Message from the President
What an opportunity
It’s a great honour for me to take on the role of President of the Menzies Memorial Scholars’ Association
for the coming year. Thank you for the opportunity; I look forward to serving your interests
well. I would like to acknowledge Dr Josie Barbaro’s enormous devotion to the MMSA and the
Menzies Foundation Board over the past two years; thank you Josie for the effort you exerted
in representing the interests of Menzies Scholars over that time.
I would also like to welcome a fellow Queenslander, Dr Sheree Hurn, as our new MMSA Secretary.
Sheree was elected at the recent AGM in Sydney; she is a podiatrist and the 2010 Menzies
Scholar in the Allied Health Sciences. Sheree has already made valuable contributions as a
member of the Alumni Advisory Group and I’m sure that she will prove to be a great asset to the MMSA and the Board.
It was a great honour to serve as MC at our scholarship awards evening in Sydney recently.
It was a privilege to welcome some outstanding new scholars into the Menzies Alumni family
and it was also terrific to catch up with many of you again, albeit briefly.
I hope that you will have received the minutes from the MMSA AGM which was also held in Sydney. There are a number of important considerations for how we, the
Scholars, might best ‘fit’ within or support the broader strategic initiatives of the Menzies
Foundation. I hope that you might take the opportunity to peruse these words and consider your
stance on how we might best mobilise the strengths that we hold as an alumni community.
The Menzies Foundation Board will be working through a new strategic plan in early 2017 and it
would be terrific to garner your opinions on our future direction. The Foundation team in Melbourne
is gathering some input and the links to provide feedback are below.
For those who went to Sydney we’re also seeking some brief responses on the events too.
For those who were unable to attend, we'd appreciate your perspective via this simple question.
Sheree and I look forward to keeping you abreast of any strategic changes that may have implications
As 2016 draws to a close I would like to wish all of you a happy and peaceful Christmas
and New Year period.
I look forward to engaging with more of you in 2017 as together we continue to chart the
future direction for our Association.
In closing, please enjoy some of the images from our Sydney scholarship awards; you might
just find yourself there somewhere. For more images see...
Dr Adrian McCallum
President, Menzies Memorial Scholars’ Association
Backing our scholars’ community leadership
Disability Sports Australia, the Heartbeat of Football and the Satellite Foundation have
been awarded the inaugural Menzies Alumni Community Leadership Grants, to support their
work and that of Menzies Scholars who volunteer their time and expertise to help them
achieve their goals.
A new initiative, the Menzies Alumni Community Leadership Grants enable our scholars to
demonstrate an ongoing commitment to a community organisation with which they have
an existing relationship.
The 2016 recipients are:
- The Heartbeat of Football nominated by 1989 Menzies Scholar in Medicine Professor Jamie Vandenberg,
will initiate a program of health checks for mature aged football players at football
grounds. Read more.
Satellite Foundation nominated by 2004 Menzies Research Scholar in the Allied Health Sciences, Dr Kerry Proctor will run a 12 month program called SELFies (Satellite Engaged Leaders of the Future
leadership and mentoring program) for 8 young people who live with a parent with
a mental illness. Read more.
- Disability Sports Australia nominated by 2005 Menzies Research Scholar in the Allied Health Sciences, Dr Leanne Hassett,
will run training courses for physiotherapists and other health professionals working
with adults with physical disabilities. They will also develop resources to help
health professionals determine appropriate sporting opportunities for their clients.
Congratulations to our scholars who utilise their professional expertise in important community
work. Thank you to all of you who submitted applications; the standard was very impressive.
It was great to hear about your community interests and involvement.
Welcoming the latest alumni
From an engineer who hopes to reshape the energy sector to a physiotherapist exploring
the pain experience of those from different cultural backgrounds, the class of 2017
Menzies Scholars gathered in Sydney for the annual Menzies awards celebration.
100 guests from around Australia gathered at Pier One to welcome the newest alumni and
to reconnect with fellow scholars, board member and invited guests.
We opened the night with our ‘Leadership takes many forms’ video and guests were also
entertained by guest speaker Narelle Hooper, who addressed a range of leadership
topics, including how to best manage your own energy as a leader in order to get
the best from the people around you.
Thank you to everyone who joined us and here is a reminder again of our remarkable
- Bernadette Brady – 2017 Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Research Scholarship in the Allied Health
Sciences – Bernadette will continue her research
and PhD on ‘The inequities of chronic pain - responding with culturally responsive
physiotherapy’ through Western Sydney University and Liverpool Hospital.
