We have internationally reputed and published academic staff who are actively researching in a range of specialist areas in communication sciences and disorders. This provides students with the distinct benefit of studying with experts in the field.
The Faculty of Health Sciences is also home to the Australian Stuttering Research Centre. Researchers from the Centre contribute significantly to the course, and students have access to the on-site teaching clinic which services the community and gives candidates the opportunity for hands-on experience.
Speech pathologists work with children and adults with communication difficulties caused by congenital or developmental problems, illness, and emotional or physical trauma. These difficulties include multiple problems with speaking, understanding what people say, reading, writing, voice problems and stuttering. Speech pathologists also work with children and adults who have swallowing difficulties or need alternative, non-verbal ways to communicate. Their workplaces are diverse, and include hospitals, schools, health centres, and universities, to name a few.
Dr Cate Madill is the Director of the Voice Research Laboratory at the Faculty of Health Sciences. She conducts experimental and applied clinical research into the mechanism and processes that change the voice.
In her doctoral research “The Semiotics of Voice Quality”, she found that controlling different muscle movements in the voice box changes the sound of the voice in such a way that listeners to a speaker thought they were more or less extraverted, neurotic, open, warm and conscientious. This research provides evidence for the common experience of changing your voice to influence other people’s opinion of you.