Lumen - The University of Adelaide Magazine The University of Adelaide Australia
Lumen Winter 2005 Issue
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Making their Mark

Senator Penny Wong: BA (Jurisprudence), LLB (Honours) 1993

Penny Wong was elected to the Senate for South Australia in 2001, becoming not only the first Chinese-Australian woman to be elected as an MP for the Australian Labor Party, but also Australia's first female Asian-born federal politician.

Born in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia in 1968, to a Chinese-Malaysian father and a European-Australian mother, she moved to Adelaide with her mother and brother at the age of eight. She attended Coromandel Valley Primary and subsequently won a scholarship to Scotch College before studying Law and Arts at the University of Adelaide.

Penny's ethnic origins and upbringing in the relatively less multi-cultural Australia of the 1970s instilled in her a strong sense of social justice.

She began her political career as a student politician at the University, and was soon elected to the National Executive of the National Union of Students (NUS).

Determined to bridge the gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots", she spent several years working in the labour movement, as a union organiser, a senior policy analyst in the Carr Government, and with a labour law firm.

Penny Wong also worked as a barrister and solicitor in Adelaide from 1996-2000, and as a legal officer with the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union from 2000-2002. She is also involved in a number of community organisations.

Within the ALP, she has been Deputy Chair of the Platform Committee (SA), Member of the State Executive (SA), Member of the National Policy Committee on Industry, Infrastructure and Regional Development, and a Delegate at the Party's National Conference.

Currently, Penny Wong is Shadow Minister for Employment and Workforce Participation, and Shadow Minister for Corporate Governance and Responsibility. She remains committed to the goal of creating a cohesive and equitable Australia.

Dr Stuart Brasted: BDS (1969)

Stuart Brasted is Chief Executive Officer of Micronix Pty Ltd, a company whose platform technology adds value to the placement of catheters by enabling a user to observe in real time the movement of the catheter towards a chosen target site within the body.

Catheters are inserted into the body via the mouth, nose or vein largely by "feel", which is derived from training and experience. Current best practice for confirming correct placement requires the patient to be X-rayed. If the catheter is not placed correctly the entire placement process must be repeated, which is costly, inconvenient and potentially dangerous.

Stuart Brasted has been working on solving this problem since the 1980s. In partnership with Don Chorley, who identified the market need, Micronix was formed with electronics buffs William Besz and the late Robert Walker, who harnessed technologies otherwise used for missile tracking and location of under-water shipwrecks.

Micronix has developed small, portable, easy-to-use technology that enables the movement of the catheter tip to be displayed on a computer screen as it is being placed.

As well as providing a "live" schematic representation of the catheter's path through the body, a hard copy record of the track can be made as a permanent record of the procedure. This has the potential to displace the need for an X-ray.

The technology platform developed by Micronix is unique, and protected by strong patents. It has commercial potential for a range of medical applications.

Stuart Brasted graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1969 with a Bachelor degree in Dentistry. In 1970 and 1971, he practised in the UK before returning to Adelaide. From 1973 until 2003 he worked in his own solo dental practice.

Senator Penny Wong

Senator Penny Wong
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Dr Stuart Brasted

Dr Stuart Brasted
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