31 October 2000

The 2001 Queensland Rhodes Scholar announced tonight will use his win to help landmine victims in Cambodia and patients recovering from knee operations.

The Governor of Queensland, His Excellency Major General Peter Arnison, AO announced Tom Ward as Queensland's newest Rhodes Scholar, following a selection committee meeting at The University of Queensland.

Mr Ward, 21, a QUT medical engineering student of Thorneside, a Brisbane suburb, expects to graduate with first class honours in February. He will celebrate the end of his degree working at Schoolies Week and rock climbing in the Blue Mountains.

He takes up his Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University in September 2001. His major Doctor of Philosophy research project at Oxford's Orthopoedic Engineering Centre will focus on developing a biplanar fluoroscopy system enablingbetter visualisation of the movement of knee replacements in patients.

"Essentially, I'm looking at a video replay of what happens to the knee when people walk post-operatively," he said.

"My minor project will be assisting landline victims in Cambodia in their rehabilitation."

Later this year, Mr Ward plans to work with Cambodian technicians on a disability education module. He also hopes to undertake engineering design for disability projects in schools and other Cambodian venues.

Mr Ward said his work with two children from Redlands Respite Centre every week was invaluable.

"It's complementary to my research, giving me good insight into the people for whom I'm designing equipment," he said.

A former school captain of Iona College (1996) and the School's first Rhodes Scholar, Mr Ward has been involved with the Rosie's Youth Mission and will work at Schoolies Week at the Gold Coast dispensing coffee to revellers later this year.

A president of the biomedical club at QUT, he presented a paper this year at the World Congress of Biomaterials in Hawaii on his work for the CRC for Cardiac Technology. Mr Ward has been involved in surf life saving, and recently took up ballroom dancing and rock climbing. He also tutors at Iona College.

Rhodes Scholarships, founded in 1902 under the will of the late Cecil John Rhodes, are tenable at Oxford University for an initial two years, with the possibility of a third. Candidates must be between 19 and 25 years old and citizens of the country from which they are selected. Since the scheme began, about 500 Rhodes Scholars have been selected. Women became eligible in 1972. The qualities set out by the late Cecil Rhodes for those seeking Rhodes Scholarships include academic and intellectual excellence, integrity of character, respect for fellow beings and a capacity for leadership. Sporting prowess is an advantage, but not a necessity.

Secretary of the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee, and UQ Secretary and Registrar Douglas Porter said this year four candidates were short-listed from 20 applications.

The Queensland Rhodes Scholar will join five winners from the other states and three from Australia-at-Large.

Media: For further information, contact Tom Ward, telephone mobile 0408 717 518.