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Posts Tagged ‘James Cook University’

Monday, December 4th, 2017

OzTREKK student named Regional Student of the Year

JCU Medical School student (and former OzTREKKer!) Reuben George has been named Regional Student of the Year at the 2017 Study Queensland IET Excellence Awards! The IET Excellence Awards recognise international education industry leaders, community and business contributors and current and past international students for their achievements.

OzTREKK student named Regional Student of the Year

Regional Student of the Year Reuben George (Photo: JCU)

These high achievers were celebrated at an awards ceremony held Nov. 22, 2017.

The IET Excellence Awards are the only state-wide awards program specifically dedicated to recognising the Queensland international education and training sector and celebrate individual and team success.

Having recognised the importance of support for international students studying medicine, Reuben has worked tirelessly throughout his studies to ensure his fellow international students felt supported and welcomed.

From his own journey of moving to Australia, Reuben recognized that there were very limited supports for international students in the medical program. He decided it was his duty to help guide all future incoming international students.

Reuben has since created an international student manual, which the university provides to each incoming international student. He also lobbied to co-create a mentorship program funded by the JCU College of Medicine and student medical society. This program partners each international medical student with an upper-year international student to support them through their transition of moving to a new country and entering a highly demanding degree. The program involves having coffee catch-ups and weekly social media mental health check-ins, group activities, and peer tutoring for free.

Reuben ensures each student feels heard and he encourages all to be leaders. His passion for international students’ health and well-being is what spurred many of the upper-year students to become mentors themselves.

The current JCU med student’s experience landed him the role of Australian Medical Students Association’s International Chair in 2016, representing all international medical voices across the country.

Reuben does all of this work not for himself, but so that no student feels as isolated as he did in his first year. He wants to help give international students a hand up and achieves this through his many platforms, including his vlog, “Beyond the Stethoscope,” (below) where he captures his life as a medical student and the many challenges and triumphs that come with it.

Congratulations, Reuben, from all of us at OzTREKK!

About JCU Medicine

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

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Next semester intake: February 2019
Duration: 6 years
Application deadline: TBA. Generally the end of August each year.

Apply to JCU Medical School!

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Would you like more information about studying medicine at JCU Medical School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Kaylee Templeton at kaylee@oztrekk.com.

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

JCU offering Health Sciences Toolkit to help students brush up in biology

James Cook University has announced they are offering a four-day intensive course to students who will be entering in to health science degrees in 2018!

JCU offering Health Sciences Toolkit to help students brush up in biology

Think you might need a biology refresher?

The JCU “Health Sciences Toolkit” is designed to help students prepare for further studies leading into the health science degree programs. It is particularly helpful for those who have a limited or no background in biology, and for those who have not studied biology for a long time.

The course is introductory in nature and it is assumed that those participating may have never studied biology before. Please note it does not meet any of JCU’s prerequisites for admission to university and is not credit bearing for JCU subjects. Rather, it is designed to give students a head start if their university degree requires some knowledge of biology; however, if you have studied some biology and wish to brush up your skills, the course will be a beneficial refresher!

The Health Sciences Toolkit will be especially helpful for students intending to study any of the following degree programs at JCU: Biomedicine, Dentistry, Exercise Physiology (Clinical), Medical Laboratory Science, Midwifery, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Speech Pathology, or Sport and Exercise Science.

This program is a four-day intensive course that will be held on both Townsville (Douglas) and Cairns (Smithfield) campuses and involve approximately 28 contact hours spread over both large group lectures, and small group tutorial/workshop sessions. The topics covered will include the following:

  • Laboratory Safety and Introduction to the Human body
  • The hierarchy of cells, tissues and systems
  • The basic elements of life
  • Water Biology
  • The cell membrane
  • The genetics of life
  • The essential compounds of life
  • The essential reactions of life
  • Communication in the body
  • The food we eat and the air we breathe

The course will be held Feb. 6–9, 2018.

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Are you interested in studying at JCU and the Health Sciences Toolkit program? Please email us at info@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Monday, November 13th, 2017

JCU researchers look at innovative ways to solve the GP shortage in the bush

Researchers from the JCU College of Medicine and Dentistry have been awarded $150,000 to investigate how best to address the GP shortage in the bush.

“For decades, rural and remote regions across north and western Queensland have struggled to attract and retain specialist GPs,” said Professor Tarun Sen Gupta, Director of Medical Education at JCU.

JCU researchers looking at innovative ways to solve the GP shortage in the bush

JCU medicine graduates are uniquely qualified to work in rural and remote areas

“James Cook University is working to address the crisis through its specialist GP training program to build a rural, regional and remote health workforce for the most underserved regions across the state,” Professor Sen Gupta said.

