Monday, December 21, 2015

Centre named after education visionary, Wayne Goss

Griffith University Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor officially opened the Wayne Goss Centre in memory of the former Queensland premier at Logan campus last week.

Mr Goss, Queensland Premier from 1989–1996, was instrumental in the development of the Logan campus which opened in 1998.

Griffith University
Ms Roisin Goss speaks at the opening of the Wayne Goss Centre (photo credit: Griffith University)

“Wayne personally led the charge to have the Logan campus built when the whole higher education sector in Australia was going through a period of tumultuous change, and he convinced the Commonwealth Government to join with the State in funding it,’’ Professor O’Connor said.

“At the time, there was a high level of unmet demand for university places in the Logan and Gold Coast regions, and he was a champion for opening up educational opportunities and increasing University attainment rates for Logan residents and surrounding districts in the fast growing Brisbane-Gold Coast corridor.”

Wayne’s wife Roisin was in attendance and thanked the university of behalf of the Goss family for ‘this tremendous honour’.

“Wayne considered this campus to be of great importance to the university.”

The Goss government purchased the 56ha Meadowbrook site for Griffith University and provided significant funds towards establishing the Logan campus.

In 2003, Mr Goss was conferred Griffith’s honorary degree of Doctor of the University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the community.

“Under his leadership as Premier, Wayne’s Government did many things to advance education as well as the development of the Logan campus,’’ Professor O’Connor said.

“These included new schools, the investigation of a modern and broader curriculum, moving nursing education into universities and expanding the teaching of languages other than English.”

As Queensland Premier, Wayne also oversaw extensive economic and institutional change including the passage of the new Public Service Act which transformed the Queensland public service. He instituted the reforms recommended by the Fitzgerald Inquiry, decriminalised homosexuality and introduced electoral reform. He also introduced initiatives in areas such as health and the environment.

Pro Vice Chancellor Logan campus, Professor Lesley Chenoweth AO, said the Logan campus enjoyed a deep engagement with its community—schools, community agencies, business and government.

“It is through these relationships that Logan campus can further its mission to build aspiration, and widen participation in education for members of the community.

“To be a community campus you have to open the doors and welcome everyone to the university. Logan campus and indeed this Wayne Goss Centre hosts many university and community events and conferences.

“And you have to agree it is a beautiful campus of which I am sure Wayne would be proud.”

Chancellor Henry Smerdon AM DUniv and Ms Goss unveiled a commemorative plaque to formally recognise the renaming of the building.

The Hon. Michael Kirby appointed to high-level UN panel on access to medicines

Former High Court Justice and Sydney Law School alumnus the Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG has been appointed by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to a high-level panel on health technology, innovation and access.

The new panel comprises 16 eminent individuals from around the world with expertise in trade, public health, human rights, and legal issues associated with access to treatment.
It will be co-chaired by the former presidents of Switzerland and of Botswana.

Sydney Law School
The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG (Photo credit: University of Sydney)

The panel’s task is to make recommendations to the Secretary-General about how to improve the affordability and accessibility of essential medicines and how to improve incentives for the development of new vaccines, medicines and diagnostics.

The work of the panel will provide fresh thinking as governments begin to work towards the ambitious set of health-related targets that fall under Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

These include the target of achieving universal access to “quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.”

Additional impetus for the appointment of the panel has come from the Ebola crisis, which has killed two out of every five persons infected (more than 11,300 deaths) and highlights the relative lack of investment in diseases that are not associated with wealthy markets.

Other challenges in access to medicines grind on over decades.

Despite dramatic improvements, in 2014 the global coverage of persons with HIV receiving antiretroviral treatment was still only 40%.

As non-communicable diseases assume a higher profile in low- and middle-income countries, access to these drugs will also bring new challenges.

Mr Kirby was a member of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law (2010–2012), whose report contained “regime-changing” recommendations about access to HIV medicines, according to Professor Roger Magnusson.

“Mr Kirby’s appointment to the panel is significant, and suggests that fresh and bold thinking is expected and will be welcomed.”

The panel has a tight timeline. It will present its recommendations to the Secretary-General in June 2016.

University of Sydney Law School

The Sydney Law School is one of the world’s leading law schools, with a ranking of 13 in the QS World Universities Rankings for the discipline of law. With more than 150 years’ experience as Australia’s first law school, Sydney is committed to excellence in legal education. Since its inception, it has been at the forefront of developments associated with both the teaching and research of law. Its strong sense of commitment to the fundamentals of law is combined with a commitment to innovation and the exploration of issues at the cutting edge.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine launched

The Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM), at James Cook University has been officially launched by the Federal Education Minister, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham at a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra.

JCU Medical School
L to R: Prof Ian Wronski, Minister Andrew Robb, Professor Louis Schofield,Vice-Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding, Senator Simon Birmingham (Photo credit: JCU)

The ceremony marks a special milestone for the emergence of AITHM, with James Cook University Vice Chancellor, Professor Sandra Harding stating that the official launch of AITHM demonstrates Australia’s position as a global leader in tropical health and medicine.

“Northern Australia’s proximity to the fast growing Southeast Asian and Pacific nations, both as part of the growing tropics presents extraordinary opportunities for Australian tropical medicine.”

“AITHM and JCU have developed a highly technical and advanced medical research capability and are well poised to respond to the scale of opportunity emerging from our near neighbours in the Asia Pacific,” Professor Harding said.

The official launch featured presentations demonstrating AITHM’s capacity building activities and showcasing a suite of research that is being translated into reality.

AITHM Director Professor Louis Schofield stated “AITHM is developing strong connections with organisations such as the Gates Foundation for research into malaria, and Johnson and Johnson in the development of therapeutics.”

James Cook University Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Ian Wronski AO said that AITHM’s research focus is on translation and commercialisation of research into new tropical therapeutics and diagnostics.

“AITHM provides a key knowledge based industry for engagement with Asia and the Pacific in research, research training, transfer of knowledge and the commercialisation of research findings.
“Australia has a bright future in tropical health and medicine and AITHM will play an important role in managing or eradicating many of the diseases specific to this region,” Professor Wronski said.

AITHM was made possible with $42M in establishment funding from the Commonwealth Government, Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative, combined with an additional $42.12M funding from the Queensland Government.

About James Cook University Medical School

The JCU School of Medicine specializes in rural and remote medicine. The program has a unique place among Australian medical schools. The course is undertaken entirely in northern Australia and has an emphasis on tropical medicine, the health of rural and remote communities, and of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders. The medical program is informed by a concern for social justice, innovation and excellence in medical education, research and service.

Monash recognised for international excellence

Monash University, along with two of its students, have been celebrated at the 2015 Victorian International Education Awards for contributions to Victoria’s international education sector.

Monash University Australia
Monash students Jirayut Prompen and Joslyn Ma have been recognised at the 2015 Victorian International Education Awards (Photo credit: Monash University)

The Honourable Linda Dessau AM, Governor of Victoria, and Steve Herbert, Minister for Training and Skills, announced the awards, with Monash recognised for Excellence in International Education.

Students from Monash were presented with International Student of the Year awards in two of the five categories: Internationalisation, Research, Higher Education, Vocational Education and Training and English Language Training.

Monash student Joslyn Ma was the winner of the new ‘Victorian Student of the Year – Internationalisation’ category, for her ongoing focus on enhancing cultural integration between domestic and international students.

Jirayut Prompen from the Monash University English Language Centre in Thailand was presented with the International Student of the Year award for English Language Training.

Each student will receive scholarships of $10,000 to contribute to their studies in Victoria and become an ambassador for the Victorian Government’s Study Melbourne initiative.

