Friday, July 31, 2015

UQ School of Public Health studies Australia’s antibiotic overload

A pilot study led by researchers from the University of Queensland aims to reduce antibiotic resistance in Australia by decreasing the amount of antibiotics prescribed by general practitioners.

The study, Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention and Control Initiatives in General Practice, aims to decrease antibiotic-resistance across Australia.

UQ Public Health School
A pilot study led by researchers from the University of Queensland aims to reduce antibiotic resistance in Australia

Study co-author Professor Charles Gilks from the UQ School of Public Health is leading a team of researchers from UQ, Bond University and Queensland University of Technology.

Professor Gilks said most antibiotics were prescribed in a general practice setting, where they were the most common class of medicine prescribed; therefore, GPs were best placed to address the problem.

“Prescribers are well-placed to convey to patients that they are twice as likely to carry resistant bacteria after a course of antibiotics as someone who has not taken them,” Professor Gilks said.

“These resistant bacteria can persist for up to twelve months after antibiotic use, but with no further exposure to antibiotics they will disappear over time.”

The research team will trial a combination of evidence-based interventions that have each been shown to reduce antibiotic prescribing in the general practice setting, and will present a final report to the Department of Health on June 2016.

“In order to preserve one of medicine’s most precious and longstanding resources, GPs must reduce antibiotic use and only prescribe it where appropriate,” Professor Gilks said.

The UQ School of Public Health professor added that new antibiotics were not being developed at a pace that came anywhere close to meeting the impending urgent need.

Australia is one of the highest users of antibiotics per person in the developed world, with approximately 22 million prescriptions written every year in primary care.

Half of all antibiotics prescribed by GPs in Australia are for the management of respiratory conditions, but this treatment is often inappropriate as most respiratory infections are viral and resolve in the same amount of time whether or not an antibiotic is prescribed.

There is a strong link between antibiotic consumption and the rate of antibiotic resistance in patients. So the increase in antibiotic use increases the risk of death for patients who acquire antibiotic-resistant infections.

JCU medicine and dentistry application deadline in one month

Are you interested in studying medicine or dentistry at James Cook University? The application deadline for the 2016 intake is coming up soon—August 31 (Australia time). Your complete application must be received by Friday, Aug. 28 in order for it to be submitted to JCU on time.


JCU Medical School
Study at James Cook University, Queensland

About the JCU Medical School Medical Program

The 6-year, full-time MBBS degree is a comprehensive program with integrated instruction in biomedical sciences, professional practice and clinical medicine. Graduates will be uniquely qualified in the fields of rural, remote and Indigenous health, and tropical medicine.

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 6 years
Application deadline: August 31, 2015 (Note: early offers of admission may be made to high-achieving international applicants. It is recommended that students apply as early as possible and well before the August 31 deadline.)

About the JCU Dental School Dentistry Program

The dentistry program at James Cook University is a five-year undergraduate degree that provides students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to become competent practitioners of dentistry. It is a broad-based program which includes all aspects of dental practice but also has a special focus on issues of special concern to the northern Australian region, particularly those relating to tropical, rural and Indigenous practice.

Program: Bachelor of Dental Surgery
Location: Cairns, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: August 31, 2015 (Note: early offers of admission may be made to high-achieving international applicants. It is recommended that students apply as early as possible and well before the August 31 deadline.)

Sydney Veterinary School study risks of transporting horses

A new study into horse transportation issues and practices in Australia has been announced.

As part of her PhD on the topic of equine transportation, Barbara Paladino and her supervisors from the Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science (Dr Gary Muscatello, Dr Pietro Celi, Professor Sharanne Raidal and Professor Leo Jeffcott) are distributing a survey to collect data on horse transportation practices and transport-related illnesses in Australia.

University of Sydney Veterinary School
Sydney vet researchers study equine transportation

Most of the existing research on equine transportation has been conducted in countries outside of Australia and Barbara believes that the problems arising in Australia could be different to those in Europe.

Australian horse owners, trainers, breeders and organisations are invited to complete an online, 10-minute survey if they have transported horses within the past two years.

“We are particularly interested in any diseases that have occurred to your horses in order to document and investigate underlying potential reasons behind these events. The aim of the study is to gather data to identify transportation risk factors, and therefore potentially make horse transportation safer and less stressful. To achieve this, we need the ‘real world’ input of Australian equine industry members,” she said.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Sydney

Program title: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: March
Program duration: 4 years
Application deadline: January 4, 2016; however it is recommended that students apply as soon as possible as this program can fill quickly.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bond professors awarded for their role as ambassadors to the city

Bond University’s Professor Keitha Dunstan and Assistant Professor Peta Stapleton have been recognised for their role in helping inject millions into the Gold Coast economy by working to secure conferences and meetings for the City.

Professor Dunstan and Assistant Professor Stapleton were formally honoured for their participation in the Gold Coast Business Events Ambassador Program at an awards ceremony at Gold Coast City Council presided over by Mayor Tom Tate.

Bond Business School
Bond professors awarded for their role as ambassadors to the city (Photo credit: Bond University)

The Gold Coast Business Events Ambassador Program has resulted in $20 million in conferences, meetings and events booked for the Gold Coast, with a further $15 million in potential business events still pending.

Business events are a major contributor to the city’s economy and social capital with the industry contributing $306 million to the local economy in 2014.

“I applaud all involved in this ambassador program and thank them for their tireless work to promote our city and its attractions,’’ Mayor Tom Tate said.

“One of the legacy outcomes our city hopes to achieve from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games is a more engaged community. As the Games draw near, we will undertake a major volunteer drive for those wanting to assist in promoting all that is great about our city to the many thousands of visitors.

“When I learn of programs such as the one we are celebrating here today, I know we have a great deal of pride and passion among our residents.”

The Ambassador program unites influential leaders from key local industries to proactively promote the Gold Coast to the rest of the world through their industry networks.

Ambassadors represent a diverse cross section of academic, medical, corporate and not for profit sectors and are typically quiet achievers in their own field or industry.  The Ambassadors provide a vital link, working alongside Gold Coast Business Events to lobby and actively bid to attract a future national or international conference to the Gold Coast.

Gold Coast Tourism Director of Business Events Anna Case says Ambassadors are an integral part of achieving increased business events for the city.

“Ambassadors volunteer their time and expertise when they step forward to bid for a conference. The events they help to deliver not only contribute to the economy, they also enrich our city with opportunities to host world leaders and industry experts as delegates attending conferences on the Gold Coast,” she said.

Delegates typically spend 3 to 5 days attending a conference and usually spend double that of a leisure tourist.

Get ready for your Sydney dentistry interview

Starting today, Thursday, July 30, 2015, Sydney Dental School applicants will be undertaking multi-mini interviews for admission into the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program for the 2016 intake.

Sydney Dental School
Best of luck with your Sydney Dental School interview!

As part of the application process, interviews are mandatory and are often a cause of unease with prospective students. Like a job interview, it is best to exhibit a professional, competent, and likable personality—like we needed to tell you that! But, to help you out, OzTREKK has compiled some interview tips!

Prepare your equipment

On the day of your interview, you must log into Skype and be ready at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled interview time. Your interview will likely last at least 45 minutes; however, you should allow at least one hour in addition to this time in case there is a delay, or there is a need to clarify a matter. Internet and computer glitches often come at the most inopportune time!

