Latest News

Hoc Mai Foundation Implements Clinical Research Training Workshops in Vietnam

23 November 2015

Over the course of one week, the University of Sydney’s Hoc Mai Foundation coordinated the delivery of a series of clinical research training workshops across Vietnam. Workshops were implemented with local partners in Danang, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi from 7-13 November 2015.

Hoc Mai Foundation Hosts Alumni Events in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

20 November 2015

Hoc Mai alumni events were recently held in two major cities in Vietnam - Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Former Vietnamese exchange students (Medicine and Nursing), Australia Awards Fellows and Hoc Mai partner organisations were all invited to join the events.

OGH welcomes Indonesian partner, Universitas Gadjah Mada

5 November 2015

Yesterday the Office for Global Health welcomed a delegation from the Faculty of Medicine at the Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), Yogyakarta.  UGM is one of our valued student exchange and research partners in Indonesia, with the purpose of the visit to allow the group the opportunity to visit several teaching and research facilities at the University of Sydney. 

OGH and Hanoi Medical University successfully conclude Curriculum Development Program

19 October 2015

The Sydney Medical School’s Office for Global Health has recently successfully concluded the delivery of a Curriculum Development Program, in partnership with Vietnam’s Hanoi Medical University.

SMS hosts delegation from the Chinese University of Hong Kong

14 October 2015

Would you like to use your skills and experience to volunteer in a developing country?

12 October 2015

The Australian Volunteers for International Development program places skilled Australian volunteers in developing countries. The Australian Volunteers program is funded by the Australian Government.

Hoc Mai Foundation will be supporting a Radiation Therapist Trainer assignment.

To apply for this assignment please go to the Australian Aid site.

SMS Academic honoured in Women of Influence list

7 October 2015

Associate Professor Lisa Harvey has been named a leader in innovation and global development in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence list for 2015.

Lisa Harvey is the Associate Professor in Rehabilitation at the Kolling Institute. She is a physiotherapist clinician and researcher with more than 20 years’ experience in clinical trials on the effectiveness of physiotherapy interventions to assist people with spinal cord injuries. She teaches both nationally and internationally, and has been the recipient of numerous grants and scholarships.

A gala awards evening celebrating the women will be held at Sydney Town Hall on Thursday, 15 October 2015, where category winners and an overall winner will be announced.

Sustainable Development Goals

7 October 2015

Recently, the United Nations held a summit to adopt the 2015 post-development agenda, comprising of 17 new targets to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all human beings enjoy peace and prosperity.

This video was produced by the United Nations Development Programme and explains the new Sustainable Development Goals.

Postdoctoral researchers awarded funding to travel to France

21 September 2015

Dr Ben Smith and Dr Kirstie Bertram have been awarded a short term mobility grant under the auspices of the University of Sydney and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research/INSERM Research Mobility Funding Scheme.

Australia Awards alumnus fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone

21 September 2015

Dr Prince Masuba studied the Master of International Public Health at the University of Sydney, under the auspices of an Australia Awards Scholarship, in 2014. He has now returned to Sierra Leone where he is working in a rural public hospital.

Launch of General Practitioner Support Network linking Sydney and Hainan China

15 September 2015

Sydney Medical School is a partner in the development of a General Practitioner (GP) Support Network linking Sydney and Hainan Province in China. This is a project funded by the Australia China Council to address the need to provide specialist post-graduate training for GPs across Hainan Province.

Farewell to Universitas Gajah Mada PhD student, Dr Yuda Hananta

8 September 2015

The Office for Global Health and the Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre (WSSHC) farewelled Dr Yuda Hananta, a visiting PhD student from the Universitas Gajah Mada this week.

Australia and India build closer links through medical research

8 September 2015

The 11th annual Indo-Australian biotechnology conference concluded today at the Westmead Millennium Institute, with presentations from 28 of India’s and Australia’s leading medical researchers packing the two day schedule.

