17 August 2010

Research into the health care needs and issues of Australian and New Zealand Defence Force veterans, serving personnel and their families will receive renewed focus, with the Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health (CMVH), The University of Queensland and the University of Otago about to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

“The University of Otago’s broad research interest areas, are very much of interest to us," CMVH Director, Professor Peter Warfe, said.

"Otago has considerable research expertise in the fields of health care, peace and conflict studies, international relations, biomechanics, mental health, and children and families, spread across several disciplines and faculties.

“We also appreciate New Zealand’s importance given that ANZAC personnel often serve in the same theatres and peacekeeping areas, and that their personnel and families share the same issues.

"CMVH would like access to New Zealand’s research expertise and data in this area and the University of Otago, with its international track record of research excellence, is perfectly placed to assist us.”

The Otago Deputy Vice Chancellor - Research & Enterprise, Professor Harlene Hayne said: “The opportunity for trans-Tasman cooperation in research activity is exciting.

"It gives us the opportunity to collaborate with a leading research Centre in the Asian-Pacific region.

"Together we will work on specific projects, build on existing strengths and expertise, share data, information and knowledge.”

The CMVH is gaining an international reputation as the Asian-Pacific region’s pre-eminent provider of military and veterans’ health research, professional development and think tank programs.

Its research generally falls within six key areas: Post-Deployment Health; Occupational Health and Safety; Wellness and Rehabilitation; Women and Families; Health Services (which includes eHealth, Communicable Diseases, and Workforce Innovation); and Grant Funded Research which includes Disaster Response and Environmental Exposure.

Several Otago researchers are reservists with the New Zealand Defence Force with a wealth of experience including deployment in Afghanistan, the Middle East, East Timor and the Solomon Islands.

In addition, the University has links with Veterans Affairs New Zealand and the wider veterans’ community.

University of Otago Senior Lecturer and Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Mr Darryl Tong, who is also an Army Reserve Force Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps, said: “The MOU will be of considerable benefit to both countries and their Defence Forces, especially with the numbers of serving personnel that have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Timor Leste and the Solomons who will become the next generation of veterans both in New Zealand and Australia.

"Currently the numbers of Second World War veterans are dwindling and the needs of our veterans who have served in Korea, Borneo, Indonesia and Vietnam, present a very different set of health issues.”

For more information contact:

Professor Peter Warfe
Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health
The University of Queensland
Mayne Medical School
Herston Road
Herston QLD 4006
Phone: +61 7 3346 4873
Fax: +61 7 3346 4878
Email: p.warfe@uq.edu.au
Web: www.cmvh.org.au

Dr James Conner
Senior Enterprise Manager - Government Sector
Research & Enterprise
University of Otago Wellington City Office
Level 9, Revera House, 48 Mulgrave Street, Thorndon, Wellington
PO Box 400, Wellington 6140
DDI +64 4 460 9808
Mobile +64 21 241 8011
Fax +64 4 460 9801
Email james.conner@otago.ac.nz
Web www.otago.ac.nz

Professor Harlene Hayne
Otago Deputy Vice Chancellor - Research &Enterprise,
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054
DDI: 64 3 479 8513
Email: dvc.research@otago.ac.nz

Mr Darryl Tong
Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
Oral Diagnostic and Surgical Sciences
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054
DDI: +64 3 479 6530
Email: darryl.tong@otago.ac.nz