Message from the Executive Dean

I am now approaching the end of my first year at UQ and I remain delighted with the productivity and positive influence of the Faculty and its partners. This past year has necessarily focused on establishing a robust and transparent governance and clear strategy for the Faculty and its organisational units. The governance work is well advanced and anchored in our purpose and values.

The governance structure facilitates a collegial style of decision making with ultimate reference to the formal delegations of the University. Some new committees have been established to better serve the work of the Faculty including Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; International; Trusts and Donations; and Honours and Scholarships committees. The Indigenous Health Committee has been moved to Faculty level and I am delighted that Pro-Vice Chancellor Indigenous Engagement Professor Bronwyn Fredericks has agreed to chair this important group. In further support of the UQ Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) we are also appointing an Associate Dean (Indigenous Engagement) to the leadership team in 2019.

We are currently refining the work done on the strategic plan and developing a strategic intent document with an annual action plan. This document is currently under consultation but will be important in guiding our activity.

Our work in teaching and learning, research and advocacy are strong, however, I do see opportunities for growth and greater collaboration. This is particularly true in research. The global research enterprise is changing with an increasing emphasis on the construction of optimal teams to solve real world problems. These teams may not reside in a single institution or geographic region, and the problems we solve are increasingly derived from consultation with the communities we serve.

New funding sources such as the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) will allow the Faculty to embrace a shared approach to research. Brisbane, as a research ecosystem, has an extraordinary opportunity to leverage this new environment, and I see a spirit of collaboration that is unique to this city. Over the coming years, I hope we can further this spirit both in the University and beyond to allow us to best serve our purpose.

There are also opportunities in our teaching and learning portfolio. The Bachelor of Health Sciences and the Doctor of Medicine (MD) are both undergoing curriculum reviews which will apply the best pedagogical principles to the needs of our students. In these pursuits we need to be courageous about evidence-led change. The educational landscape is changing globally and we need to anticipate and embrace these changes.

A critical partner in these developments are the students themselves, who bring a strong and important voice to our reflections. In this regard, the Faculty has recently partnered with Central Queensland University, Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service and Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service to examine the opportunity of end-to-end medical training in the Central Queensland/Wide Bay region of the State. These discussions are at their early stages, but are an important reflection of the importance of partnership.

So as I reflect on my first 12 months, I see that the Faculty has a strong momentum and sense of optimism for the future. This is of course as a result of the wonderful professional and academic staff, alumni and partners who work so hard to achieve our purpose – some of whom are featured in this edition of UQmedicine.

This edition of UQMedicine, we have taken a global outlook and have journeyed across Australia and around the world to bring these stories to you. We begin in South West Queensland with our Indigenous telehealth services and Rural Clinical School, go around the world with medical and public health alumni, before landing back on home soil to discover the lifesaving research being conducted across our schools, centres and clinical sites.

I hope you enjoy the journey.

Professor Geoff McColl
Executive Dean, Faculty of Medicine


For more stories from across the Faculty of Medicine, visit MayneStream, our content hub.