised health care and health technologies assessment, such as pharmacoeconomics. This foundation in research helps prepare graduates for a career in a rapidly evolving global environment.

University of Newcastle Bachelor of Pharmacy

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy Honours
Location: Callaghan, Newcastle, New South Wales
Duration: 4 years
Semester intake: February
Application deadline: While there is no set application deadline, applicants are strongly encouraged by to apply as early as possible.

Melbourne Law School’s top 10 for 2014

The approach of the New Year and festive season is a time to reflect on the achievements of the year. Melbourne Law School Dean Professor Carolyn Evans has expressed her gratitude for a year of great accomplishments:

University of Melbourne Law School
Melbourne Law School is the ranked #1 in Australia*

“I am so pleased to say that 2014 has been another successful year for the Law School, with significant milestones achieved. Thank you for the commitment and passion that has been shown by our staff, students and alumni, as well as the confidence in us shown by our donors.”

Here are some of the things that made Melbourne Law School proud from the past 12 months:
  1. Melbourne Law School entered new partnership with Cambridge
  2. Melbourne retains its position as number one in Australia for law
  3. Professor Ian Malkin awarded for outstanding teaching
  4. Melbourne takes the common law to China
  5. Life-changing student experiences in Geneva
  6. New alumni Breakfast Series sees top speakers share their insights
  7. Melbourne Law School students help make community policing fair
  8. John Tobin wins LIV Paul Baker Award
  9. James Merralls established Visiting Fellowship in Law
  10. Melbourne Law School researchers win ARC grants
  11. (Bonus!) Professor Sundhya Pahuja wins 2014 Woodward Medal
* QS World University Rankings by Subject 2014 – Law

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Apply for a Monash International Merit Scholarship!

About the Monash International Merit Scholarship

The Monash International Merit Scholarship is intended for all international students 31 scholarships will be available in 2015.

Monash University
Apply for a Monash University scholarship!

Total average value of up to $50,000 (based on a 5-year degree)
  • $10,000 for a full time study load (48 credit points) paid per year until the minimum number of points for your degree are completed
  • Recipients may be asked to participate or be profiled in relevant Monash marketing, recruitment and promotional materials and/or events
  • Based on academic achievement
  • Students will also be assessed on their scholarship application statement (1000 words), and their potential to be an ambassador for Monash University
  • Preference will be given to commencing students, particularly commencing students who are not enrolled in a Monash pathway course
All conditions must be met
  • International student
  • Commencing students with a full Monash course offer or continuing students, and
  • Undertaking a full time undergraduate or postgraduate (coursework) degree at a Monash campus in Australia, or
  • You must maintain a distinction average (70% or above) each semester
Application and other information
  • Can be deferred within the same calendar year only
  • You must submit a separate application form for this scholarship
  • Before applying for this scholarship, you must have received a full Monash course offer with no conditions
  • Do not submit supporting documentation with your application—this will not be considered

First graduates of JCU Nursing School

The first ever students have graduated from James Cook University’s Mackay-based Bachelor of Nursing Science (Pre-Registration) course, in a boon for healthcare in the region.

JCU Nursing School
Find out more about JCU Nursing School

Five of the seven JCU Nursing School graduates were the first entrants in the program in 2012, part of an initiative designed to help fill the gaps in healthcare services in regional, rural and remote locations.

Lecturer and site coordinator Jane O’Shannessy said six of the seven graduates will be commencing employment in Mackay and Emerald with one heading to Townsville for her graduate year. She said this secures 100% of the graduates in the North Queensland workforce.

She said that nine other nursing students have completed their second year of training, with 27 completing their first year. She expects between 30 and 35 people will start the course in 2015.

“Interest is strong for the degree here in Mackay and JCU is looking to build on the successful completion of the Bachelor of Nursing Science over the next few years.”

Acting Head of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, Professor Melanie Birks, said the course had been very successful. “We are very much committed to growing our own workforce,” she said. “We would have lost these people to bigger cities, but because we are now able to provide a quality program it means they are able to stay in the region.”

She said JCU’s relationship with Mater hospital was instrumental in the success of the program and valued for the opportunities and relationships it brought with it.

About the JCU Bachelor of Nursing

Program: Bachelor of Nursing Science
Location: Townsville or Cairns, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Program duration: 3 years
Application deadline: No set deadline

Entry Requirements
Eligible applicants must have completed a high school diploma. A minimum GPA of 67% in the best six Ontario Grade 12 subjects or equivalent for students from other provinces. If you have completed post-secondary studies at the college and/or university level, those grades will also be considered. Applicants must also have completed the prerequisite subject of English at the high-school level. Biology, Chemistry and any high school studies in Mathematics are recommended.

