Alumni testimonials

Here is what some of our graduate students have to say about their experiences in the Bioethics program.

Jacqueline Savard - Masters of Bioethics graduate

Jacqueline Savard

"The unique nature of the Master of Bioethics program - where different voices and disciplines are given a chance to contribute - teaches students how to think critically about the world around them and to seek new answers to some of the most complex problems in contemporary healthcare.

The interaction of different fields under the umbrella of bioethics was a great opportunity for me to explore areas where my experience was limited. I am fortunate to have this diverse foundation, because it helps me draw on multiple perspectives in my current research as a PhD candidate."

Doug Hutchinson - Masters of Bioethics graduate

“Before I enrolled in the Sydney Bioethics Program, I worked as a bioethics chaplain. The role of a chaplain is to educate the consciences of people of God so they make ethical decisions based on Christian principles. Chaplains also provide ongoing pastoral care, whatever choice is made.

It may seem strange for a theist to pursue a degree in a secular institution, but I gained immense pleasure from completing the Sydney Bioethics Program, and it has also helped me to pursue my vocation as an ethicist in new ways. Whilst continuing to work as a chaplain, I am now also a member of five different research ethics committees, where my role is to protect innocent, vulnerable and sometimes helpless people from exploitation.”

Bridget Haire - Masters of Bioethics graduate

Bridget Haire

"As a policy analyst for a non-government organisation, the Master of Bioethics program provided a variety of disciplinary perspectives through which to explore issues around the application of new technologies, the relationships between research and practice, and the role of values within health policy. The course develops analytical skills and gave me the confidence to approach health policy differently.

Since completing my Masters I've enrolled in a PhD on standards of care in HIV research, which marries my long history in HIV advocacy with my academic interests."

Bridget Haire
PhD Candidate, Centre for Values Ethics and the Law in Medicine
and Family Planning Association, NSW

Renata Axler - Master of Bioethics graduate


I moved from Sydney from Toronto, Canada, in 2006 to take on the Master of Bioethics Degree. I was drawn to the Sydney Bioethics Program because of its interdisciplinary approach, which complemented my earlier studies in philosophy and the environment.

After graduating in 2007, I won a full scholarship to complete a PhD at the University of Toronto in the Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation in collaboration with the Joint Centre for Bioethics.

Dr Linda Bendall

Dr Linda Bendall - professional development alumni

"I work as a Senior Research Fellow at the Westmead Millennium Institute, and have been a member of both human and animal research ethics committees. I completed the Human and Animal Research Ethics course in the Sydney Bioethics Program in 2011. The course encouraged me to articulate and examine my own views, and helped me to understand opposing views by arguing in favour of them! I found the course very practical because it focussed on the everyday aspects of animal research ethics. The case studies were informative because they explained how – often despite the best of intentions – researchers in the past have failed to consider the ethical implications of their work. We were taught by a range of experts who had a variety of teaching styles. Overall I found the course informative, challenging, stimulating and highly enjoyable."

Dr Linda Bendall
Senior Research Fellow at the Westmead Millennium Institute

Mark Arnold - current student

Mark Arnold photo

"I commenced the Bioethics course in 2010 after more than 20 years of practice in rheumatology/internal medicine. I have found the program to be stimulating and intellectually challenging, and the flexibility and delivery allow me to balance work and personal commitments with study.

The course has led me to reflect and appraise the nature of my work and develop skills to critically assess how I might function more effectively as a health professional. Above all the course is enjoyable, and allows a great deal of interaction with students from other disciplines.”

Mark Arnold
Rheumatologist Royal North Shore Hospital, Academic Clinical Coordinator (Medicine) North Shore Private Hospital/Northern Clinical School and Associate Professor (Faculty of Medicine) Sydney University.