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Articles categorized as ‘Australian Public Health Schools’

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

JCU medicine professor’s remarkable health care career recognised

James Cook University’s Professor Maxine Whittaker has been awarded the Royal Australasian College of Physicians International Medal for 2017.

The prestigious medal, which was presented at a ceremony in Melbourne recently, acknowledges the significant contribution Professor Whittaker has made to health care in low- and middle-income countries over many years.

JCU medicine professor’s remarkable health care career recognised

Dean, Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences Prof Maxine Whittaker (Photo credit: JCU)

Professor Whittaker is Dean, Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences in the College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and the Deputy Director of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) at James Cook University.

Professor Whittaker said she was “surprised, honoured and humbled” by the award.

“I didn’t know that I had been nominated, and to have been so by my peers, who are also international in their careers, is an honour,” she said.

“Humble, because so many people have contributed to my receiving this award—my family, my teachers and mentors, the people with whom I have worked at field, policy, service, management and community levels, and those who have and continue to inspire me.

“I have been raised to believe in equity and human rights, and always saw health as being critical in that package. I knew at high school that I wanted to work on the ‘big picture’ causes and solutions of health problems and inequities, but didn’t know at that time that was called public health nor that there was a career in that.”

Professor Whittaker has lived and worked in Bangladesh, Zambia, Zimbabwe and PNG and has worked extensively in China, Fiji, Indonesia, Kenya, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Vietnam, and other Pacific Island countries and territories.  She has extensive experience in project and program design in health and development, especially in infectious diseases (including malaria) and reproductive health and health system reform for a variety of national governments, international development partners and NGO organisations.

Professor Whittaker said her inspiration for her work took hold early in her university studies.

“I studied medicine and remember the day that a Professor Schofield (JCU’s Professor Louis Schofield’s father) taught us public health—and I went home to my parents and said—‘I can do what I want to do—there is a career that lets me do this’.”

Professor Whittaker has developed local research teams in Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Northern Queensland remote communities, and Vanuatu, and participated in the development of training materials and activities.

She is a member of faculty for the Science of Malaria Eradication course, part of a consortium of IS Global, Harvard School of Public Health and Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. It is an intensive week-long leadership course that provides participants from around the world with tools to approach malaria elimination and eradication.

Professor Whittaker was educated at the University of Queensland, and the Harvard School of Public Health.

She has won numerous awards, including the Dr Jerusha Jhirad Oration Award, University of Queensland Short Fellowship, and is a Life Member of the International Federation of Medical Students Association and an Honorary Life Member of the Australian Medical Students Association.

Professor Whittaker said there were two major highlights of her career.

“I have seen the professional growth and success of my students, mentees and colleagues and this also inspires me. Seeing the sustainability of reforms in which I have been one of the players in developing. For example, changes in health legislation, scaling up of family planning choices in a country. Improved policy approaches to quality of services is another highlight.”

Professor Whittaker said she plans to continue her work at JCU.

“I will continue to strengthen the One Health Approach to address the sustainable development goals, growing the health system’s research capacity at JCU and in our partner networks in the tropical regions, and to work with my JCU colleagues to continue to address the strategic intent of the university.”

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Would you like more information about JCU medicine or public health? Contact OzTREKK at info@oztrekk.com!

Monday, June 26th, 2017

New hub for biomedical engineering research named after inventor of cochlear implant

A new institute that brings together biomedical engineers, clinical researchers and industry partners to develop real-world solutions for public health has been launched.

New hub for biomedical engineering research named after inventor of cochlear implant

Study at the University of Melbourne

Located in the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct, the Graeme Clark Institute for Biomedical Engineering (GCI) will be a hub for University of Melbourne researchers and industry partners to collaborate on developing new bionic devices, implants, drug treatments and assistive technologies like prosthetics, as well as diagnostics.

The institute is named after Professor Graeme Clark AC who invented the bionic ear along with his University of Melbourne colleagues, the first prototype multiple electrode implant device that successfully improved the ability of deaf people to understand speech.

The inaugural Director of the Graeme Clark Institute, Professor Mark Cook, says the Institute will link clinical and engineering fields in the pursuit of new solutions to public health.

“It’s fair to say that no biomedical engineering institutes, either in Australia or the wider world, have the scope and scale of the Graeme Clark Institute,” says Professor Cook.