Bond University moves lectures outdoors

Bond University academics have taken ‘thinking outside the square’ to a whole new level with selected lectures and tutorials now being held outdoors instead of in lecture theatres—and the feedback from students has been very positive.

Spearheaded by the Office of Learning and Teaching’s Dr Sarah Long, the outdoor classes have seen a return to basics in many instances, with electronic whiteboards and LCD screens replaced by butcher’s paper and handheld mini whiteboards.

Bond University
Beautiful Bond University on the Gold Coast

“It’s about continually re-visioning and re-thinking what learning and teaching looks like and how we can  give our students the best possible learning experience and educational outcomes,” said Dr Long.

“The campaign to expand our learning activities and teaching pedagogy to outdoor spaces has been overwhelmingly successful in its pilot phase this semester. It’s not necessarily about replacing indoor learning, but looking for opportunities to enhance and extend that learning into alternate places and spaces around our campus.

“Whilst many of our academics took advantage of the outdoor lessons to minimise reliance on technology and creatively deliver content, hand held mobile devices and laptops were still able to be effectively utilised in many classes due to our campus-wide WIFI connectivity.

Dr Long said Bond University had run 80 individual outdoor classes and/or tutorial sessions involving more than 350 students to date.

“We’ve had pop-up outdoor restaurants to teach auditing, picnic table in the park sessions on animal law and classes on arbitrage in our outdoor amphitheatre—we’ve really tried to think outside the square,” she said.

“The rationale for the trial was based on sound educational research and pedagogical principles. My own studies and experience in education, teaching and consulting, both in Australia and overseas clearly highlight that place and space are powerful elements in student learning.

“I hit the educational ‘jackpot’ in working at Bond as we have a very supportive and enthusiastic Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Brailsford.

“We had discussed how we could continue to provide transformational learning experiences for our students and be innovative and creative in our approach to learning and to teaching practice and that is how this came about.”

Dr Long said research from the initial pilot showed many students felt despite the informal and sometimes confronting aspect of learning outside, away from drop-down LCD screens, technology and the comforts of Bond’s state-of-the-art indoor learning spaces, the experience benefited their learning, networking and collegiality with peers and teaching staff, and retention of academic content.

She said many of the academics involved taught subjects that were traditionally delivered in classroom lecture theatre style environments and they were outside their comfort zones and initially cautious about the benefits of moving outside the four walls of the classroom.

“However, they were sold on the experience and many report their students found it extremely rewarding with some even wanting to do it again outside of the pilot phase, “said Dr Long.

Bond University is now developing additional outdoor learning spaces on campus and working with the various faculties to support the development of robust learning activities for the outdoors that creatively complement existing course delivery and materials.

Dr Long said the exercise was perhaps best summed up through the many positive Bond University student survey comments, with one Law student stating: ‘I can’t understand why we don’t do more of this. It was such a good way to get us all talking and discussing ideas’.

Another student, studying at Bond Business School added, ‘A great initiative. I really enjoyed the outdoor lesson…Give me more!’

Dr Long said the Gold Coast’s warm weather and the university’s attractive campus added to the success of the initiative.

About Bond University

Bond University is set on a 66-hectare campus at Robina on Queensland’s Gold Coast. The Gold Coast is a multicultural, vibrant place to live and has been identified as one of the most desirable places in the world to live ranked on political, social, economic and environmental factors as well as, personal safety and health.

The Gold Coast has more than 300 days of sunshine per year. Average temperatures in summer range from 20 to 28 degrees Celsius and in the winter, the average temperature range is from 11 to 21 degrees Celsius. What a great place to study!

University of Melbourne talks green urban planning

Australian councils are being urged to take up new guidelines in green urban planning to create cooler cites with greener landscapes to reduce the risk of heat stress.

Australia is experiencing a trend of hotter temperatures and as a result heat stress is now a serious health problem for Australians who live in urban areas.

University of Melbourne School of Design and Architecture
Study urban planning at the University of Melbourne

Research published in the Landscape and Urban Planning journal, led by the University of Melbourne suggest interventions to cool our urban hot spots using features like green facades.

Guideline author Dr Nick Williams from Resource Management and Geography said, “Our research has developed a framework for better urban green infrastructure that can reduce urban air and surface temperatures.”

