In June of this year, I had the great privilege and pleasure to commence as the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. Since its establishment in 1936, the Faculty has had a strong history of making an impact through its teaching, research and engagement. In the time since my arrival I have been warmly welcomed and already feel very much a part of this extraordinary enterprise.

I would like to acknowledge the critical role Professor Robyn Ward has played in her two years as acting Executive Dean. She has passed on a faculty with strong governance and a sense of a forward agenda. Central to this momentum was Robyn’s stewardship of the decadal and strategic plan for the Faculty. This broad-ranging project has resulted in numerous important projects which are currently under implementation. As a part of this process, the Faculty derived a clear purpose and set of values.

Our purpose

"Through the education we provide and the research we conduct, the Faculty’s medical, biomedical and public health endeavours save lives and improve human health in material and lasting ways.”

Our values

  • Pursuit of excellence
  • Creativity and independent thinking
  • Mutual respect and diversity
  • Honesty and accountability
  • Inclusiveness and wellbeing

I intend to work to this purpose and enact these values in my time as custodian of this influential faculty. 

My first few months have been framed by a desire to understand the culture and people of the Faculty. What I have found is a group of outstanding staff and students dedicated to making a difference in the communities we serve. I see a very high level of performance in our learning, teaching and research pursuits, and evidence that we work well to the purpose and values described above.

I have also been impressed by our purposeful and meaningful engagement with our internal and external stakeholders. The Hospital and Health Services, Queensland Health, medical research institutes and primary care organisations are all supportive of a shared scholarly mission. There is also evidence of a strong and growing network of health research within The University of Queensland and with our external partners.

This environment is a solid platform for growth and building opportunity. I have been impressed by the opportunities afforded by the Queensland Health Digital Health Strategic Vision, particularly the implementation of the electronic health record. The opportunities for partnership in the analysis and utilisation of the data that will come from five million health records are quite exceptional. This is, however, only one of many opportunities to grow current areas of strength or develop emerging themes in health research. 

The opportunities for re-visioning current learning and teaching programs or developing new programs are also evident. The Bachelor of Health Sciences and Doctor of Medicine programs will be the first to undergo a re-visioning process. In addition, several new programs are in development.  This activity will be undertaken by an excellent team of educators with a principle of co-creation with our students.

I have also been delighted by the strength of the donor support for the Faculty, which builds on the historical and important Mayne legacy. I have only recently learnt of the contributions of Dr James Mayne and am keen to acknowledge the ongoing support he and his family make in the day-to-day life of the Faculty. I am very pleased that part of this acknowledgement will be manifest in the upcoming renovation of the Mayne Medical Building at Herston, which in my opinion is one of the finest medical faculty buildings globally.

I am also impressed by the publication you are currently reading – UQ Medicine. It is a wonderful way to communicate with you, our alumni and partners. This second edition for 2018 is filled with interesting and important subjects, including telehealth in the Torres Strait, Ochsner student rotations in Haiti, and outstanding alumni creating change in the world around them.

I commend this edition to you and thank you for your ongoing support of the Faculty.

This story is featured in the Summer 2018 edition of UQMedicine Magazine. View the latest edition here. Or to listen, watch, or read more stories from UQ’s Faculty of Medicine visit our blog, MayneStream.