Meet our talented population and global health students

The Melbourne School of Population and Global Health is ranked #1 in Australia for public health education and has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic response. Read the stories of some of our fantastic students and find out why they chose Melbourne

Hayden Mackenzie

Meet Hayden

Hayden was interested in studying epidemiology as he wanted to move from his clinical career into a research-oriented one and expand his research skills. Specifically, he wanted to explore population-based research and analysis methods.

“I’d always been stirred by questions like ‘How would people’s health outcomes change if we paid attention to X?’, and the idea of finding answers to these sorts of difficult questions is a really worthwhile challenge,” he says.

Hayden decided to shop around to find the best course for him, and he ended up choosing the University of Melbourne because of it’s ranking among the best universities both locally and globally for public health related disciplines. Another part of the appeal of Melbourne for Hayden was the campus and its architecture, with its rich history of academic excellence.

“It reminds me of how many people have walked these paths before me,” he explains.

Hayden has arguably chosen to study epidemiology at a crucial time, where the discipline has been thrown into the spotlight as the world tries to navigate its way through a global pandemic.

“I’m fortunate that being a student of the field has allowed me to start developing the skills to approach questions of enormous impact to humanity, and to help assess and translate the flood of information coming through different channels currently.”

One of the most valuable skills Hayden has gained throughout the course so far is the ability to separate reliable information from the unreliable, which is an essential skill in today’s world where fake news and “alternative facts” have become so widely disseminated.

This course has really helped fine tune my ability to tell the difference between good and bad information and ask better questions of the data so that we can make better decisions.

Currently, Hayden works as the Research and Development Lead at Work Healthy Australia, a company which partners with workplaces to triage, manage and reduce workplace injuries.

“What I love most about it is that the data we collect and the experience we have allows us to ask and answer interesting questions about why injuries occur, in whom, and what factors influence recovery. The lessons we take from this allow us to have a huge positive impact on the recovery of individuals, many of whom are in low-income roles and can’t afford to be off work. It’s a nice situation where everybody wins, and we get to advance the field while we’re at it.”

Hayden Mackenzie
Master of Epidemiology

Jomy Jose

Meet Jomy

After completing a Bachelor of Dentistry in India, Jomy decided to pursue his interest in public health. The ability to specialise in a wide range of fields and the opportunity to take on breadth subjects really appealed to him.

Having never been to Melbourne or Australia before starting the Master of Public Health, Jomy found the events, workshops and opportunities to interact with other students during orientation week made it much easier to settle in.

“There are students from 34 countries in the course, which is amazing. I’ve never experienced such a diverse student cohort before. It’s varied and everyone has something to contribute, which is a great learning opportunity.”

Jomy found the teaching faculty very approachable and helpful.

“The teaching faculty are brilliant. They come with experience from all around the globe and they’ve worked in the field for many years. They tailor their teaching to accommodate us being from so many different countries and backgrounds.”

Jomy Jose
Master of Public Health

Lizzie Korevaar

Meet Lizzy

After studying microbiology at undergraduate level, Lizzie was looking to go onto study a postgraduate degree that would incorporate her love of maths.

The Master of Biostatistics exceeded Lizzie’s expectations, and she particularly enjoyed the granular level of detail of the data analysis methods she was taught on the course.

Lizzie also credits her passionate teachers and the highly-motivated, tight-knit student cohort for making her experience on the course so positive.

The group of people you get to work with are very encouraging. They love what they do, and it shows.

The fact that the course is a mixture of face-to-face and online learning worked well for Lizzie. She received ample support from her lecturers and the opportunity to ask questions, but with the added convenience of online learning. She was even able to stay in touch with her peers via the online discussion boards.

Lizzie enjoyed that the assignments were focused on real problems because she felt as though she was making a useful contribution.

“I particularly enjoyed the research project, where I worked on a big clinical trial looking at breast cancer. I’m still working on that project, so it has turned into a part-time job, which is great! I’m enjoying seeing it through until the end.”

Next up, Lizzie is considering a PhD.

“The Master of Biostatistics confirmed for me that research is what I’m interested in, and it’s very rewarding to make a useful contribution to big problems in health.”

Lizzie Korevaar
Master of Biostatistics

Photo of Grad Cert Sexual Health student Jason Kenna
Jason Kenna

Meet Jason

After completing his nursing undergraduate, Jason worked in an emergency department of a hospital for six years. He had always had an interest in sexual health, so decided to look into postgraduate courses.

“I wanted to enrol in a course that would give me the skills and knowledge that I would need to be a good clinician and provide comprehensive sexual health care. I was particularly interested in learning about barriers to accessing sexual health services and how I could work to overcome them.”

Jason currently works as a sexual health nurse at Melbourne Sexual Health Centre while he completes his course. The centre provides person-centred, evidence-based sexual health care with a focus on STI control.

I love being part of a team that values diversity and inclusion and works hard to make sure our service is accessible and welcoming to everyone, especially those who experience disadvantage.

Some of the clinicians Jason works with in the Melbourne Sexual Health Clinic are involved with the Graduate Certificate in Sexual Health program.

“The course has really reinforced for me the impact that sexual health has on a person’s life. A lot of stigma still exists around sexual health which can be a major barrier to accessing health services and this can be detrimental to a person’s health.”

Jason wants to be a well-informed and effective clinician and an advocate for better sexual health for everyone.

“Diversity, inclusion and cultural safety are important to me and I hope that by learning about why barriers exist, I can develop the skills to help break them down. The course has inspired me to work to take the stigma out of sexual health and make sexual health services more accessible to everyone.”

Jason Kenna
Graduate Certificate in Sexual Health