You should use the most reliable method of connection available for your interview (e.g., a wired computer connection, where possible.)  Wireless connection can be used, provided that it is sufficiently reliable to complete the interview process. Imagine beginning your interview with shady internet connection—yikes!

Can’t attend your interview at the specified time? You must contact the Admissions Office as a matter of urgency. The Admissions Office will make reasonable efforts to accommodate your needs, but cannot guarantee that an alternative interview time will be available.

Do you need to bring anything to the interview?

For verification purposes, you must bring photographic identification (passport or driver’s license) to the interview. Have it ready, at your computer, to show at the beginning of your interview. Now is not the time to go fishing through your purse or digging in your wallet.

Please note that if you do not bring photographic identification to the interview, the Sydney Dental School reserves the right to cancel your interview.  In that event, your application for admission to the Sydney DMD in 2016 will be deemed to have lapsed, and will not be considered further.

What should you know?

Don’t call them, they’ll call you. Please do not contact the Admissions Office or any of the interviewers via Skype at any time. The office will be running many interviews over a period of time, none of which can be interrupted.

Prior to your interview day, you will be sent a “Contact request” via Skype from the Admissions Office, which you should accept as soon as possible.

Position yourself in a way that your face can be clearly seen on the camera. Don’t sit with a strong light behind you. When discussing the question with the interviewer, please look directly at the camera on your computer. Have your photo ID ready to be shown to the camera.

In the event that the connection fails during your interview, please do not try to contact the Admissions Office or your interviewer. Faculty staff will try to  re-establish the connection via Skype or call you on the contact number you provided at the interview booking stage to sort out the issue. You may be  re-interviewed for that station at the end of the entire 45 minutes.

What to expect

The multi-mini interview (MMI) is an assessment of applicants’ personal and professional attributes. It is designed to test your reasoning and problem-solving skills in a range of areas that the Sydney Dental School considers important in entry-level students, as well as your values and commitment.

The assessment is conducted through a range of different authentic scenarios that test specific characteristics. There will be 5 stations of 7 minutes each, with a turnaround time of 2 minutes.  Each station samples different aspects of professionalism according to a carefully designed framework.

At the commencement of the interview, the first interviewer will appear on the screen. Say hello to him or her. Once the bell rings, you will be sent the first scenario via ‘Instant Message’ on Skype. Read the first sentence of the scenario aloud to the interviewer.

What exactly are they looking for in a candidate?

Sydney Dental School will be looking for the following skills and attributes from applicants:
1.    Knowledge relevant to the question.
2.    The capacity to draw implications from that knowledge.
3.    Insight into their own attitudes and views relevant to the issue.
4.    Insight into other people’s attitudes and views relevant to the issue.
5.    Ability to formulate an approach to address the issues that takes account of 1–4.

Additional tips and things to get you thinking

Now, we don’t guarantee that you’ll be asked about your shortcomings, but it is recommended to have an overall sense of “who you are” and a level of comfort with yourself and your knowledge before heading to an interview. Here is a list of tips and other things to get you thinking about the types of questions they may ask, and to help get you prepared:
  • Don’t have Skype? Get it. Learn about it. Be prepared to know how it works. Especially learn the instant messaging button as this is where you will read the interview questions.
  • Be yourself. Putting on an act to impress people is rarely successful, is usually transparent, and is most often a turnoff.
  • Dress appropriately. No one wants to see you just out of bed, in a T-shirt, or wearing exercise gear. You are interviewing for a professional degree!
  • If you are invited to ask questions, have some! Be prepared to speak about yourself and your interests outside of dentistry.
  • No note-taking permitted!
  • Take a deep breath. The interviewers are people, just like you. They understand that you will be nervous and will factor that in when they interview you.
  • There won’t be any breaks. Use the washroom beforehand. You may have a glass of water on hand should you need it.
  • The questions are not “black and white,” “right or wrong.” The interviewers are interested in your passion for dentistry, your thought processes, your communication skills, and your personality. They want to know what you think and who you are, not what edentulous means (they already know that!).
  • Familiarise yourself with the Sydney Dental School. Find out who is in charge and understand the faculty structure. What is the dental school known for? Why is that a good fit for you?
  • Turn. Your. Cellphone. Off.
  • What makes you stand out from other applicants? (But don’t brag!)
  • Don’t lie. Answer questions as honestly as possible.
  • Do you have weaknesses? What are they? Are you working on them?
  • Know the dental profession—its past, its present, its future. This shows you would like to invest your life in the profession.
  • Where do you see yourself 5, 10, 20 years from now?
  • Be prepared to talk about your undergrad degree.

Closing the eye health gap may be in sight

Three years after the launch of the roadmap to close the gap for vision, progress has been made but “much remains to be done,” according to the authors of a Perspective published online recently by the Medical Journal of Australia.

University of Melbourne Public Health School
Study at the University of Melbourne

Dr Marian Abouzeid, Mitchell Anjou and Professor Hugh Taylor from the University of Melbourne said that progress has been made to increase services, improve efficiencies and support better Indigenous patient engagement with the eye care system.

Launched in 2012, the roadmap comprises 42 recommendations spanning a whole-of-system approach to eliminating disparities in Indigenous eye health.

The recommendations aim to
  • increase accessibility and uptake of eye care services by Indigenous Australians;
  • improve coordination between eye care providers, primary care and hospital services;
  • improve awareness of eye health among patients and clinicians; and
  • ensure culturally appropriate health services.
“Demonstrable gains are being made and there is growing momentum around the roadmap initiatives, but much remains to be done, and increased government support is required,” the authors said.

The authors stated that up to 94% of vision loss in Indigenous adults is avoidable or amenable to treatment.

“Vision loss accounts for 11% of the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, so it follows that fixing the eye care system to address avoidable vision loss will help to close the broader health and social gaps and will have flow-on effects well beyond eye health,” Professor Taylor said.

More engagement was needed from the public health and medical communities to drive progress.

The template used for eye care has high relevance for integrating care between primary health and essentially all visiting specialist services.

“With concerted multi-sectoral effort, political will and a commitment to establishing a sustainable eye care system, the gross disparities in eye health that exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians can be eliminated.”

Source: Medical Journal of Australia

University of Newcastle receives funding to boost the learning experience

The University of Newcastle has been successful in the latest round of Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) funding for diverse educational projects.

University of Newcastle in Australia
Study at the University of Newcastle

Associate Professor Kathleen Butler has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship on “Sociology technology and Indigenous issues.” This fellowship seeks to formally extend critical conversations on Indigenisation of curriculum to the discipline of sociology. The fellowship will employ focus groups in three states to gather data, culminating in a symposium highlighting models of best practice. These models will be disseminated through a range of means including an ongoing website hosted by the University of Newcastle.

Associate Professor Seamus Fagan is leading a project “(Re)claiming social capital: improving language and cultural pathways for refugee students into Australian higher education.”

In association with Curtin University and Macquarie University, the University of Newcastle will identify the pathways taken by Humanitarian Entrant Background students to enter higher education and how these students experience their transitions into and through undergraduate study.

The University of Newcastle is also a partner institution into a study led by Griffith University examining “Augmenting student’s learning for employability through post-practicum educational processes.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Studying physiotherapy at the University of Sydney

The Master of Physiotherapy course at the University of Sydney prepares graduates for professional practice as physiotherapists.