Farewell afternoon tea for INSERM PhD students

7 September 2015

Last Friday, the University of Sydney hosted an afternoon tea in honour of the first two exchange students funded under the University of Sydney and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research/INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale) Research Mobility Funding Scheme.

Farewell to Esmond Esguerra and Jason Dibbs

7 September 2015

The Office for Global Health recently farewelled two Managers, Mr Esmond Esguerra and Mr Jason Dibbs, who job shared in the role of Manager International Relations for the Hoc Mai Foundation and our activities in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines.

We would like to thank both Jason and Esmond for their enthusiasm, hard work and professionalism and wish them well in their future careers.

Enquiries related to the Hoc Mai Foundation and our activities in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines should be directed to Joshua Bird.

SMS links with Seoul National University College of Medicine

7 September 2015

Sydney Medical School (SMS) has signed an agreement with Seoul National University College of Medicine (SNUCM) in South Korea, to promote collaboration in cancer genomics, neuroscience, student mobility and medical education.

Sydney Medical School welcomes visiting researchers from the University of Padova, Italy

L to R: Professor Bruce Robinson (Dean, Sydney Medical School), Dr Jonida Bejko (University of Padova), Professor Piero Maestrelli (University of Padova), Professor Tomaso Bottio (University of Padova), Ms Sandra Margon (Office for Global Engagement) and Associate Professor Kirsty Foster (Office for Global Health).

3 September 2015

This week, the University of Sydney hosted a delegation from the University of Padova, Italy, across the disciplines of Agriculture, Engineering and Medicine.  The Office for Global Health hosted Professor Tomaso Bottio from the Institute of Cardiac Surgery, Professor Piero Maestrelli who is the Head of the Laboratory of Lung Pathophysiology and Professor of Occupational Medicine and Dr Jonida Bejko, a PhD student and cardiac surgeon.

Meetings were arranged with key academic staff from the Charles Perkins Centre, Kolling Institute, Woolcock Institute for Medical Research and Sydney Medical School Deanery.

Office for Global Health welcomes high-level delegation from Vietnam

28 August 2015

The Office for Global Health had the honour this week of hosting a high-ranking delegation from Vietnam.

Patient Safety is everybody’s business to improve health in Timor Leste

Ms Paulina Pinto, from the HNGV, giving a presentation on infection control.

28 August 2015

Earlier this week, a team from the University of Sydney, led by Professor Merrilyn Walton, traveled to Timor Leste to deliver a two day patient safety seminar in conjunction with the Instituto Nacional De Saude (INS), funded by the University of Sydney’s International Program Development Fund (IPDF).

OGH Health hosts reception for Hoc Mai Clinical Placement Fellows, signs MOU with Vietnam's 175 Military Hospital

L to R: Prof. Bruce Robinson (Chairperson, Hoc Mai Foundation) and Associate Professor Nguyen Hong Son (175 Military Hospital).

25 August 2015

On Monday 17 August, the Office for Global Health hosted a reception for ten Vietnamese fellows undertaking a clinical placement as part of the Hoc Mai Foundation’s Fellowship Program. The participants, all from Military 175 Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, arrived in Sydney on 27 June 2015 to begin two to three month intensive learning experience depending on individual requirements.

Summer Research Scholarships now open

19 August 2015

Summer Research Scholarships offer a unique opportunity for students to obtain experience in medical-related research and provide a fantastic insight into the research process. The scholarships offer students the experience of working with well-established researchers in high quality medical research facilities. Opportunities are open now closing on 17th September 2015.

OGH welcomes Joshua Bird

10 August 2015

The Office for Global Health would like to welcome Mr Joshua Bird, who commences in the role of Manager International Relations this week. Josh has over a decade of international development experience in East Asia, having worked in China, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines and Hong Kong. He will have responsibility for the executive management of the Hoc Mai Foundation and our relationships in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines. Josh will replace Mr Jason Dibbs, who has returned to study.

