I work in the international regulatory collaboration section of the Australian Government Department of Health. My role is to coordinate the bilateral and multilateral relationships between Australia's regulator of medicines and medical devices (TGA), and other regulators around the world. I organize and attend meetings with Heads of Agencies, and oversee & evaluate projects that test novel methods/processes for regulating medicines. The overall objective of my job is to facilitate work-sharing between the Australian TGA and other international regulators i.e. if a partner country (who Australia has thoroughly examined to match Australian regulatory standards) approves a medicine for their market, Australia will look at their review documents as supporting evidence in our processes.
What part of your work inspires you the most? Why do you find it interesting?
In Australia we have seen a huge, positive shift in health awareness. A greater number of people watch what they eat and maintain regular exercise. However, this cultural change has also brought with it an increase in products with positive health claims, of which may not always be accurate.
I feel excited on a day-to-day basis that I have the opportunity to support the technical regulation of medicines and medical devices so that all Australians and global citizens have timely access to modern and effective therapeutic goods and ensure that invalid therapeutic claims are dismissed.
How did you get to your current role?
Since graduating from UTS, I have explored a number of career opportunities including working for UTS in the UTS Careers (Student Services Unit). Alongside my work, I also completed a postgraduate degree in International Public Health.
In November 2015 I took a leap of faith and moved overseas in search of the perfect job. After a few months of searching, I was successful in an application for an internship at the World Health Organization in Fiji. I worked in the area of mental health and substance abuse, looking at ways of building capacity of general health staff to identify and manage patients with mental disorders.
My work with WHO evolved following the national disaster of Tropical Cyclone Winston. I went on to represent the WHO in a mental health working group to support the affected population. In order to contribute something new to the group, I took initiative in completing some professional development courses using Lynda, a web based video tutorial system, which UTS subscribes to for all students. The skills I developed using this system created the basis for my role in the working group and allowed me to excel as a young health professional.
Following my internship in Fiji, I was approached by the TGA in Canberra to work in my current role as an International Liaison Officer.
Do you find the skills you learnt during your degree useful and versatile? If so how?
What I believe is, and should continue to be, a key component of the Medical Science degree is the opportunity to present findings to the class/cohort. Being skilled in in presenting and answering questions on highly technical material to audiences of mixed understanding is something that I highly value and attribute to my UTS experience.
The research skills which I developed at UTS have also strengthened and oriented my work approaches, allowing me to gain a solid, evidence-based understanding of the context in which I am working in order to develop effective, efficient and culturally appropriate projects.