President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AO said the University was pleased that its focus on internationalisation had been recognised.

“To internationalise is essential to powering higher education,” Professor Gardner said. “As we strive to achieve excellence, Monash continues to build on our international presence, expanding connections and opportunities worldwide.

“Congratulations to all Monash staff and students who have worked tirelessly to foster engagement and inclusion across the international community.”

The annual Awards are part of a series of Study Melbourne initiatives that acknowledge the significant, unique and diverse contribution international students and international education providers make to Victoria.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

@UQ_News counts down to Christmas

Move over partridge. It’s the brush turkey’s time to shine. The University of Queensland is counting down to Christmas with its very own “Twelve Days of Christmas” carol.

The UQ version, reflecting aspects of life at UQ’s campuses, has begun releasing its daily installments on their news page and via @UQ_news on Twitter.

UQ Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Renowned UQ historian and classical scholar Professor Alastair Blanshard (Photo credit: UQ)

Renowned UQ historian and classical scholar Professor Alastair Blanshard (@AlastairBlan) said he was eagerly anticipating UQ’s re-creation of the carol.

“Few carols capture the spirit of the festive season like ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’,” he said.

“Each day brings new surprises. As the excitement builds, it is a carol that leaves you asking ‘What next?’ or ‘How could you top that?’

‘It is also a very inclusive carol. It embraces the whole community.

“It doesn’t let you forget that while the ten lords may be ‘a-leaping’ and the nine ladies dancing that someone still has to do the farm work.

“I always feel slightly sorry for the eight maids ‘a-milking.’ Everybody else seems to be having such a good time.’

Professor Blanshard said he liked the celebratory aspect of the carol.

“For a song about gifts, it’s surprisingly unmaterialistic. The ‘gold rings’ aren’t the climax of the carol, they only occur midway through the piece.

“The real joy is to be found in the final party with its pipers piping and drummers drumming.
“It is a nice reminder that this season shouldn’t be about the presents that we receive, but the time that we spend in the company of family and friends.

“That said, I certainly won’t be complaining if five gold rings find their way into my stocking.”

@UQ_News will tweet a new installment of the 12 days of UQ Christmas until Christmas Day.

The University of Queensland professor said the 12 days of Christmas traditionally ran from December 25 to January 5, in a period that was celebrated with feasting, games, and gift-giving.

“Shakespeare wrote his comedy Twelfth Night to celebrate and capture the riotous fun of the season.”

The timing of UQ’s countdown has been adjusted to suit campus life.

Read UQ’s version of the 12 Days of Christmas carol at

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

JCU Vet School embraces animal welfare

James Cook University’s discipline of veterinary science has helped launch a new tool for vets looking to care for animals in an ethical way.

The One Welfare portal will provide vets and veterinary students with essays and scenarios that confront them with dilemmas and help sharpen their approach to the ethics underlying animal care.

JCU Veterinary School
Students and patient at JCU vet school (Photo credit: Sandra Hughes)

JCU Veterinary School’s Dr Janice Lloyd, Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Behaviour, Welfare and Ethics, said the portal has been developed in conjunction with seven other veterinary schools in Australia and New Zealand and with the help of a $378,000 grant from the Office for Learning and Teaching.

“The project aims to keep veterinarians well informed about animal welfare issues so they can apply sound critical thinking skills to solve the ethical dilemmas they will encounter in practice,” she said.

Dr Lloyd said there was an international movement towards better treatment of animals. “There is growing public concern and the Australian community looks to veterinarians as leading advocates for the welfare of all animals.”

The portal will support the “five freedoms for animals” guidelines, developed by Professor John Webster from the University of Bristol, and the “five domains” concept developed by Professor David Mellor at Massey University in New Zealand (see below).

Vets and veterinary students will be confronted with scenarios ranging from a request to euthanise a healthy dog after its owners move to a smaller property to the question of what to do as heat-stressed animals die on a live-export voyage.

The JCU Veterinary School lecturer said the problems were far from just academic exercises.
“Research suggests vets encounter at least two serious ethical dilemmas a week. The portal will give them a framework to work through these and help them make decisions they can be comfortable with.”

The website is now being progressively rolled out.

“Ultimately we hope to be able to offer the learning resources to all undergraduate and graduate veterinarians to reshape veterinary and animal science education to meet the need for competence in the often tricky field of welfare and ethics,” said Dr Lloyd.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for JCU to show itself as a Centre for Excellence in the teaching of Animal Welfare and Ethics in a global sense.”

The five freedoms:
1. Freedom from hunger and thirst: by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
2. Freedom from discomfort: by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease: by prevention through rapid diagnosis and treatment.
4. Freedom to express normal behaviour: by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
5. Freedom from fear and distress: by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

The five domains:
1. Nutrition: e.g., appropriate consumption of nutritious foods is a pleasurable experience.
2. Environmental: e.g., benign conditions offer adaptive choices and variety.
3. Health: e.g., physically sound (uninjured, disease-free) animals enjoy good health.
4. Behaviour: e.g., environment-focused and inter-animal activities are satisfying and engaging.
5. Mental or Affective State: e.g., animals experience comfort, pleasure, interest and confidence.

About the JCU Bachelor of Veterinary Science

James Cook University’s veterinary science students will acquire the knowledge and skills to diagnose, treat and prevent disease in a wide range of animals including companion animals, farm animals, aquatic species and native fauna. In addition, students will acquire a thorough knowledge of animal production systems, particularly tropical animal husbandry and aquaculture.

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

Program title: Bachelor of Veterinary Science
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Program duration: 5 years

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

New treatment potential for heart attack sufferers

New hope in the fight against cardiovascular disease has arrived, following breakthrough research identifying a pigment in our bile which could protect us.

A fluid produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder, bile’s function is to aid the digestion process.

Griffith Medical School
Dr Andrew Bulmer (Photo credit: Griffith University)

Now Dr Andrew Bulmer from Griffith University’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland (MHIQ) has found that mildly elevated levels of a bile pigment called bilirubin may provide natural protection from heart attacks and help to stave off cardiovascular disease.

Published recently in the International Journal of Cardiology, the study shows that when hearts are infused with bilirubin following a heart attack, the pigment reduces damage and improves heart function during recovery.

“This is a very important finding as very few drugs are able to be administered following a heart attack to improve heart function,” says Dr Bulmer. “Generally, if it is a small heart attack people can survive; however there is a 20 per cent mortality rate from heart attack, with approximately 50,000 heart attack sufferers each year in Australia.

“Generally, bilirubin was just associated with people having jaundice; however, we have now shown that mildly elevated bilirubin is actually beneficial, naturally protecting an individual against cardiovascular disease.”

Additional research—just published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine—has shown that higher levels of bilirubin can protect the circulation from oxidative damage that causes blood vessel disease.

“We believe that this protection could be related to recently identified anti-oxidative property of the bilirubin molecule,” says Dr Bulmer.

“Inflammation is the main culprit of damage to the body and is caused by overactive white blood cells that release ‘free radicals,’ It appears our natural bilirubin can protect from these free radicals during chronic inflammatory diseases like cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and diabetes.”

Currently, 5–10 per cent of the population is believed to have mildly elevated levels of bilirubin in their blood, a condition with no negative side effects called Gilbert’s Syndrome. People with this syndrome have a 30–60 per cent reduced chance of having cardiovascular disease and a 50 per cent reduced risk from dying of any cause.

Dr Bulmer says that his findings could have positive implications for reducing health risks and improving life expectancy, as a result of increasing the bilirubin concentration in people who have low levels of the pigment in blood.

