In September we welcomed Professor Peter Rosenbaum to the School of Allied Health as one of the DVCR’s part time professorial appointments. Peter comes to us from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada where he has been instrumental in the development of the internationally renowned research institute, Can-Child Centre for Childhood Disability Research [www.canchild.ca]. Peter is a developmental paediatrician and researcher with special interests in childhood disability. We are pleased to have Peter join our team in this role, not only because of the obvious synergies with our research, but because Peter is an outstanding research mentor. His skills, experience, networks and capacity to support and advise on broad ranging research endeavours will be of high value to our School. He will be with the School for three weeks and returning in February 2015.
The School of Allied Health has continued its rapid growth in 2014 and by the end of 2015 will have appointed a Discipline Lead, new Course Coordinator and four new Level B Academics in Social Work; one Level C and six Level B Academics in Occupational Therapy; one Level C and two Level B Academics in Public Health and three Level B Academics in Speech Pathology.
ACU's Public Health discipline grew substantially during 2014, in terms of both student and staff numbers. Two new double degrees were introduced in 2014, pairing Public Health with Global Studies and with Exercise Science. These new double degrees offer students the opportunity to explore increasingly important aspects of public health, such as international health or health promotion and physical activity. The effect of these new double degrees on enrolments was immediate; coupled with strong interest in our stand-alone Public Health degree, our student numbers in 2014 were a three-fold increase on 2013.
Commensurate with this growth in student numbers was the expansion of the Public Health academic team within the School of Allied Health. Joining Associate Professor Shawn Somerset (nutrition, global health and development) on the Brisbane campus is Dr Michael Taylor (health law and policy) and Ms Penelope Smith (health promotion, Indigenous health and community engagement) in Melbourne, along with Dr Michael Otim (health economics and Indigenous health) and Dr Erin Mathieu (epidemiology and statistics) in North Sydney. In November, we will welcome Dr Adem Sav (workplace health and psychology) to our team in Brisbane.
In addition to our teaching activities, ACU Public Health is involved in an extensive range of collaborative research and development projects within Australia and overseas, including Timor-Leste, the Philippines, Uganda, Thailand and Kuwait. Consistent with ACU's Mission, many of these activities have a strong social justice theme, and will potentially provide our students with fieldwork opportunities.