“During the day buildings and streets absorb solar radiation and release the heat at night keeping urban areas warmer than the surrounding countryside. But this can be tempered with a range of effective urban green designs. This includes greater use of trees, green roofs and facades, ” said Dr Williams.

Using thermal images Dr Williams and his collaborators at the University of Melbourne and Monash University studied the City of Port Phillip as a typical urban environment.

“The City of Geelong has adopted the framework and we are hoping other Australian councils and shires will follow suit as its now community health issue.”

The research identified ‘hot spots’ and addresses factors like street geometry, soil and water availability, maintenance issues and community behaviour.

University of Melbourne Master of Urban Planning

Program title: Master of Urban Planning
Location: Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: March 2015
Program duration: 2 years

In the Master of Urban Planning, students will examine the interaction between people, the places they live and the policies that help shape economically viable, socially just, environmentally sustainable, safe and healthy communities. Students will explore
  • the frameworks and operations of different planning systems and debates;
  • different perspectives on urban problems, policies, planning and practices;
  • planning in relation to critical issues such as housing, energy, health, strategy, transport, economy and disaster recovery; and
  • the way in which planning decisions impact on real world situations.
The program allows students to develop expertise in an area of specialisation in preparation for a focused career. As well as core courses, electives and a research thesis, they will complete four courses in one of the following areas:
  • International development planning
  • Urban development and planning
  • Social and community planning
  • Environmental planning

Career Outcomes

Many Master of Urban Planning graduates enter the public sector and work in government departments and agencies, or for local councils and regions.

The private sector and civil society, within Australia and internationally, offers an increasing range of employment opportunities, including urban planning and design, environmental and transport planning consultancies, property development companies, and housing and community advocacy.

There are also opportunities in tertiary education and research.

Urban planners work with teams of related professionals such as architects, landscape architects, engineers, environmental scientists, economists, property valuers, real estate developers, lawyers and sociologists.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monash has malaria under the microscope

The battle against malaria takes place on many fronts: from finding new drugs to finding new targets for drugs, to finding better ways to diagnose the infection.

In an article published in the October issue of Monash: Delivering Impact magazine, some of the university’s key researchers talk about their work with malaria, and the promise for breakthroughs against this devastating disease.

Monash University Science Degrees
Study science at Monash University in Melbourne

Many of the anti-malaria drugs being optimised for clinical use pass through the lab of Professor Susan Charman, director of the Centre for Drug Candidate Optimisation at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

In work that has earned Monash University Professor Charman five Project of the Year awards from the World Health Organisation’s Medicines for Malaria Venture, her lab has been pivotal in the development of some of the most advanced new antimalarial drugs so far, including the potential for a single-dose cure.

Professor Charman’s expertise in phamarcokinetics—optimising the way a drug is processed inside the body—is complemented by the work Monash researchers are undertaking in a range of different fields.

In the Monash Department of Microbiology, accomplished researchers Professor Christian Doerig and Professor Brian Cooke are both looking at different aspects of a class of molecules called kinases. These are regulatory molecules that have considerable potential as drug targets.

Associate Professor Garcia-Bustos, in the same department, is also on the track of targets, working with antimalarial compounds.

Dr Sheena McGowan, in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, takes another angle, looking at proteases, molecules that cut up other proteins. Malaria, like AIDS, requires proteases to survive and Dr McGowan is working on a strategy to starve the parasite by inhibiting specific proteases.

And Associate Professor Bayden Wood in the Monash School of Chemistry has developed a new diagnostic tool inspired by Dr McCoy’s medical tricorder in Star Trek.

Using a spectrometer, an instrument that can “read” light’s telltale signatures, Associate Professor Wood and his team have been able to detect a signal from malaria that allows easy identification even at a very early stage of infection.

As Professor Cooke said, “In terms of malaria, we might be unique at Monash in that we can go from basic research all the way through to biomedical engineering, clinical applications and drug delivery.”

Macquarie museum holds ancient spell book and other magical mysteries

An Ancient Egyptian codex from Macquarie University’s Museum of Ancient Cultures has been deciphered for the first time, revealing an invocation including both Christian and Gnostic elements, ritual instructions, and a list of 27 spells to cure demonic possession, various ailments, the effects of magic, or to bring success in love and business.

Macquarie University Faculty of Arts
Learn more about Macquarie University

The new book translating this codex, A Coptic Handbook of Ritual Power, was edited by Associate Professor Malcolm Choat, Department of Ancient History  and Director, Macquarie Ancient Cultures Research Centre; and Professor Iain Gardner, Chair of the Department of Studies in Religion, University of Sydney.