University of Sydney Physiotherapy School
Inside the Sydney physiotherapy hospital

Physiotherapists use highly developed clinical reasoning skills to assess, diagnose and treat people with movement problems caused by a wide variety of joint, muscle, nerve and metabolic disorders.

They use a range of drug-free techniques to treat and prevent injuries, and assist their clients to maintain fit and healthy bodies. The focus of physiotherapy is upon patient-centred care.
The core areas of the Sydney MPT course are introductory and advanced musculoskeletal, neurological, and cardiopulmonary physiotherapy, applied to patients across the lifespan.

Biomechanics, occupational health and community health are incorporated in various units of study, and evidence-based practice and professional practice are embedded throughout the curriculum. Students will also undertake university-organised clinical practice placements in the second year of the course. The skills required to practice advanced clinical reasoning are progressively developed during the course.

The course is a graduate-entry program, which means students are required to have completed an undergraduate degree prior to entry.

University of Sydney Master of Physiotherapy

Program: Master of Physiotherapy
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Duration: 2 years
Semester intake: March
Application deadline: October 1, 2015 (Australian time). Applications are assessed on a rolling basis (as they are received). All application documents must be received by Wednesday, September 30 at noon.

Entry Requirements
To be eligible to apply, you must have the following:
1. Completed an undergraduate degree from a recognized university.
2. Have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 4.5, which the University of Sydney states is approximately equivalent to a credit average or better. A credit average at the University of Sydney is between a 65-74%. Your grades assessed for admission are based on your highest-ranked university degree.
3. Have completed undergraduate studies in the following prerequisite areas:
  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychology
It is recommended that you apply for the Master of Physiotherapy program if you have achieved a minimum 65% cumulative average in your university studies. Please note that this is a minimum average to be eligible to apply. Students who have not yet completed an undergraduate degree may apply, as long as they will have graduated prior to commencing the Sydney MPT program.

International experts speak at Global Order and Disorder conference

Australian and international law and policy experts will discuss ‘Global Order and Disorder’ at an interdisciplinary conference being held at Bond University in August.

The conference will consider aspects of governance and regulation in the 21st century in what is an increasingly interconnected world.

Bond Law School
Bond Law School Associate Professor Dr Danielle Ireland-Piper

The conference has been organised by Bond’s Transnational, International and Comparative Law and Policy (TICLP) Network, comprised of lawyers, political scientists and professionals engaged in legal and policy research.

The TICLP Network, founded by a number of Bond academics and co-convened by Bond Law School Associate Professors Leon Wolff and Danielle Ireland-Piper, is an interdisciplinary hub for research on law and policy issues of global importance.

Associate Professor  Ireland-Piper said the conference would include presentations by Australian and international experts on a number of contemporary issues.

“The conference will investigate international, transnational and comparative concerns such as global financial stability, cross-border transactions, national security, war and armed conflict, statelessness, human rights, and transnational crimes such as terrorism,” she said.

“Cross-border governance and regulation pose significant challenges for governments from countries around the world and this program is designed to engage with some of the key issues Australia faces internationally.”

Associate Professor Wolff said the key objectives of the TICLP are  to promote cutting-edge research that addressed regulatory issues confronting Australia and pave the way for change.

“A major aim is to contribute to the formulation of Government policies in areas such as international relations, international trade and investment, international finance, national and regional security, human rights and dispute resolution,” he said.

The TICLP is an open network accessible to all interested scholars, practitioners, policy-makers and students from across Australia, the Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world.

The ‘Global Order and Disorder’ conference will be held on August 7 and 8 at Bond University.  It will include sessions from a number of experts including Professor Michael Stűrner of the University of Konstanz, Associate Professor Douglas Guilfoyle from Monash University and Eve Massignham from the Australian Red Cross. There will also be a number of speakers from Bond University including Dr Umair Ghori, Dr Malcolm Davis, Dr Danielle Ireland-Piper, Victoria Baumfield, Narelle Bedford, Lisa Bonin, Louise Parsons, Jodie O’Leary, and Laura-Leigh Cameron-Dow.

The keynote address will be delivered by Associate Professor Anthony Cassimatis from the University of Queensland and the closing address will be delivered by Professor William Van Caenegem from Bond University.

Bond University’s Juris Doctor Program

Bond Law School offers the Juris Doctor (JD), which is a professional, legal qualification designed to equip students for a career in the legal profession, business, industry or government in Australia and overseas. Its combination of excellent teaching, small classes and an extensive legal skills program differentiates Bond Law School from other institutions. It provides an exciting learning experience that both challenges students academically and prepares them practically for a legal career.

Program: Juris Doctor (JD)
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Semester intake: January, May, or September each year
Duration: 2 years (six semesters in total)
Application deadline: There is no official application deadline. Students from Canada should apply early, particularly if you are seeking entry for a September intake.


Monash medical students secure funding for their innovations

After wowing the crowds at a Victorian competition with their entreprenurial ideas, two teams comprising Monash Medical School students and alumni will receive $20,000 to put their ideas into practice.

Five finalists were selected at the Medtech’s Got Talent finals, with four of the 17 semi-finalists affiliated with Monash. The unique program is run by STC, an organisation that promotes commercialisation and entrepreneurship around next-generation medical technologies. Part pitch competition, part accelerator, it offers critical resources, skills development and seed funding to high-potential early-stage medical technology start-ups.

Monash Medical School
Gavin Fox-Smith, Laura Faulconer, Buzz Palmer, Jennifer Tang, Jarrel Seah, Toby McSweeney (Photo credit: Monash University)

Designed to support early-stage medtech business and product concepts including devices, diagnostics and ehealth, Victorian students, post-docs and recently graduated alumni were invited to apply and take part. Seventeen semi-finalist teams were selected and were mentored by leading business experts for a month to help prepare them for the competition finals, held in Melbourne.

Current student Jarrel Seah, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and alumni Dr Jennifer Tang, who studied Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, were one of two Monash teams to win at this year’s Medtech’s Got Talent competition. They presented their idea, Eyenaemia, an eye recognition app that diagnoses anaemia.

The non-invasive cloud-based anaemia-screening tool works by using any camera-enabled smart device. Last year they won the Microsoft Imagine Cup for their novel idea.

Jennifer Tang said being one of the finalists represented a great opportunity to share their idea.
“All the semi-finalist teams and ideas were great and it illustrates how much growth the medtech industry in Melbourne is going to have,” she said.

The five finalists each received $20,000 in seed funding, prizes and acceptance into the Accelerated Technology Roadmapping training and mentorship program, providing them with skills to grow their business. This will culminate in an Investor Boardroom Pitch on Aug. 7, where early-stage investors will critique the five teams’ investment pitches and select an overall winner, who will receive an additional $40,000.

Dr Andrew Yap was part of the other Monash affiliated team selected for the final five, winning the Monash University-sponsored prize presented by Dr Alastair Hick, Director of Monash Innovation, for their Medtasker idea. Medtasker aims to provide safer healthcare communication via a medical communication platform that enables task management and alerts for escalations in patient status and proactive clinical alerts for medical professionals in hospital settings.

Dr Yap is a Monash alumni, having completed an MBBS degree at Monash and is currently is currently studying a Master of Applied Information Technology at the university.

