School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Student Profiles

Find out what current and past students have to say about their experiences in our programs. Click on the names below to read testimonials about what they enjoyed in their coursework and research programs and how these have made a difference to their careers.

Image - Craig Alcock

Craig Alcock

Master of Health Management

Having been a (non-doctor) health professional for nearly 10 years now, I’ve been fortunate to have received terrific advice from both clinical and non-clinical health professionals of the importance of health leadership and management. Every person I spoke to stressed the importance of choosing not only the most reputable institution, but also a program based on relevance to the industry and credentials of the teaching staff. The institution that everyone recommended was UNSW.

Scott Avery

Scott Avery

Professional Doctorate in Public Health

I’ve been described as a ‘pracademic’ ie a practical academic.  I love the learning and critical thinking that goes with research, particularly when it can be used to advance the rights of those in need. The professional doctorate program is structured to allow me to tap into the academic expertise at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, whilst allowing me to utilise my expertise in translating knowledge by influencing the shape of social policy as it affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and those with disability.

Image - Neeraj Gill

Dr Neeraj Gill

Professional Doctorate in Applied Public Health

For the last decade, working as a busy psychiatrist or clinical director in the public sector, I never had any time, guidance or support for research. I contemplated doing a PhD but I did not think I could spend six years doing a part-time PhD on a rather narrow focus.

Patti Shih

Patti Shih

PhD - The role of religion and faith-based organisations in addressing HIV in Papua New Guinea (PNG)

I undertook an intensive course offered by the SPHCM as I wanted to understand more about the complexity by which social and political factors influence people’s health outcomes and quality of life.  I was impressed by the emphasis SPHCM placed on international development and global health, and its interdisciplinary approach to community health.

Sameera Ansari

Sameera Ansari

PhD - Activating Primary Care COPD Patients with Multi-morbidity (APCOM) Pilot Project

I commenced my PhD at SPHCM as an internal student in April 2013. I am fortunate to be guided by a fabulous supervisory team comprising of Dr Hassan Hosseinzadeh, an academic with expertise in health education and health promotion, Prof Nicholas Zwar, a general physician with substantial research experience in chronic respiratory disease, and Dr Sarah Dennis, an academic and physiotherapist with many years of research experience in chronic disease prevention and management. Their constant encouragement, unwavering support and steady direction have been the backbone of my PhD journey.

Rachelle Arkles

Rachelle Arkles

PhD - Between Shadow and Light: A hermeneutic inquiry of Aboriginal families’ meaningful world of caring, ageing and dementia

A chance encounter with an old colleague with whom I had been on an editorial board of a student health journal in South Africa led me to UNSW and the School of Public Health & Community Medicine. I embarked on a series of research projects at SPHCM in areas of health sector human resource flows, the recruitment, retention and support of rural and Indigenous medical students; and overseas trained doctors in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health services.

Michelle O'Connor

Michelle O'Connor

PhD - Understanding young people's perceptions and behaviours related to sexual & reproductive health and wellbeing in Fiji

The School of Public Health and Community Medicine (SPHCM) has a great reputation, particularly in my area of research which is HIV and sexual health. I chose the school as I wanted to learn from leading academics in the field and be a part of the innovative community the school offers.

Nazmul Huda

Nazmul Huda

PhD - Unsafe sexual practices and the barriers to HIV prevention: A cross- sectional study on the Female Commercial Sex Workers (FCSWs) in Bangladesh

I decided to enrol in a PhD at the SPHCM for a number of reasons. These include the vibrant research culture demonstrated in the work of its staff and PhD students and its academic reputation around the world. I became aware of UNSW’s reputation not only in the academic arena but also in employment from three of my teachers at Dhaka University. They completed their PhD at UNSW and conveyed the message of UNSW’s high-quality teaching and research to me. More importantly, two of them particularly spoke of the reputation of SPHCM in Australia and in the Asia-Pacific.

Image - Chau Bui

Chau Bui

PhD – Spatial modelling of Avian influenza viruses in humans and birds

My main research interest is in the epidemiology of infectious diseases – in particular, zoonotic or emerging infectious diseases – from both animal health and human health perspectives. This interest has led me to start a PhD at SPHCM in March 2015 and I am now halfway through the second year. So far my research has been focused on avian influenza viruses (AIVs) and analysing the spatial-temporal distribution of AIVs and quantifying patterns of spread.