“Magic is a subject of enduring interest, both to researchers and the general public,” said Choat.

“Magic in the ancient world is the subject of a number of research projects in our department, and in 2016 we will be introducing a new unit on the history of magic.”

After a long invocation, the codex outlines 27 spells, or prescriptions, which offer healing or remedies for other problems people might have:
  • “Someone who is possessed: Say the formula on linseed oil and pitch. Anoint them.”
  • “Love charm: Say the formula on wine. Let them drink.”
  • “A binding (spell): Say the formula over a new potsherd (and) bury it at the door.”
  • “So that any person be subject to you and give glory to you: Say the formula first before you go out – within your house – and before you speak with the person.”
  • “When someone has a magic on them: wormwood, wine. Let him drink (it).”
  • “Black jaundice: Black cumin, pepper, wine; let him drink (it). Or if it is that of the gold (i.e. yellow jaundice): milky water, wormwood; and let them wash (in it) and drink (it). Boil the water.”
  • “For any sickness: Say the formula on a first (pressing) oil. Anoint them.”
  • “For every staunching of blood: Say the formula on a dry gourd. Let them eat (it). If it is in the body (i.e. internal bleeding): apply with vinegar.”
“You can see here how similar magic and medicine—things that we thinks of as quite separate spheres—actually were in antiquity. So as well as being part of the history of magic and religion, this is also part of the history of medicine,” said Choat.

The edition of this codex was carried out as part of a larger project to publish the over 600 papyri held in the Museum of Ancient Cultures, now known as the Macquarie Papyri.

“The type of Coptic used makes us think it might come from the region of el-Ashmunein (ancient Hermopolis) in Upper Egypt,” says Choat. “Coptic is the final stage of the Egyptian language, and descendent of the hieroglyphs. Based on the handwriting, we think the codex was written around 700 AD.”

Macquarie University is the only place in Australia where Coptic Studies is offered, and the university has been awarded more than three-quarters of a million dollars in Australian Research Council funding for projects in the area of Coptic Studies and papyrology over the last eight years.

Gardner is also teaching a Senior Level unit on ‘Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic’ at the University of Sydney, and is currently participating in the 2012-2014 ARC Discovery project, “The function of images, and related aspects of production and design, in magical papyri and similar artifacts of ritual power from Late Antiquity,” led by Associate Professor Jay Johnston from the University of Sydney.

The Macquarie Papyri
The Museum of Ancient Cultures at Macquarie University, Sydney, holds a small, but important collection of some 640 papyri. These are mainly Greek texts. There are also some items written in other languages and scripts, notably Demotic and Coptic (Egyptian). Most are papyri in the strictest sense, but the collection also includes a small number of items written on ostraca, parchment, and wooden tablets. Most of the texts date from the period of the third century BC to the eighth century AD.

UQ vet alumna recognised for research with global impact

The livelihoods and well-being of farmers and their livestock in Africa have been improved thanks to UQ veterinary science graduate, Tarni Cooper.

Ms Cooper was one of five Distinguished Young Alumni Award recipients for 2014 for her work in smallholder farming systems in developing countries.

UQ Veterinary School
Study vet science at UQ

She said she felt very humbled and honoured to receive the award.

“I accepted the award in recognition of the contribution veterinarians are making internationally, in pursuit of one health for animals, humans and the environment,” she said.

Since graduating as a veterinarian in 2010, Ms Cooper has worked in Kenya, Vietnam, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia, serving as an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development (AYAD) with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

She is now based in Australia and works for ILRI as a consultant, with a focus on agriculture for nutrition and health.

Ms Cooper works within a research team that looks at creating a food secure future with projects focusing on the assessment and management of health risks associated with food safety, zoonotic diseases, emerging diseases, and diseases associated with agricultural intensification within developing countries.

“I entered the veterinary science program knowing that I wanted to contribute to the pursuit of food security for socioeconomically disadvantaged people who depend on livestock for a living,” Ms Cooper said.

“In Tanzania, our team is undertaking research to identify and assess the impacts of major production diseases and zoonoses in dairy cattle.

“This will improve production efficiency and health outcomes in communities with smallholder dairy farms and establish a basis on which to set future research priorities.

“I’m very keen to share my experiences with current veterinary students, to expose them to opportunities outside of their current Australian experience.

