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Articles categorized as ‘Griffith University Health Sciences’

Friday, April 6th, 2018

Griffith University helps launch Commonwealth Sports Universities Network

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has partnered with Griffith University to debut the Commonwealth Sports Universities Network, which aims to create a formal sporting partnership between the CGF and five foundation universities from across the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Sports Universities Network (CSUN) celebrated its official launch on the Gold Coast on Tuesday, on the eve of the Opening Ceremony for the XXI Commonwealth Games. The CGF partnered with Griffith University to debut the Network, which aims to create a formal sporting partnership between the CGF and, initially, five universities from across the Commonwealth.

Griffith University helps launch Commonwealth Sports Universities Network

Professor Sarah Todd, Vice President (Global), Griffith University; CGF Vice President, Bruce Robertson; Professor Ian O’Connor AC, Vice Chancellor, Griffith University and Professor Michael Powell, Academic Director, Griffith University, at the launch of CSUN on the Gold Coast. (Image credit: Griffith University)

The success of the CGF and Griffith University’s existing Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games partnership was the inspiration behind the establishment of the Network. The CGF and Griffith University have been joined by four additional founding member universities—the University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, University of Johannesburg (South Africa) and Strathclyde University (Scotland)—for the Network’s recent inaugural meeting on the Gold Coast.

Exciting new initiative
“The Commonwealth Sports Universities Network is an exciting new initiative that builds on our existing research and internship relationships with higher education institutions across the Commonwealth. The Network will ensure the CGF continues to deliver on one of its strategic priorities, of attracting and building on public, private and social partnerships that widely benefit the Commonwealth Sport Movement and in particular Commonwealth athletes and host cities and communities,” said CGF Vice President, Bruce Robertson.

Significant role
The new Commonwealth partnership forms a core part of the CGF Development Programme and will build on and further integrate the internship, research, and evaluation work undertaken by the Higher Education Sector at Commonwealth Games, maximising opportunities for coordination, knowledge exchange, internship opportunities and research priorities across recent, future and prospective Commonwealth Games hosts.

“This is the first time that a university has taken such a significant role with the organisers of the Commonwealth Games,” Professor Michael Powell, Academic Director, Griffith University said.

“Previously, universities involved with the Commonwealth Games have provided expertise, volunteers and interns, but never before on the scale and depth of the partnership Griffith University has developed.

Network members will benefit in a range of ways including global exposure, internship opportunities for students, educational and research opportunities, and international network relationships with other Commonwealth institutions and organisations. The CGF will have the opportunity to learn and gain from new academic research on the Commonwealth Games, innovative internship initiatives and sport development programs through universities across the Commonwealth.

World-class facilities
Professor Powell highlighted the successful GAPS (Gather Adjust Prepare Sustain) Program hosted by Griffith University in the build-up to Gold Coast 2018 as a prime example of how university partnerships with the Games can enhance lives and develop athletes in less developed regions.

“We were able to make our world-class on-campus facilities and academic expertise in areas like sport technology and exercise science available to athletes who would not normally have access to these,” he said.

“In this way, Griffith engaged with the CGF’s sports agenda. Now, through the CSUN, Griffith and other universities across the globe can do so in a formalised, planned and focused way.”

The Network was launched by CGF Vice President, Bruce Robertson and Vice Chancellor and President of Griffith University, Professor Ian O’Connor AC, at a formal event on Griffith’s Gold Coast campus.


Would you like to learn more about your sports and exercise sciences study options at Griffith University? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Health Sciences Admissions Officer Charlynn Lecompte at charlynn@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Griffith University to offer health sciences degrees in Brisbane in 2018

Growing demand for allied health services has translated to growing opportunities for students seeking healthcare careers outside the traditional medicine and dentistry degrees.

The sector is surging, with an ageing population and onset of chronic disease driving patient volumes, and a focus on prevention and new technologies improving outcomes.

Griffith to offer health sciences degrees in Brisbane in 2018

Find out how you can study health sciences at Griffith University

Griffith University has responded by bringing three of its most-respected allied health programs—physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech pathology—to Brisbane for the first time.

Professor Andrea Bialocerkowski, Griffith’s School of Allied Health Services Head, says the new degrees are great news for Brisbane students.