MIGA's 2015 Elective Grants Program - applications now open

25 July 2015

MIGA's annual Elective Grants Program provides financial assistance to medical students undertaking their elective in a developing community. Since 2004 we have offered Grants to medical students from all over Australia.

MIGA is proud and excited to offer the Elective Grants Program for 2015.

Closing date for applications is 5.00pm (CST) Friday, 28 August 2015.

Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP) - applications now open

10 July 2015

The Australia-Indonesia Institute (AII) invites applications from Australians aged between 21 and 25 years (at the time of departure to Indonesia), willing to represent Australia for two months in Indonesia during December 2015 to February 2016 as members of the AIYEP 2015-16. Closing date for applications is 3pm AEST Monday 10 August 2015.

Hoc Mai Immersion Programme 22 June to 17 July 2015

Vietnamese doctors participating in the 4-week immersion programme with Sydney-based tutors.

21 July 2015

The Hoc Mai Foundation of Sydney Medical School is delighted to welcome 20 young medical specialists from Hanoi who have been identified as future health leaders in Vietnam. The group includes doctors from Public and Private Hospitals.

Health and Wellbeing Survey

21 July 2015

The Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre and the Brain and Mind Centre at The University of Sydney are conducting a pioneering survey on health and wellbeing commissioned by the Movember Foundation. The study is being lead by Professor Ian Hickie (University of Sydney), Professor Jane Burns (Young and Well CRC) in Australia, and Professor Richard Porter (University of Otago) in New Zealand.

This is a multi-site international study that will ask people (16 years and older) across five countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and United States their views on health and wellbeing in the communities they live.

The aim of the survey is to reach at least 10,000 people (that is 2,000 people in Australia) and considerably improve global understanding of health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on men’s health. It will be used to inform policy, research and education programs within the health and mental health sectors across each participating country and the world.

If you'd like to complete the survey, please go to and also see a video here:

Sydney and Shanghai strengthen public health collaboration

L to R: Associate Professor Kirsty Foster, Associate Professor Qin Meijiao, Vice Dean Lu Wei, Professor Glenn Salkeld, Professor Tim Driscoll and Professor Adrian Bauman.

15 July 2015

Sydney Medical School and Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine has a decade long relationship, in medical education and research.

This week, Sydney School of Public Health welcomed 21 students and their teachers to Sydney for an 8 week Program.

175 Military Hospital Health Practitioners join Hoc Mai Clinical Placement Fellows

Tran Song Hieu with colleagues from Medical Physics Department of Chris O’ Brien Lifehouse

8 July 2015

Eight health practitioners from 175 Military Hospital arrived in Sydney on 27 June 2015 to embark on a two month learning experience through the 2015 Hoc Mai Foundation’s Clinical Placement Fellowship Programme. Ms Dung Nguyen, International Relations Coordinator and Mr Vu Duc Hau, Head of Finance of 175 Military Hospital accompanied the fellows on their first week in Sydney.

SMS welcomes 34 Myanmar Australia Awards Fellows to Sydney, May-July 2015

Fellows in Myanmar National Dress

7 July 2015

Professor Bruce Robinson, Dean of Sydney Medical School said: "Myanmar is a priority country for Sydney Medical School and a country with which the University of Sydney as a whole is seeking to develop deeper engagement. Our focus in Myanmar is complementary to the Australian Government’s aims, focusing on helping communities to reduce poverty and enabling the country to transition to greater stability.”

This week Sydney Medical School welcomes 25 delegates from Myanmar to a two week intensive professional program in Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy Development.