“This award provides the opportunity to tell my story, as well as those of my colleagues and hopefully encourage more veterinarians to engage in cross-cultural dialogue and expand experiences with their international colleagues in developing communities.”

Ms Cooper is planning to undertake a PhD in communication for social change at UQ to enable her to better translate her clinical and social research and continue to improve the lives of people in developing countries.

University of Queensland’s Bachelor of Veterinary Science

Program title: Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc)
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Program duration: 5 years
Application deadline: November 30, 2014; however, late applications may be accepted by UQ Veterinary School.

Entry Requirements
UQ Veterinary School applicants must have a secondary school diploma and have fulfilled Grade 12 prerequisites of Chemistry, Physics or Biology, Mathematics, and English for admission into this program. Generally, a B average is required for admission. Please note that the MCAT is not required for entry.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Melbourne Medical School's Royal Melbourne Hospital Clinical School

The Melbourne Medical School Doctor of Medicine (MD) has been designed to train doctors who have the skills, attributes, passion and competency to make a positive and immediate contribution to health locally and internationally. Integral to students’ study is the teaching and clinical training they will experience at the University of Melbourne’s clinical schools located in affiliated teaching hospitals.

University of Melbourne School
Learn more about Melbourne Medical School – the #1 medical school in Australia*

Each of Melbourne’s clinical schools offers students a unique experience, whilst delivering the same MD curriculum to provide a first-class medical education.

Melbourne Medical School Clinical School Zone Preferences

Applicants invited to a multi-mini interview (MMI) for a place in the Doctor of Medicine (MD) program will be asked to identify their preference for a particular Clinical School region and whether they are interested in being selected to a particular rural cohort.

Students are allocated to one of these clinical schools for the final three years of the course. Acceptance of a place in the medical course indicates acceptance of subsequent clinical school placement.

Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) Clinical School

Melbourne MD students at the RMH Clinical School will be trained in Australia’s busiest hospital, under the guidance of internationally-leading health teachers, practitioners and clinical researchers.

RMH is a tertiary teaching referral hospital providing specialist and general medical and surgical services, including cardiac, neuroscience, endocrinology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, infectious diseases, dermatology and oncology, as well providing a major trauma service and Victorian Infectious Diseases Service.

Students at the RMH Clinical School have the opportunity to learn about clinical practice and research including endocrinology, neuroscience, neuropharmacology, infectious diseases, rheumatology, cardiology, surgery, cancer biology and treatment, trauma, medical imaging, clinical epidemiology and psychiatry. They also have the opportunity to work alongside leading University of Melbourne clinicians and scientists.

Fast Facts
  • RMH is co-located with the new Women’s Hospital
  • The hospital is home to a number of state-wide referral services including the Victorian Infectious Disease Service (VIDS) and the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre
  • RMH Royal Park Campus offers services such as the Wound Management Clinic, Amputee Clinic and the Neurology Rehabilitation Clinic
  • Surrounded by leading research institutes including the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI), Melbourne Brain Centre and the soon to be completed Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and Peter Doherty centre
  • Students have access to a large and well-equipped student lounge, and a full range of IT facilities and amenities
  • The Clinical School utilises the latest technologies, including interactive whiteboards, recording software and audience response systems
  • Access to MEL, Melbourne Health’s Medical Education eLearning platform, providing access to valuable hospital resources unavailable elsewhere
Where is the RMH Clinical School located and how do I get there?

The RMH Clinical School is situated close to the University of Melbourne and the internationally renowned Parkville precinct. Parkville is one of the most highly concentrated precincts of biomedical research in the world. The hospital is just north of the CBD and is accessible via a variety of public transport.

Boasting beautiful parklands, sporting facilities and the famous Queen Victoria Market, Parkville is the perfect environment for a fulfilling student life. The area includes affordable student living right in the heart of the city and is close to outstanding restaurants, cafés and nightlife.

What can I expect to be doing day-to-day?

RMH students attend lectures and interactive seminars in large groups, and practise procedural and clinical skills in smaller groups. They rotate throughout the year to various units within the hospital where they have the opportunity to shadow doctors and speak with and examine patients.

RMH Clinical School fosters a culture of independence and discovery in line with the values of the Royal Melbourne Hospital. It is a perfect place for proactive and committed students to find the freedom to learn. To accompany this, the RMH Clinical School has one of the largest and most experienced staff pools, offering a reliable support base for any concerns students may have. The approachable and helpful nature of the RMH staff creates an outstanding supportive environment that guides our students through their course.

*QS World University Rankings by Subject: Medicine, 2014