Dr Yap said making it this far in the challenge has provided additional validation for the team that they are building the right product, which will make healthcare communication safer.

“We’re currently piloting Medtasker at a hospital in Melbourne and are looking to roll it out to other hospitals around the country over the next 12 months,” he said.

The other Monash affiliated semi-finalists were Hannah Szto, Sarah McPherson, Evelyn Lim; IllumiKnight – Remote fall monitor for aged care facilities; and Jacqueline Harrison, Laura Roberts and Pooja Yashod; Neoband – Wearable device for wellness monitoring during pregnancy.

Monash Medical School’s MBBS

The Monash Medical School’s graduate-entry degree emphasizes clinical communication skills and early clinical contact visits to medical practices, community care facilities and hospitals. The MBBS is interdisciplinary program, organized to provide integration of structure and function within the biomedical sciences. It presents a continually expanding level of medical experience, starting in the first semester of the course. In the first year, the basic medical sciences are taught in the context of their relevance to patient care. Later in the course, clinical teaching builds upon and reinforces this strong scientific foundation.

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
Location: Gippsland Campus, Churchill, Victoria (approx. 2 hours southeast of Melbourne)
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: September 11, 2015 (Round 2)


Al Gore presents at the University of Melbourne

Former US Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore delivered a presentation on the impacts of and solutions to the climate crisis at the University of Melbourne on Monday, July 27.

University of Melbourne environmental science degrees
Former US VP Al Gore (Photo credit: University of Melbourne)
A special update to his powerful 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth, this presentation comes as the world considers the challenges and opportunities for climate change in the lead up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21, in Paris in December, where a new global climate change agreement will be negotiated. In addition, his talk to staff and students provided an update on the latest climate modeling and the current state of international climate policies.

Mr Gore served as the 45th Vice President of the United States and served under President Bill Clinton. He is a global champion for climate protection and is the founder and chairman of The Climate Reality Project. In 2007, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change.”

Mr Gore has an ongoing relationship with the university and, in particular, the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute. Don Henry, a Public Policy Fellow at the University, is a member of the Board of Directors of The Climate Reality Project and serves as a key climate advisor to Vice President Gore.

Environmental Sciences at the University of Melbourne

  • Master of Agribusiness
  • Master of Agricultural Science
  • Master of Animal Science
  • Master of Environment
  • Master of Food and Packaging Innovation
  • Master of Food Science
  • Master of Forest Ecosystem Science
  • Master of Science (Geography)
  • Master of Urban Horticulture

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

UQ works on mobile health app

The cough is the single most common reason for a trip to the doctor, placing enormous strain on Australia’s healthcare system, but a new mobile health tool being developed by the University of Queensland could ease pressure on doctors and lower consumers’ health bills.

UQ Engineering School
UQ Associate Professor Udantha Abeyratne (Photo credit: UQ)

UQ School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering’s Associate Professor Udantha Abeyratne said the mobile application was based on an automated algorithm that could use sound alone to diagnose respiratory conditions such as pneumonia and asthma, without the need for additional hardware.

“The technology is based on the premise that cough and breathing sounds carry vital information on the state of the respiratory tract,” Dr Abeyrante said.

Recently commercialised by spin-off company ResApp, the new diagnostic tool will allow doctors to diagnose and monitor respiratory diseases via a smartphone application.

ResApp has already secured more than $4 million to develop the technology and launch it into the marketplace.

“I initially started developing this technology with the assistance of funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2009,” Dr Abeyratne said.

“So it’s incredibly pleasing to see it go beyond the initial conception stage, right through to UQ signing commercialisation agreements with external companies.”

Launched on the Australian Stock Exchange this month, ResApp is one of only a handful of UQ companies to be publicly listed.

Licensed with the assistance of UQ commercialisation arm UniQuest, ResApp is expected to lead to cost savings for consumers, insurers and governments through shorter consultation times, the ability to use telehealth solutions and a reduced use of antibiotics.

With the capability to function over multiple platforms such as smartphones, web, wearable and medical devices, potential markets for this technology range from smartphone users to telehealth providers and organisations such as the World Health Organisation.

ResApp CEO Tony Keating said the application was expected to be available in 2016.

“ResApp is excited to be working closely with Associate Professor Abeyratne’s team at the University of Queensland to commercialise technology that brings the power of a true medical diagnostic tool to everybody who owns a smartphone,” Mr Keating said.

Dr Abeyratne said he would like to see the technology clinically verified and FDA approved.

“My aim is for it to be implemented on mobile phones and other ubiquitous computing devices, empowering and enhancing patient participation in managing respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, asthma and whooping cough,” Dr Aberyratne said.

“Pneumonia alone kills about one million children every year, largely in remote resource-poor regions of the world.”

About the UQ School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Located within the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, the School of ITEE is at the forefront of research, teaching and learning across the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) and Engineering disciplines.

The School of ITEE offers a multifaceted suite of teaching programs, at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level, in Information Technology, Engineering Hardware, Software and Information Management, Human-Computer Interaction and Multimedia Design.

Newcastle graduates’ earning power ahead of the rest

University of Newcastle (UON) bachelor degree graduates continue to earn more than the national average for their first full-time job, according to the latest findings of the Australian Graduate Survey.

University of Newcastle Law School
Study at the University of Newcastle

The 2014 survey of graduates found that the median starting salary for UON bachelor graduates was $55,000, ahead of the national average for Australian graduates of $52,500.

Broken down by fields of education, UON graduates in engineering earned an average starting salary of $63,500, and in education, $60,000. UON graduates in computer science and law started on $58,000; humanities $51,100; and architecture and building at $50,000. All were above the national median salary for graduates in these disciplines.

UON also outperformed the nation for graduate employment across 10 disciplines, with 100% full-time employment rates recorded for UON medical and electrical engineering graduates. Other fields of education that had excellent employment outcomes included civil engineering (94.1% full-time employment); nursing (basic) (89.7%); accounting (88.5%); economics (87.5%); and building (84.3%).

Analysis of the national picture by Graduate Careers Australia indicated the labour market for new graduates has yet to fully recover from the downturn following the global financial crisis. In 2014, 68.9% of new bachelor degree graduates who entered the full-time labour market in Australia found a full-time position within four months of course completion. The equivalent overall figure for all UON graduates was 67.2%.

However, GCA’s Beyond Graduation Survey (BGS), which followed up AGS respondents three years after their original survey response, showed full-time graduate employment reached 90.2% three years after graduation. The Survey also forecast employment of graduates will grow by 13.1% over the five years to November 2019.

University of Newcastle Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Andrew Parfitt, said Newcastle graduates were well prepared for competitive national and international job markets.

“Our graduates are in strong demand with employers and command higher salaries for their first professional job. A degree creates a lifetime employment advantage, and strong graduates enable our region to strengthen and grow.”

The Australian Graduate Survey is an annual study of outcomes for graduates who have completed a course of study at an Australian higher education institution conducted by Graduate Careers Australia.


JCU researchers creating a buzz in bee research

James Cook University researchers are creating a buzz in bee research, gluing tiny transmitters to the backs of the insects for the first time.

Lead researcher, JCU’s Dr Lori Lach, said the team glued radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips to the backs of 960 bees, providing new insights into how disease affects the threatened insects.

