JCUMSA 1st Quarterly Update (January-March)

January – March Report

Hey everyone,

We are pleased to release the first JCUMSA Quarterly Update of 2022. This report was introduced last year to keep you all updated on the work that the entire JCUMSA team has been doing.

My thoughts go out to everyone after the recent tragic death of Yi-Jing, if there is any support you need whatsoever or you want someone to talk to please reach out to myself or any of the JCUMSA team.

If you have any suggestions, feedback (positive or negative) or things JCUMSA could be doing better please reach out to me via Facebook or email.



Bianca Johnson – [email protected]

  • Following the tragic death of Year 6 student Yi-Jing I am working closely with AMSA President Jasmine Davis to ensure that I can advocate for much needed changes to rural placements and travel. I have begun discussions with staff on specific changes that need to be made including travel subsidies being provided before placement begins, special consideration being changed to include limited highway driving experience and reducing the need for students to travel to rural alone.
  • Advocating with QLDMSC to remove Medical Students from QLD Health’s new update which does not allow students to enter QLD health facilities for 14 days after testing positive to covid, when it was previously 7 days. A letter has been written and we are in communication with QLD Health.
  • Following the AMC visit last year and report findings I am working with JCU staff to ensure that they are making the changes necessary. I will be writing a report to the AMC in September this year to update them on the progress that has been made..

  • Spoke to JCU Staff about writing a Mental Health Policy which has not been written previously. I will aim to review this once it is written.
  • Advocacy for students mental health and wellbeing support with frequent meetings with Jane Harte and Cathy (Wellbeing Officer). Working to organise a survey for students to improve the wellbeing support.
  • Working to try and implement a reporting system to report inappropriate behaviour from supervisors on placement.

  • Unfortunately, I have been advised that International Clinical Electives are unlikely to resume this year for domestic students. 6th years if you have been able to secure a potential international placement I would recommend still applying to JCU.
  • Updating JCUMSA internal policies which you can find on our website!

Academic VP

Abi Balaji – [email protected]

Academic Events

  • Cairns Trivia Night: Woohoo! Our first trivia night for the year went ahead in Cairns at the iconic Hemingway’s Brewery. It was a fabulous night of drinks and fun facts and JCUMSA is very excited to consider Hemingways a new partner for event in future.
  • Townsville Vaccine Drive: With flu season just around the corner it’s time again to get the jab and brace ourselves for the winter (even if it doesn’t go below 24 degrees in FNQ). JCUMSA pre ordered roughly 100 flu vaccines for our pre-clinical students to receive at a discounted price this year and pretty much all of them have been given to students. There may be a couple leftover so lookout for more communication from the academic team!
  • Upcoming TSV Patient Journey Night: The JCUMSA academic team are committed to offering exciting and informative events to aid in student learning. This year we are looking to host our first patient journey night where we will follow the management of a case student patient from pre-hospital arrival to outpatient follow up. Keep an eye out for more information regarding this very exciting new event.


  • Rural Placement support: The JCUMSA team has been working with staff to improve support for students while getting to and while at rural placement. As part of this we are working to increase the travel subsidy
    offered to students for travel and are trying to allow for money to be allocated for students to stay overnight at accommodation while on their way to placement. If you have any other suggestions or concerns regarding how to improve support for students, please feel free to contact myself via email or messenger.
  • New 1st Year Academic Reps: Congratulations to our new 1st Year Academic Representatives, Rahat Sheikh and Helen Hovinga! For any 1st year academic concerns please feel free to contact either Rahat or Helen.

Events VP

Lara Humadi – [email protected]

It has been a busy and fun-filled start to the year! Here are the 7 events that have happened so far and a summary of what happened at them:

Welcome BBQ

  • Welcome BBQ is always a bit of a hectic event but it went quite smoothly!
  • Year 1 students had an opportunity to meet the JCUMSA Executive team and our sponsors.
  • There were also prizes up for grabs and free sausages and drinks.

Med Camp

  • The theme for Med Camp was the ‘Survivor’ TV show and the Year 1 students got competitive and enjoyed playing games on Alma Bay Beach at Magnetic Island.
  • The games included the human knot, tug of war, capture the tiki and a three-legged race that included a puzzle where each team had to spell out a Year 1 medicine related word such as ‘hypothalamus’.
  • Following this we had an envenomation workshop followed by a quiz about the topics we went through in the workshop.
  • For dinner we had delicious pizzas at the Arcadia Village Hotel.
  • The tropical party at night was a great way for the Year 1 students to get to know each other.
  • Big shoutout to Arcadia Village Motel for being such a lovely place to stay!

Class of 2024 Halfway Ball

  • Halfway Ball was held at The Ville and was a beautiful celebration of this milestone.
  • Event Reps Lucy and Kevin put in a lot of work to make the night what it was so thank you to them!

Townsville, Cairns and Mackay Clinical Cocktail Parties

  • All the clinical cocktail parties went well!
  • They were held at The Brewery, Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort and the Golden Gecko respectively which were very accommodating venues

Take Heart: Deadly Heart Screening

  • Huge props to one of our first year Event reps Lily Brown who pretty much single-handedly organised the online screening of this informative documentary
  • Thanks to all those that showed their support for this event!

