Alumni event in Singapore highlights staff and student achievements

24 September 2013

On 12 September the Faculty of Health Sciences held a joint event with the Faculty of Nursing aimed at fostering our alumni community at the Hilton in Singapore. Graduates working in the health sector were able to meet with Professor Kathryn Refshauge, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Professor Jill White AM, Dean of Sydney Nursing School.

Speaking to FHS alumni, Professor Refshauge commented on the strength of the University of Sydney's Health Sciences and Nursing degrees "Our graduates include CEOs of Commonwealth authorities and hospitals, founders and directors of leading not-for-profit organisations, government officials and presidents of professional associations".

Citing a project close to her heart, Professor Refshauge spoke to alumni about the National Centre for Research Excellence in Neuromuscular Disorders (CRE-NMD) focused on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of neuromuscular diseases. "Australia is the first country in the world to look at neuromuscular disorders on a national scale. And at Sydney, we are leading this important initiative" said Professor Refshauge. The Centre has gained four years of funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and includes a number of researchers from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney, including Professor Refshauge.

The MC for the event was Dr Celia Tan, Group Director of Allied Health at Singapore Health Services (SingHealth) and the Director of Postgraduate Allied Health Programs at the Singapore General Hospital. Celia is a graduate of Health Sciences with a Master of Physiotherapy and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Sciences (Paediatrics).

Dr Tan commented on the impact of the University of Sydney on the healthcare community in Singapore. After a major skills shortage in the region in the 1990s, a school of Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Radiography at the Nanyang Polytechnic was established with the help of the University. "The program has graduated more than 1,000 Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Radiographers and Radiation Therapists since its first enrolment in 1993" said Dr Tan.

Dr Tan credits her training at the University of Sydney in helping her to drive clinical research and postgraduate training at SingHealth.