“Not only is there a benefit in being able to use bilirubin as a biomarker for measuring people’s future risk of various chronic diseases, there is a very real possibility it could be used as a treatment after a heart attack to reduce damage to the heart and possibly improve survival,” he says.

These possibilities are part of ongoing research at MHIQ’s Heart Foundation Research Centre.

About Griffith School of Medicine

The Griffith University Medical School is known for its innovation and excellence in medical research and education. Griffith MD students will develop communication skills and learn about the art and science of medicine in its wider social and ethical context. The program comprises extensive clinical placements in health care facilities ranging from rural settings through to the brand new Gold Coast University Hospital.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Chiropractic laboratories at Macquarie University

Chiropractic is one of the largest primary health professions today. Chiropractors recognise the importance of body structures and how they affect our health. They use a range of diagnostic tools including patient interviews, physical examination and X-rays. Using spinal adjustments, manipulation and other physical means, chiropractors aim to improve neuromusculoskeletal function and reduce associated pain.

In 1990, Macquarie University became the first university to formally conduct professional chiropractic education when a Centre for Chiropractic was established within the School of Biological Sciences.

The Macquarie Department of Chiropractic has a commitment to excellence in teaching and research, as well as service to the profession and the community. All members of academic staff are expected to make a contribution to the diverse functions within the department and university. Teaching, administration, community service, clinical supervision and research are fundamental to the department.

Chiropractic Laboratories
The Department of Chiropractic now has state-of-the-art facilities to enable teaching of manual therapy and patient assessment. Purpose built rooms for radiology, orthopaedics, rehabilitation and case management complete the space.

Enhancement to the audiovisual equipment has been made to allow for the recording and presentation of chiropractic and other procedures for presentation during practical class. Remote video playback by students is possible enhancing the learning process. Multiple camera angles and mixed media presentations are used.

Tutorial rooms are large enough to comfortably accommodate the increasing demand for enrolment in the chiropractic program. The ecologically friendly design maximizes use of natural light and minimises energy wastage by use of computer-controlled air conditioning and lighting.

Anatomy Teaching
The department runs introductory anatomy and histology units at Macquarie. They utilise the wet lab facilities at the Macquarie University School of Advanced Medicine where second- and third-year students do further study in anatomy in wet labs with cadavers.

Bachelor of Chiropractic

Program: Bachelor of Chiropractic Science
Location: North Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: February
Duration: 3 years

Master of Chiropractic

Program: Master of Chiropractic
Location: North Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: February
Duration: 2 – 3 years (dependent upon candidate’s background)

Bond launches Australian-first MLA

Bond University has launched an Australian-first Master of Legal Administration (MLA), aimed at business executives who want to develop a more sophisticated understanding of the law.

The new program, which can be completed in one year full time, has a similar structure to a Master of Business Administration (MBA), with students undertaking advanced law subjects that will support or progress their existing career.

Bond University Law School
Bond University finance manager Brad Andrews (Photo credit: Bond University)

Bond University Executive Dean of Law, Professor Nick James, said while other law schools offered masters programs for non-lawyers, the ability to undertake advanced subjects from the popular Juris Doctor, a postgraduate qualification for those wanting to become solicitors, was unique.

“We have developed the program to suit a niche group of professionals who are not looking for a career change, but realise they need to know more about the law in their position or to move up the corporate ladder,” he said.

“They may be business leaders who engage regularly with lawyers and law firms about matters or company directors who need a sophisticated understanding of corporate law and, while they want to know more, they don’t want or need to do a full law degree.”

Professor James said the MLA involved four foundation subjects from the JD, four masters subjects focusing on a particular area of legal interest and four subjects from across the university that are relevant to the students’ career pathway.

“The subjects have been developed in a way that makes it easy for business professionals to enroll, with intensive on-campus delivery supported by an online program,” he said.

Bond University finance manager Brad Andrews was the first to enroll in the program and said the qualification would position him well for a future Board role or chief financial officer (CFO) position.

He completed a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Accounting and Finance, in 2006 and a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) in 2009, and has worked in finance roles in Hong Kong, Germany and the Gold Coast, joining Bond four years ago.

He has also been Chair of the Gold Coast CPA Branch for four years and a member of the Tennis Gold Coast Executive Committee.

“I was looking for something to differentiate myself and the MLA program is an ideal lead-in to a Board or CFO position,” said Mr Andrews.

“Working in finance, to have a real understanding of the law is of significant benefit on a day to day basis, for example, when dealing with procurement contracts or taxation law.

“The course provides a well-rounded set of skills across areas such as legislation interpretation, contracts, dispute resolution and corporate governance, all of which are highly regarded skills.

“If you are in a commercial role, be it finance or a general manager, it is extremely valuable to have these skills so you can ask the right questions. You can’t ask what you don’t know.”

Professor James said the Master of Legal Administration would broaden Bond’s offering for postgraduate law students, with the JD to remain a popular choice for those changing to a legal career or accelerating their pathway in business, industry or government.

The Bond JD can be completed in two years full time, compared to three years at other universities, and leads to admission as a barrister or solicitor in all Australian jurisdictions.

“The JD program has a real emphasis on developing practical skills through internships, legal clinics and the professional focus that runs through the degree,” he said.

“Like the MLA, the JD will continue to appeal to those who do not necessarily want to become a lawyer but want the benefits that come from having a law degree on their CV and the significant transferable skills not just in terms of legal understanding, but critical thinking and research.”

New chip technology inspired by student laser projector

University of Sydney electrical and information engineering researchers have developed a new silicon alignment and packaging system that could improve the manufacturing efficiency of biomedical and measurement sensors.

The system was developed using silicon CMOS technologies, and designers, Professor Xiaoke Yi and research honours student Keith Powell believe it will improve the speed and repeatability of packaging.

Sydney Dental School
Learn more about engineering and IT at Sydney

The pair’s invention provides a new closed loop system to perform the silicon photonic alignment and packaging process autonomously, significantly reducing the time, cost and manpower needed.

It has also increased the efficiency, consistency and scalability for massive packaging of photonic inter circuit (PIC) chips. The primary applications for PICs are in the areas of fibre-optic communication, biomedical and photonic computing.

The new technology can also be used in radar, antenna, optical interconnect, nanophotonic packaging and recently the technology was identified as having potential applications for earthquake monitoring and early detection of landslides.

Professor Joe Dong, head of the Sydney School of Electrical and Information Engineering congratulated the team on their groundbreaking achievement, stating he has no doubt that it will create a profound impact for Australian’s industries.

Associate Professor Xiaoke Yi, Fibre-optics and Photonics Laboratory at the university said, “Photonic alignment has been a major stumbling block in the silicon photonics industry.

“I was impressed by the laser projector my honours student, Keith had developed in his spare time and asked him to try and solve the nanophotonic alignment problem.

“Within weeks Keith had a solution. And in just over a year, Associate Professor Yi and Keith had a working prototype developed and experimental verification completed.”

Keith, who is currently a PhD student in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, says the unique laser projection technology enables high sensitivity to displacements at the nano-scale and has a large measurement range.

Funding from the Federal Department of Defence through the Capability and Technology Demonstration Program Office (CTDPO) supported the invention and construction of the prototype, which is now under an Australian provisional patent.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Audiology Studies at the University of Queensland

Why study the Master of Audiology Studies at the University of Queensland?

The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences is a leading educator in audiology and the only provider of this qualification in Queensland. Staff have expertise across a wide range of clinical and academic disciplines within the field.
Audiology Studies at the University of Queensland
Study audiology at the University of Queensland

The school has a strong international reputation for the quality of its graduates, the commitment of the teaching staff and its strong research focus. This program produces graduates with the conceptual base and skills necessary for entry-level employment in the clinical practice of audiology.