“Griffith has offered these programs on the Gold Coast for many years—we’re certainly not new to the game. From 2018 Brisbane students will benefit directly from our faculty’s experience and industry connectivity,” says Andrea.

Just as allied health professionals collaborate to deliver care, Griffith allied health sciences students undertake interprofessional learning alongside one another.

“Students in these degrees learn with those studying other health degrees such as nutrition and dietetics, exercise physiology, medicine, nursing or pharmacy,” she says.

“Their collaboration provides a practical understanding of how their profession interacts and functions within the sort of multidisciplinary team that deliver healthcare today.”

While all three degrees have the power to change lives, Andrea says each has defining features that may help students choose which is best for them.

Demand for the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy degree is expected to grow with the National Disability Insurance Scheme coming online and the discipline’s emergence in schools and aged care facilities.

“This is a very future-focused degree and includes a focus on entrepreneurship and work-integrated learning that commences in the first trimester of study,” says Andrea.

Andrea says the new Bachelor of Physiotherapy is a streamlined replacement for Griffith University’s highly regarded Master of Physiotherapy, which was offered for almost 20 years.

“The new degree caters for high school leavers and offers an extremely wide clinical placement network, extending from far north Queensland to Tasmania, as well as Griffith’s nationally renowned expertise in simulated learning.”

Master of Speech Pathology students, says Andrea, receive industry placement from their first trimester of study and tackle a curriculum focused on clinical immersion.

“Clinical immersion is a key aspect of the intensive two-year curriculum and students gain exposure to a variety of settings to work with adults and children,” Andrea says.

Are you interested in studying health sciences at Griffith University? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Health Sciences Admissions Officer Heather Brown at heather@oztrekk.com.

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

Griffith technology set to personalise tendon and tissue injury rehab

A revolution in the treatment and rehabilitation of muscle/tendon injuries is on its way with the development of a ground-breaking new intelligent technology developed at Griffith University and the University of Auckland.

Called iTraining, the biomedically engineered system works in real time to provide feedback on the stresses and strains that affect a specific muscle or tendon, either following injury or in the prevention of injury.

Following the award of a grant of nearly $1m from Australian Research Council and industry partners, Professor David Lloyd, from Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland, and other colleagues are now preparing to undertake a large three-part study that will focus on the Achilles tendon.

“Currently the mechanical environment of the Achilles tendon is poorly understood because of difficulties associated with directly measuring the stresses and strains experienced throughout the tendon in daily activities. If these issues can be overcome, it will be possible to identify the loading conditions required to facilitate favourable structural and mechanical adaption of healthy, as well as injured or diseased Achilles tendons,” says Professor Lloyd.

Potential to radically transform

“The technology to achieve this goal is now within reach and has the potential to radically transform the way athletic training and rehabilitation programs for the Achilles tendon are designed and monitored.

“The approach will allow the trainer to identify an individual’s optimal loading conditions for positive structural and mechanical adaption of their Achilles tendon, by using methods that integrate the necessary technologies to measure stress-strain of the tendon in real time,” the Griffith University professor said.

The study will be broken into three parts: Part A will aim to determine the optimal loading conditions required to alter the structural, mechanical and biochemical properties of the Achilles tendon; Part B will be to develop the iTraining system which will entail participants wearing next generation wearable sensors coupled with computer models, to provide real-time biofeedback of the tendon’s mechanical behaviour; Part C will determine the efficacy of an iTraining program to alter the structural properties of the human Achilles tendon.

Professor Lloyd says the iTraining approach will be likely to have broad application to other tendons and musculoskeletal tissues within the body.

“This new ‘intelligent’ approach to training and rehabilitation is at the forefront of modern developments in biomechanics, rehabilitation engineering, sports science and sports medicine.

“iTraining has the potential to radically transform the practice of exercise prescription across the full spectrum from elite performance to rehabilitation of acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions,” he says.

“A key feature of this approach is that feedback is subject specific and therefore consistent with the concept of the ‘quantitative’ self and the trend in science and practice is of course, to move towards models of personalised medicine and rehabilitation.”

Professor Lloyd says he envisages that the technology could be available in public gyms and physiotherapy practices in as little as four years.

This technology is being developed in conjunction with research partners including University of Auckland, University of Western Australia, La Trobe University, Noraxon (USA), Wearable wireless sensors and system, Orthocell (Australia), Regenerative Medicine Phillips Health Care Australia and Medical Imaging.


