7 December 1998

Physiotherapy pioneer to speak at ceremony

Professor Margaret Bullock, AM, the retiring Head of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, will be the guest speaker at the 4pm graduation ceremony in Mayne Hall on December 9.

Graduands from the faculties of Health Sciences and Natural Resources, Agriculture and Veterinary Science will receive their degrees at ceremonies in Mayne Hall at 4pm and 6.15pm.

o One of the first two students to graduate from the University of Queensland with a bachelor of applied science in physiotherapy and occupational therapy in 1955, Professor Bullock is regarded as a pioneer in both the fields of physiotherapy and ergonomics.

She was the first physiotherapist in the world to be awarded a PhD in Physiotherapy (1973), and became Australia's first professor of physiotherapy in 1978.

Since her early groundbreaking research in the late 1960s, when she developed the first accurate method of measuring three-dimensional body movements, Professor Bullock has carried out many research projects of importance to physiotherapy practice and ergonomics.

She is recognised as having had a profound influence on the standards and status of both disciplines in Australia.

The University's longest serving senior woman academic, Professor Bullock has held a number of leadership positions at the University of Queensland, including a 14-year term as Head of the Physiotherapy Department (1974-1987), five years as Deputy President and President of the Academic Board, and three years as Head of School.

She has also been a visiting professor at Harvard University, Tufts University, and the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute, Boston. She has recently been invited to take a post as visiting professor in Sweden.

Professor Bullock has had a distinguished career, chairing numerous national and international committees in both physiotherapy and ergonomics. She has served as the President of the Ergonomics Society of Australia and is currently chair of the Australian Council for Physiotherapy Regulating Authorities, responsible for accreditation of physiotherapy educational programs in Australia.

Honours have been bestowed for her leadership in both physiotherapy and ergonomics. In addition to the Order of Australia (AM), these include being elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering, excellence awards and medals from the National and International Ergonomics Societies, and honoured member status of the Australian Physiotherapy Association.

While planning to continue many professional activities in the future, Professor Bullock is looking forward to leading a more balanced life with her husband, Emeritus Professor Keith Bullock, previously of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

o Sunshine Drake (telephone 07 3844 9840), who will receive her bachelor of occupational therapy first-class honours degree at the 4pm ceremony, will also deliver the student valedictorian address.

Those graduating include the following:

o Veterinary science graduate Tammy Howard (telephone 07 3255 1327) had a three-month break from her final-year studies - but it wasn't spent with her feet up in front of the television. Ms Howard gained a scholarship to a leadership program conducted by Cornell University in New York State. As well as being amazed by the waterfalls and gorges throughout the naturally-beautiful campus, Ms Howard was also rewarded by the opportunity to be among 20 international students involved in 10-week research projects, in her case on a pathogenesis of canine articular disease. After graduating she plans to specialise in equine practice.

o Nicki McKee (telephone 07 3202 6027), who will deliver the student valedictorian address at the 6.15pm ceremony, had her final-year veterinary science studies interrupted in a far less fulfilling way. Ms McKee spent a month in hospital and a further two months recuperating, after being seriously injured in a car accident in Brisbane in May. Numerous injuries included fractures to her upper jaw, arm, kneecap, shin and six bones in her foot. Initially returning to her veterinary science studies on crutches, she worked through holidays and still managed to graduate with first-class honours. Ms McKee, the University Veterinary Association president this year, plans to go into a mixed practice on graduation.

For more information, contact Graduations Officer Karen Welsh (telephone 07 3365 2898).