Health Sciences' Alumni Award winners announced

28 May 2010

The 2010 Health Sciences' Alumni Awards were announced at the Annual Faculty Awards Night held on Thursday 27 May in MacLaurin Hall, Camperdown Campus.

This year again saw a competitive field of nominees and we are also pleased to announce the introduction of a new category that recognises the important contribution clinical supervision makes to our student's professional development.

On behalf of the Faculty and the Health Sciences Alumni Association, we congratulate the following winners:

Clinical Education Award

Mrs Sue Wilks (Radovich) a 1985 graduate of the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Speech Language Pathology) course.

Mrs Wilks has shown remarkable dedication in her role as a clinical educator with the Faculty of Health Sciences in an honorary capacity for over 20 years. She supervisors Speech Pathology students in children's communication, language and literacy difficulties.

Mrs Wilks provides up to 80 student placements in her practice each year. She also helps the Discipline in developing clinical case material and is a passionate advocate for increasing the availability of clinical placements in schools in Sydney, Rural NSW and Darwin.

Young Alumni Award for Achievement

Amanda French a 2008 graduate of the Bachelor of Applied Science (Orthoptics) Honours program.

Ms French is a researcher and dedicated health professional focused on supporting patients with ocular health disorders. Her research on childhood myopia - commonly known as short sightedness - addresses a worldwide problem.

The outcomes of her research have already provided practical solutions and will, over time, not only reduce the prevalence of the disease, but also improve the quality of life of children around the world.

Amanda has a significant track record of educating and mentoring students in the Faculty of Health Sciences. As a young alumna her grants, publications and abstracts are indeed impressive.

Alumni Award for International Achievement

Associate Professor Joshua Burns who completed his PhD with the University of Sydney in 2006.

Associate Professor Burns is an international research leader and mentor, who contributes knowledge with high impact and relevance to the community. His research is at the cutting edge of foot and ankle research.

Following his work as a 2009 Fulbright Scholar at Wayne State University's School of Medicine in Detroit, Associate Professor Burns has gained an international reputation for the quality and impact of his research. His work is among the first to find an effective treatment for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a disabling progressive neurological condition.

Alumni Award for Professional Achievement

Professor Johanna Westbrook who completed her PhD with the University of Sydney in 2000.

Professor Westbrook has contributed to the development of the health informatics profession through research and leadership. She has raised the profile of this profession through her pioneering research which demonstrates the vital role of health informatics within the health care system.

Professor Westbrook is one of only three Australians elected as a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics. She is a chief investigator on an impressive number of high-profile NHMRC and ARC supported research projects.

In addition, and not least, Professor Westbrook is recognised for innovative teaching in this field.

The Alumni Awards were presented by Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney who spoke highly of the calibre of our graduates.
The Alumni Awards were presented by Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney who spoke highly of the calibre of our graduates.

The Awards Night provided a warm and celebratory atmosphere in which to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of the Faculty of Health Sciences' students, staff and alumni. It also allowed us the opportunity to celebrate with those organisations and individuals which support our students to reach their full potential.

Themed, 'Celebrating a promising future,' the evening indeed succeeded in inspiring both staff and students. More photographs from the evening will be available shortly.