Find out more about studying health sciences at Griffith University. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Health Sciences Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Griffith academics recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Two leading Griffith University academics have been acknowledged in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List: Professor Allan Cripps and Professor Lesley Chenoweth.

Head of Griffith Logan Campus Professor Lesley Chenoweth has been made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for her distinguished service to higher education, particularly in the area of social work, as an academic and administrator, and as a leading supporter of people living with disabilities.

Griffith University Health Sciences Degrees

Professor Lesley Chenoweth AO (Photo credit: Griffith University)

The Professor of Social Work said she is both surprised and delighted by the recognition.

“I was really stunned when I got the letter.  It’s not something one expects at all!”

She said she feels very privileged that she has been able to devote her working life to an area about which she is so passionate.

“Certainly my work and my personal values are very much aligned,” Professor Chenoweth said.

“My research has been in disability, and I have been involved in community organisations and movements about upholding the rights of people with disability so they can lead ordinary lives, go to university, have jobs, and just be active and accepted members of the community.”

Vice Chancellor of Griffith University Professor Ian O’Connor said the honour was a worthy recognition of Professor Chenoweth’s tireless commitment, not only to teaching and learning opportunities for students at the Logan campus, but also the broader community.

“Professor Chenoweth is a passionate believer in the transformative power of education and this is very evident in her approach to her life and her work,” he said.

“So many lives have been enriched by her service and Griffith is very proud of her unflagging determination to drive change for greater social equity. This is truly a very appropriate tribute to her.”

Pro Vice Chancellor (Health) Professor Allan Cripps was also awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his distinguished service to tertiary education as a senior administrator, and to public health as a leading immunologist, academic and researcher in the area of mucosal immunisation.

Griffith Vice Chancellor Prof O’Connor has extended his warmest congratulations to Professor Cripps.

“Professor Cripps has made a lifelong contribution to the field of health, particularly in enabling the career pathways of thousands of health practitioners and through his work in immunology and research,” Professor O’Connor said.

“I am delighted to see his efforts recognised in this way.”

And former lecturer at the Queensland Conservatorium from 1988 until 1992, Joyce Bennett, has been awarded a Medal in the Order of Australia (OAM) for her service to music as a teacher, fundraiser and mentor.

Leading Gold Coast community and business figure, Mr Jock McIlwain was also awarded a Medal in The Order of Australia (OAM), for his service to the community through arts and educational organisations. Mr McIlwain is a long time supporter of Griffith University, in particular of the Science On The Go program. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Griffith in 2013.


Learn more about studying health sciences or public health at Griffith University. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Health Sciences Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com to find out how you can study in Australia!

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Griffith physiotherapy students providing healthcare in Malawi

Malawi was the recent destination for a group of Griffith physiotherapy and health sciences students who found that they could learn more from the disadvantaged local people than they had ever imagined.

The group of three Master of Physiotherapy and three Graduate Diploma of Exercise Science students, plus two lecturers, travelled to the south-east African country as part of an aid mission to provide physio and exercise treatment to clients in local villages.

Cody Waldon from Elanora on the Gold Coast—now a graduate of the Graduate Diploma of Exercise Science program—went on the five-week trip which included setting up outreach clinics to provide disability assessments.

The first stop was two weeks in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital.

“Here, many of the locals came to see us at the clinic with a whole host of movement disorders, many of which are related to cerebal palsy,” says Cody. “But we also saw people with epilepsy and stroke and also a lot of young children with club foot.

“This is something that some children are born with; fortunately, in most developed countries this can be treated from birth, but this doesn’t happen in places like Malawi and we saw a lot of children and some adults pretty much walking around on their ankles.

“We also saw numbers of undiagnosed issues amongst people. A lot of people presented with ailments such as arthritis and joint pains caused by malnutrition and poor bone health.

“When someone is in a certain amount of pain in a particular area of the body they often modify their movement to alleviate that, but unfortunately this can create other movement issues.”

Working alongside two already established organisations in these areas, 500 miles and The Landrani Trust (African Vision Malawi), the group prescribed  home-based exercises and fitted orthoses and prostheses (assistive devices) to the grateful patients.