The JCU team is working in partnership with researchers from the Monash University School of Rural Health.

The funding will enable the research team to determine where the GP shortage is greatest, and how best to ensure specialist GP training places can be established to meet the demand.

They’ll also identify innovative training and supervision models to increase the delivery of high quality GP registrar training in underserved communities.

“We aim to identify the challenges and opportunities associated with developing and strengthening the provision of high-quality training in areas of greatest need, and to increase rural workforce recruitment and retention,” said lead researcher, Associate Professor Carole Reeve from JCU’s specialist GP training program, GMT.

“Results from the study will assist JCU’s Generalist Medical Training (GMT) program to work with communities and practices to strengthen health care in underserved north and west Queensland communities,” Associate Professor Carole Reeve said.

Professor Sen Gupta said there’s strong evidence that JCU medical graduates are practicing in regional and rural locations in a very different pattern of distribution to that of other medical schools.

“JCU’s GMT program has enhanced this by training registrars in rural and remote locations, where many remain after completing training,” Professor Sen Gupta said.

“This study will help better understand where the need is greatest, and how we can recruit graduates to train and work in the most underserved communities.”

About GMT

Generalist Medical Training is James Cook University’s specialist training program within the College of Medicine and Dentistry. This program has been contracted by the Australian Government Department of Health to deliver Australian General Practice training (AGPT) in North Western Queensland. The AGPT program is a vocational training program for medical graduates (registrars) who are pursuing a career in the specialty of General Practice.

About the JCU Medical Program

JCU Medical School offers an undergraduate-entry medical program that specializes in rural, remote and indigenous medicine and is located in north Queensland, Australia. Rather than having to earn a bachelor degree first, undergraduate-entry medical programs allow students to enter directly from high school. If you have completed high school studies or would like to apply to a medical school in Australia without using your MCAT score, you may wish to learn more about undergraduate-entry medical programs offered by Australian universities.

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Next available intake: February 2019
Duration: 6 years

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Discover more about JCU and its medicine program. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Kaylee Templeton at kaylee@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

JCU to fight disabling tropical diseases with WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has picked James Cook University as a partner to battle diseases that kill more than a million people and make more than a billion people sick every year.

JCU to fight disabling tropical diseases with WHO

The Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (Image: JCU)

JCU’s College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences (CPHMVS) has been designated a WHO Collaborating Centre for Vector-borne and Neglected Tropical Diseases (VBDs and NTDs)—recognising a long history of collaboration with WHO and providing a formal framework for future joint activities.

For the past 20 years JCU has been a WHO Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) for the Control of Lymphatic Filariasis, Soil-Transmitted Helminths and other Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Professor Peter Leggat, co-Director of the new WHOCC said the new designation means JCU will be broadening its remit to include the control of some of the world’s most neglected tropical diseases, such as dengue and leprosy.

“We are thrilled to be working ever more closely with WHO and our network of partners towards controlling and eliminating some of these serious tropical diseases. The designation reflects our historic contributions to WHO, and our broad expertise and deep commitment in the field,” he said.

“Through the CPHMVS and the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM), JCU has established itself as a leading academic centre globally in education and research in tropical health and medicine,” said Professor Leggat.

“The WHOCC’s expertise will be extremely valuable in supporting WHO’s capacity to implement its mandated work in the global control of tropical diseases, for example in its long-term vision of a world free from blinding trachoma and leprosy,” he said.

“The burden caused by vector borne diseases, which account for 1/6th of human illnesses and disability suffered worldwide, and neglected tropical diseases, many of which are carried by vectors like mosquitoes and ticks, account for at least 11% of the global burden of disease. Some of them occur in tropical and subtropical Australia, such as trachoma, intestinal worms and dengue,” said Professor Maxine Whittaker, co-Director of the new WHOCC.

“We know that neglected tropical diseases affect neglected populations: the 1.4 billion people who are classified as the world’s poorest, and for whom accessible health services, clean water and good sanitation, are not available. Every year there are more than 1 billion cases and over 1 million deaths from vector-borne diseases, globally,” she said.

Professor Whittaker said the college will support WHO’s capacity building priorities for effective control of vector borne and neglected tropical diseases, including the scale-up and evaluation of WHO-recommended surveillance and response, control and elimination strategies.

“In addition to their impact on health, vector borne and neglected tropical diseases contribute to an immense social and economic burden and can perpetuate the cycle of poverty. However, many of these diseases are easily preventable, and may be eliminated with improved water and sanitation, vector control, and universally accessible primary health care, as part of the sustainable development goals.