“The Institute is in a unique position to capitalise on multi-partner collaborations that are critical to innovation and commercialisation. The novelty of the solutions we will develop comes through the direct interaction of the Melbourne School of Engineering, the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences and the Faculty of Science.”

GCI’s success will be measured in the impact of clinically driven research that solves clinical needs and engagement with industry to translate that research into clinical practice.

GCI researcher and Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Melbourne School of Engineering, Professor David Grayden, says the university’s position as one of the top centres for biomedical engineering research in the world means it is well-placed to make significant contributions to the field.

“Projects will include modelling the human body in 3D to virtually assess and insert implants for joint replacements, testing the university’s world-first stentrode device in human trials, and building on its position as the top university for mechano-pharmacology, where tissues cells are mechanically measured to develop effective drug therapies,” adds Professor Grayden.

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Discover more about studying engineering at the University of Melbourne! Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Monday, June 12th, 2017

Sydney School of Public wants to know if dogs make people happier

The effect of dog ownership on adult human health is the focus of a new pilot study by the University of Sydney.

Sydney School of Public wants to know if dogs make people happier

Do dogs make people feel happy?

Led by Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis from the Charles Perkins Centre and Sydney School of Public Health, the research team is seeking 100 non-dog owners to participate in the trial—people who are considering owning a dog as well as those who have no interest in doing so.

“Dog ownership is very popular in Australia with over 40 percent of households owning at least one dog,” Associate Professor Stamatakis said. “While anecdotal evidence suggests dog ownership is beneficial for human health, there is currently scant scientific evidence to back up this perception.

“Our research will provide valuable insight into the health benefits of dog ownership which could support programs promoting and enabling dog ownership as a means to increase physical activity, improve general health and prevent cardiovascular and mental illness.”

Differences in physical activity, cardiovascular and metabolic health, and psychosocial well-being will be assessed for three groups: participants who acquire a dog within one month, after an eight-month waiting period, or do not adopt at all.

Over the course of eight months, participants in the Physical & Affective Wellbeing Study of dog owners (PAWS) pilot will be asked to complete a small number of questionnaires over the phone and visit the Charles Perkins Centre or be visited at home three times for some simple physical measurements.

“These initial results will also inform the methods of a much larger trial, the first controlled trial to examine the health effect of ‘real world’ dog ownership,” Associate Professor Stamatakis explained.

What is public health?

Public health is society’s response to threats to the collective health of its citizens. Public health practitioners work to enhance and protect the health of populations by identifying their health problems and needs, and providing programs and services to address these needs. Studying in this field as an international student gives Canadians an understanding of the public health realm on an international scale, making Australia a top choice for Canadians.

At the Sydney School of Public Health, the Master of Public Health program 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: Candidates are encouraged to apply a minimum of three months prior to the program’s start date.

Entry Requirements: A successful applicant for admission to the 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.

Apply to the Sydney Public Health School!

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If you have any questions about studying at the Sydney School of Public Health, please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Public Health Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

JCU researchers say rural children’s oral health in question

James Cook University researchers say children in rural Queensland are three times more likely to be admitted to hospital for dental problems than in other parts of the state.

The team from JCU’s Anton Breinl Research Centre for Health Systems Strengthening, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, looked at three rural communities within 400 kilometres of Townsville. The names of the towns have not been publicly released.

JCU researchers say rural children's oral health in question

Dr Karen Carlisle (Photo: JCU)

Dr Karen Carlisle said although these communities were better served than those in more remote locations, access to services was still an issue for many community members.

“Children under 14 were three times more likely to be hospitalised for dental conditions when compared to residents of the rest of Queensland,” she said.

Dr Carlisle said JCU researchers had been working in the communities for a number of years and suspected overall oral health was poor, but now they had the hard data to back this up.

She said they had some unexpected results, too.

“Indigenous persons living in Queensland as a whole are already more than three times as likely to be hospitalised for a dental condition than non-Indigenous people,” said Dr Carlisle. “But this pattern worsened only slightly in the particular rural communities we looked at.”

The researchers said that parents or caregivers play a crucial role in influencing children’s oral health and rural children under 14 years may not be accessing public oral health services in proportion to their need. They said strengthening health promotion though schools, community events and primary health care is vital.

