3 December 1999

Medical innovator Emeritus Professor Tess Cramond OBE, AO will address the last medicine graduates of the century at the University of Queensland's Health Sciences graduation ceremony at 5pm today.

The medicine graduates are the last group to graduate from the University's six year undergraduate course which has been replaced by a four year graduate course.

Professor Cramond will receive an honorary Doctor of Medicine at the ceremony in Mayne Hall, St Lucia. Professor Cramond, the University's foundation Professor of Anaesthetics (1978-1991), is recognised nationally and internationally for her contributions to clinical anaesthesia, to the education of health professionals and to medical research directed to drugs and techniques for the pain associated with cancer.

Her contributions to medicine and the community have been recognised by professional and civil awards, including an OBE in 1977 and an Order of Australia in 1991. She was recently honoured with the 1999 Woman in Medicine Award of the Australian Medical Association.

Students in dental science, and indigenous primary health care will also graduate at tonight's ceremony. Postgraduate and PhD students will also receive their awards from Chancellor Sir Llewellyn Edwards.

Valedictorian Kaitlyn Sharp will speak at the ceremony: other graduands of interest include the following.

Nicole Goyne (telephone 3356 4873) has overcome the legacy of a serious car accident in Zimbabwe to graduate MBBS. In December 1997 she had been completing her fifth-year elective at Mpilo Hospital when she was involved in a head-on collision just one week before she was due to return home. Nicole suffered head injuries which, in the short term, affected her memory and concentration and a difficult recovery meant she missed the first semester of 1998 and failed her surgery term after returning to university in second semester. For Nicole, returning to study after the accident was "almost like starting from scratch again", but she credits the support of family, friends and medical school staff with helping her through. She will begin work at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in January. On December 8 her brother, Chris Goyne, will graduate PhD in Mechanical Engineering (aerospace engineering).

Catherine O'Neill is set to become the fifth University of Queensland MBBS graduate in her extended family. Her father, Dr John O'Neill graduated in 1970 and in 1994 her brother-in-law Dr Chris Fairley, her brother Dr John O'Neill and his wife Dr Bronwyn O'Neill graduated in the one ceremony. Dr Fairley is married to Catherine's sister, Olympic swimmer Susie O'Neill. Catherine will work at Gold Coast Hospital next year.

Twins Rodney and Peter Larsen (telephone 3300 3929) will both graduate with Class II honours. Rodney said while the pair had not studied together, having his brother in the course helped to give a different perspective on the areas they studied. "We always compared each other's results and I guess there was always some sibling rivalry going on," he said. Next year Rodney will work at Cairns Base Hospital and Peter will work at Nambour General Hospital.

For more information, contact Graduations Officer Tim Tout (telephone 07 3365 9194).