Science degrees at JCU
A tagged bee gets back to work (Photo credit: JCU)

“We just had to hold them in our hands and hope the glue dried quickly. It was actually quite a process—they had to be individually painted, then individually fed, then the tag glued on. Then individually scanned so we knew which tag was on what color and treatment bee and which hive it was going into. It all had to happen within about eight hours of emergence because as the day goes on they start learning how to fly and they get better at stinging.”

It was a unique use of the technology and allowed the bees to be monitored individually for the first time.

“No one had looked at bees at this level before, to see what individual bees do when they are sick,” said Dr Lach.

Scientists infected half the insects with a low dose of nosema spores, a gut parasite common amongst adult honeybees, while the rest remained disease free.

Using the RFID tags in combination with observations at the hives and artificial flowers, the researchers were able to see how hard the bees worked and what kind of material they gathered.

The species of nosema used in the study (Nosema apis) has long been thought to be benign compared to the many other parasites and pathogens that infect honey bees, and no one had previously looked for the effect of nosema on behavior with such a low dose.

“We knew dead bees couldn’t forage or pollinate,” said the JCU researcher. “But what we wanted to investigate was the behavior of live bees that are affected by non-lethal stressors.”

In a just published paper, researchers say infected bees were 4.3 times less likely to be carrying pollen than uninfected bees, and carried less pollen when they did. Infected bees also started working later, stopped working sooner and died younger.

Dr Lach said nosema-infected bees look just like non-infected bees, so it’s important to understand the behavioral changes the parasite may be causing.

“The real implications from this work are for humans. About a quarter of our food production is dependent on honey bee pollination. Declines in the ability of honey bees to pollinate will result in lower crop yields.”

JCU College of Marine and Environmental Sciences

As part of the Division of Tropical Environments and Societies, the College of Marine and Environmental Sciences promotes, fosters, supports and administers quality teaching and research at JCU in the areas of Marine Biology, Environment, Geography and Sustainability, Aquaculture and Fisheries, and Terrestrial Ecosystems.

Terrestrial Ecosystems provides the behavioural, ecological, evolutionary and taxonomic expertise required to understand and manage our terrestrial biological resources, with a special emphasis on the tropical biomes of the world.

Master of Science (Zoology and Ecology)
Students of the Master of Science (Zoology and Ecology) program have access to new and unique research facilities including the Tropical Sustainable Futures Complex (TSFC) on the Cairns campus and the Daintree Rainforest Observatory (DRO) at the site of the Canopy Crane at Cape Tribulation.

The two new field-based facilities provide direct and ready access to field locations and are designed for students to engage in practical field activities and long-term monitoring projects. Both facilities present exciting teaching opportunities that will provide students with much greater real-world experience and engagement with field biology.

These are flexible courses allowing students to specialise in the animals and ecology of rainforests, savannas, tropical freshwater systems, tropical wildlife, or tropical insects.

Program: Master of Science (Zoology and Ecology)
Location: Cairns, Queensland
Duration: 1.5 years
Semester intakes: February and July
Application deadline: January 31 and June 30 each year

Entry requirements
Completion of a recognised, appropriate undergraduate degree, or equivalent prior learning including appropriate professional experience.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Melbourne JD student in pursuit of justice

A family trip to South Africa as a child sparked what has been an ongoing interest in human rights and social justice issues for second-year Melbourne JD student Claire Poyser.

The 22-year-old says the eye-opening experience was the catalyst in participating in model United Nations and public speaking competitions in high school, before undertaking a law degree combined with internships and work experience with organisations such as the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).

University of Melbourne Law School
Second-year Melbourne JD student Claire Poyser (Photo credit: University of Melbourne)

“To see some of the issues at play, even at aged four—for example, my brother just by virtue of being raised in Australia was substantially more nourished than the babies we met in South Africa—was staggering,” Ms Poyser says.

Now, Ms Poyser is using her professional experience and education to help those facing a number of issues, particularly women and immigrants enduring domestic violence, sexual assault and trafficking.

Her growing list of organisations at which she has interned or volunteered with is a roll call of résumé-builders but her aims are entirely selfless.

“The benefit of internships is they give you real-life insight into a workplace, an area of expertise, how you can use legal skills in a variety of ways, like research, drafting, all kinds of things,” Ms Poyser says.

“The first consideration is not what I can get out of it, it is that there is an obvious need in this area that I have knowledge that I can use to assist.”

Ms Poyser is currently a paralegal team leader at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Footscray, where she has worked since September last year.

“Even in that time, we’ve seen such dramatic changes in the Migration Act, which governs that migration law, and our intake of clients in a diverse range of programs—limited assistance, women’s clinic—has just exploded, essentially,” she says.

A year ago, Ms Poyser interned at the AHRC where she worked alongside President Gillian Triggs and Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, two women she says she admires greatly.

Later that year, the Juris Doctor student presented a report on issues facing young women to Federal Parliament on behalf of Plan Australia following consultation with primary school students.

The issues are as diverse as they are shocking: stereotyping, sex education, eating disorders, mental health, and sexual assaults in the public space.

Coupled with the experience of seeing first-hand the sex trafficking trade and bonded labour at practice in India during a Stop the Traffik trip earlier this year, Ms Poyser is determined to make a difference.

She says witnessing such issues has provided lessons outside of the classroom that show her how to apply the legal principles learned at Melbourne Law School.

“My legal education at Melbourne Law School has been first-class. That’s undisputed. This is the best law school in the country. But I could never have learned any of these lessons in the classroom," she says.

“Combined with the theory I’ve learned at law school, I’m really hoping this will set me up well to practice.”
Story by Andy Walsh

About the Melbourne Law School Juris Doctor

Program: Juris Doctor (JD)
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February
Duration: 3 years (standard course structure); 2 or 2.5 years (accelerated course structure)
Application Deadline: Melbourne Law School has a general application deadline of November 30 each year. It is recommended that you apply as early as possible.

Entry Requirements
Melbourne JD applicants must have
  • completed an undergraduate degree in any discipline; and
  • completed the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).
The Melbourne JD selection criteria:
  1. Academic results achieved in previous tertiary studies
  2. The LSAT score


Become a speech pathologist

What is a speech pathologist?

A speech pathologist is a professional who is qualified to assess and treat communication and swallowing impairments. Typical clients of speech pathologists include children who have difficulty with speech or language, children with developmental impairments (e.g., autism, cerebral palsy), adults who have suffered brain injuries (e.g., from a stroke), and adults with dementia. Speech pathologists collaborate with clients and their families to determine the nature of communication and swallowing impairments, and devise ways of addressing them.

Where do speech pathologists work?

Speech pathologists work in a variety of health, educational, and community settings. For example, they work in hospitals, community health centres, schools, non-government organisations, and private practices. Speech pathologists are in demand from employers across Canada and Australia.

What course should I study to become a speech pathologist?

The Master of Speech and Language Pathology at Macquarie University began in 2001. It prepares graduates for the profession of speech pathology, enabling them to work clinically with individuals with developmental or acquired communication disorders. The program enables individuals who have completed a bachelor’s degree in a related field to qualify as speech pathologists in two years and obtain a master’s degree.

Program: Master of Speech and Language Pathology
Location: North Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: February
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline:  TBC. For the 2015 intake, the application deadline was October 31, 2014.