Co-author Professor Sarah Larkins said there were a number of recognised reasons for the poor oral health of rural communities and that the social determinants of health play a major role.

“There are problems with the retention of the oral health workforce in rural areas and reduced availability of oral health services. There may be less access to fluoridated water and the social determinants of ill health, such as poverty and low levels of education, are all more prevalent in rural and remote areas.”

She said the stoicism of rural people and difficulties in accessing care tended to encourage them to tolerate oral health problems until they became acute.

Professor Larkins said the findings highlight the vital importance of a collaborative approach to planning and service delivery to improve oral health for rural communities.

JCU partners with communities in research to try to make services work better for people living and working in the bush. This extends to frontline engagement too.

“The university sends its health professional students, including dentistry students, to remote and rural regions on placements, to do outreach in schools and encourages its graduates to return back to rural and remote areas to work after graduation,” said Professor Larkins.

Dr Felicity Croker said the communities JCU has focused on have been very receptive to working with students and academics.

“They have really taken charge of improving the oral health in their community, particularly for the younger members of their community.  Engaging these communities in changing the direction of their own health care means that the changes are more likely to be appropriate and sustainable.”

By Prof Larkins

JCU Bachelor of Dental Surgery

The BDS program at JCU 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 (BDS)
Location: Cairns, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: August 30, 2017

Entry requirements

1. High School

These qualifications are considered on an individual basis, subject to satisfying prerequisite requirements.

  • A minimum of 92% average from grade 12 subjects.
  • Completion of prerequisites in English, Calculus, and Chemistry at a grade 12 level or higher.

2. Partially or fully completed undergraduate degree

A high level of academic standard is required for entry.

  • Students need to have met the prerequisite subjects at least at the high school level to meet the prerequisite requirements.
  • A minimum of 80% cumulative average across all university studies is required.

Please note the DAT is not required for entry into the Bachelor of Dental Surgery program.

Apply to JCU Dental School!

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Learn more about JCU Dental School! For more information, contact OzTREKK’s Australian Dental Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Monash University leads vaccination trial against heart disease and stroke

Melburnians are taking part in a world-first trial led by Monash University that could see a simple one-off vaccination protect against heart attack and stroke.

The trial, which started late last year, aims to determine whether the pneumococcal vaccine can reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke by up to 20 per cent. Observational studies indicate the injection can lead to a 17 per cent protection against cardiovascular disease, but this is the first large scale study to be conducted.

Monash University leads vaccination trial against heart disease and stroke

Professor Andrew Tonkin and Dr Ingrid Hopper (Photo: Monash University)

The Australian Study for the Prevention through Immunisation of Cardiovascular Events (AUSPICE) trial is being coordinated by the Centre for Cardiovascular Research and Education in Therapeutics (CCRET) within the Monash University School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (SPHPM). The trial is led by Principal Investigator Professor Andrew Tonkin and assisted by Dr Ingrid Hopper and will be based at Caulfield Hospital.

AUSPICE is recruiting up to 3,000 men and women aged 55 to 60 years across six centres in Melbourne, Newcastle, Gosford, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth.

The study will formally test whether the existing pneumococcal vaccine can not only reduce invasive pneumococcal disease but also help to prevent heart attack and stroke. The pneumococcal vaccine protects against diseases such as meningitis and is currently free under the National Immunise Australia Program for people over 65, children and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults and children.

According to Dr Hopper, if the trial proves to be successful it will signify a major change in preventative health practice globally.

“If shown to be effective, it would be relatively easy to incorporate changes into clinical practice because the pneumococcal vaccine is safe and has already been used in Australia for over 20 years in a different target group,” Dr Hopper said.

Victorian volunteers, aged 60–64, are asked to attend a single clinic at the Caulfield Clinical Trials Centre in Melbourne, for less than one hour. People with at least two risk factors for heart disease—high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or overweight/obesity—will be randomised to receive either the active vaccine or a saline placebo.

This collaboration between Monash University, the University of Newcastle, Australian National University, Flinders University and The University of Western Australia comprises a large multidisciplinary team including cardiologists, epidemiologists, neurologists, nurse immunisers, pharmacists, public health and medicine physicians and biostatisticians.

The researchers will link, via the Federal Department of Health hospital admission records, the incidence of cardiovascular disease requiring hospitalisation among those who received the vaccine and those who received the placebo.