Farewell to Australia Awards scholars

3 July 2015

Today the Office for Global Health farewelled 12 Australia Awards scholars enrolled in studies with the Sydney Medical School, at a Completion Ceremony held by the Australia Awards Office on campus.  The students have successfully completed the academic requirements of their courses, at either the Masters or PhD level, under the financial support of the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

Integrating Cash Transfer and Nutrition Promotion With Mobile pilot workshop

30 June 2015

Mr Tanvir Huda (PhD student from the Sydney School of Public Health) and his supervisor, Professor Michael Dibley are currently in Seattle, USA, for the Gates Xcelerator pilot workshops. They received a Grand Challenges Exploration (GCE) grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in round 12, entitled Integrating Cash Transfer and Nutrition Promotion With Mobile. The project aims to improve care and nutrition for pregnant women and young children through developing a cost effective cell phone based delivery platform within the existing health system of Bangladesh, by integrating counseling and communications about care with cash transfers.

Strengthening research collaboration: maternal and child malnutrition in Indonesia

29 June 2015

Through funding obtained from the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC) Regional Mobility Fund, Professor Michael Dibley and Dr Neeloy Alam were able to invite Dr Christiana Rialine Titaley and Dr Min Kyaw Htet to the Sydney School of Public Health from 18th May – 5th June 2015.

The purpose of this visit was to strengthen existing collaboration on the research project in Indonesia entitled: "Effectiveness of an integrated program to reduce maternal and child malnutrition in Indonesia”.

Welcome to PhD student Ms Meilin Tan

L to R: Dr Kevin Wang and Ms Meilin Tan.

24 June 2015

The University of Sydney’s Office for Global Health and Office of Global Engagement welcomed Ms Meilin Tan, a PhD student, from the 'Glutamate Receptors and Excitatory Synapses' team, Institut de Biologie de l'ENS (IBENS), Neuroscience Section, INSERM France, to undertake a short term research mobility opportunity with the Origins of Cancer Program at the Centenary Institute.

Meilin applied for funding under the University of Sydney and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research/INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale) Research Mobility Funding Scheme. Meilin will be based at the Centenary Institute until the end of  September 2015 and will be supervised by Dr Qian (Kevin) Wang. Her research project is entitled “Elucidating amino acid transporter LAT3 via genetic encoding of artificial amino acids”. At her laboratory back in France, Meilin introduced light-sensitive unnatural amino acids into neuronal receptors to understand the structure function relationship, which plays key roles in learning and memory.   She is expected to establish a novel strategy to study substrate binding sites in amino acid transporters.

Indonesia-Australia non-communicable disease research collaboration

L to R: Kirsty (Co Lead Sydney University), Prof Susan Sawyer (Co-lead Melbourne University), Prof BudiWiweko (Co-Lead Universitas Indonesia), Prof Yati Soenarto (Universitas Gadjah Mada), Prof Dr Dwia A. Tina Pulubuhu, Rector, and Dr Ansariadi (Hasannudin University).

23 June 2015

Associate Dean International, A/Professor Kirsty Foster is at a meeting in Makassar this week. The workshop is hosted by Hasanuddin University (UNHAS), one of the largest public universities in Indonesia and the first in the country to appoint a woman Rector, the equivalent of our Vice Chancellor.

The purpose of Kirsty’s visit is to work with the other co leads of the Health Cluster of the Australia Indonesia Centre to finalise the Cluster Investment Plan

Welcome to Semester Two commencing Australia Awards Scholars

L to R: Ryan Kurniawan is undertaking a Master of Medicine (HIV, STIs and Sexual Health) and Gusta Pratama is undertaking a Master of Medicine (Infection and Immunity).

The Sydney Medical School welcomed seven students awarded Australia Awards Scholarships, to commence in Semester Two, managed by the Australia Awards Office in the International Services portfolio.

The students enrolled in the Sydney Medical School (from Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines) were amongst 35 new Australia Awards Scholarships students from 13 different countries across Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East to commence at the University of Sydney.

Just released DFAT Health for Development Strategy 2015-2020

The Health for Development Strategy 2015-2020 provides guidance for DFAT policy engagement and investment decisions in health for development to promote prosperity and economic growth. The focus is on strengthening country-level health systems tailored to people’s needs, and regional health security to ensure effective regional solutions to trans-boundary health threats.