The University of Queensland is privileged to offer a Master of Audiology Studies program to equip students with the knowledge and skills to become an audiologist. Students are taught by academic and professional staff, who are international leaders in their field of expertise.”

Students at UQ will be able to use technologically cutting edge clinical laboratories and students have the enviable opportunity to become familiar and skilled in the use of state of the art audiological equipment, making them world class practitioners and greatly desired graduates. There are excellent employment opportunities for our graduates who are highly sought after by Government and private audiology institutions in both within Australia and overseas.

Program: Master of Audiology Studies
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 2 years

James Cook University’s world-class research report card

James Cook University has strengthened its research credentials, more than doubling the number of research fields that receive the highest possible rating for research excellence.

A definitive report card of Australian university research quality has been published, rating JCU “world class or better” in 35 areas of research.

JCU Environmental Sciences
Find out more about environmental sciences at JCU
The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluates the quality of research in each field at every Australian university.

Universities are rated on a scale of one to five for each research field, with a rating of three representing “at world standard,” a rating of four is considered “above world standard,” and a rating of five represents “well above world standard.”

Of the 35 fields of research in which James Cook University is rated world class or above, the university received the highest possible rating (“well above standard”) in eight research areas—more than double the number it received when the ERA assessment was last published in 2012 (three in 2012 and eight in 2015).

JCU received the highest possible rating (“well above world standard”) in the following research fields:
  • Environmental sciences and management
  • Ecology
  • Geology
  • Physical geography and environmental geoscience
  • Ecological applications
  • Plant biology
  • Medical microbiology
  • Neurosciences
The university was found to be “above world standard” in another 11 areas including public health, fisheries science, materials engineering, and archaeology. JCU was rated “at world standard” in another 16 areas of research.

JCU Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Chris Cocklin said the results confirm James Cook University’s research excellence, particularly in the fields of environmental science and management, ecology, geology, and public health.

“JCU’s goal is to create a brighter future for life in the tropics worldwide through graduates and discoveries that make a difference, and these results clearly show we are delivering world-class research that improving the lives of those who reside in the tropics.”

ERA is a comprehensive quality evaluation of all research produced in Australian universities against national and international benchmarks. The ratings are determined and moderated by committees of distinguished researchers, drawn from Australia and overseas.

No-drill dentistry stops tooth decay, says research

A University of Sydney study has revealed that tooth decay (dental caries) can be stopped, reversed, and prevented without the need for the traditional “fill and drill” approach that has dominated dental care for decades.

The results of the seven year study, published recently in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, found that the need for fillings was reduced by 30 to 50 per cent through preventative oral care.

Sydney Dental School
Learn more about Sydney Dental School
“It’s unnecessary for patients to have fillings because they’re not required in many cases of dental decay,” said the study’s lead author, Associate Professor Wendell Evans of the University of Sydney Faculty of Dentistry.

“This research signals the need for a major shift in the way tooth decay is managed by dentists—dental practice in Australia needs to change. Our study shows that a preventative approach has major benefits compared to current practice.

“For a long time it was believed that tooth decay was a rapidly progressive phenomenon and the best way to manage it was to identify early decay and remove it immediately in order to prevent a tooth surface from breaking up into cavities. After removing the decay, the affected tooth is then restored with a filling material. This process is sometimes referred to as ‘drilling and filling.’

“However, 50 years of research studies have shown that decay is not always progressive and develops more slowly than was previously believed. For example, it takes an average of four to eight years for decay to progress from the tooth’s outer layer (enamel) to the inner layer (dentine). That is plenty of time for the decay to be detected and treated before it becomes a cavity and requires a filling.”

Professor Wendell Evans and his team developed the Caries Management System (CMS)—a set of protocols which cover the assessment of decay risk, the interpretation of dental X-rays, and specific treatment of early decay (decay that is not yet a cavity).

The CMS treatment “no drill” involves four aspects:
  1. Application of high concentration fluoride varnish by dentists to the sites of early decay
  2. Attention to home tooth brushing skills
  3. Restriction of between-meal snacks and beverages containing added sugar
  4. Risk-specific monitoring.
“The CMS was first tested on high risk patients at Westmead Hospital with great success,” said Professor Evans.

“It showed that early decay could be stopped and reversed and that the need for drilling and filling was reduced dramatically. A tooth should be only be drilled and filled where an actual hole-in-the-tooth (cavity) is already evident,” he said.

The CMS treatment was then tested in general dental practices in New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory. The Monitor Practice Program (MPP), funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC), confirmed that after seven years, decay risk was substantially reduced among the CMS patients and their need for fillings was reduced by 30 to 50 per cent compared to the control group.

“The reduced decay risk and reduced need for fillings was understandably welcomed by patients,” Professor Evans said. “However, patients play an important role in their treatment. This treatment will need a partnership between dentists and patients to be most successful.”

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bond University Master of Counselling

The field of social sciences at Bond University has a strong focus on the provision of specialist knowledge and skill to meet industry needs, accreditation requirements, and workplace standards in their courses.

Bond University Master of Counselling
Study at beautiful Bond University!

Within the Bond Faculty of Society & Design and in the division of Social Sciences, Psychology and Counselling, the Master of Counselling is designed to provide graduates with expertise in delivery of individualised assessment and therapy procedures suited to the presenting problems which occur in the counselling context.

The Master of Counselling degree extends teaching content across the lifespan and range of presenting issues which impact adversely on the capacity of individuals to function effectively in their day-to-day lives. This degree incorporates coursework, practical experience gained in class and during practicum placement, and research. The teaching curriculum emphasises development of personal competencies, broad-based knowledge, and applied skills required for registered practicing counsellors.

The counselling program draws from a range of theoretical models derived from current research and practice. Graduates complete a number of practicum placements under the supervision of appropriately qualified and experienced supervisors where they gain experience in applying best-practice models which meet the standards for appropriate ethical and professional practice. The philosophy which underpins the processes used to train graduates is embedded in core principles which are considered to guide ethical and professional practice in the counselling context.

The Master of Counselling program at Bond University is designed to train students for work as general or specialist counsellors. Graduates of this program are also suitable for careers as mental health professionals. This program also assists teachers who are interested in developing expertise in the area of counselling.

Program: Master of Counselling
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Semester intake: January
Duration: 1 year

Entry Requirements
Completion of an undergraduate degree from an approved institution, in a related discipline (psychology, education, vocational guidance, allied health, social work, welfare, human services or related fields).

Telemedicine focus to prevent diabetes-related amputations in remote Australia

A James Cook University scientist will be using an advanced 3D camera and software to fight extreme levels of diabetes complications found in remote areas of Australia.

JCU Medical School
Dr Malabu at the BUPA awards night where he received a grant to continue his work (Photo credit: JCU)
JCU Medical School Associate Professor Usman Malabu, who is also a diabetes specialist at the Townsville Hospital, said people living with diabetes in rural and remote areas have up to three times higher rates of amputations due to complications than other Australians.

Dr Malabu said many Indigenous people lived in remote areas, far from health centres.

“Indigenous people have a higher rate of diabetes than the general population and by the time they are seen by a doctor it’s almost too late,” he said. “In addition, people are often reluctant to be transferred for treatment to major centres far from their home and family.”

He said a late-stage diagnosis of a person in a remote area meant treatment could be extremely expensive, with high-level specialists involved and transfer and accommodation costs for sufferers and their support people.

Dr Malabu and his team have now received more than $460,000 from the Bupa Health Foundation to develop a telemedicine program. The funds will pay for the 3D camera and sophisticated software, which can scan the depth and size of diabetes-related injuries and allow doctors to track changes in the wound over time.