Study Public Health at Monash University

The Master of Public Health at Monash is a 12-unit program provides students with the full range of quantitative, analytical and communication skills necessary to work in the broad domain of public health. It especially focuses on developing skills in the quantitative methods of the population-based health sciences and their problem-solving application for primary care provision both in Australia and for developing countries.

Program: Master of Public Health
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: While there is no set application deadline for this program, applicants are strongly encouraged by the university to submit their applications a minimum of three months prior to the program’s start date.

Apply to Monash University Public Health School!

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Study Medicine at Monash University

The Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine at Monash University has been designed in close consultation with doctors, health care professionals and leaders in the health and research sectors to give students the scientific background and clinical expertise to ensure that graduates are prepared for their future as a doctor.

Program: Bachelor of Medical Science Doctor of Medicine (graduate entry)
Location: Gippsland Campus, Churchill, Victoria (approx. 2 hours southeast of Melbourne)
Semester intake: February 2018
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: July 21, 2017

Apply to the graduate Monash medical program

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Would you like more information about studying at the Monash University School of Public Health, contact Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com.

For more info about studying at Monash Medical School, please contact Admissions Officer Courtney Frank at courtney@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

James Cook University helps see horror disease defeated

James Cook University scientists have played a part in a program that has seen lymphatic filariasis (LF)—also known as elephantiasis—eliminated from four countries.

After more than two decades of effort, Cambodia, The Cook Islands, Niue and Vanuatu have eliminated LF as a public health problem.

Two decades of work sees horror disease defeated

Elephantiasis sufferer, Papua New Guinea (Photo credit: Tom Burkot)

LF can lead to lymphoedema, elephantiasis and hydrocoele—huge swelling of the limbs and genitals of sufferers. It’s caused by parasitic worms transmitted between humans by mosquitoes, a process that has now been effectively interrupted.

Approximately 40 million people suffer from the disease, including 15 million who have full-blown lymphoedema (elephantiasis) and 25 million men who have urogenital swelling.

JCU scientists developed an efficient diagnostic test for the disease, enabling effective targeting and supported ongoing training and surveillance to prevent new infections.

JCU’s Professor Peter Leggat said LF is one of the most debilitating of the neglected tropical diseases.

“Elimination of LF is the result of the sustained efforts of many groups including the countries involved and international agencies including the WHO Collaborating Centre at James Cook University, established in 1996. These efforts provide inspiration to eliminate this disease from the world,” he said.

The four countries that have eliminated the disease join China and the Republic of Korea as the only countries in the WHO Western Pacific Region to eliminate LF as a public health problem.

During 2000–2012, more than 4.45 billion doses of medicine were delivered worldwide. It’s estimated that 96.71 million LF cases were prevented or cured during this period.

The overall economic benefit of the programme during 2000–2007 is conservatively estimated at US$ 24 billion.

WHO Collaborating Centre

James Cook University has been involved with supporting control of neglected tropical diseases since the initial designation of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) in 1996. It has through various re-designations and broadened its outreach from lymphatic filariasis alone to include soil-transmitted helminthiasis and then other neglected tropical diseases. It has been supported by the Anton Breinl Centre for Public Health and Tropical Medicine until 2012 and then by the School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences. In 2014, it was formally incorporated in the new College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences at JCU.

Studying medicine at JCU

The Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) medical degree at JCU Medical School produces graduates who will be uniquely qualified in the fields of rural, remote and Indigenous health, and tropical medicine. The JCU MBBS degree aspires to what is described by the World Health Organization as “socially accountable medical education—a medical school accepting its obligation to direct education, research and service to priority health concerns of communities that it has a mandate to serve.”

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Would you like more information about studying tropical medicine at JCU Medical School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Courtney Frank at courtney@oztrekk.com!

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

New Master of Public Health offered at Macquarie University

OzTREKK is pleased to announce that Macquarie University has introduced a Master of Public Health!

New Master of Public Health offered at Macquarie University

Study public health at Macquarie University

The Department of Health Systems and Populations within the faculty of Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences will offer a Master of Public Health from 2017. Inter-disciplinary public health specialisations will be available in health law, ethics, and policy; health leadership; environmental health; global health; and research.