“It was amazing to see how happy these people were—both patients and the local physios—when they were getting by using the most meagre materials available,” says Cody.

“For example, we saw the hospital physios just using some old tin cans and balls to perform mobility exercises with young children. Although they did see our presence as a great opportunity to learn from us, we also realised we were learning a great deal from them, not least the ability to get some great results from using the most simple tools. It really made us think outside the box, especially when we got back to Australia and found all the amazing equipment here to be quite overwhelming.”

Providing education

The group’s job as visiting students was not just to provide disability assessments and organise exercise plans and devices, but to also provide education to patients or parents about their or their child’s particular issue or disability.

“Unfortunately, all health services are pretty thin on the ground in Malawi and providing information to people about their conditions is also a vitally important task.

“The five weeks we had in Malawi was certainly quite an eyeopener for us and also a very humbling experience, but I think it has really made a difference to the way I communicate with patients and my clinical thinking when providing exercises. It made me realise that sometimes the simple option is the best option.”

Cody is now working as an exercise physiologist at a practice in Tweed Heads.

“This amazing experience in Malawi, along with the support and education of my Griffith Graduate Diploma of Exercise Science, has given me confidence and a wealth of knowledge of conditions and appropriate prescription techniques to use in the practice.”

Griffith University Physiotherapy School

Students choosing to study physiotherapy at Griffith Physiotherapy School can look forward to learning the latest treatments and tools from practicing physiotherapists. During the degree you will also have the chance to gain valuable experience working with physiotherapists in fields such as stroke rehabilitation or cardiovascular therapy. There is also the opportunity to undertake your clinical experience overseas.

Program: Master of Physiotherapy
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Semester intake: January
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: September 9, 2015

 Apply to Griffith University Physiotherapy School!


Would you like more information about studying physiotherapy at Griffith University? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Jaime Notman at jaime@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

For more information about studying health sciences at Griffith University, contact OzTREKK’s Australian Health Sciences Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com.

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Griffith University and UNICEF partner to improve child protection in Indonesia

Griffith University is partnering with UNICEF and the Indonesian Government to ameliorate child protection and social work structures in Indonesia.

Led by Griffith School of Human Services and Social Work’s Professor Clare Tilbury, the project will use three pilot districts in Indonesia to identify best practice models for child protection systems.

Griffith University Health Sciences

Study at the Griffith School of Human Services and Social Work

“Each Pilot site will develop an action plan through assessment and case management in develop an integrated approach that will benefit the most vulnerable families and children,” said Professor Tilbury.

This work is in response to the Indonesia Government’s agenda in establishing a whole of government approach in creating an integrated continuum of care, with greater emphasis on family and community needs.

“The aim would be to improve linkages between social protection such as income support and family counseling, and child protection services such as foster care.”

The consultancy has enabled a memorandum of understanding between Griffith University and the Ministry of Social Affairs signed by the ice Chancellor in 2013. Under the MoU, a social work education symposium was held in August 2014, which will be followed by another in May this year at the Bandung School of Social Welfare where Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor will provide a keynote.

School of Human Services and Social Work

The Griffith School of Human Services and Social Work has this unique dual focus on both individuals and their environment. Griffith graduates work in a range of exciting roles, some with a strong focus on supporting individuals and families, and others focussing more on tackling local community and broader social policy issues.

Griffith University’s courses cover child and family studies, human services and social work, as well as providing access to flexible postgraduate programs in a wide range of specialisations, such as, mental health practice, rehabilitation counselling, and disability studies. Griffith students are encouraged to be compassionate, respectful, and effective agents for social change. Griffith equips them to understand and address the underlying causes of social disadvantage.

Study areas include

  • Community and youth work
  • Childhood studies
  • Disability studies
  • Mental health practice
  • Rehabilitation counselling
  • Rehabilitation case management
  • Social work
  • Orientation and mobility
  • Social gerontology


Would you like to find out more about studying health sciences at Griffith University? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Health Sciences Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at 1-866-698-7355 or email rachel@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Griffith Health Sciences student tackling nutrition with personal trainers

The importance of nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle is recognised by most personal trainers, however concerns have been raised about their competence to provide individualised nutrition advice.

An exploration of nutrition guidance from personal trainers is now the subject of research by Griffith University PhD student, Katelyn Barnes.