Entry Requirements
To be eligible to apply to this program, you must have the following:
  • Completed an undergraduate degree (preferably in the fields of linguistics or psychology). Applicants with degrees in related areas, such as teaching, allied health, medicine, or nursing, will be considered on an individual basis; some bridging coursework may be required.
  • Achieved a minimum cumulative average of at least 75% to be considered.
  • Various prerequisite subjects, including Language Description; Introduction to Psychology; Introductory Statistics; Statistical Data Analysis; Phonetics and Phonology; Introduction to Psycholinguistics or First Language Acquisition; Physiological Psychology and Learning; Developmental Psychology; Cognition and Perception; Speech Physiology; Human Biology; Grammar and Meaning; Developmental Speech and Language Disorders; and Acquired Speech and Language Disorders.
Macquarie Speech Pathology School applicants must submit a personal statement to be assessed with their application. In the personal statement, it is important that applicants demonstrate an understanding of the scope of speech pathology as it is practiced in Australia, since this is where they will be developing their knowledge and skills.

International honour for Griffith nursing professor

Griffith University’s reputation as a world-leading authority in nursing has been firmly cemented, following news that Professor Wendy Chaboyer is being inaugurated into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.

Professor Chaboyer has travelled to the awards in Puerto Rico for the ceremony July 25.

Griffith Nursing School
Native Canadian Professor Chaboyer is being inaugurated into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame (Photo credit: Griffith University)

Operated by Sigma Theta Tau International, the awards recognise members who are nurse researchers and who have achieved significant and sustained broad national and/or international recognition for their work and whose research has impacted the profession and the people it serves.

Professor Chaboyer from the Centre for Health Practice Innovation, a part of Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland, has been acclaimed following a 13-year successful track record of research leadership both at Griffith and in nursing.

Her research focuses on patient participation in patient safest activities such as clinical handover and pressure injury prevention. This work aims to promote active patient engagement in their hospital care.

“This is really the pinnacle of my career and a public acknowledgement of how I have contributed to the nursing profession,” says Professor Chaboyer who is also the director of the first nursing centre of research excellence funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

“My goal all along has been to continually develop nurses’ capacity for high-quality research, which has never been as important as it is now. Mentoring early-career researchers has been an important part of my role and I have been extremely honoured to provide mentorship to many researchers, clinicians and students.”

Originally trained as an intensive care nurse in her native Canada, Professor Chaboyer arrived at Griffith 21 years ago, coordinating the first Master of Critical Care Nursing program in Queensland in 1994.

In 2002, as a response to a Griffith University call, she led a research centre grant submission, which was subsequently awarded in 2003. Named the Research Centre for Clinical Practice Innovation, Professor Chaboyer became its foundation director and remained its director until she became the Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence.

Her personal area of research has focussed on patient safety and the role nurses play in improving the quality of hospital care and patient outcomes.

“My research has centred on the nurses’ role in preventing or mitigating patient risk and subsequent harm because nurses provide care twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Therefore it makes sense to focus on the role nurses can play to promote patient safety.”

Professor Chaboyer said her biggest wish is to overturn the ideology saying that nurses should be trained in hospitals rather than educated as professionals in universities.

“At local, state and national level, we are seeing an increase in the very uninformed opinion that nurses would be trained best in hospitals.

“Nursing is a profession, not simply a trade. In universities, nurses are educated to become the critical thinkers and quick decision makers that they need to be in order to provide high quality patient care.

“Critical thinking is crucial to the training behind today’s nurses.”

Griffith University Bachelor of Nursing

Program: Bachelor of Nursing
Location: Logan, Gold Coast or Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intakes: February and July
Duration: 3 years

UQ Veterinary Students Association

If you’re considering studying at an Australian Veterinary School, or specifically at the UQ Veterinary School, you should know that there is a University of Queensland Veterinary Students Association (UQVSA) available to support you during your studies! The UQVSA is elected each year from within the upcoming fourth-year class, by the veterinary science student body, to act as their representative.

University of Queensland Veterinary School
Study vet science at UQ’s beautiful Gatton Campus!

The role of the UQVSA is to support the veterinary science student body by
  • representation within the university and the animal health care industry as a whole;
  • providing educational resources, equipment and recreational amenities;
  • acting as a central coordination and approval system for negotiating funding and sponsorship from UQ, corporate sectors, government sectors and other external sources; and by
  • organizing professional seminars, social events and the special interest groups (SIGs).
The UQVSA aims to provide a professional voice of representation for the UQ Veterinary School student body. Their aim is to support the students while ensuring they graduate with not only an excellent education, but also a rewarding and enriched university experience.

UQ Veterinary School’s Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc)

Program title: Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc)
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Program duration: 5 years
Application deadline: Nov. 15, 2015; however, as the program can fill quickly, it is recommended that students apply as early as possible.


Friday, July 24, 2015

Monash welcomes veski international fellows

The secrets to the human brain and chronic inflammatory diseases could be uncovered with the arrival of two international researchers to Monash University.

Sydney Dental School
Study at Monash University

Associate Professor Roger Pocock from Denmark and Professor Colby Zaph from Canada, are two of the three Victorian veski innovation fellows named this week (July 19–25).

Since 2004, veski innovation fellowships have brought outstanding international scientists and researchers, typically in the top five per cent of their respective fields, to Victoria.

Along with their innovative research programs and strong industry contacts, the fellows bring outstanding young researchers from their previous laboratories to continue their research in their new labs.

Studying the brains of tiny worms at Monash University using an injection of a fluorescent jelly fish protein, Associate Professor Pocock is focused on better understanding degenerative brain diseases.

He is in the trenches building a foundation, which he hopes will one day hold the answer to treating diseases such as schizophrenia.

“We’re at the ground level trying to find out how various genes in the brain are working and we’re going to use that information with industry links in the future to hopefully identify drug targets,” Associate Professor Pocock said.

Also at Monash, Professor Colby Zaph is helping Victoria focus on claiming its share of the $70 billion global pharmaceutical market for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and immune deficiencies, including irritable bowel syndrome and asthma.

His lab is working on defining the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control immunity and inflammation, ready for translation to industry.

“Our research program is focussed on working with industrial partners to develop novel therapeutics that will transform the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases such as IBD,” Professor Zaph said.

What is veski?
veski was officially launched on May 10, 2004 and continues to receive annual funding from the State Government of Victoria, which it builds upon through strategic partnerships and collaborations with business, academic and philanthropic organisations.

veski’s vision is to foster an innovation economy. Their mission is to identify globally competitive individuals and leading researchers and bring them to Victoria for the benefit of the Australian economy.

Each year, veski delivers a dynamic program of fellowships, awards and international networks including the veski innovation fellowships. This established and prestigious program brings Australian expatriates and leading researchers, with outstanding skills in science and innovative technology, typically in the top five percent of their respective fields, to Victoria.


The Sydney Pharmacy advantage

The University of Sydney Faculty of Pharmacy is consistently ranked amongst the world’s best educators in pharmacy.  In the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015 – Pharmacy & Pharmacology, Sydney was ranked as the #2 pharmacy school in Australia.

A class above

The Faculty of Pharmacy has more than 100 years of experience in delivering world-class professional pharmacy education.