- Olsen Garland – 2017 Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Scholarship in Engineering – Olsen wants to help bring cheaper, more efficient, zero-emission electricity
to markets at home and abroad by combining business nous with his electrical
engineering skills and will complete an MBA at the London Business School to
help him achieve that goal.
- Nathan Van Wees – 2017 Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Scholarship in Law – Nathan was awarded the Menzies scholarship to complete a Bachelor
of Civil Law at Oxford University.
- Lyndon Goddard – 2017 Sir Ninian Stephen Menzies Scholarship in International Law – Lyndon has been awarded the International Law scholarship to complete
a Master of Laws at the University of Cambridge and hopes to contribute
to the development of our refugee policy and create greater awareness of
Australia’s international legal obligations during his career.
- Natasha Kennedy-Read – 2016 Fielding Menzies Tertiary Scholar, from Stawell Secondary College – Natasha is an aspiring journalist with an interest in politics
and gender studies and has started her Bachelor of Arts with a major in
Media and Communications at the University of Melbourne.
- Ethan Koschitzke – 2016 Fielding Menzies Tertiary Scholar, Warracknabeal Secondary College
– Ethan is pursuing his love of science through
a Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne.
- Andrew King – 2016 Menzies Centenary Prize winner – Andrew
was the 2015 school captain and dux at Dimboola Memorial Secondary
College and is now studying Engineering at Monash University and living
on campus in Mannix College.
New Fellow deciphering cellular immunity around the clock
Understanding the circadian cycles of immune cells and the genes
that control them may play an important role in combating and treating inflammatory
and chronic diseases.
In the same way that when we suffer from jetlag we don’t function properly, when circadian
cycles are disrupted in immune cells or organs such as the liver, they begin to
function less effectively. This contributes to the development of metabolic and
autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Research on these circadian cycles is the focus of Dr Kevin Man from the
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) who has been awarded the NHMRC/RG Menzies
Fellowship for 2016.
Our Scholars do amazing things
- Victorian Barrister and 1997 Menzies Scholar in Law, Stephen Donaghue QC,
has been appointed to the second highest legal position in the country
and will become Australia’s next solicitor-general when he takes up the
role in January. The Government’s announcement was met with a very positive response from the legal profession.
- Having just co-founded a Melbourne-based biotechnology company called oNKo-innate,
looking to develop novel immunotherapies for cancer, 2006 NHMRC/Menzies
Fellow, Dr Nick Huntington, was awarded the
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute’s prestigious Burnet Prize, for his pioneering
early career research into innate immunity and immunotherapy. More.
- Expect to hear the name Dr David Riglar some more in coming years. The 2013 NHMRC/Menzies Fellow is currently working
at a synthetic biology lab at Harvard Medical School, trying to engineer
bacteria to better understand the mammalian gut.
This research could reduce the need for invasive gut tests like colonoscopies
and lead to better management of inflammatory bowel disease. David has
also established a not-for-profit called ‘Future of Research’,
to help give voice to young scientists. More.
- 1994 Menzies Law Scholar, Dominique Hogan Doran,
was appointed as an Arbitral Panel Member for NBN Co, which means she
will be a member of a pool of arbitrators who determine disputes that
may arise under or in relation to wholesale supply arrangements between
the Australian telecommunications industry and NBN Co.
- Just half way through his NHMRC/Menzies Fellowship, Dr Si Ming Man added
to his growing list of accolades when he was awarded the Milstein Young Investigator Award for 2016 by his peers in the
In the media
- ABC Radio National tracked down Harvard Menzies Scholar, Sibella Mathews (pictured), who had been out on the campaign trail for Hilary Clinton.
- Allied Health Scholar, Dr Sally Gainsbury, spoke
to ESPN about sports betting advertising in the US, comparing the Australian experience. You can also read Sally’s
latest research on problems among social casino gamers, which has just been published.
Menzies Square redevelopment opens in Jeparit
A tribute to the Menzies Family and the role they played in the small rural town
of Jeparit – birthplace of Sir Robert Menzies – was the feature of the Menzies
Square redevelopment, officially opened in Jeparit last week.
The Menzies Square redevelopment, funded by the Hindmarsh Shire and the Victorian
State Government, with additional funds from the Menzies Foundation and Federation
University, brings alive the centre square of Jeparit, whilst marking some
of the most notable achievements and moments in the life and career of its
most famous export.