“The WHOCC will support a holistic and interdisciplinary approach to people’s health and well-being,” said Professor Whittaker.

She said JCU will also continue to work in the field of elimination of lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis).

Professor Whittaker said in addition to the invaluable work of providing assistance to affected countries and peoples, the WHOCC has the potential to provide placements and work integrated learning opportunities for JCU students as well as research education and research collaborations.

Professor Peter Leggat, AM, is Professor in Public Health and Tropical Medicine and currently President of The Australasian College of Tropical Medicine.

Professor Maxine Whittaker is the Dean of the College and Deputy Director of the AITHM.

JCU has one of the largest postgraduate programs in public health in Australia with more than 900 students enrolled. Courses include a popular Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine program and these courses have received national and international recognition.

Study medicine at JCU Medical School

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February each year
Duration: 6 years

Study public health at JCU

Program: Master of Public Health
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February and July each year
Duration: 1.5 years

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Discover more about studying medicine or public health at Australia’s Tropical University, JCU!

Friday, October 20th, 2017

Unlimited options: What would you like to study in Australia?

OzTREKK Blog: by Admissions Officer Heather Brown

As the admissions officer for undergraduate and postgraduate programs here at OzTREKK, I have learned about some awesome program options available to students!

Did you know that there are genetic counselling degrees available? Are you passionate about underwater archaeology? Have you always wanted to learn more about marine biology and study it in an awesome climate? These are all great choices for students to consider and our Australian university partners are always looking for Canadians to apply. Also, studying these programs in Oz may give you a competitive edge with unique placement opportunities that are not available here in Canada.

Whether you want to apply to unique or typical programs, studying an undergrad or postgrad program would be exciting if you have the opportunity to live in and travel Australia! Here are some of my favourites!

Unlimited options: What would you like to study in Australia?

Study environmental sciences at an Australian university!

Master of Integrated Water Management

The Master of Integrated Water Management at the University of Queensland is one of the few courses in the world that takes a truly transdisciplinary, integrated approach to water management in both developed and developing country contexts. What makes this degree so interesting is that it is co-badged and co-delivered by leading industry practitioners and lecturers from International WaterCentre’s founding member universitiesUniversity of Queensland, Monash University, Griffith University, and the University of Western Australia—all OzTREKK Australian university partners, btw.

The Master of Integrated Water Management creates water leaders by drawing on international teaching and research from many fields to provide a whole-of-water-cycle approach. Students get the skills to consider the impacts of decisions systemically across environment, politics, law, science, culture, engineering, economics, health and society.

Oh yeah, and they have scholarships for this.

Program: Master of Integrated Water Management
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Duration: 2 years
Next available intake: February 2019

Apply to the UQ Master of Integrated Water Management!

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Master of Genetic Counselling

The University of Melbourne’s 2-year Master of Genetic Counselling is designed to build and increase skills and breadth in clinical practice and research, utilising the expertise of tutors who are clinicians, genetic counsellors, scientists, people with a disability and community members. The program teaches counselling skills, research skills and clinical genetics knowledge in small interactive student groups.

Program: Master of Genetic Counselling
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Duration: 1.5 years
Semester intake: February
Application deadline: November 29, 2017

Apply to the University of Melbourne Master of Genetic Counselling degree!

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Master of Science in Marine Biology and Ecology

James Cook University is the leading education and research institution for marine biology in the Tropics. JCU’s location allows students and research staff ready access to a wide variety of tropical marine systems including coral reefs, tropical estuaries, mangrove habitats and seagrass beds. Links between research and teaching programs ensure that students are at the cutting edge of marine research.

Program: Master of Science (Marine Biology and Ecology)
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Duration: 1.5 years
Semester intakes: February and July
Application deadline: Candidates are encouraged to apply a minimum of three months prior to the program start date.

Apply to the Master of Science at James Cook University!

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If you are interested in applying to an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that’s beyond the “ordinary,” email me at heather@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355—I’m here to help!

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

James Cook University celebrates 25 years of nursing

James Cook University is proud to celebrate 25 years of nursing graduates serving northern Queensland communities.

James Cook University celebrates 25 years of nursing

Celebrating 25 years of JCU nursing graduates (Photo: JCU)

Head of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition at JCU, Professor Melanie Birks said the silver jubilee is about celebrating the achievements of nursing  graduates and the important role they play in northern Queensland and beyond.

