6 December 2000

A University of Queensland medical graduate and champion synchronised ice skater was selected today as one of three Australia at Large 2001 Rhodes Scholars.

She is Dr Natalie Phillips, who graduated last year with First Class Honours in Medicine and Surgery and is currently completing her intern year at Royal Brisbane Hospital.

Dr Phillips, Andrew Charlton, of the University of Sydney, and James Watson, a University of New South Wales (Canberra) graduate, were announced as the three Australia at Large Rhodes winners at a function at the Australian National University in Canberra.

This is not her first academic award. Dr Phillips was the recipient of an Australian Student's Prize in 1993. In 1997 she was awarded the Novartis Prize for the highest Grade Point Average in the fourth year of the MBBS program at UQ, and in 1999 the Elsie Butler Wilkinson Memorial Prize in Child Health for the greatest merit in final year paediatrics.

Dr Phillips is a former International House resident at The University of Queensland, where her activities included debating, choir, and a range of sports (basketball, netball, hockey and soccer).

Her major interests in recent years have focused on her membership of the Boondall Precision Adult Iceskating Team. She was a member of the team which won the Queensland Synchronised Adult Championship in 2000 and achieved second place in the Australian National Championships this year. Her responsibilities include providing first aid for the adult and junior teams.

A total of 10 candidates from throughout Australia reached the final selection stage for the Australia at Large Rhodes Scholarships. Each faced a lengthy interview process and assessment involving academic, sporting and community activities.

The Rhodes Trust offers up to nine scholarships in Australia each year, one award in each state and up to three for Australia at Large. The two-year scholarships are tenable at Oxford University.

Dr Phillips intends to pursue research next year in Clinical Paediatrics with the Oxford Vaccine and Tropical Medicine Group.

She is interested in preventive medicine in child health.

"I would like to use these skills in working for international agencies overseas or with remote communities in Australia," she said.

For further information, contact communications@mailbox.uq.edu.au