Promoting health throughout life

A message from the Acting Executive Dean of Health Sciences Professor Justin Kemp.

The 2021 Census Data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, tells us that septuagenarians and their elders now represent fewer than eight per cent of Australia’s 25,422,788 people. A profound historical experience may yet die with them and I wonder what we can learn from the stoicism of this generation. What lessons may help us to navigate our way out of uncertainty, when only 53 per cent of Australians now say they feel ‘safe’ or ‘very safe’ in the world – a 17 point drop from just a year ago (reported in the latest Lowy Institute Poll). Our forebears held many things dear, but none more dearly than family, community, and the uplifting power of education. With that, in this column I wish to pay tribute to all those in our university who continue to advance their great egalitarian dream, inspired as we are by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.

Promoting health throughout the life course

Promoting health throughout the life course is high on the list, and with that the Faculty of Health Sciences last month welcomed Professor Laurie Buys as its new Professor of Healthy Ageing, strengthening our commitment to improving outcomes for Australians as they age. Laurie’s extensive background and expertise in gerontology will be indispensable in driving our contribution in this field as Australian policy makers and health professionals build the framework we need to support our growing ageing population. With postgraduate nursing programs in aged care management, gerontological nursing, mental health for allied health professionals, mental health nursing, and rehabilitation, some of which are moving to ACU Online, we are committed to playing a part in ensuring our older generation is appropriately cared for.

Collaboration is key

To this end and several others, the faculty has commenced a project to re-imagine its approach to the teaching and learning of healthcare ethics. The project is co-sponsored by our Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Ethics, Professor Hayden Ramsey, together with Vice-Chancellor Professor Zlatko Skrbis. It involves academic leaders working in collaboration with Associate Professor Bernadette Tobin, Dr Xavier Symons, and Dr Stephen Matthews from the Plunkett Centre for Ethics, and the Centre for Education and Innovation. Our goal is to create an innovative, engaging, and world-leading learning experience that continues to evolve as we do. As ever, collaboration will be key to our success.

Upskilling through simulation

A joint team from the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine and School of Allied Health has been granted provost funding to establish an inter-professional simulation program. Participants will have the opportunity to gain practical skills in caring for patients, harnessing cross-disciplinary insights to navigate clinical decision-making in a range of real-world scenarios. This is an exciting opportunity to inspire a highly-skilled health workforce for the future.

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