Community grants open and time to select our next Secretary
One of the great things the Alumni Advisory Group has been working on is the Menzies Alumni
Community Leadership Grants, which will open later this week for you to apply.
There are up to 5 grants per year (four valued at up to $5000 and one at up to $10,000), which
enable us to demonstrate our community leadership in addition to our academic and professional
leadership. The funding goes to an organisation with whom you have an existing relationship.
This is a wonderful initiative by the Foundation and the Menzies Memorial Scholars’ Association
(MMSA), which has been very happy to provide some funds for the grants.
Details are available on the Menzies Foundation website. I’d encourage you all to apply. You will be
sent an email inviting you to apply once the application form is online.
Terms of Reference for the Alumni Advisory Group have also been finalised and are on the website.
It has come to the time of year when we start the selection process for the 2017 Secretary of the
MMSA; a role which takes on the responsibilities of a Director on the Menzies Foundation Board
and goes on to become MMSA President.
As we indicated in the December edition of The Brief, it seems a logical process to give the members
of the Advisory Group, who have been working together for almost a year now, the first option
to nominate for the role.
Dr Adrian McCallum, who has been Secretary for this year, will step into the role as President
for 2017 when I come to the end of my term in November.
It was excellent to see such a strong response in the scholar survey earlier in the year and down
below you will read a bit more about what some of the themes were and how we might respond
Dr Josie Barbaro
President, Menzies Memorial Scholars Association.
Apply for Menzies Alumni Community Grants
As part of the criteria for a potential Menzies Scholar to be awarded their scholarship, not only
do they need to demonstrate qualities Menzies held in high esteem such as leadership and academic
excellence, but also an interest and experience in the service of others.
The Foundation has been working with the Alumni Advisory Group to develop the Menzies Alumni
Community Leadership Grants, which will enable you to demonstrate an ongoing commitment
to a community organisation of your choice, with financial support as part of that commitment.
The grants will not only identify and foster the leadership qualities of our Alumni, but also support
Australian community organisations which demonstrate a passion and vision for leadership, through
the delivery of their community-based initiatives.
There are up to five grants available each year: four grants of up to $5,000 (ex GST) and one
grant of up to $10,000 (ex GST). You can apply via a simple online process. Click here to read the criteria and other details. The grants will open for applications later this
week. Applications close on Thursday 29 September.
Understanding cultural differences in the experience of chronic pain
A physiotherapist who is studying the cultural differences in pain awareness, management
and patient interactions, has been awarded the 2017 Sir Robert Menzies Research Scholarship
in the Allied Health Sciences.
The first Western Sydney University student to be awarded a Menzies Scholarship, Bernadette
Brady, will complete her PhD on the project “The inequities of chronic pain – responding
with culturally responsive physiotherapy”.
Bernadette, who works in the pain clinic at Liverpool Hospital in Sydney, says despite more
than half of the Australian population being born overseas or having one parent born overseas,
no published randomised controlled trial into interventions for chronic pain management
(our second highest health care expense) has included culturally and linguistically diverse
Her study is set to change all that.
World first longitudinal study to help children with joint hypermobility
Children and adolescents with
joint hypermobility will benefit from the 2016 Menzies Foundation Allied Health Grant
of $25,000, which has been awarded to 2012 Menzies Research Scholar in the Allied Health
Sciences, Dr Verity Pacey.
The project called ‘Clinical characteristics of children with generalised joint hypermobility:
a 5 year longitudinal cohort study’, aims to identify the signs and symptoms of children
and adolescents most likely to worsen in terms of pain, fatigue and quality of life
over a 5-year period.
This is the first and only prospective longitudinal cohort study of children and adolescents
with symptomatic joint hypermobility to be undertaken in the world. Generalised joint
hypermobility is present in about 10 per cent of the population, with 30 per cent becoming
symptomatic. It is more prevalent in females than males.
Verity, a physiotherapy PhD from the University of Sydney and Lecturer at Macquarie University,
says the findings of her study will enable treating clinicians to identify individuals
at risk of rapid decline at an initial assessment, and prioritise therapy accordingly.
Menzies Scholars achieve amazing things
Here are a few recent highlights from the Menzies alumni, showing their leadership
in different ways:
- Life after the Olympics: two-time Australian Olympic
diver and 2004 Harvard Menzies Scholar, Mike Murphy,
told us about gaining perspective on life after sport and the roles he
plays now as Principal of Bain Capital, Chair of Diving Australia, husband
It’s been a very big few months for our Medicine Fellows:
- 2006 NHMRC/RG Menzies Fellow, Dr Nick Huntington,
and his team at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
were finalists for the Eureka Prizes for Scientific Research for their work in targeting Innate Lymphoid Cells for immunotherapy and
protection against infections.