“With that sort of detail, it’s almost better than a face-to-face consultation,” said Dr Malabu.
Local nurses will be trained to use the equipment, and the uploaded information assessed by podiatrists and endocrinologists in the main centres.

Over time, it is expected the nurses will become more involved in assessing the information themselves.

Dr Malabu said the program will run in underserviced areas in North Queensland and focus on foot ulcers, but if it was a success, it would be ripe for expansion.

“Within five years, 50 per cent of patients with diabetes-related foot ulcers die—usually from other conditions. Once ulcers are identified there is a lot to be done for the patient other than treating the immediate problem,” he said.

Dr Malabu said the scheme had the potential to be introduced nationwide, with Australia second only to the US within the developed world for limb amputations related to diabetes.

New halls of residence honour past Monash leaders

A new state-of-the-art student living precinct spanning four residential buildings has been officially opened at Monash University by the Honourable Linda Dessau AM, Governor of Victoria. Each of the four new halls of residence has been named in honour of an academic who made a significant contribution to the university and the field in which they worked.

Monash University
New halls of residence honour past Monash leaders (Photo credit: Monash University)

The multi-level buildings will accommodate 1,000 students in self-contained studio apartments, providing affordable and stylish home-away-from-home accommodation in the heart of the Clayton campus. A number of apartments have been designed to accommodate mobility-impaired residents.

The apartments measure approximately 20 square metres and feature impressive kitchen and bathroom facilities and fully furnished living spaces, VOIP telephone handsets and high-speed internet access.

Surrounding landscape, communal spaces, an outdoor cinema, shops, cafes and walkways will be developed in conjunction with the buildings to create a safe and engaging living environment. Located near the centre of the campus, residents enjoy the benefit of being close to cultural and sporting precincts.

The Governor said she was delighted to officially open the new residential facilities, saying the new halls of residence will “significantly enhance the appeal of a Monash education, providing students the opportunity to be at the heart of the increasingly diverse and active community at Monash Clayton.”

Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AO said the apartments had been designed to be sustainable, accessible and to foster a strong sense of community.

“A growing number of students are choosing to live on campus, and Monash is expanding to meet that demand,” Professor Gardner said.

“Through the creation of this new residential community students have access to an affordable, inclusive and sustainable living environment where they can study, build friendships and relax.”

In recognition of their respective contributions to the development of Monash, their leadership and service to the university, the halls have been named in honour of
  • Emeritus Professor Enid Campbell AC OBE – an eminent legal scholar and the first female professor and then dean of a law school in Australia. Professor Campbell earned an international reputation for her research and writing on constitutional and administrative law, and her contribution to legal education.
  • Emeritus Professor Mollie Holman AO – a physiologist, renowned for her contribution to research and development in her field. Professor Holman’s remarkable international reputation as a researcher led to her appointment in 1970 to a Personal Chair in Physiology.
  • Emeritus Professor Malcolm Logan AC – geographer and university administrator, Professor Logan was Vice-Chancellor and President of Monash University from 1987 till 1996, a time of momentous expansion and change in its history.
  • Associate Professor Ian Turner – an historian and political activist, Associate Professor Turner taught at Monash in the 1960s and 1970s. He was renowned as an original, brilliant and inspiring teacher, with a great passion for his country, its art, literature and landscape.
The buildings have been designed by three leading Australian architects in line with Monash University’s vision to create true communities in quintessentially Australian styles
Sustainable design and construction was central to the building development with the aim to achieve a 5-star As-Built rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. The university’s Briggs and Jackomos Halls at the Clayton campus were the first multi-unit residential buildings in Australia to receive this rating. The new halls will take the total number of student rooms to 2,748.

Turner Hall is already taking residents and the remaining halls will be open in time for next year’s intake.

Sydney Faculty of Pharmacy congratulates NHMRC and ARC recipients

The Sydney Faculty of Pharmacy recently offered congratulations to Professor Kim Chan, Professor Mary Collins, Professor Deborah Schofield and Dr Fanfan Zhou for their recent National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Australian Research Council (ARC) grant success and on their outstanding research achievement.

Professor Hak-Kim Chan, named as CIA, and Professor Warren Finlay were awarded an ARC Discovery Grant in the amount of $374,000 for their project “The role of electrostatic charge in airway deposition of aerosols.” This project aims to develop a validated mathematical model for accurately predicting deposition behaviour of charged aerosol particles in human airways.

Sydney Pharmacy School
Learn more about Sydney Pharmacy School

Professor Mary Collins, named as CIB, along with Professor Iain McGregor as CIA, Professor Inga Neumann as CIC, Dr Michael Bowen as CID, and Dr Andrew Clarkson as CIE, were awarded an NHMRC Project Grant in the amount of $739,105 for their project “Oxytocin as a novel antagonist of the intoxicating and addictive effects of alcohol.”

Professor Deborah Schofield, along with Professor Kathryn North as CIA, and other chief investigators, were awarded an NHMRC Targeted Calls for Research in the amount of $25 million for their project “Preparing Australia for Genomic Medicine: A proposal by the Australian Genomics Health Alliance.” Professor Schofield is leading the economics and translation component of the grant, and this grant builds on her collaboration with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Garvan Institute for Medical Research.

Dr Fanfan Zhou named as CIC, and Professor Hak-Kim Chan as CID, along with Professor Jian Li as CIA, Dr Qi Zhou as CIB, and Dr Tony Velkov as CIE, were awarded an NHMRC Project Grant in the amount of $728,044 through Monash University for their project “Optimising inhaled polymyxins as a vital therapy for pulmonary infections: A novel biochemical, molecular imaging and systems pharmacology approach.”

In addition, Professor Sallie-Anne Pearson (UNSW) was named as CIB, as part of the Sydney Faculty of Pharmacy‘s Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in Medicines and Ageing, along with Associate Professor Adam Elshaug as CIA, Associate Professor Ian Scott as CIC, on an NHMRC Project Grant in the amount of $806,176 for their project “Measuring low-value health care for targeted policy action.” This grant is associated with the faculty’s CRE.

Bachelor of Pharmacy Program at Sydney Pharmacy School

The undergraduate pharmacy program at the University of Sydney provides students with the core skills and knowledge required for the effective delivery of pharmaceutical care and the ability to proceed to research. Students will study the chemical, physical, pharmaceutical, and pharmacological properties of medicinal substances and the application of these in the pharmacy profession. The Faculty of Pharmacy has an enviable national and international reputation that means students will study and interact with world-renowned academics and enjoy access to best practice teaching laboratories and cutting-edge technology.

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: January 31, 2016; however, it is recommended that Canadian students apply as early as possible to provide time for the pre-departure process.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

UQ landmark to undergo dramatic refurbishment

Queensland judicial leaders tried their hands as graffiti artists at the University of Queensland’s landmark Forgan Smith building recently to mark the beginning of a new chapter in the building’s history.

The building houses the TC Beirne School of Law, which is set for a dramatic refurbishment to begin in January.

University of Queensland Forgan Smith Building
UQ Forgan Smith building today
The graffiti—recording fun and fond memories of the school’s alumni and students—was a symbolic farewell to the walls that have contained the hopes and dreams of about 10,000 law students over the past 66 years.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the 12-month refurbishment would be an exciting rejuvenation of the historic building to bring it into line with the world’s best contemporary education facilities.

“The aim is to improve the student experience by creating a place of light, learning and collaboration, incorporating the latest technology and facilities,” he said.

“The rejuvenation will not affect the beautiful and historic sandstone façade, but will see a dramatic re-modelling of the internal space to create a state-of-the-art teaching and research facility befitting our law school’s ranking among the top 50 in the world.”