Speaking at the opening, Menzies Foundation CEO, Sarah Hardy said “We share two
things in common with the town of Jeparit, and that is … to keep the
ambition and legacy of Sir Robert Menzies alive, for the communities who hold
the history – obviously Jeparit being one of them – and to create relevance
for those people today who visit this town.”
The Menzies Foundation contributed $35,000 to early stages of the project.
“For us at the Foundation that’s about extending the legacy of education and telling
the story that reflects his own personal journey.”
In congratulating the Hindmarsh Shire, Ms Hardy said “we are very proud of
how you’ve captured the old and the new to support the legacy of Sir Robert.”
Sir Robert’s eldest grandson, Alec, said it was 50 years since he had visited
Jeparit with his grandfather. “When you think about what it must have been
like to come from Melbourne in the early days, you can only look back and
admire the pioneers and the huge efforts they made.” Alec’s great grandfather
James was a mayor in the region and ran the Jeparit general store, which
is depicted in the new Menzies Square redevelopment.
The story and photos in the Dimboola Courier have it all covered and they were put together by none other than Menzies
Centenary Prize winner, Andrew King…helping his dad out with
the news over summer while he takes a break from engineering study
at Monash University.
The State Government of Victoria was the major funder of Menzies Square,
with $165,000 granted from the Putting Locals First program managed
by Regional Development Victoria.
Alec Menzies presents Menzies Centenary Prize
year’s Menzies Centenary Prize-winner, Andrew King, had a special medal
presentation when he went back to visit his old school last week and
give the students of Dimboola Memorial Secondary College a taste of
life at Mannix College at Monash University.
The young engineering student had his medallion presented by the eldest
grandson of Sir Robert Menzies, Alec Menzies, who made the trip out
to the Wimmera as part of the celebrations to acknowledge his family’s
contribution to the region.
The VIP guest stepped in to represent the Menzies Memorial Scholars’ Association
and present the medal to Andrew.
During his speech to his former school mates at DMSC, Andrew thanked the
Foundation and the Scholars' Association for the prize and spoke of
his recent trip to Sydney as part of the annual awards presentation.
“Also tonight I would like to sincerely thank the Menzies Foundation for
their assistance with my study in the form of the Menzies Centenary
Prize, which is assisting me to live on campus.
“I attended the official presentation of this award in Sydney last
month, and one of the key things I remember from the evening is
the incredibly high calibre of postgraduate scholars who were welcomed
into the Menzies Foundation family. To have been in a room and
spoken with people who have done so well and who have such incredible
ideas to help people was an enlightening experience,” Andrew said.
Photo of Alec Menzies and Andrew King, courtesy of the Dimboola Courier.
Menzies Institutes’ wrap
It’s been a very successful time for the Menzies health and
research institutes around the country:
- Menzies Health Institute Queensland has
been awarded a $2.8 million NHMRC grant to establish
a new world first Centre for Research Excellence in Prostate Cancer Survivorship to pursue prostate cancer research at Griffith University’s
Gold Coast campus. Professor Suzanne Chambers, MHIQ
Director and Menzies Foundation Professor of Allied
Health Research is an expert in this field and will
be co-lead on the project.
- In a significant finding,
researchers at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania have discovered that
the age at which multiple sclerosis symptoms first
start is strongly linked to the latitude where the
patient resides. Based on the research of 22,000 patients
in 21 countries, those furthest from the equator experience
an onset of their symptoms almost two years earlier
than those closest to the equator.
- Facebook could help lower Indigenous smoking rates (which
is three times the national average in remote communities)
according to researchers from the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin. The
preliminary finding is based on the fact that Aboriginal people use the
social media site at higher rates than the overall
population and it is therefore useful as a tool to
reach out and communicate.
- Professor Adam Elshaug, Co-Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, was part of the
Capital Markets CRC
Health Market Quality Team who WON the inaugural Data Innovation Award at
the Research Australia Awards, for their inventive
National History Challenge
of Sir Robert Menzies’ role in the Maralinga
nuclear tests has won young Biruk Kahsay from St Monica’s
Catholic Primary School in Footscray, Melbourne, the Menzies
special category prize in the National History Challenge.
Coming from an Ethiopian background, Biruk had a lot to learn
about Australia’s history and chose to focus on the Maralinga
bombings in South Australia between 1956 and 1963 as part
of the special category of the History Challenge, which focuses on Sir Robert’s
legacy as prime minister.
