12 December 2002

Scientists, teachers, police officers and parents are among this week’s health graduates from The University of Queensland.

The Faculty of Health Sciences graduations this year will be divided into two ceremonies, both to be held at the new $20 million UQ Centre.

Tomorrow, Friday, December 13, eligible students in the Pharmacy, Medicine and Human Movement programs will don caps and gowns and graduate at 4pm.

The guest speaker at that ceremony will be Professor Judith Whitworth, of the John Curtin School for Medical Research in Canberra.

Dr Nicholas Nicolaides, of the pathology group Sullivan Nicolaides, will be presented with an honorary MD at the ceremony.

Medical graduates of interest include:
• Margaret Soroka, of Highgate Hill, a mother-of-three and engineering graduate. Dr Soroka worked in computers in New Zealand, the UK and the Philippines after her undergraduate degree. She returned to university after a 10-year break to study medicine. “I realised after having children that my life was a finite entity and I wanted to spend the rest of it doing something I really enjoyed,’’ Dr Soroka said. “Medicine was always on the forefront of my mind and the new graduate course gave me the perfect opportunity to realise my dream. The support of my husband and children along the way have really formed the foundation of my success in this venture.’’ Dr Soroka can be contacted on (07) 38440481 or 0412 996883.

• Cameron Mackay, formerly a police Senior-Constable in the scientific section of the Forensic Services branch. Dr Mackay, 28, of New Farm, specialised in forensic osteology _ human bones are their links to arson, murder and other crime. Dr Mackay can be contacted on 0409 776 552 or (07) 3358 1101.

• Andrew Shaw, who became a father of triplets this year. Andrew, whose wife is also a UQ graduate, said the practical component of the year mirrored the parenting journey. “When my wife was pregnant, I was in obstetrics, and then when the triplets were born, I was in paediatrics. So I had patients to practice on at every turn!’’ he said. Dr Shaw is in awe of his wife, Professor Joanne Shaw, who is a professor of medicine at Prince Charles Hospital and who is leading research in the fields of type-2 diabetes and Paget’s Disease. “She is extraordinary,’’ he said. “She is a great mother, an amazing doctor and a terrific wife. That has made studying and applying myself easy.’’ Andrew has an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Oxford University. Andrew can be contacted on 0405 220 274.

• Georgie Webb, who grew up on a sheep, cattle and goat property near
Longreach. Dr Webb`s study was partly funded under the Rural Australia
Medical Undergraduate Scholarship Scheme. “I have always loved the country
way of life and the easy-going but hardworking people you find out there.
I haven`t always wanted to do medicine but having decided in year 11 or 12
that it would be a career that suited me most, I haven`t looked back and
have loved every minute of it’’. Dr Webb, who has an undergraduate degree
in science, said she was unsure about the timing of her return to the bush.
“But I know that I love the country and I also enjoy the surgical side of
medicine the best. The rest will play itself out.’’ Dr Webb can be
contacted on (07) 3871 3335 or 0412 982098.

Yesterday, Wednesday, December 11, graduates in Rehabilitation Sciences, Dentistry and Population Health received their degrees at 3pm.

The guest speaker at the ceremony was Professor Graham Hughes, the chair of the Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine at Royal Brisbane Hospital. Professor Hughes will also be presented with an honorary PhD.

For further information about the medical graduation ceremonies call Karen Worthington on (07) 3365 5361.