Griffith University celebrates its fourth graduation for AusAID funded Public Health leadership fellows, and its first Asian Development Bank sponsored Vietnamese students, in their completion of the Master of Science in Public Health (International), on 28 June 2010, at the Southbank campus.
The graduates completed a dissertation or a small scale public health project addressing challenging global issues such as: disease control and prevention, climate change-related health problems, environmental health risk assessment, and emergency and disaster management.
In total there were eight Master of Science in Public Health graduates from Vietnam, sponsored by the Asian Development Bank, an AusAID funded Master of Sciences in Public Health graduate from Bangladesh, and 20 AusAID Leadership Fellows in Public Health, also from Vietnam and Bangladesh, as well as China and Indonesia.
Chief Health Officer of Queensland Health, Dr Jeanette Young, was also in attendance, who has for many years shared a close and supportive working relationship with the Director of the Centre for Environment and Population Health, and program convenor, Professor Cordia Chu, and her staff, often guest speaking for the students on various health topics during lectures as a part of their program.
“I congratulate the students knowing that they are yet to face some the world’s biggest concerns for human health, and also for their hard work and effort,” said Dr Young.
“As graduates from this distinguished program they will return home with the confidence to start actively assessing the health issues in their home countries and with a vision set on finding solutions.
“I also encourage each of the graduates, as future leaders, to be patient in their endeavors and to remain focused and persistent on the health challenges that are fundamental to life and are ongoing, such as those related to clean water, nutritious food, immunization, smoking, alcohol consumption and also health screening,” she said.
Following Dr Young’s key message, Professor Hamish McCallum, Head of the Griffith School of Environment, commented not only the student successes but also in recognition of the Masters program.
“This quite remarkable public health program, offered by the Griffith Centre for Environment and Population Health is unique in the world,” he said.
“It is unusual for a public health program, at the post-graduate level, to sit within a School of Environment, but this a key to its success: the health of humans, our agricultural systems and ecosystem health are inextricably linked,” said Professor McCallum.
“The program ideally prepares broad-based work ready, international graduates who are equipped and ready to support the necessity for an ecological public health movement” he said.
The University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic) and Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Sue Spence, awarded the students with their certificates on the night and gave an inspiring note of thanks to the students in recognition of the progress they have made already in their discipline of Public Health, and also to the University’s key collaborating international partners.
“Griffith University is very excited about the close working relationships we have developed with each of your countries,” said Professor Spence.
“Many of you are celebrating your graduation today thanks to the strong relationships that have been developed between Griffith University and its partners including the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the Indonesian Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, the Vietnam Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health and more recently, the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh.
As a result of these close relationships we feel most proud that we have helped you gain skills that will make you invaluable to your countries’ future,” she said.
The evening concluded with an inspiring presentation from the students that included traditional song and dance, and a short clip highlighting the time they spent together developing their knowledge, global networks and lasting friendships.
Other dignitaries in attendance on the night included: the High Commissioner for Bangladesh in Australia, His Excellency Lieutenant General Masud Uddin Chowdhury; Dr Aris Junaidi, Education Attaché from the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia; and Mr Ren Gongping, Consul General, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China (Brisbane), who each shared congratulatory remarks with the students.
Featured in picture (left to right): Chief Health Officer of Queensland Health, Dr Jeanette Young; Education Attaché from the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, Dr Aris Junaidi; High Commissioner for Bangladesh in Australia, His Excellency Lieutenant General Masud Uddin Chowdhury; Director for the Griffith Centre for Environment & Population Health, Professor Cordia Chu; Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) and Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Sue Spence; and Consul General, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Brisbane, Mr Ren Gongping.