University of Pharmacy School
Study pharmacy at the University of Sydney

To gain the competitive edge as a future pharmacist, it’s crucial that students learn from the best and most experienced in the industry. At the University of Sydney, Bachelor of Pharmacy students will learn from and engage directly with the faculty’s team of internationally renowned academics. The wealth of expertise and experience at the faculty is unrivalled. Students will be taught by leading experts, several of whom are still active professionals in community pharmacies, hospitals, the pharmaceutical industry and government bodies.

The faculty prides itself on the quality of its graduates. Students will benefit from innovative and effective teaching programs, exposure to modern clinical settings and in-depth interaction with world-leading academics, placing them in a cohort of the most desirable pharmacy graduates in Australia.

Superior graduate satisfaction

Sydney Pharmacy School graduates rank their experience with the course and the faculty as extremely satisfying and rewarding.

The Australian Graduate Survey is an annual survey used by Graduate Careers Australia to compile information from graduates of all Australian universities. It incorporates the Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) which gathers data about the graduate’s perceptions of their higher education experience. Participants have scored the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney an overall satisfaction rank of 97 percent.

Connect with health care peers

Mirroring the real-life health care landscape, the Faculty of Pharmacy is a core member of a broader health division within the university. Engagement with Sydney Medical School and Faculties of Dentistry and Nursing & Midwifery creates an extensive multi-disciplinary network of health care professionals to collaborate with. Both students and academic researchers in the Faculty of Pharmacy benefit greatly from the breadth of knowledge and insight made available by these collaborations.

University of Sydney Bachelor of Pharmacy Program

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: It is recommended that Canadian students apply as early as possible to provide time for the pre-departure process.

Entry Requirements

  • Applicants are required to have completed their high school diploma in order to be eligible for entry
  • Assumed knowledge: Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology or Physics. To study in the Bachelor of Pharmacy, you are expected to have knowledge of these subject areas. Grade 12 Physics is also recommended but not required.
  • If you have commenced or completed a university degree or any post-secondary studies, your most recent studies will be assessed in terms of your grades. If you have not completed the necessary prerequisite subjects in your post-secondary studies, your high school transcripts will then be assessed for prerequisite subjects. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Who killed Janine Jenker?

A free online course that explores the effectiveness of the law and justice system from a psychological perspective is running for a second time.

University of Queensland
The UQx course opens August 25, 2015

The University of Queensland’s CRIME101x: The Psychology of Criminal Justice follows a fictional murder, investigation and trial played out as a drama purpose-built for the course.

The weekly episodes of the drama are accompanied by video lectures and other resources from UQ School of Psychology instructors Associate Professor Blake McKimmie, Associate Professor Barbara Masser, and Associate Professor Mark Horswill.

Course Coordinator Blake McKimmie said that the course is designed to challenge some common misconceptions about what results in a fair criminal justice system.

“We’re hoping that people who take CRIME101x will be better equipped to take part in the debate about justice by learning about what research says leads to fairer or more reliable outcomes in the criminal justice system.”



The eight-week UQx course opens August 25 and requires 1-2 hours of effort per week to complete.

No prior knowledge about psychology or the legal system is necessary, just a curiosity about the criminal justice system.

Almost 15,000 students took the course when CRIME101x was first offered in October 2014 on edX, a leading provider of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

edX was founded by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2012 and offers free online education using cutting-edge technologies, innovative pedagogy and rigorous courses.



UQ Business School welcomes China’s largest property developer

UQ Business School was privileged to host influential businessman and sustainable housing pioneer, Chairman of Vanke and the Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation (SFIEC) Mr Wang Shi, who inspired a passionate audience with his journey to success.

Chairman Wang Shi from Shenzhen in China is internationally recognised as an advocate for green practices, and sustainable outcomes for environmental protection.

UQ Business School
Chairman Wang Shi at UQ Business School (Photo credit: UQ)

Over 400 students gathered in the UQ Centre to attend the exclusive event where Chairman Wang Shi and UQ Business School Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths, discussed the topics of sustainability, city innovation, and entrepreneurship.

The panel discussion, which was facilitated by the Executive Director of UQ Business School Executive Education Richard Kennerley, captivated the audience which was comprised predominantly of international commerce students and business school academics.

During the panel discussion, enthusiastic students were given the opportunity to directly ask the Chairman questions, which ranged from building sustainable properties, to his many environmental causes.

Professor Andrew Griffiths said that it was an honour to host Chairman Wang Shi and his delegates for such an inspiring afternoon.

“What an outstanding opportunity it was for our students to hear from one of the most influential business minds, not only in China but globally. We thank Chairman Wang Shi and his delegation for their support of UQ Business School and hope to welcome them back to the university again in the future.”

Richard Kennerley added, “International cooperation is becoming increasingly important in business, and with our proximity to Asia, China presents a great opportunity. I am hopeful that this exchange will open the door for more collaboration opportunities between Australia and China, and more specifically between UQ and China in the future.”

As an avid sportsman who is one of only eleven people to have completed the global ‘7+2’ challenge, (7 Peaks Alpine Ascent Challenge, plus North and South Pole). Chairman Wang Shi was taken on a tour of the UQ St Lucia campus that concluded at the UQ Rowing Club.

Mr Wang Shi, who is the Founder and Chairman of China’s largest residential real estate developer, and Chairman of the Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation (SFIEC), was in Brisbane attending the 2015 Asia Pacific Cities Summit & Mayors’ Forum, which aims to drive economic growth for Brisbane, Australia, and the wider Asia Pacific Regions. UQ Business School Executive Education was a proud sponsor of the APC Summit.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sydney research shows public appetite for healthier vending machines

Health conscious Australians are hungry for more nutritious options in fast food vending machines according to new research by the University of Sydney and University of Wollongong.

The study, published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, reveals an appetite for healthy food options such as fresh fruit, vegetables, and yoghurt in vending machines in public places like hospitals and universities.

University of Sydney Public Health School
University of Sydney Prof Vicki Flood

Eighty seven percent of the 240 people surveyed thought the current range of vending machine snacks are “too unhealthy,” with 80 percent willing to pay the same or even extra dollars for healthier alternatives.

The lead researcher and accredited practising dietitian, Professor Vicki Flood from the University of Sydney, said vending machines are part of an unhealthy environment which is contributing to a rise in diabetes and obesity through the availability of energy-dense snacks and sugary drinks.

“We know that around one third of our daily calorie intake comes from snacking and with the busy lifestyles that we all lead, healthy eating often falls victim to convenience,” said Professor Flood.

“However this study shows that many Australians are becoming more aware of their diet and there is an opportunity to use vending machines to promote healthy snacking, particularly in busy environments like train stations and hospitals.”

The study was conducted in a university campus and public hospital in regional Australia, and surveyed the views of over 120 students and 120 hospital employees, patients and visitors.

The researchers also assessed the impact front-of-packet nutritional labelling had on purchase decisions, finding that more people chose the healthier food option when presented with nutritional values before purchase. The same impact was not seen in the drinks category.

A 2012 audit of vending machines in Sydney train stations by Professor Flood and colleagues at the University of Wollongong found few healthy snacks are on offer.

Only three percent of all vending machine slots were allocated to healthier choices like nuts, tuna or portion-controlled chips, and these options were generally more expensive.

