Charles Sturt University Campus Conversations

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Feature article in Focus Magazine, Greater Port Macquarie - August 2019/Issue 165

SENIOR LECTURER OF MEDICAL IMAGING JOHNATHAN HEWIS IS CURRENTLY HEADING UP SEVERAL EXCITING RESEARCH PROJECTS FOR CHARLES STURT UNIVERSITY AND HAS BEEN KEY IN INFLUENCING THE EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS IN STAGE 2 OF THE NEW CAMPUS BUILD. I SHARED AN ESPRESSO AND SOME INSIGHT INTO LIFE AS THE FORMER ASSOCIATE HEAD OF SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY & HEALTH SCIENCES, A NEW DAD AND IRONMAN WHO LOVES A PHYSICAL CHALLENGE FOR A GOOD CAUSE. HE FILLS US IN ON WHY HE LOVES PORT MACQUARIE AND HOW CHARLES STURT IS LEADING THE WAY IN INNOVATION IN OUR REGION.

 

 Johnathan you joined the team at CSU in 2013 originally from the UK – what brought you to beautiful Australia? 

I was born in Lincolnshire, a far cry from idyllic Port Macquarie. As a clinical radiographer I was fortunate to gain a lot of experience in major trauma, specialise in MRI and practice in several advanced clinical roles to include image interpretation. I transitioned into academia back in 2004, holding the position of Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, then Senior Lecturer at Central Queensland University based up in Mackay. I came to Australia looking for a new adventure and chasing the sunshine. I was a first in family student from a regional background so Charles Sturt attracted me as a university focused on regional Australia. 

You have adopted coastal Port Macquarie as your new home; have a beautiful partner Nicola and little son Edward. What is it that makes Port Macquarie so special? 

Both Nicola and I relocated here and other family members have followed. We love the lifestyle, community and weather. It is an incredible location to create a family and I feel very lucky to call Port Mac home. 

As part of the original team to launch the course profile in Port Macquarie – can you tell a little about how it began and where the school and course have progressed to now? 

Being a green field university site was one of the things that excited me most about the post. I was the first and only staff member for the school back in the beginning and there were many challenges that included establishing courses in temporary accommodation. The support of staff from Wagga, the local community and key sessional staff combined with strong clinical partnerships made it work. We now have six academic staff with three years of successful graduates from Port. 

Charles Sturt works under the mission of “creating a world worth living in” underpinned by a passion for innovation, how are you and your team doing that in Port Macquarie? 

We provide so much more than undergraduate and postgraduate education. We help provide a voice for medical radiation practitioners in our region with representation on government committees at a regional and national level. In the last six years we have hosted more than ten discipline specific national, regional and local conferences and workshops here in Port Macquarie. All our staff and several students are actively engaged with school and community outreach, whilst my current honours student Jessica is exploring sustainability within medical imaging. 

Your graduates have been lucky enough to come back as sessional lecturers and secured employment locally. How important is this practical application and continuous learning to the success of your profession? 

Our goal is to graduate autonomous, confident, caring and capable practitioners who bring our university values to life and make an impact in their community. Our professional journey is one of continual education and learning and at Port we have already come full circle. Many Port graduates are employed within the region providing critical diagnostic services, clinical mentorship and supervision to current students and one is employed as sessional academic. Others are already back at university completing Master level studies with us online. 

You have worked with the team on creating a state of the art facility in Stage 2 of the new campus build – are there any exciting features you can share with us? 

The larger scale collaborative lecture theatre with a double height atrium will be visually very dramatic and will provide important new teaching and conferencing facilities as we continue to grow. This space will also expand our ability to host larger community and outreach activities. There are also several exciting specialist teaching and research spaces coming, so watch this space! 

It’s a well-known fact around campus you love a dress up! You have an amazing community spirit and have been known to don the lycra for many a good cause. Can you tell us a little about those projects? 

I think this embodies the lifestyle change I have gained by moving to Port. I have now completed five consecutive IronMan Australia’s, setting a new PR this year of 11 hours 32 mins. I ran the Six Foot Track in March and will be starting my fourth Beach2Brother trail marathon in October. I’ve proudly donned lycra several times to raise monies for Royal Far West. Currently I am completing ‘The Push-Up Challenge’ to raise awareness for mental health and critical monies for headspace. Individually completing 3128 push-ups over 21 days with each push-up representing Australian lives tragically lost to suicide in 2017. 

Lastly what are you most excited for on campus next year and what tips could you provide to those wanting to get a head start in the field of science

Welcoming new students into our learning community and new graduates into our professions! My advice is to make time to explore your education and career options, so that you can make an informed choice at our upcoming Open Day on Sunday 25th August between 10am - 2pm and Parent Information Evening, Monday 29th July 5:30pm. Come and visit us on campus. We are also offering early entry into our Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging) available through the Charles Advantage program for 2020. 

Thanks Johnathan.

 

Period01 Aug 2019

Media contributions

1

Media contributions

  • TitleCharles Sturt University Campus Conversations
    Degree of recognitionRegional
    Media name/outletFocus Magazine, Greater Port Macquarie
    Media typePrint
    Duration/Length/SizePage 96
    CountryAustralia
    Date01/08/19
    DescriptionFocus Magazine feature article, August 2019 Issue 165
    Producer/AuthorKate Wood-Foye
    URLportmacquarie.focusmag.com.au/flip-book/
    PersonsJohnathan Hewis