“JCU has graduated many nurses and midwives who have gone on to make a difference to the communities we serve,” said Professor Birks. “We are exceptionally proud of our staff, students and graduates and value our excellent relationships with industry partners. Marking our twenty-five years of producing a major component of the healthcare workforce in this region formalises this pride in our achievements.”

To mark the occasion, the university is naming a lecture theatre at the Townsville campus after the late Emeritus Professor Barbara Hayes OAM. Professor Hayes was the Foundation Head of the Department of Nursing Sciences and Foundation Professor of Nursing Sciences, and her contribution helped shape the cultural foundations of what is today the College of Healthcare Sciences.

A member of the first cohort and current JCU senior lecturer Dr Narelle Biedermann completed her PhD under the supervision of Professor Hayes. She said Professor Hayes is remembered for strengthening and developing the academic side of nursing and midwifery in Australia, and her teaching continues to resonate with current students at JCU.

“We were always told we could make a real difference, and that the learning and care and research we were carrying out was important work,” said Dr Biedermann. “That message is still the same today although the buildings and the learning methods have changed.”

The JCU Department of Nursing was the university’s first undergraduate health science department and the first university school of nursing in the Tropics in Australia. It opened in 1990 and there were 70 in the first graduating class of 1993, who are known as the Auroras.

About the JCU Bachelor of Nursing

Program: Bachelor of Nursing Science
Location: Townsville or Cairns, Queensland
Semester intakes: February or July
Program duration: 3 years
Application deadline: Candidates are encouraged to apply a minimum of three months prior to the program’s start date.

Entry Requirements

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

Apply to JCU Nursing School!

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For more information about studying nursing, contact Australian Nursing Schools Admissions Officer Heather Brown heather@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355.

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

James Cook University’s seven in a row for graduate jobs

James Cook University has been awarded top marks for graduate employment for the seventh year in a row—and JCU is the only Queensland university to achieve the distinction for the past seven years.

James Cook University's seven in a row for graduate jobs

The Good Universities Guide confirms JCU graduates continue to be in high demand (Image via: JCU)

The authoritative tertiary education guide, the Good Universities Guide, confirms JCU graduates continue to be in high demand, with the university receiving 5 out of 5 stars for its graduates’ job prospects.

Only three Australian universities achieved the rating over the past seven years.

The rating means JCU is in the top 20% of universities whose graduates were employed full-time within four months of graduation.

74.9% of undergraduates from James Cook University find full-time employment within four months of graduating, higher than the national average (69.5%).

JCU Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said the ratings underline the university’s strong performance in teaching and research.

“Our graduates continue to be in demand and are finding employment quickly.

“We know that our graduates are highly sought after, and to receive a five-star rating for graduate employment seven years in a row confirms JCU is providing its students with a high-quality education and very strong career prospects,” said Professor Harding.

“It’s a great achievement for James Cook University to be awarded five stars for graduate employment for seven consecutive years,” said Chris Lester, the CEO of the Good Education Group, which publishes the guide.

“It’s promising to see regional universities providing students with a great student experience, backed by strong graduate outcomes,” Mr Lester said.

The university again scored top marks (five stars) for “Learner Engagement”—the proportion of students who positively rated their engagement with learning at their university.

And for the first time, the guide also includes an in-depth breakdown of university ratings at a field of study level.

JCU has achieved 5 stars in a range of categories across 14 fields of study.

The Good Universities Guide has highlighted JCU’s key strengths in fields of study including medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and veterinary science:

  • Pharmacy students are more satisfied with key measures of student experience than at any other university.
  • Dentistry graduates from James Cook University are better employed than from any other university.
  • Medicine graduates have a 100% employment rate.
  • Veterinary science students are more satisfied with Skills Development than at any other university and graduates and have the highest employment rates in the country.

Find out more

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Find out more about studying at James Cook University.

Monday, September 18th, 2017

James Cook University buildings clean up

James Cook University’s new, innovative buildings—The Science Place and AITHM, Townsville—have been recognised as the best of their type by the Master Builders North Queensland.

JCU buildings clean up at the Master Builders' Awards

JCU AITHM building in Townsville (Photo: JCU)

The $80-million Science Place, a state-of-the-art educational science building constructed by Lendlease and opened earlier this year, was judged Project of the Year.

The five level, 12,000-square-metre building also won the ‘Educational Facilities over $10m’ category. Judge John Galloway called it “…the pinnacle of cutting-edge campus design.”

Professor Marcus Lane, Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at JCU, said the award was an important recognition for the builders and architects.

“But also for those members of the JCU community who conceived the project, successfully sought resources for its construction, and oversaw the detailed design. And now, the best part: they get to use this magnificent facility to create new scientific knowledge and make it available to north Queenslanders,” he said.

