High achievers in health sciences graduates

With significant development within the Faculty of Health Sciences at La Trobe University’s Bendigo campus, this year’s graduation ceremony featured an increased number of Masters and Doctoral students. 

Director of Health Sciences at Bendigo, Dr Amanda Kenny, said that five students will be conferred their Master of Health Science degree while two students will be awarded Doctor of Philosophy degrees.  

‘This highlights the growth in postgraduate enrolments and research activity at the Health Sciences Faculty at Bendigo, in addition to the growth in undergraduate courses such as dentistry, occupational therapy and physiotherapy,’ said Dr Kenny

Physiotherapy graduate, Stephen Gill, undertook research into exercise-based interventions for people awaiting joint replacement surgery for hips and knees.  His research found that exercises in the pool and on land reduced pain and improved functional abilities.  

Stephen’s study also concluded that there are no differences between the benefits of land and pool exercises.  Participants reported reduced pain immediately after exercises and also the next day.  

Stephen’s supervisor, Associate Professor Helen McBurney commented that Stephen’s research has already been published in peer-reviewed international journals and provides important information to reduce disability before hip or knee joint replacement, improving return to function afterwards.       

Another doctoral graduate, Geraldene Mackay, investigated the physical space in which social workers practice.  Her research found that physical space for social work practice is important and performs hidden political and social functions that can be understood and used effectively in practice.  As a result of her research, the methodology developed has subsequently been published in an international journal.

The graduation ceremony also saw a high number of graduates receive postgraduate diplomas in midwifery science, postgraduate diplomas of nursing science in child, family and community, while eight students received postgraduate diplomas of nursing science in mental health.  

Dr Kenny said that these graduates will use their qualifications to increase the local workforce, particularly in areas such as mental health and midwifery where there are major shortages.  

‘Graduation is an important rite of passage with families, friends and University staff coming together to celebrate the achievements of graduands who have often made many sacrifices to complete their studies,’ Dr Kenny said.

‘The Faculty of Health Sciences at Bendigo has a high number of mature age students who often juggle family, work and study commitments, and go onto make important contributions to the local health workforce.’

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Zerin Knight, Ph (03) 5444 7375 F +613 5444 7526 M 0428 463 161
E z.knight@latrobe.edu.au