Outgoing President Report 2014 – by Lucy Westerman

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MPHSA 2014 SGM President’s Report

What an amazing journey the last nigh 12 months have been. I was hesitant to take on the additional responsibility of being president of MPHSA – balancing family, studies and other commitments was already plenty… but I was inspired by what had been started by the founding committee, and felt there was massive potential to keep growing MPHSA as a facilitator, to help connect students with each other, engage with MSPGH and empower students personally and professionally. Energised by fantastic support from MSPGH, I put my hand up…

By some amazing stroke of fortune, we assembled an outstanding team of individuals who have since become dear friends to me. I expected to develop good working relationships and get tasks done, but didn’t anticipate the personal relationships that would blossom.

Our committee, in spite of each of us facing our own significant and unanticipated life changes over the course of the past year, has achieved amazing things.

We have

  • Hosted a multicultural picnic
  • Run an inaugural end of year dinner catered by Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and attracting over 40 students and a couple of staff
  • Contributed to several MSPGH and MDHS strategic workshops
  • Represented and advocated for students on the MSPGH Student Staff Liaison Committee
  • Subsidised around a dozen students to attend conferences
  • Coordinated 2 careers nights to audiences of over 70 each time
  • Coordinated 1 wellbeing and life balance night again with an audience of over 70 students
  • Reviewed, rejuvenated, co-coordinated and presented at a full day induction for over 150 new students
  • Developed a fantastic, accessible new student resource section to our website, with international students particularly in mind
  • Produced a fantastic promotional MPHSA bookmark
  • Increased our twitter following to over 400
  • Increased our facebook page following to over 300
  • Raised the profile of MPHSA amongst staff and students and been credited with adding considerable value to MSPGH (to our knowledge we are still the only MPH linked student club at Victorian universities)

None of these activities were achieved by individuals in silos – each and every one had a small team of dedicated committee members and helpers dipping in and out contributing their individual strengths to collective success. Indeed, our plans were grand and many were still germinating. But our achievements to date were many given strained circumstances.

We wanted to renew our committee at an AGM in August or September, but circumstance has mean that this hasn’t been possible and time is ripe for change now.

I would like to thank the team I have worked with over the past 12 months for their immense support, incredible knowledge, diverse skills, consistent dedication, and finally for their honesty, trust and patience.

To my fellow resigning comrades, Nicole Moore, Nicole Brady, Ghazaleh Dashti, and Danya Vears on behalf of MPHSA, thank you and good luck with your next pursuits.

Our committee’s consistent, reliable, insightful and diligent Su Su, Amir and Anne will carry on to work with and support the new executive committee, whom we thank and wish well.

Finally, thanks to MSPGH staff, particularly Rob Moodie, Melissa Russell and Terry Nolan, for supporting, listening and collaborating with MPHSA so willingly and openly.

Long & strong may MSPGH and MPHSA continue to work together to enhance the postgraduate experience for students, further equipping them to go out into Global Public Health and achieve amazing, impactful things with a foremost objective to better the lives of others.

Lucy Westerman

MPHSA President 2013-2014