Historic features such as the magnificent red cedar-panelled Moot Court—previously Brisbane’s Supreme Court—would be preserved and re-installed in the remodelled facility.

Professor Høj said the significant cost of the work would be met by a combination of university capital works funding and philanthropic donations, much like the way the university and its alumni almost three decades ago came together to bring Customs House back to its rightful glory for the ongoing benefit of both the university and indeed Brisbane.

Head of School and Dean of Law Professor Sarah Derrington said the new space was designed to support a major refocusing of the UQ Law School and would provide a dynamic and inspiring environment for students and teachers.

“Teaching in today’s world is a stimulating, interactive and ever-evolving experience,” she said. “In addition, the legal workplace is changing, with more collaborative work practices between younger lawyers and their senior colleagues.

“The new space will include collaborative research spaces and break-out rooms, independent study areas, and facilities for mobile technology, innovative learning, research and academic facilities.”

University of Queensland
Artist’s impression of the Forgan Smith refurbishment (Image credit: UQ)

Professor Derrington said philanthropic support would also be sought to establish an endowed scholarship fund.

“As part of the school restructure, we are deliberately reducing our first-year intake to no more than 250 of the best and brightest students, and we are providing them with innovative programs, collaborative learning opportunities and excellent student-to-teacher ratios,” she said.

“One of the major hurdles for financially disadvantaged students is the cost of living while undertaking a full-time degree.

“An endowed scholarship fund will enable our school to offer students scholarships that alleviate the imperative to work to survive.”

The rejuvenation, which has been more than a year in the planning, has been designed by BVN Architecture under the guidance of heritage architect Andrew Ladlay.

University of Queensland Law School Bachelor of Laws program

Program: Graduate-entry Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 3 years

Entry Requirements
To be eligible to apply to the Bachelor of Laws (graduate entry), you must have the following:
  • Completed or be completing an undergraduate degree
  • Achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average (cGPA) of 75%
It is recommended that you apply for the UQ Law School’s LLB program if you have achieved a minimum cGPA of 75%, as above. Please note that this is a minimum average to be eligible to apply and that your application outcome will be determined by the university. Each applicant’s average is calculated over all years of university study. LSAT is not required for entry.

Study vet medicine at the #1 vet school in Australia

According to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015, the University of Sydney is ranked 11th in the world and number one in Australia for veterinary science!

The University of Sydney strives to provide the very best education in veterinary medicine and animal science through bachelor’s degrees, postgraduate coursework, continuing education and research training. Sydney alumni have shaped professions locally, nationally and globally. Their sustained, stellar achievements in practice, public service, research, academia and the media provide the best advertisement for the success of the university’s programs.

All Sydney Uni students are supported to develop their leadership skills and veterinary interests through academic and co-curricular activities. Campus life in both Sydney and Camden provides unique opportunities for personal growth, networking and exploration of career directions. Students are always supported and guided as they learn and help them to meet the challenges of student life.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Sydney Veterinary School

Program: 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.

Admissions Criteria/Entry Requirements for Canadians
Students can apply for a position into the Sydney DVM after completing any kind of bachelor degree at a recognized university, as long as program prerequisite units of study have been met.
Applicants must have completed the following prerequisite units of study at bachelor-degree level to be eligible for entry:
  • general chemistry (physical and inorganic)
  • organic chemistry
  • biology
  • biochemistry
The minimum GPA for entry is a 2.8 on a 4.0 scale; however, places are limited and there is a strict quota for this course. Entry is highly competitive so students who have achieved the minimum GPA (and other admission requirements) are then ranked on academic performance. The higher your GPA, the better your chances of receiving an offer.

Forming planet observed for first time

An international team of scientists has captured the first-ever images of a planet in the making. The accumulation of dust and gas particles onto a new planet—the process by which the planet continues to form and grow—has been directly observed for the first time.

None of the nearly 1,900 planets previously discovered and confirmed outside our solar system (called exoplanets) are in the process of formation.

The findings of the scientists, led by University of Arizona graduates Steph Sallum and Kate Follette and including the University of Sydney’s Professor Peter Tuthill, were published recently in Nature.

A star known as LkCa 15, located 450 light years from Earth, has been observed exhibiting all the trappings of an expectant parent: it is surrounded by a vast disc of dust and gas, making an ideal environment for planets to grow from; the dust shows distinct signs of disturbance—something within has eaten away part of the disc.

Co-author of the paper Professor Tuthill said the images provided unambiguous evidence. “This is the first time we’ve imaged a planet that is definitely still in the process of forming.”

The photo provided the proof: “The difficulty had been that when you have indirect evidence, there are always alternate explanations that might fit the data,” Professor Tuthill said.

Researchers are just now being able to image objects that were close to and much fainter than a nearby star, thanks to specialised instruments. These include the Large Binocular Telescope, or LBT—the world’s largest telescope, located on Arizona’s Mount Graham—and the University of Arizona’s Magellan Telescope and its Adaptive Optics System, MagAO, located in Chile.

Capturing sharp images of distant objects was challenging, in large part because of atmospheric turbulence, said Professor Laird Close, Dr Follette’s graduate adviser.

“When you look through the Earth’s atmosphere, what you’re seeing is cold and hot air mixing in a turbulent way that makes stars shimmer,” Professor Close said. “To a big telescope, it’s a fairly dramatic thing; you see a horrible looking image.” The breakthrough was possible because the Large Binocular Telescope was purpose-built, incorporating a novel imaging technique to sharpen the images.

Meanwhile, Professor Close and Dr Follette used Magellan’s adaptive optics system MagAO independently to corroborate the discovery. Using MagAO’s unique ability to work in visible wavelengths, they captured the planet’s ‘hydrogen alpha’ spectral fingerprint, the specific wavelength of light that LkCa 15 and its planets emit as they grow.

When cosmic objects are forming, they get extremely hot, and because they are forming from hydrogen, those objects all glow a deep red. That single shade of red light was emitted by both the planet and the star as they underwent the same growing process, Dr Follette said.

“We were able to separate the light of the faint planet from the light of the much brighter star and to see that they were both growing and glowing in this very distinct shade of red,” she said.

Professor Tuthill said the results were only made possible because of the application of a lot of very advanced new technology to the business of imaging the stars.

“It’s fantastic to see these cutting-edge instruments now enabling us to make such exciting discoveries,” Professor Tuthill said.

University of Sydney School of Physics

The University of Sydney School of Physics is the leading physics department in the country, with outstanding staff and students undertaking world-leading teaching and research.

The university’s 100 staff and 150 postgraduate students conduct research across a vast range of interests from nanoparticles to clusters of galaxies and from theoretical modelling to laboratory experiments. With access to supercomputers, modern laboratory facilities and observatories, locally, nationally and internationally, the School of Physics is the premier environment for physics education and research.

JCU scientist finds marine debris travels far

Rubbish dumped at sea off Townsville will end up on the popular Mission Beach holiday spot, while Cairns’ marine trash goes straight to the exclusive Port Douglas resort—according to new computer modelling by a James Cook University scientist.

JCU environmental sciences
Marine debris recovered during a beach clean-up (Photo credit: JCU)

JCU’s Kay Critchell fed local wind and tide data into the state-of-the-art SLIM modelling system. She then tracked drift patterns for an average-sized plastic water bottle that found its way into Townsville’s Ross River or Cairns’ Trinity Inlet, or was dumped at sea along the Great Barrier Reef.

Rubbish from the Ross River washed ashore in the northern beachside suburb of Pallarenda, while plastic from Trinity Inlet headed for Port Douglas. The model showed plastic debris from a shipping lane off Townsville’s Magnetic Island would land on the popular Mission Beach, about halfway between Cairns and Townsville.