She says that the majority of personal training services across Australia already provide nutrition advice to clients ranging from basic healthy eating to weight-loss diets.

Griffith University Health Sciences

Griffith PhD student studies the link between personal trainers and positive nutrition outcomes

“It is clear that nutrition is an important factor affecting health and well-being, and we know from previous research that the level of nutritional advice provided by personal trainers is variable,” says Katelyn who is part of Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland (MHIQ).

“We believe that the relationship between personal trainers and clients is unique and that personal trainers have the potential to deliver positive nutrition outcomes while increasing physical activity to their clients.”

The Griffith Health Sciences student’s current research is investigating personal trainers’ confidence in providing nutritional advice. This includes the levels of knowledge and skills PTs feel they have, their attitudes regarding how important nutrition is and the barriers or enablers they face in incorporating nutrition into their services.

Katelyn is asking PTs to complete an online survey regarding these issues, which will see them receiving a ‘nutrition confidence’ score (https://erssurvey-prd-gc.rcs.griffith.edu.au/prodls190/index.php?sid=72332&lang=en)

“This will help us design an appropriate intervention to support personal trainers to provide evidence based nutrition care. We can use the score, both before and after any interventions, to track if there has been some progress.

“We hope that some personal trainers will opt to further participate in a telephone interview to elaborate on how nutrition fits into their role, and how they would like to be supported to provide nutrition advice.”

“Nutrition is the key,” says Nathan Oliver, from Get Moving Personal Training on the Gold Coast. “The clients are demanding the nutrition knowledge and are expecting their trainers to supply it.”

Ellyce Denn, from Edenn Health in Victoria, highlights these challenges often faced by personal trainers. “What clients expect me to deliver, and what I’m allowed to deliver are two different things. This research will hopefully identify some strategies to support personal trainers to provide advice, and successfully partner with health professionals to produce the best client health outcomes.”


Find out more about studying health sciences at Griffith University. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Health Sciences Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at 1-866-698-7355 or email rachel@oztrekk.com.

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Griffith research suggests beer for good health

It was only recently that Griffith University research showed that it’s possible to improve the hydrating effects of beer without killing off its taste.

Associate Professor Ben Desbrow from Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland has now extended his study of beer to see how it can be further manipulated to improve its rehydration potential.

Griffith University Health Sciences

Griffith studies beer’s rehydration potential

Taking 12 males into the lab, tests entailed them drinking beers of varying strengths following a controlled exercise-induced weight-loss activity.

His study, “Manipulations to the alcohol and sodium content of beer for post-exercise rehydration,” published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, found that a large concentration of electrolytes added to beer further enhances an individual’s fluid retention following low alcohol beer consumption.

Additionally, the study found that the rehydration potential of mid-strength beer is also affected by electrolyte enrichment. Specifically, that the concentration of electrolytes appears to have more significant impact on post-exercise fluid retention than small changes in the alcohol content of beer.

Based on this latest research, the Griffith University associate professor and his team are now seeking to further understand beer consumers’ motivations using an online questionnaire.

“Now that we know that beer can be manipulated in a variety of ways to enhance its health giving potential, the next step is to find out the attitudes of the beer drinking population,” he says. “We want to know their attitudes to beer drinking and what influences their behaviour. What are the financial and lifestyle factors that affect their beer choices and which factors make it more appealing to them?

“We know that a large number of people enjoy beer and given that it is a plant-based beverage, there is definitely room to improve beer’s health profile.”

Griffith School of Allied Health Sciences

The School of Allied Health Sciences at Griffith University embraces learning, discovery and engagement in order to achieve the university’s goal of helping individuals, groups and communities achieve healthy lives.

Griffith offers a range of physiotherapy, exercise science and sport degrees which are known for their innovation and practical relevance. The programs help to prepare students with knowledge and skills for a range of careers which focus on the prevention of ill-health through the application of physical activity and sound practice.

Griffith Health Sciences students will be taught by expert teachers with clinical experience. Many of Griffith’s staff have been recognised for their teaching expertise through Teaching Citation Awards, Commendation Awards for Teaching, and Griffith awards for Excellence in Teaching.


Would you like to find out more about studying Health Sciences at Griffith University? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Health Sciences Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at 1-866-698-7355 or email rachel@oztrekk.com.