Following a food preferences survey of 650 students earlier this year, the University of Sydney will be trialing more nutritious options in vending machines from Semester 2, 2015.

Ms Elly Howse from the Health Sydney University initiative said over 90 percent of students showed an interest in healthier food for lower cost.

“We are trialling better vending machine options in popular library and study spaces, as we know from our students that convenient food options are needed after-hours when campus food outlets are closed,” said Ms Howse.

“This is just one of the many initiatives we are undertaking at the University of Sydney, in collaboration with the University of Sydney Union, to give students more choice and opportunities to make better decisions for their health and well-being.”

Professor Flood said there are logistical challenges to improving vending machines but innovative businesses in Queensland and Melbourne have already recognised the market potential.

Public Health at the University of Sydney

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

Public health a Sydney Uni is open to students from health and non-health backgrounds. Public health is
  • preventing disease;
  • promoting health; and
  • prolonging life.
Program: Master of Public Health
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intakes: March and July
Duration: 1 year
Application deadline: January 31, 2016 for the March 2016 intake

Entry Requirements: A successful applicant for admission to the Master of Public Health program requires
  • a minimum four-year full time degree or equivalent qualification from the University of Sydney or an equivalent qualification; or
  • a shorter degree from the University of Sydney or an equivalent qualification, and non-degree professional qualifications and/or substantial relevant experience and/or other relevant qualifications.

Melbourne dentistry applications close in one week

Heads up, OzTREKKers! The application deadline for Melbourne Dental School is in one week! In order for your application and supporting documents to be submitted to the dental school on time, all Melbourne dentistry applicants are encouraged to submit their documents before noon on Thursday, July 30.

University of Melbourne Dental School
Study dentistry at Melbourne Dental School

Program: Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: July 31, 2015. Please note that all application documents must be received by Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 12 noon in order for your complete application to be submitted to the university on time.


Griffith degrees deliver higher earning careers

It started 25 years ago as a single building among bushland on the edge of town.
But today Griffith University has a thriving Gold Coast campus in possibly the most exciting university precinct in the world.

Griffith Medical School
Griffith’s Gold Coast campus in 1990 (Photo credit: Griffith University)

Serviced by the new light rail system and across the road from one of Australia’s most modern hospitals and the site for the 2018 Commonwealth Games athletes’ village, Griffith is a mini-metropolis born of humble origins.

And according to a study released recently, a Griffith University degree today could improve earning potential by more than 40 per cent.

The latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, funded by the Australian Government, reveals Griffith delivers better career earning potential to its graduates than most universities.

Griffith is a member of the Innovative Research Universities group, which according to the HILDA survey means students at Griffith showed an “earnings premium” of 15 per cent higher than traditional universities, known as the Group of Eight.

The report also showed that compared to an educational level of Year 11 or below a Bachelor-level degree boosted earning potential by 40.7 per cent for men and 31.9 per cent for women. A Masters-level degree boosted earnings by 47.1 per cent for men and 42.1 per cent for women.

Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Ned Pankhurst said the news comes as Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus marks 25 years since its humble beginnings in 1990 when there were just three buildings and 456 students.

Today it is home to more than 18,000 students learning from the best teachers in a cluster of multi-million-dollar buildings alongside literally hundreds of researchers tackling some of the toughest global problems.

Griffith School of Engineering lecturer Charles Hacker, who was here when Griffith first opened its doors to students in 1990, said he was proud to be part of such an innovative leading university.

He said while technology had dramatically changed the approach to teaching in the past 25 years, the passion and quality had always remained high.

“When I started we had buildings in the middle of nowhere and engineering wasn’t offered at first,” he said.

“I started as a physics and maths teacher and was over the moon when the opportunity came to utilise my electronics background.”

When Griffith opened in September 1990 at Parklands it became the region’s first “higher education” facility, offering courses in business, teacher education, the arts and social sciences.

Griffith University Dental School
Griffith’s Gold Coast campus in 2014 (Photo credit: Griffith University)

Griffith was also the first university to acquire one of Australia’s most power computers, The IBM SP2 Parallel Supercomputer costing $1.3million in 1994.

A brief history of Griffith University Gold Coast
September, 1990 – Gold Coast campus opens after amalgamating with the Gold Coast College of Advanced Education.

1994 – Australia’s most powerful computer is installed at Griffith University The IBM SP2 Parallel Supercomputer’ cost 1.3million dollars in funding and allowed for researchers to carry out large numbers of calculations simultaneously

June, 2000 – The Honourable Ms Leneen Forde has served as the University’s first female chancellor. She was also the second woman in Australia to be appointed Chancellor of an Australian university. Ms Forde retired in 2015.

2005 – Professor Ian O’Connor begins as Griffith’s fourth Vice Chancellor

July 1, 2005 – The first Australian School of Dentistry opens in nearly 60 years.

July 19, 2013 – The state of the art $150 million Griffith Health Centre Building opened.

November 14, 2013 – The first test tram arrived into the underground station at the Gold Coast campus by Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor. The light rail officially began running in July 2014.

August 2014 – Opening of $38 million Griffith Business School building

February 2015 – The Margaret Mittelheuser AM Trading Room opened, named after Australia’s first female stockbroker.

April 2015 – The Menzies Foundation partners with Griffith to form the Queensland Menzies Health Institute, the only one of its type in Queensland

2015 June – Griffith welcomes new chancellor Henry Smerdon AM

Some popular Schools at Griffith University Gold Coast Campus
  • Griffith Business School
  • Griffith Dental School
  • Griffith Law School
  • Griffith Medical School
  • Griffith Physiotherapy School
  • Griffith Speech Pathology School

Macquarie Psychology professor awarded Australian Laureate Fellowship

Distinguished Professor Ron Rapee, Director of the Centre for Emotional Health and a member of the Psychology Department at Macquarie University has been awarded an Australian Laureate Fellowship.

Australian psychology programs in Australia
Study psychology at Macquarie
The Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme, administered by the Australian Research Council (ARC), gives outstanding research leaders the opportunity to tackle some of the most urgent and complex research issues facing Australia and the world.

With just over $3 million in funding from this ARC Laureate fellowship, Professor Rapee’s project will aim to understand factors that increase risk and provide protection from the development of emotional distress during the adolescent years.

Adolescence is a critical stage in the development of emotional functioning, and behaviours developed at this time can influence the entire life course. Professor Rapee’s research study plans to follow a large group of teenagers over many years and will focus on risk and protective factors that are open to possible modification.

The intended outcomes seek to support the development of prevention and promotion programs and public health initiatives to maximise positive emotional development in young people. It is hoped that these will lead to increased productivity and better quality of life.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Sakkie Pretorius said, “Professor Rapee’s research is an excellent example of Macquarie University researchers conducting world-leading research with world-changing impact. The award of an Australian Laureate Fellowship is acknowledgement of the outstanding research undertaken by Ron and his team and recognition of his strong leadership in this important area of research.”

“One in five Australians suffer from mental disorders and most of these begin during the adolescent years. Understanding more about what makes some adolescents thrive while others experience difficulties will help to improve the mental health of all Australians,” said Professor Rapee.

The Centre for Emotional Health was established in 2006 and has grown to one of the world’s leading research centres studying the development and management of emotional difficulties.

Professor Rapee is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and in 2012 was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his contributions to clinical psychology.