Ms Critchell said the findings were consistent: “For floating plastic the big driver was the wind. The main collection points were south or southeast facing beaches and those in close proximity to a river mouth.”

She said with limited resources available to beach clean-up crews, it’s important their activities are targeted. “According to this study, the best use of their time would be to patrol beaches facing south or southeast after a big high tide or storm.”

She said there were major differences between the respective ranges of waste that entered the ocean from rivers and that which came from shipping lanes. “The average distance travelled from a river mouth is 18.8 kilometres, from shipping sources it’s 225 kilometres.”

Ms Critchell said while the Ross River was not the Ganges, it isn’t a terribly good environment either.

“I spent Friday with a group on the river bank along the shallows and we filled a truck with rubbish from the river in five hours. And there was plenty we couldn’t get.”

She said the main thing to remember was that environments can be restored.

“We can use things like rubbish collection booms in the shallows that trap rubbish but have a low impact on marine life, we can use waterwheels that scoop plastic waste out of the rivers, but these things take effort and are expensive.

“What is most important is that the rubbish not get into the environment in the first place. It really comes down to personal responsibility—people disposing of their rubbish properly. It’s a huge and growing issue, but it’s not hopeless.”

The next phase of the study will examine what happens to debris when it’s washed out to sea again from its original destination beach.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

MCAT 2016 schedule

Thinking of applying to Australian Medical Schools for the 2017 intake? Then you’ll probably need to write the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

Australian Medical Schools MCAT
Australia is a great place to study!

The MCAT is administered multiple times from late January through early September, and offered at hundreds of test sites in the United States, Canada, and around the world. Keep in mind that test centres have limited capacity and seats are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

*All MCAT exams will begin at 8 a.m.

Test Date – Score Release Date

January 22 – February 23
January 23 – February 23
April 1 – May 3
April 23 – May 24
May 6 – June 7
May 14 – June 14
May 20 – June 21
June 2 – July 6
June 18 – July 19
July 8 – August 9
July 9 – August 9
July 22 – August 23
August 4 – September 7
August 5 – September 7
August 19 – September 20
August 20 – September 20
August 25 – September 27
September 1 – October 4
September 9 – October 12
September 10 – October 12

The first three sections organized around 10 foundational concepts in the sciences (biology, biochemistry, organic chemistry, general chemistry, physics, psychology, sociology). In the new Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS) section, students are asked to analyze, evaluate, and apply information provided by passages from a wide range of social sciences and humanities disciplines.
  1. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems Section
  2. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems Section
  3. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior Section
  4. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section (CARS)
Register for the MCAT! Go to

University of Melbourne scientists recognised with awards

A scientist working to develop a one-shot-for-life flu vaccine and a renowned environmental scientist have been awarded prestigious Australian Academy of Science medals.

University of Melbourne science degrees
Associate Professor Katherine Kedzierska and Dr Jane Elith will receive the prestigious Academy of Science medals for 2016 (Photo credit: University of Melbourne)

University of Melbourne immunologist Associate Professor Katherine Kedzierska, from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, won the 2016 Jacques Miller Medal for experimental biomedicine.

Associate Professor Kedzierska researches immune responses to virus outbreaks, including influenza, with a particular focus on how best to protect vulnerable and high-risk groups.

Her cutting-edge work could lead to the development of a one-shot flu jab for life.

Professor Sharon Lewin, Director of the Doherty Institute, said Associate Professor Kedzierska’s outstanding translational research was integral to the work of the organisation.

“Katherine is such a deserving recipient of the Jacques Miller Medal and I congratulate her on this outstanding achievement. Earlier this year she made headlines for her research identifying ‘killer’ CD8+ T cells as the best way to protect against a new strain of avian influenza virus emerging from China, a major breakthrough in the search for universal flu vaccine.

“I am also very excited to see these two medals being awarded to two outstanding female scientists.” Professor Fabienne Mackay, Head of the School of Biomedical Sciences, said this is only the second time the Jacques Miller Medal for Experimental Biomedicine has been awarded.

“We are very proud of Katherine for such an incredible achievement. The honour is a testament to the capability within the university’s biomedical department and the Doherty Institute for producing ground-breaking research with the potential to make a real global impact.”

Dr Jane Elith, who recently won the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science, was awarded the Fenner Medal. Dr Elith from the Melbourne Faculty of Science, has become one of the world’s most influential researchers in applied ecology.

She uses new tools to understand species distribution in the wild, helping to better inform environmental managers and governments on invasive species, land-use and improving biodiversity.

Dean of Science at the University of Melbourne Professor Karen Day said Dr Elith was blazing a trail for women in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

“She is an outstanding conservation biologist and a wonderful role model for women in STEM,” Prof Day said.

“Her work exemplifies the power of combining mathematics and biology to provide innovative solutions to environmental problems.” The Academy President, Professor Andrew Holmes called the women ‘inspirational.’

“These scientists are simply inspirational. They are working at the leading edges of their fields and of human knowledge, and they are developing innovations that will change and improve our society, our economy and our health,” Professor Holmes said.

The awards will be formally presented at the Academy’s annual three-day celebration of Australian science, Science at the Shine Dome, in Canberra in May 2016.

Master of Environment at Griffith University

The Master of Environment at Griffith University provides training for people who wish to help to make society more sustainable. It also provides opportunities for those who want to move into more senior management positions. You will develop the ability to work in multidisciplinary teams, to contribute to policy-making processes and to run environmental management systems.

Master of Environment at Griffith University
Study the Master of Environment at Griffith University

The following specialisations are available and prepare graduates who are focused on creating a more sustainable society through their work in and across business, government and industry.


  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Economics and Policy
  • Education for Sustainability
  • Environmental Planning
  • Environmental Protection
  • Sustainable Business
  • Water Resources

Career opportunities

  • Climate Change Adaptation: You will be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to work in the areas of environmental climate change and policy-making. You may find work in the public sector, business or community organisations as an environmental assessment officer, project officer, project manager or policy officer.
  • Economics and Policy: Addressing the challenge of sustainability has created employment opportunities in environmental economics and policy making across the business, government and community sectors. You may find work as a policy officer, policy advisor, environmental assessment officer or management consultant.
  • Education for Sustainability: You will be prepared for work as a community education officer, environmental education teacher, education and communication officer or program developer.
  • Environmental Protection: You will be equipped with the essential skills in environmental protection policy and practice needed to work in consulting firms and in government agencies. Your work will be focused on improving environmental management, quarantine and biosecurity outcomes in careers such as environmental monitoring and compliance officer, environmental assessment officer or project officer.
  • Water Resources: You will be prepared for work in local councils and state government departments dealing with water resources and planning issues and in private consulting companies. You may find work as an environmental consultant, project officer, groundwater scientist, catchment management specialist or urban waterway specialist.
Program: Master of Environment
Location: Nathan Campus, Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February and July
Duration: 1 – 2 years (depending on candidate’s background)

Monday, December 07, 2015

University of Sydney leads Australia in QS Employability Rankings

University of Sydney graduates have been rated the most sought-after in Australia in the first comprehensive global rankings into employability.

The University of Sydney topped the list of Australian universities in the inaugural QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2016, and was also rated in the top 15 globally with a rank of 14.

University of Sydney
University of Sydney topped the list of Australian universities in the inaugural QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2016 (Photo credit: University of Sydney)

The rankings mapped more than 30,000 people to identify the educational background of the world’s most employable people.

“These rankings confirm what we’ve known for years about our graduates and the unique Sydney qualities they bring to the workplace,” said Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence.