- Australian Football Legend, Neale Daniher, has put
Motor Neurone Disease even more firmly on the research agenda as he runs
a powerful campaign called FreezeMND to raise research funds to find a
cure. 1998 NHMRC/RG Menzies Fellow, Professor Matthew Kiernan,
is one of the leaders in the research effort and also appeared in a story on the Sunday Night program about Neale’s battle with the disease.
- In addition to his research into cytomegalovirus (CMV), 1991 Menzies Medicine
Scholar, Professor Bill Rawlinson, has been
playing a strong part in the #StopCMV campaign to raise awareness of the little-known but widely prevalent disease. CMV
is the most common viral and infectious cause of congenital disability
in Australia, present in about 2000 newborns every year.
- 2012 Menzies Scholar in Engineering, Brittany Coff,
is applying her skills and expertise in sustainable development to global
- And coming at it from different professions and different perspectives, 2009
Menzies Scholar in Engineering, Dr Alisa Semilovic,
and 2013 Menzies Scholar in Law, Eleanor Mitchell,
talk about the pressure and challenges of studying at Oxford as they start
to see the benefits of their experience, both personally and professionally.
- 2015-16 Harvard Menzies Scholar, Matthew Tyler, continues
his strong advocacy on social issues, with a thought-provoking piece on different methods of tackling homelessness.
Menzies Scholar Spotlight - The Hon Justice Susan Kenny
1985 Menzies Scholar in Law
Justice Sue Kenny is the 1985 Menzies Scholar in Law.
She is a judge of the Federal Court of Australia and also a member of the scholarship
selection committee for the Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Scholarship in Law
and the Sir Ninian Stephen Menzies Scholarship in International Law. This Spotlight
is based on an interview with Justice Kenny.
What is your job?
I am a judge of the Federal Court of Australia. I was appointed to the Court
of Appeal, Supreme Court of Victoria, in 1997 and have been on the Federal
Court of Australia since October 1998. As a judge of the Federal Court,
I hear and determine cases arising under federal law, on appeal and at first
instance. Although I am based in Melbourne, I hear cases all over Australia,
particularly appeals in all capital cities.
I am a Presidential Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and, from time
to time, its Acting President under s 10(1) of the Administrative Appeals
Tribunal Act 1976 (Cth). I am also involved in a range of bodies, which are
largely focused on the development of the law, court administration and legal
education, such as the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration and
the Asian Law Centre at the University of Melbourne. I am also a Fellow
of St Hilda's College, University of Melbourne, and a Foundation Fellow of
the Australian Academy of Law. I am a former long-term part-time commissioner
of the Australian Law Reform Commission and former long-term member of the
Australian National University's Centre for International and Public Law.
I remain involved in legal education and the development of the law, which I consider
important for the administration of the law and for society generally. As a
lawyer, I have always been particularly interested in administrative and constitutional
law. Government has to be able to govern but it’s all too easy to forget the
interests of individuals. This part of the law governs what the State can and
cannot do and protects people against abuse of power. I consider this the most
important expression of the rule of law.
How would you like to see the law change?
Change is inevitable in the world around us. Change in the law should
reflect the way our society evolves, whether in commerce, science or technology,
culture or some other field of human endeavor. Sometimes the most
desirable legal change is gradual and incremental and, at other times,
more dramatic. The roles of the legislature and the courts are often discussed,
but this is a large topic, for another day.
I think it is important in changing the law to have some sense of intergenerational
equity – to ensure the law is adequate to preserve resources for future
generations and provide a basis for them to build an optimistic future.
I think this consideration is relevant to the way the law should be framed
with respect to vulnerable people, such as refugees, the young and the
very old; the environment; education; and indeed almost every aspect of
Whether or not change in the law is to be supported always depends on the nature
of the community we want to maintain, improve and foster.
Who influences (has influenced) your career? How?
Sir Ninian Stephen (for whom I was an Associate during his time on the High
Court) has certainly influenced some of my most important choices.
He’s a tremendous figure professionally and personally.
Sir Ninian inspired me to accept judicial appointment. His example gave
me the confidence to take up the judicial role and, with respect to being
a judge, to value my family, particularly my husband, Ross, as well as
my three sons (Kamtorn, Panat and Anthony Tanuphat) as my greatest blessing,
not only in my personal life but also in my public life.
There are, of course, many other people, too numerous to mention, who have
influenced my career, beginning with my parents and teachers and including
my close friends and other lawyers.
Who has provided you with inspiration (career or personal) and why?
My family is my greatest inspiration. I was born into a loving family,
where education was highly valued and I was encouraged to do my best.
I have always had the support of my husband, both personally and professionally.
