Lumen - The University of Adelaide Magazine The University of Adelaide Australia
Lumen Winter 2011 Issue
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Message from the Vice-Chancellor

Being of fair-skinned northern hemisphere origins, it probably comes as no surprise that I have not responded well to the effects of the harsh southern hemisphere sun. Last year, I was one of the more than 10,500 people across Australia diagnosed with melanoma.

Now I am fortunate. My skin cancer has been resolved quickly and successfully thanks to the latest treatment and the expertise of skilled clinicians, and as a result of many decades of dedicated medical research.

As a scientist and leader of a research-intensive University, and now as a patient, I have the paradoxical experience of being an instigator and beneficiary of the research process.

Suddenly finding oneself reliant on research outcomes to survive is confronting.

But I am not alone. There would not be one person in Australia who hasn't been directly affected by medical research at some point.

At Adelaide, our research outcomes have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of the community. Our graduates are making a genuine impact every day, across all corners of the globe.

In this edition of Lumen you will read stories of extraordinary achievement and dedication - people like Assoc Professor Susan Neuhaus, a medical graduate and now decorated surgeon who has worked on the frontline in Afghanistan, Cambodia and Bougainville. Her courage and selflessness epitomise the University's community spirit.

There are countless examples in the pages ahead, like the work undertaken by engineering graduates Lisa Moon and Peter McBean in the post-earthquake recovery effort in Christchurch. Their contribution is another demonstration of the impact our graduates are making in the most challenging circumstances.

And while research has led many of our graduates to their current roles - tedious, often frustrating and painstakingly slow work over many years - every small success reflects the depth of their tenacity and expertise.

Our researchers are unequivocally ranked among the best in the world.  They deserve continuation of the resources and support that will enable them to pursue the most pressing challenges for the good of our community.  And this is not restricted to medical research. It encompasses all areas of study.

Our world is a better, safer, more productive, engaged and healthy place in which to live thanks to the breadth of discovery.

And it is for this very reason that the recent threat of funding cuts sparked such public outcry.

To sacrifice research support of any kind, is to say that near enough is good enough - do the best you can with what you've got.

That kind of approach has no place in serious academic endeavour. Certainly, it is not what you want to hear as a patient waiting, hoping for treatment and it is not something a University of Adelaide graduate would ever entertain.

I am immensely proud of our alumni community for their unwavering commitment to delivering real change for the greater good.

I invite you to share their unique journeys.

PROFESSOR JAMES A. McWHA
Vice-Chancellor and President

JAMES A. McWHA
Vice-Chancellor and President

JAMES A. McWHA
Vice-Chancellor and President

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