This is the perfect professional degree to engage in for a 21st-century approach to education and practice aimed at preventing disease, promoting health, and supporting healthy lives in a globalised world.

Career Opportunities

Studies in public health prepare you for careers in

  • health education
  • health promotion
  • research and policy development
  • project management
  • public health
  • health and community administration
  • advocacy and non-government organisations
  • international health and development
  • Public Health Clinical Practice

Examples of titles held by Master of Public Health graduates include (but are not limited to):

  • Public Health Specialist
  • Public Health Intelligence Officer
  • Health Partnership Program Manager
  • Epidemiologist
  • Health Data Analyst
  • Project Coordinator
  • Senior Legal Policy Advisor (Health)
  • Public Health Advisor

Potential employers include government, non-governmental organisations, business, public health clinical or community settings, multilateral aid organisations, or other groups concerned with health, human rights, indigenous issues, environmental health, health leadership, and/or development.

Graduates of the Master of Public Health research specialisation interested in pursuing further higher degree research would also be well-equipped to do so, and to move further into a research career.

Master of Public Health Specialisations

Students undertaking this course can choose from the following Master of Public Health specialisations:

  • Environmental Health
  • Global Health
  • Health Law, Ethics and Policy
  • Health Leadership

Program: Master of Public Health
Location: North Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intakes: February and July
Duration: 1.5 – 2 years
Application deadline: Candidates are encouraged to apply a minimum of three months prior to the program’s start date.

Apply to the Macquarie University Public Health School!

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If you have any questions about studying at Macquarie University and the Master of Public Health program, please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Public Health Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Study at the Sydney School of Public Health

Public health is
•   Preventing disease
•   Promoting health
•   Prolonging life

How do we encourage a more physically active population? How can we campaign to reduce tobacco use? How do we influence health policy?

Public health analyses and acts upon the problems that prevent us from enjoying a good healthy life. Achieving these goals comes in many forms: generating knowledge of the public health problem, advocating for change and solutions, and helping implement those changes. Above all, public health is about people – often the most vulnerable in our communities – giving them the power of education and programs which will improve their health, prevent diseases and prolong their lives.

Every day, graduates from the Sydney School of Public Health are making a difference to the lives of people in Australia and across the globe.

Sydney public health students and alumni talk about what drew them to the field, and where their postgraduate studies are taking them.

Learning opportunities are aimed at developing the essential knowledge and required skills of practitioners in the practice of public health, including the effective management of community health problems to improve conditions and outcomes. The programs are offered at a graduate diploma and master’s degree level with an emphasis on a modern approach to improving health outcomes within disadvantaged and developing communities.

With a large number of units of study to choose from, you can tailor the program to suit your individual needs. You may choose to take a variety of subjects or study subjects within one of five pathways:

  1. Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (Communicable Disease)
  2. Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (Injury)
  3. Public Health Research
  4. Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (Chronic Disease)
  5. Health Economics/Health Policy

Program: Master of Public Health
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intakes: March and July
Duration: 1 year
Application deadline: Candidates are encouraged to apply a minimum of three months prior to the program’s start date.

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.

Apply to the Sydney Public Health School!

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If you have any questions about studying at the Sydney School of Public Health, please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Public Health Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com.

Friday, June 17th, 2016

Sydney public health researchers awarded top grant

Public health researchers at the University of Sydney tackled one of the biggest issues facing modern healthcare: turning healthy people into sick patients due to over-diagnosis and over-treatment made possible by new, highly sensitive screening and diagnostic tests.

Sydney Public health researchers awarded top NHMRC grant

Learn more about Sydney Public Health School

A panel of seven experts explored the hotly debated topics at a public forum from on May 30 at the university.

“We will consider a radical idea that sometimes wiser healthcare means less healthcare. Or at least, less healthcare for people who don’t need it, so we can give more healthcare to people who need it,” said Professor Alexandra Barratt, from the Sydney School of Public Health.

The research team was recently awarded a $2.5-million National Health and Medical Research Council grant to establish a Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) to develop strategies to mitigate the over-diagnosis and over-treatment issues.

“Recently, we have witnessed an explosion of new diagnostic and screening technologies available including advanced imaging, biomarkers and genomic tests. Some of these tests are even marketed directly to the public,” added Professor Barratt, CRE Chief Investigator.