This is reflected in the fact that he and I became parents to three sons
during the first decade of my judicial life. This was possible because
there was then a very active inter-country adoption program between Australia
and Thailand. There is no doubt that I have been profoundly influenced
by my family, including my three Thai-born sons. I have, naturally,
a deep affection for the people of Thailand.
I am influenced by some excellent teachers at school, at the University of
Melbourne, and at Oxford where I had the great good fortune to be supervised
by Professor John Finnis. He had an enormous effect on the way I
write and think.
I was helped greatly by senior lawyers, both as an articled clerk and later
at the Bar. Their assistance was often well above and beyond the
call of duty. I was also greatly influenced by the experienced judges
I worked alongside in my early judicial life, both on the Court of Appeal
and in the Federal Court.
As I have said, Sir Ninian's example has been influential. I admired
the way he kept an open mind on lots of issues, embraced diversity amongst
people and modelled an internationalist approach. As a judge, I have
often recalled his courtesy in court even when things were pretty stretched.
How has the Menzies Scholarship helped you?
I wouldn’t have gone to Oxford without the scholarship. If I hadn’t gone
to Oxford I wouldn’t have developed into the person I am today. It
was an absolutely seminal experience. As I have said, I was supervised
by Professor Finnis, who was not only a notable constitutional law
scholar and legal philosopher, but also a thoughtful, committed and
remarkable teacher. There is no doubt that he greatly contributed to
the way I write and reason as a judge.
Through the scholarship I was given tremendous opportunities to meet many
remarkable people. I also had the benefit of getting to know
the other Menzies scholars of my years. They were a diverse group
of people – lawyers and medical scientists who form the basis of the
Alumni today. Just as importantly, the scholarship gave me an
opportunity to meet British students and their friends, as well as
other international students. Some have remained life-long friends.
Unsurprisingly, I have learned, and continue to learn, from them all.
What are your passions outside of work?
My husband and my three boys now 22, 18 and 15 are my first passion.
I maintain a particular interest in all things Thai, including
Thai constitutional law. This interest has enlarged over
time to embrace public law and the courts across the South-east
Asia and the Pacific and finds current expression in my involvement
with the Asian Law Centre at the University of Melbourne and in
my role as convener of the Federal Court's International Development
and Cooperation Committee. For a number of years, under the
auspices of the Australian Catholic University, I co-taught the
subject ‘International Human Rights Law and Practice’ to refugees
living in a refugee camp on the Thai-Myanmar Border who were studying
for a Diploma of Liberal Studies. Apart from this, my life
revolves around my broader family, including my parents, and friends.
I love gardens, although my husband is the gardener and I just
pull out the weeds.
Name one thing about Sir Robert Menzies every Australian should know?
Sir Robert Menzies' support for higher education in Australia reformed
Australian universities. We continue to benefit from this
How do you describe leadership?
Sometimes I think we place too much emphasis on leadership per se.
Leaders come in many forms. I think the best leaders are
those who inspire others by example, or encourage an organisation
to take a new and better path. Leadership isn’t necessarily about
exercising power and being at the top. Rather, it’s about creating
an atmosphere which carries other people with you, hopefully to
improve some aspect of life.
Who do you see as leaders?
I would not name individuals. I immediately think of a medically-qualified
young husband and wife team who work with mothers and babies in
rural southern Africa. They have developed a medical centre out
of nothing and turned it into an influential institution that has
dramatically improved the life expectancy of mothers and their
babies, particularly by changing people's attitudes to pregnant
women. I think they’re tremendous leaders.
Menzies Institute wrap
Prof Suzanne Chambers appointed Director Menzies HIQ
Professor Suzanne Chambers has
accepted the position as the Director, Menzies Health Institute
Queensland (Menzies HIQ). Professor Chambers was the Inaugural
Menzies Foundation Professor of Allied Health Research
at Menzies HIQ.
Professor Chambers has a background in nursing and psychology.
She is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow at Griffith
and a leader, nationally and internationally, in psycho-oncology
research. She was the winner of the 2013 William Rudder Fellowship
by the Cancer Council of Queensland and won a Clinical Research
Award in the Australian Society for Medical Research (QLD) Health
and Medical Research Awards. Since 2002, Professor Chambers has
received a total of $26.5 million in grant funding.
Professor Sheena Reilly, who was the Inaugural Director of Menzies
HIQ, will take on the role as Pro Vice Chancellor Health also at
No child left behind
The Menzies Institute of Medical Research is working with partners
to ensure no child gets left behind. MIMR researchers will
track the progress of 12,000 children from birth to age five
to identify what services are valuable to families to support
the health and wellbeing, education and care of their children.
Read more about this important partnership to ensure every Tasmanian
gets the best start in life.