Medical Educators from Ghana arrive in Sydney

L to R: Dr Ansumana Bockarie, Dr Shailendra Sawleshwarkar, Associate Professor Kirsty Foster and Dr Akis Afoko.

In 2012, Associate Professor Kirsty Foster and Dr Shailendra Sawleshwarkar travelled to Ghana, in West Africa, to develop a partnership with the University of Cape Coast (UCC) and University of Development Studies (UDS) for capacity building in health education.

Practical Clinical Research Workshop, Danang, Vietnam

Team photo on completion: Other Australian tutors: A/prof Christine Roberts, A/Prof Kirsty Foster, Dr Tanya Nippita and Ms Shannon McKinn.

A Hoc Mai Foundation team led by Professor Jonathan Morris visited the Women's and Children's' Hospital in Danang to run a two day practical clinical research workshop. Two early research teams, one for the hospital and one from the University of Hue worked with the Sydney University tutors to plan research studies to answer clinically related questions devised at the last workshop in November.

This hands-on method where participants 'learn by doing' is designed to give a thorough understanding of the research process as well as practical skills in designing, and implementing a research project which will improve patient care. The two teams will refine their protocol with support from Australian tutors and plan to be ready to submit a funding application by the next workshop in November.

Professor Jonathan Morris starts the workshop.

First INSERM-University of Sydney PhD scholar arrives today

At left, visiting PhD student from Institute Gustave Roussy, Dr Trish Dwight (Research Fellow from the Kolling Institute of Medical Research) pictured on the right.

The University of Sydney’s Office for Global Health and Office for Global Engagement welcomed Ms Yan Ren, a PhD student from Institute Gustave Roussy, France, to undertake a short term research mobility opportunity with the Cancer Genetics Group at the Kolling Institute of Medical Research, Royal North Shore Hospital, University of Sydney.

Yan applied for funding under the University of Sydney and the French National Insitute of Health and Medical Research/INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale) Research Mobility Funding Scheme. Yan will be based at the Cancer Genetics Thyroid Laboratory until the end of August 2015 and will be supervised by Associate Professor Rory Clifton-Bligh and Dean of the Sydney Medical School, Professor Bruce Robinson. Yan’s research is examining the genetic susceptibility to thyroid cancer, dietary factors and clinical outcome (measuring dietary iodine intake and possible thyroid cancer risk as part of a case control study).

Endeavour awards now open!

The Endeavour awards are now open (closing 30th June). These awards are for both international scholars and Australians to study abroad. Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships are internationally competitive, merit-based scholarships provided by the Australian Government that support citizens around the world to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia and for Australians to do the same overseas.

Guest lecture in Geriatric Medicine & Medical Education in Indonesia

More than 120 students and staff of Widya Mandala Catholic University (WMCUS), attended lectures by Prof Richard Lindley, Professor of Geriatric Medicine, Sydney Medical School Westmead and Prof Kirsty Foster, Associate Dean International and A/Prof of Medical Education, in Surabaya on Thursday 23rd April 2015.

MIPH Students’ Stories on their CIF Philippines Experience

Four Master of International Public Health Students (MIPH) travelled to the Philippines in December 2014 – January 2015 for the Classroom in the Field (CIF) Philippines Program.

Grants support collaboration in Southeast Asia

The Office for Global Health has been successful in applying for two grants to support the Faculty's engagement in Southeast Asia. Both of the grants were awarded following in country visits to the Philippines in January 2015 by Associate Professor Kirsty Foster and to Indonesia in February 2015 by Danielle Somers, both priority countries for engagement for the Sydney Medical School.

OGH representation at US global health conferences

Danielle Somers, Director of the Office for Global Health, was awarded a University of Sydney Professional Staff Development Fund grant to attend two concurrent global health themed conferences in the USA last month.

