Student Success Celebrated at Annual Faculty Awards Ceremony

More than 130 Monash students from all health disciplines were recognised for their success on Monday May 6 at the annual student awards ceremony.

Held at the Alexander Theatre, this event celebrated the academic and leadership achievements of our best and brightest students from the preceding year. Hosted by Deputy Dean (Education), Professor Wayne Hodgson, the ceremony was attended by award recipients, their families, teaching staff and supporters.  It was also used as an opportunity to acknowledge the generosity and ongoing support of prize donors.

Director of the Faculty’s Indigenous Unit, Professor Karen Adams, gave the ceremony’s guest address. Professor Adams encouraged the evening’s winners to use their privilege to support those less privileged than themselves. She shared the story of Matthew Campbell, a medical student who was frustrated by the inequities in Indigenous healthcare and wanted to make a difference. Matthew and fellow student Annette Sanders, organised an inaugural symposium on Indigenous health to raise awareness among medical students. Shortly after, Matthew tragically died in a car accident.

Since then, an annual memorial lecture is held in his honour, organised by students in the Faculty, continuing Matthew’s legacy and inspiring the next generation to advocate for improving Indigenous health. Importantly, this year’s event was hosted by two Indigenous students who are making a difference. Professor Adams reminded students to consider how they can use their privilege as future health leaders, with ample opportunities to do so within the health industry.

Third-year physiotherapy student, Jenna Carr, was one of the students commended for her leadership contributions. Jenna received the Kate Scanlon Award, named in honour of a physiotherapy student whose life was cut short when she was killed in a train fire while on her way to volunteer in India. The award acknowledged Jenna’s impact on the physiotherapy student community and due to a personal connection, held a special meaning for Jenna.

“I’m lucky enough to be friends with a Monash alumna who was in the same year as Kate. When I told her, I had won the award she was so excited for me and said “you are the perfect example of the values which Kate embodied as a physio student - kindness, helping others and supporting those that may be falling behind or needing a pep talk”, explained Jenna.

“I am so humbled that the cohort felt like I supported and encouraged them to get the best out of themselves. I’ve never been an academic high achiever, so to be voted the winner of the Kate Scanlon Award is recognition I’ve made a positive impact on my cohort - which is wonderful.”