“It’s no secret that the University of Sydney attracts the brightest minds to some of the most competitive and rigorous courses on offer nationally. And so it follows that these students then go on to incredible careers in the most coveted graduate roles.

“For more than 160 years, we’ve helped shape the minds of graduates who go on to change the world as leaders and innovators in their fields.”

As well as charting the educational backgrounds of senior leadership teams at the top 500 privately owned companies globally (by annual revenue), the rankings also covered over 16,000 tertiary degrees offered in more than 1,200 universities worldwide.

The rankings measured universities on the following indicators:
  • University’s reputation among employers (30 per cent weighing)
  • Partnerships with employers (25 per cent)
  • Alumni outcomes (20 per cent)
  • Employers’ presence on campus (15 per cent)
  • Graduate employment rate (10 per cent)
The full QS Graduate Employability Rankings were released on 26 November at the QS Young Universities Forum in Melbourne.

Quacquerelli Symonds (QS) was founded in 1990 and provides higher education and careers information working alongside over 2000 higher education institutions and 12,000 employers worldwide.

The QS Graduate employability Rankings is the result of an extensive research project which has been running since October 2014.

Monash engineering researchers co-discover ultralight magnesium alloy

Professor Nick Birbilis, Head of Materials Science and Engineering Department at Monash Engineering School, said that the new magnesium-lithium alloy weighs about half as much as already lightweight aluminum, and could potentially be used across a broad range of manufacturing to reduce the weight of motor vehicles and other items such as laptops by up to 40 per cent.

Monash Engineering School
Dr Nick Birbilis (Photo credit: Monash University)

Professor Birbilis, who is part of a research team that includes Professor Michael Ferry and key researcher Dr Wanqiang Xu from University of New South Wales, came across the discovery by chance when they noticed that a piece of the magnesium alloy had been resting in a beaker of water for quite some time without corroding.

“Normally for magnesium alloys, you walk away and a day later you come back and there’s very little left. This particular alloy stunned everyone in that it looked pristine after very lengthy periods of exposure in saltwater conditions,” he said.

The findings, published in the current edition of Nature Materials, describe how the alloy forms a protective layer of carbonate-rich film upon atmospheric exposure, making it immune to corrosion when tested in laboratory settings.

Even when scratched, the metal is able to reform a protective surface film, making it similar to stainless steel, but at a fraction of the weight. In fact, this magnesium alloy could be the world’s lightest and strongest metal.

This discovery is particularly relevant to the transport industry, where a reduction in the weight of cars, trucks and airoplanes could improve fuel efficiency and greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“These panels will make many vehicles and consumer products much lighter and, eventually, just as durable as today’s corrosion-resistant materials, another example of how advanced manufacturing is unlocking the potential of materials that have been under investigation—in too narrow a manner—for centuries,” said Professor Birbilis.

The international team working on this project including researchers from Monash University and UNSW, Nanjing University of Technology and Chinese aluminum-production giant, CHALCO, also used facilities at the Australian Synchrotron to study the molecular composition of the alloy and carbonate-rich film.

Prof Birbilis said they hope to better understand how the corrosion process is averted and are working toward imparting the ‘stainless’ effect to a wider range of alloys. This is being further assisted by an ARC Discovery Project awarded this year.

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

The ability to understand and manipulate materials and their properties is a key factor in any industrial process or technology, new or old. Increasingly nanotechnology, sustainable materials and biomaterials are becoming important areas of endeavor. Because of the enabling aspect of Materials Science and Engineering, and the multidisciplinary nature of the skills learned, Monash Engineering graduates are much in demand in many industrial organisations. Many also go into research, be it in academia, industrial laboratories or government research organisations.

Bond alumni honoured as 2016 Monash scholars

Two Bond University alumni have been honoured among the elite list of 2016 John Monash Scholars announced in Sydney.

Law/International Relations alumna Katherine Mansted and Law/International Business alumnus Stephen Dietz were chosen from a record number of applications for the prestigious scholarships which enable the recipients to pursue postgraduate studies at their choice of the world’s best universities.

Bond Law School
Picture (L-R): Stephen Dietz, Prof Tim Brailsford, and Katherine Mansted (Photo credit: Bond University)

Widely regarded as one of the most important postgraduate scholarships currently available in Australia, the John Monash Scholarships are awarded to outstanding Australians with demonstrated leadership skills who are studying or working in areas of potential benefit to Australia.

The 2016 Scholarship offering attracted a record number of applications from all over Australia, with the winners presented at a gala Sydney Opera House event where Bond University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Brailsford was among the attendees that included His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d) Governor of New South Wales and The Honourable Michael Baird MP, Premier of New South Wales.

“It was a privilege to see two Bond alumni among the 17 scholarship recipients selected from outstanding applicants from all over Australia,” said Professor Brailsford.

“In recent years, Bond University has been extremely well represented at these prestigious ceremonies, with four of our alumni named as John Monash Scholars in the past four years.

“It is particularly satisfying to see how their careers have progressed since graduating from Bond and that the seeds of leadership potential planted during their university years are now flourishing.”

Former Somerset College Gold Coast student, Katherine Mansted will use her scholarship to further her studies into technology-driven markets such as the new sharing economy.

Since graduating as valedictorian of Bond’s Class of 2011, Ms Mansted has won numerous accolades, including the Una Prentice Award which recognises the academic excellence of women in Queensland’s law schools and the Sybil AM Vise Graduate Achievement Award for Queensland women who excel in the fields of education and community affairs.

Starting with her appointment as an associate to The Honourable Justice Kiefel AC QC of the High Court of Australia, she has established a successful career in financial and corporate advisory law and currently works as a policy advisor for the Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, The Honourable Josh Frydenberg MP.

Ms Mansted is also a classically trained violinist, a self-taught pianist and has a strong interest in languages.

Stephen Dietz graduated from Bond in 2008 and has gone on to establish a global career with the Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation in Geneva and, most recently, with the Office of Trade Negotiations at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

He has taken leave from the Department to serve as a Congressional Fellow with the American Political Science Association and as a Visiting Researcher and Senior Fellow at the Institute of International Economic Law at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

Through his intended further studies in international economic law and policy, Mr Dietz hopes to enhance Australia’s position with respect to finance policy and trade in services.

Ms Mansted and Mr Dietz follow in the footsteps of fellow Bond alumni Kate Mitchell who in 2013, became the first Bond graduate to be named a John Monash Scholar, and Bridget Healy who was awarded a John Monash Scholarship in 2014.

Did you know Bond Law School offers a short course in Canadian Professional Responsibility to their law students at no additional cost?

The course will be delivered by a Bond Canadian academic, Semester Assistant Professor Mariette Brennan, an alumna from the University of Ottawa (JD) and Osgoode Hall Law School (PhD).  The course will involve online seminars, reading lists and sample fact scenarios that will introduce students to issues of lawyers’ ethics and professional responsibility, and specifically ethical reasoning in legal practice in the Canadian context. Students will cover selected topics including the Federation of Canadian Law Societies, Federation Model Code of Professional, case law arising from this material and to the application of the law of fiduciary obligations to lawyer-client relationships.

The course does not include assigned assessment, but is designed aid students in understanding Canadian Professional Responsibility and assist with preparations for the NCA exams.

Bond Law School also offers four Canadian Law subjects in Foundations of Canadian Law, Canadian Criminal Law, Canadian Constitutional Law and Canadian Administrative Law. These courses can assist Canadian graduates in preparation for their NCA examinations in these areas.

The faculty will also be packaging their Canadian subjects as a “Graduate Certificate in Canadian Law” able to be taken by Canadian students, whether from Bond or elsewhere, to assist them in preparing for the NCA exams.