Visit to University of Gajah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Associate Professor Kirsty Foster (Associate Dean International and co-lead of the Health cluster for the Australia Indonesia Centre) and Danielle Somers (Director of the Office for Global Health) visited our partners, the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Gajah Mada (UGM) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, last week.

Australian Research Innovation Showcase 2015 held in Indonesia

7 July 2015

The Sydney Medical School participated in the Research Innovation Showcase, organised by Austrade in Jakarta on Monday 23rd February.

Danish Connection: Visit to the University of Copenhagen

A/Professor Kirsty Foster, Associate Dean International, and Dr Fawzia Huq, Senior Lecturer in Medical Education are visiting colleagues at the University of Copenhagen this week to strengthen our student exchange partnership following signing of an agreement in December 2014.

Practical Clinical Research in Hand Hygiene, Vietnam, receives Excellence Award
A hand hygiene campaign at Hung Vuong Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City has been recognized with the 2015 Asia Pacific Hand Hygiene Excellence Award.

Medical Students in Bangkok for Infectious Diseases Competition
A team of four Sydney Medical School medical students recently represented the faculty in the 4th Siriraj International Medical Microbiology, Parasitology and Immunology Competition (SIMPIC) in Bangkok between 30th January to 2nd February 2015.

Launch of WHO Global Status Report on Noncommunicable Diseases 2014 report
NCDs (Non-Communicable Diseases) such as heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung diseases, are the biggest killer on all continents, except Africa, accounting for 68% of the world’s deaths, more than 40% of which were premature (under the age of 70).

Partnerships strengthened in the Philippines
Associate Professor Kirsty Foster (Associate Dean International, Sydney Medical School) and Dr Giselle Manalo (Sub Dean International, Sydney School of Public Health) were in the Philippines from 27-30 January 2015, to formalise our new partnership with the (UERMMMCI).

Grant success with FAPESP Brazil
The University of Sydney has received five grants from the (FAPESP) in the recent call for proposals for the - São Paulo Researchers in International Collaboration.

Professor Stephen Colagiuri to chair a Forum on Diabetes in Qatar
The second World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) will take place on 17th and 18th February 2015 in Qatar.

New ACFID University Network Committee representative A/Prof Joel Negin
Associate Professor Joel Negin, the Director of Research in the Sydney School of Public Health, is the University of Sydney representative on the ACFID University Network Committee (AUNC).

Welcome to Australia Awards Scholarship students
The Sydney Medical School welcomed 14 students awarded Australia Awards Scholarships today, as part of their orientation to the University, managed by the Australia Awards Office in the International Services portfolio.

New SSEAC country coordinators from Sydney Medical School
Professor Lyndal Trevena and Associate Professor Kirsty Foster will lead the Timor Leste and Vietnam Country Groups, on behalf of the Sydney South East Asia Centre (SSEAC) at the University of Sydney, for the period 2015-2016.

Building health capacity in Fiji
A newly refurbished centre dedicated to improving the health of women and children was today opened in Vatukarasa on Fiji’s Coral Coast by Fijian Prime Minister Rear Admiral (rtd) J.V.Bainimarama.

APRU spotlight on University of Sydney's Dr Mu Li
Dr. Mu Li is an associate professor in international public health at the Sydney School of Public Health and Director of Public Health Strategic Program, China Studies Centre, University of Sydney. She is a recipient of the Endeavour Executive Fellowship Award 2014 from the Australian Government, worked as a visiting fellow at Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing China, and Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland.

Practical Clinical Research Workshops in Vietnam
A team of Hoc Mai Foundation volunteers and academics from the University of Sydney conducted Practical Clinical Research Workshops in Hanoi on 30-31 October and in Ho Chi Minh City on 3-4 November 2014.

Hoc Mai Annual Alumni Events in Vietnam
Annual Hoc Mai alumni events were recently held in two major cities in Vietnam – Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The event provided Hoc Mai Foundation and University of Sydney staff to get updates on the professional lives of the alumni.