Investment to treat ear disease
The Menzies School of Health Research took advantage of Hearing
Awareness Week to call for more investment in the prevention
and treatment of ear disease and hearing loss in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Neonatal TSH levels linked with developmental outcomes
Menzies Centre for Health Policy researchers Dr Samantha Lain,
Jason Bentley and Associate Professor Natasha Nassar have
published world-first research in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.
Using a population-based record linkage, the study investigated
clinical uncertainty about infants with thyroid stimulating
hormone (TSH) concentrations less than the newborn screening
cutoffs. Records of all infants undergoing newborn screening
from 1994-2008 in NSW were linked to records of assessments
of childhood development or school performance. The study
found an association between neonatal TSH concentrations
lower than the present thresholds and poor educational
and developmental outcomes.
Thank you once again to the 43 per cent of scholars who responded
to our 2016 scholar survey – your input has been really helpful.
Some of it is useful as baseline information which can be tracked
over time. The rest gives us some fuel to get a few more things
It was quite a representative sample across age groups and across
Here’s just a bit of an overview of the key findings and our plans
- Over 80 per cent of respondents are satisfied with their relationship
with the Menzies Foundation.
- There was some lack of clarity around the purpose of the MMSA,
particularly in our most recent cohort of scholars. The
Alumni Advisory Group is considering how to respond to
- The Menzies Brief is clearly the channel most often used by
our alumni to get information about the Menzies Foundation
(87%). All respondents said they read it in some
way, which is great.
- You are most keen on the stories about scholar achievements
and ‘Spotlights’. These are very popular parts of the publication,
but we need your help to deliver them. So talk to us or
email through updates about what you have been working
on (outside work too if it’s of broad interest) and, particularly
if you are one of our earlier scholars, we’d love you to
answer some spotlight questions for us! Please contact
Kate Nolan if you have any ideas or news to share.
- Respondents agreed it was overkill having a number of regular
columns, so from this edition onwards we’ll have a column
from the President only to introduce The Brief.
- A key dates section for important Menzies events has been included
in The Brief.
One of the suggestions to improve The Brief was about scholars
preparing opinion pieces on a topic related to their expertise.
We have been looking hard at the idea of a scholar blog specifically
for this purpose and will pursue that idea further.
On the social media front, LinkedIn is definitely the most preferred
platform used by our respondents (58%), clearly in front of
Facebook (26%) – the Foundation already has a presence on LinkedIn
and has now co-opted the MMSA Facebook page to keep it active
with scholar stories. Get on board and follow the Menzies
Foundation Facebook page if you haven’t already: https://www.facebook.com/MenziesFoundation/
There was some very clear feedback and themes on events and further
engagement activities, which somewhat overlap:
The idea of state-based events for networking was raised, along
with the concept of a UK/European gathering of some type**.
We have heard your feedback and we will be looking at options.
You should see some action on informal gatherings reasonably
soon in the cities where our alumni has a strong presence and
can assist with organisation.
There is definitely a sense that we have been Melbourne-centric
(as we are based in Melbourne). Our annual event in Canberra
last year – and moving to Sydney this year – is a conscious
effort to share the love around.
A significant number of you were also supportive of getting together
for guest speakers or alumni speakers, so we will look at the
potential of a combination of formal and informal networking
Thank you again to everyone who responded and those who were willing
to be contacted should we need more information from you. We
will aim to make the survey an annual activity.
**Please note that if you are currently in the UK, our UK Scholars’
dinner at the House of Lords will be coming up in early November and invitations can only
go to postal addresses. Please advise Pam or AJ as soon as
possible of your latest postal address so we can make sure
you are on the invitation list. Even if you think you may be
visiting or working in the UK at this time, please let us know.
7 September – Menzies Institute of Medical Research 2016 Menzies Debate:
The stem cell revolution – more hype than hope?
8 September – Menzies Health Institute Queensland First Anniversary
12 September – Menzies Engineering Scholarship awarded
14 September – Informal morning tea and networking with Baroness
Valerie Amos, Clarendon Terrace
14 September – 2016 Sir Robert Menzies Oration on Higher
Education, University of Melbourne
29 September – Menzies Alumni Community Grants applications
14 October – Menzies Law and International
Law scholarships awarded
4 November – Menzies UK Scholars’ Dinner (TBC)
17 November – Menzies Foundation Board meeting, Sydney
17 November – Menzies Scholarship awards and MMSA AGM,
Pier One, Sydney
1-2 December – Gold Coast Health and Medical Research Conference (Menzies HIQ is a partner in this conference)
TBC – Menzies Centenary Prize presentation to Andrew
King, Dimboola Memorial Secondary College.
Did you know we’ve published 36 stories about
Menzies Scholars on our website so far
this year and even more on our social media
channels? Don’t miss the news. You can
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