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The Southern Cross : April 2012
Former Catholic schoolboy and Adelaide University Medical Science graduate Mark Hassall has been named this year's Rhodes Scholar and is already making in-roads to improving Australia's poor Indigenous health record. "It's unjust that Indigenous Australians live 11 years less than non-Indigenous Australians," says Mark, 23. "The health technologies and knowledge to deliver an equitable life expectancy to Indigenous Australians already exist, but stronger leadership and greater exposure of Indigenous health is needed." The prestigious Rhodes Scholarship will give Mark the chance to study a one-year Medical Science Masters degree on Global Health Science at the University of Oxford from October. Announcing the award last year, the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, said Mark was an exceptional candidate in an extremely high quality field of eight young South Australians. "The Rhodes Scholarship has a tradition of acknowledging academic excellence and recognising the potential for scholars to show future leadership and make an outstanding contribution to society," said Governor Scarce. Mark was born in Canberra and schooled at Marist College Canberra. He has lived in Adelaide since 2006 after being accepted into the Adelaide University School of Medicine. He says his "exceptional" schooling at Marist College had taught him to study well but to be an active member of society. "It fostered in me a desire to be interested in activities outside of my studies and that has presided with me ever since." Mark and two other medical students are currently lobbying for funding to recruit and fund Adelaide University medical students on week-long eye surgery outreach trips to the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in far- north South Australia this year. Last year, while at the APY Lands, Mark examined a man with diabetes, which within a decade was expected to blind him. "Sadly, he was my age," says Mark. I have also learned that Indigenous Australians are three times more likely to die of heart disease," he says. "These statistics though cannot embody the grief of the Indigenous family in remote Western Australia to whom I broke the news that their uncle was comatose following a heart attack at the premature age of 43." Mark, who is expected to complete his sixth year in Medicine in 2013, was president of the Adelaide Medical Students' Society in 2009, and a state winner and national runner-up for the 2011 John Snow Scholarship from the Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine. As part of the scholarship, he presented his discussion paper on HIV/AIDS at the national conference of the Royal Australian College of Physicians in Darwin last year. In addition to receiving two scholarships and the medical school research prize in 2009, Mark's research on Parkinson's disease was presented at the 2010 International Movement Disorders conference in Argentina. The Rhodes Scholarship perpetuates the commitment to learning, research and humanity of businessman and philanthropist, Cecil Rhodes, who died in 1902 leaving his estate to fund the Scholarship. Rhode to better Indigenous health Switch your comprehensive car insuran to Catholic Church Insurances before 30 April 2012 and receive FREE^ roadside assistance membership. Australia-wide, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week absolutely FREE.^ PLUS, you could also enjoy: # 1 ce catholicinsurances.com.au YOUR CHURCH YOUR INSURANCE ^ Offer valid for new Catholic Church Insurances comprehensive car insurance policies purchased between 1 April and 30 April 2012. 12 months free roadside assistance membership is provided by AGA Assistance Australia Pty Ltd ABN 52 097 227 177, trading as Allianz Global Assistance. Full terms and conditions available at catholicinsurances.com.au. 1This insurance is underwritten by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited (Allianz) ABN 15 000 122 850, AFS Licence No. 234708. Catholic Church Insurances Limited ABN 76 000 005 210 AFS Licence No. 235415, 485 La Trobe St, Melbourne 3000, arranges this insurance as a promoter for Allianz. To decide if it is right for you please refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, which can be requested by calling 1300 655 003; or online from www.catholicinsurances.com.au. *Safe Driver discount applies to the rst year of new policies only. Any discounts/entitlements only apply to the extent any minimum premium is not reached. If you are eligible for more than one, we also apply each of them in a predetermined order to the premium (excluding taxes and government charges) as reduced by any prior discounts/entitlements. #Premiums payable by instalments may be subject to minor adjustments (upwards or downwards) due to rounding and nancial institution transaction fees may apply. CALL 1300 655 003 OR VISIT CATHOLICINSURANCES.COM.AU TO RECEIVE ROADSIDE ASSIST. The Southern Cross April 2012 Page 23 www.thesoutherncross.org.au