JCU’s Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) building on the Townsville campus also won the ‘Health Facility over $20m’ category.

The $31-million world-class infectious diseases research facility was built by Watpac Construction and officially opened last year.

AITHM Director Professor Louis Schofield said the building provides laboratories and office spaces for research programs in tropical health and medicine for Australia and the region, specifically building important biosecurity capacity for northern Australia.

JCU buildings clean up at the Master Builders' Awards

The Science Place (Photo: JCU)

“The PC3 laboratory enables AITHM to make a significant contribution to Queensland’s competitive advantage. It is the only one of its kind between Brisbane and Singapore, allowing for world-leading research to be undertaken locally.

“With the inclusion of the PC2 laboratories and the Translational Research facility, this building enables AITHM to complete the full research spectrum from bench to bedside including research training, and the transfer and commercialisation of research findings into better health care delivery,” said Professor Schofield.

To top it all off, Verandah Walk, the all-weather covered pathway built by RCQ Construction that links buildings at JCU’s Townsville campus won the ‘Tourism and Leisure Facilities up to $10M’ category.

Tricia Brand, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Division of Services and Resources at James Cook University, said the new buildings demonstrate the university’s commitment to provide state of the art infrastructure for students, staff and north Queensland communities.

“These facilities create learning and social spaces which enhance the student experience and enable our staff to undertake cutting edge research,” she said.

Science Place

Externally the building has been wrapped in a series of interconnected sunshade elements which dapple the sunlight while providing protection from the harsh tropical sun. Internally the building has a welcoming openness about it with the use of natural materials like polished concrete, timber and a colour palette to match, with natural sunlight enhancing the entry foyer and communal spaces. This is a building to be enjoyed by its occupants.

While the offices have open planning and transparency, these spaces still provide privacy to engage in quiet study. This building represents the pinnacle of cutting edge campus design and reflects the maturity of JCU’s approach in delivering this latest addition to their portfolio.

AITHM

A complex design with highly technical and world class building services which control the management of the internal environment including a labyrinth of NATA approved laboratories. The contractor has displayed a high level of workmanship with a quite difficult build utilising their skills in presenting a campus building that exceeds expectations. Again, the use of natural materials and sunshading effects has been maximised to advantage in contributing to a sustainable building that results in a striking external appearance that recognises good design and respect to the tropical environment.

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Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Heather Brown for more information about science degrees available at James Cook University!

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

James Cook University ranked among top 2% of the world’s universities

James Cook University’s standing as a world-class research university has been reaffirmed, with new data confirming JCU is among the top 2% of the world’s universities.

The authoritative Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), published recently by the Centre for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, has ranked JCU in the top 301–400 group of universities.

JCU ranked among top 2% of the world’s universities

JCU is Australia’s Tropical University!

JCU has been ranked in the world’s top 400 universities since 2010.

Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Chris Cocklin said that despite JCU’s size, the university performs very strongly when compared to its peers around the world.

“UNESCO identifies around 18,000 higher-education institutions around the globe, and to be listed among the top 400 is a very significant achievement.”

Professor Cocklin said for a regional university to achieve such a result is a tribute to the efforts of its academics.

“We are a highly competitive, research-intensive university, and this ranking is a great credit to the work of our talented researchers.”

James Cook University is one of only 21 Australian universities to make the Top 400.

The Academic Ranking of World Universities is considered one of the most prestigious and trustworthy global university rankings. More than 1200 universities are ranked by ARWU every year, but only the best 500 universities are published.

ARWU uses several indicators to rank world universities, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, the number of Highly Cited Researchers, the number of articles published in the journals Nature and Science, and the number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index – Expanded and Social Science Citation Index.

JCU is Australia’s Tropical University

Are you looking for something different? Would you like a truly Australian experience? Consider studying at James Cook University!

JCU is defined by the tropics and is unique among Australian universities, woven into the intellectual, economic and social fabric of the tropical location and set amid irreplaceable ecosystems and cultures that fire intellects and imaginations. The university seeks knowledge-based ways to help the world’s tropical regions prosper.

Many OzTREKK students studying at JCU enjoy the gorgeous, hot weather and the friendliness of Northern Queenslanders. The cities of Cairns of Townsville provide you with the feeling of a small-town atmosphere, yet there is plenty to see and do in and around each city. As a smaller university, JCU staff members are approachable and friendly, and students enjoy the attention they receive upon arrival and throughout their program.

In JCU Townsville, you’ll find JCU Medical School. In Cairns, JCU Dental School!

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Find out more about studying at James Cook University!

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!