The Menzies Foundation sponsors the special category ‘Robert
Menzies and today’s Australia’ to help school children
learn about the former prime minister and the significant
changes which occurred in Australia under his 18 years
Menzies Scholar Spotlight
Professor Colleen Canning
1997 Menzies Research Scholar in the Allied Health Sciences,
Professor Colleen Canning, is the Professor and Head
of the Discipline of Physiotherapy at the University
of Sydney. She has a particular focus on research and
intervention to improve mobility and reduce falls in
those with neurological conditions. She leads the Parkinson’s
disease research team at Sydney University. She also
takes a leading role in the direction of the education
of physiotherapists as secretary and executive member
of the Council of Physiotherapy Deans of Australia
and New Zealand.
What are the biggest challenges in your career right now?
Juggling my strategic responsibilities, staff development,
mentoring, research and teaching roles, as well as
managing the day to day business of the largest Physiotherapy
School in Australia.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of your work?
Nurturing the next generation of outstanding researchers,
teachers and leaders in health; and watching them fly!
Who influences (has influenced) your career? How?
Professors Janet Carr and Roberta Shepherd have had
a profound influence on my career. In the 1970’s
they challenged the assumptions underlying neurological
physiotherapy practice and led the paradigm shift to
science-based and evidence-based physiotherapy.
I chose to work at the University of Sydney (formerly
Cumberland College of Health Science) as a deliberate
strategy to learn from them. Their influence
fuelled my passion to generate new knowledge which
directly impacts physiotherapy practice and improves
outcomes for people with neurological disorders.
Who has provided you with inspiration (career or personal) and why?
No doubt my parents were my most inspirational
mentors. They taught me to strive for my goals
and the value of persistence, perseverance and
patience. I aim to model these qualities, and I
gain great satisfaction in seeing these values
being embraced by my staff and students.
How has the Menzies Scholarship helped you?
I received the Menzies Scholarship in 1997,
when I was enrolled in my PhD full-time, working
part-time and (with my husband) bringing up
our three daughters (Christina, aged 8, and
twins, Zoe and Annabel, aged 6). The
Menzies Scholarship allowed me to fully focus
on my PhD and made attendance at international
conferences feasible, which was critical to
developing collaborations with international
experts in our increasingly global world.
Who would you most like to meet and why?
If he were alive today, I would love to
meet Louis Pasteur and invite him to speak
to our students, ie, the next generation
of physiotherapists. In 1854, he
noted that “in the field of observation,
chance only favours the prepared mind”.
This is a motto that has guided my career
and it resonates in two ways. First,
physiotherapy is an applied science that
relies upon excellent observational skills,
and, second, observations are best interpreted
by a disciplined and prepared mind.
So opportunities or findings attributed
to chance are not ‘just lucky’, they are
the result of strategic thinking and positioning
to be in the right place at the right time
with the knowledge to interpret and understand.
What are your passions outside of work?
Spending time with family and friends,
playing golf, reading, travel, enjoying
good food and wine, to name a few!
The secret to work-life balance for
me are my husband, Ian Yum, and
my daughters, Christina, Zoe and
Annabel. When the girls were
young, work-life balance was critical
to their development and to the
well-being of our family and I
think this remains the case today.
Currently, I am enjoying the experience
of learning and playing golf.
As movement scientists, physiotherapists
teach a broad range of motor
skills, often to people with
substantial physical and cognitive
golf provides me with insights
into the challenges that people
with mobility problems deal
with every day and enhances
my understanding of how difficult
it is to learn complex skills.
This experience can be both
elating (when you have a good
round) and humbling (when you
don’t) and continues to inspire
me to learn more!
How do you describe leadership?
am continuing to grow and
develop as a leader personally
and I am passionate about
contributing to the development
of future leaders.
Some key components of
my approach to leadership
- understanding and adopting
the values and strategic
direction of the organisation,
ensuring this is consistent
with my personal values
- providing a collegial,
positive and supportive
environment where academic
staff and students
- ensuring values are
a key reference
point - modelling
successes and addressing
lacks respect and/or
- developing a strategic
- showing willingness
Support our scholarships
If you would like to make a
donation to the work of
the Menzies Foundation,
you will be investing in
future scholarships to
support those who come
Donations can be made online and those over $2 are tax
Does your CV and LinkedIn profile
list your Menzies scholarship
or link to the Menzies
Foundation LinkedIn page?
It would be great for all
of us if it did! #justahint