“Ideally these tests improve health by identifying diseases or risks that need to be treated; however, sometimes these tests lead to over-diagnosis and over-treatment which not only harms patients but wastes health resources through unnecessary procedures.

“The CRE will focus on cancer and cardiovascular disease. New diagnostics are already appearing in clinical use in these areas, and these diseases account for a large burden of death, disease and health care spending in Australia.

Public health researcher and ethicist Associate Professor Stacy Carter said, “Most importantly, this research is about improving health outcomes for patients, in Australia and internationally.

“Our findings will assist patients, citizens, healthcare funders and health professionals to adopt helpful new technologies and avoid harmful new technologies to get the best possible outcomes from our healthcare system.”

Health psychologist Professor Kirsten McCaffery said “We are an internationally leading, multidisciplinary team and Australia is at the forefront of this new area of research. This funding puts us in a unique position to continue and expand the world class work we are doing.”

Public Health at the University of Sydney

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

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

Apply to the Sydney Public Health School!

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If you have any questions about studying public health at the University of Sydney, please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Public Health Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

JCU diabetes researcher heads to Toronto

James Cook University Diabetes researcher Sean Taylor is heading to Canada and Germany in search of ways to improve care and management of diabetes in the remote islands of the Torres Strait.

Mr Taylor leaves Cairns this week on a seven-week study tour, supported by a $5,000 Heart Foundation Collaboration and Exchange Award.

JCU diabetes researcher heads to Toronto

JCU Diabetes researcher Sean Taylor (Photo: JCU)

“The Torres Strait region has Australia’s highest prevalence of type 2 diabetes, with one third of the adult population affected,” he said.

“Patients and medical staff also face the added problems of being in a remote location, where many of the healthy food choices recommended for diabetics are not necessarily available or affordable.”

Originally from the Torres Strait, Mr Taylor is a Research Fellow and Doctor of Public Health candidate at James Cook University’s Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention.

He will visit the Banting & Best Diabetes Centre in Toronto, Canada’s leading centre of excellence for innovation in diabetes research, education, and clinical care.

“They’re an important collaborator for us because Canada’a First Nations people face chronic disease problems similar to those experienced by Torres Strait Islanders, and also because of similarities between the Australian and Canadian health systems,” he said.

In Canada Mr Taylor will focus on the behavioural aspects of diabetes management, including patients’ reluctance to use insulin after their doctors have prescribed it.

“There are many reasons for this, and we need to understand it better because it’s a serious barrier to those patients getting the best care available.

“People with diabetes can achieve a good quality of life, if the disease is well managed, so we need to find the smartest and most effective ways to help them do that.”

At the University of Duisburg Essen in Germany Mr Taylor will consult with experts in the use of digital and social media to promote health.

“As well as suffering a higher rate of type 2 diabetes, Torres Strait Islanders with diabetes have much poorer outcomes compared with the non-Indigenous population,” he said.

“The team I’ll be meeting with in Germany has expertise not just in using digital media to support health and medical care, but also in carefully evaluating the usage of social media.

“I hope to find new ways to use those tools to help improve the connection between Torres Strait Islander diabetics and their health and medical support networks.

“For example, if we could improve the rate of people returning to the clinic for check-ups, and encourage more to take their medication consistently, that would make a big difference to their long-term health.”

Mr Taylor says that despite the worrying statistics for type 2 diabetes in the Torres Strait, there is some good news.

“It’s important to focus on those positive achievements, and to share them. People living on Murray Island, for example, have an excellent source of healthy protein in the sardines, which they catch in great numbers.

“Finding affordable and healthy food can be a challenge in a remote area, and digital and social media might provide some ways to share news of what’s working well on different islands.”

JCU School of Public Health

The JCU School of Public Health ensures the program undertakes high-quality and relevant teaching, research and training in population health, with a special focus on the tropics, northern Australia, Indigenous Australia and Australia’s near neighbours.

James Cook University is famous for its focus on tropical and remote health and medicine and provides several programs unique to Australia. James Cook University has

  • the Anton Breinl Centre for Public Health and Tropical Medicine, which is one of the leading tropical research facilities in the world;
  • teaching staff awarded the Australian Learning Teaching Councils’ National Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning; and
  • cutting-edge teaching laboratories and research facilities.

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Would you like more information about studying public health at James Cook University? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Public Health Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com.