I’m looking forward to continue organising Med Ball which is happening at the beginning of Semester 2! Let me know if you have any ideas for any other events you’d like to see JCUMSA hold! I’m excited to continue
making 2022 a year to remember!


Anson Yang – [email protected]

  • Continually liaising with student body, JCUMSA committee and CMD Staff on how JCUMSA and CMD can be better supporting the medical students at JCU.
  • Continually attending and taking minutes for our fortnightly Executive team meetings and monthly meetings with the College of Medicine and Dentistry staff, where concerns from the student body are raised and addressed.
  • 1st year Academic and Events reps have been elected and announced.
  • Maintaining JCUMSA Gold Membership Database with Eric (Treasurer) and Abi (Academic
    VP and former Secretary).
  • Looking into how JCUMSA can advocate for sexual assault awareness and prevention
    at JCU.
  • Date for JCUMSA Annual General Meeting has been decided and communicated to
    other health societies: 15th of September in SP2.


Eric Smith – [email protected]

  • The 2022 JCUMSA Budget was ratified at an Executive meeting in mid February which took on board the feedback of a number of key stakeholders in the med community. While the budget is very similar to the one I set for the last year, some key changes this year I made based on student feedback include;
    • A 50% increase in budget towards Academic Events
    • Community and Wellbeing budget set at $1,500
    • A new Sub-Committee budget of $200.00
  • Gold memberships have kept to budget projections, with a significant uptake by first years. I am continuing to work closely with Alena (Sponsorship Officer) to increase the value that Gold membership offers students, by securing further partnerships with local businesses in Townsville and online academic resources.
  • Resuming the work of last year, I have spent the last month with Bianca feverishly attempting to get JCUMSA registered as a non-profit with the Australian Charities and Nonprofits Commission (ACNC) in order to secure some discounts to online services and get tax benefits that would altogether put our organisation in better financial footing for future years. We’ll finally have a verdict on this by the next quarterly report in early July.
  • Due to ongoing logistical problems and increasing administrative difficulties in the leadup to events, a new and revised Refunds Policy was passed unanimously by the Executive in March which changes some of
    the phrasing around the eligibility of refunds after closure of ticket sales. A summary of the new changes include;
    • An inability to apply for a refund once ticket sales have closed on the website outside of “severe extenuating circumstances”.
    • A clear statement outlining that a positive COVID-19 result is not sufficient grounds for a refund once ticket sales have closed. This is in line with the vast majority of businesses operating right now in the
      COVID-19 climate.
  • I am liaising with other student health clubs and ANZ regarding the possibility of a JCUMSA debit card to improve the efficiency of payments.
  • We are working with the JCU CMD to discuss the possibility of a joint financial project for CMDxJCUMSA polo tops/scrubs targeted particularly towards clinical students. This is in its very preliminary stages and
    will run independent of our own merchandise projects, but we will likely have more news on this by the next report as well.

AMSA Liaison

Steph Sullivan – [email protected]

  • Starting the year off strong with another successful policy review and think tank session with 20 participants! Think tank had some incredibly thoughtful discussion and brought up points that have been successfully implemented into national AMSA policy.
  • Council 1 was held over April 1-3, which I attended via zoom (COVID got me). The six national policies were successfully passed in line with JCU student values.
  • National AMSA policy has only recently become a focus at JCU, and it genuinely shocks me (but warms the heart) every time I see the individuals who volunteer at think tank not only returning, but growing! I’m still learning, but proud of how far AMSA@JCU has come in terms of student advocacy and policy involvement.
  • AMSA continues to work towards their national advocacy priorities – recent examples include partnering with DRS4DRS, a mental health and wellbeing service created by medical professionals that is specifically tailored for medical students and doctors. AMSA president, Jasmine Davis, has also advocated for improved rural and remote workforce incentives to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee.
  • It’s been incredible to see so many JCU students on executive teams and committees throughout AMSA this year – I’m so excited to see what you all bring to future events, policies, and publications.
  • On a local front, I am aiding JCUMSA in the revamping of our policies to ensure they are more robust, easier to understand, and up to date. This started with the renewal of our events and behaviour policy, which was successfully passed and is now in effect.


Alena Adams – [email protected]

  • We’ve had a big start to the year in the land of sponsorship!! We’ve spent a good chunk of time in meetings with our lovely sponsors to organise the year ahead with them, as they play a big part in helping us run many of our events that we know and love.
  • This year we’ve also scored wonderful deals for our Gold Membership program. We’ve got 40% off subscriptions with our friends at Oscer and OSCElab, and more to come with AMBOSS and lecturio, so watch this space for updates!
  • Massive shoutout to Dennis, our Junior Sponsorship Rep, for working with our local businesses right here in Townsville to organise more deals for everyone. So don’t forget to sign up to the JCUMSA Gold Membership program so you all can get amongst these goodies too.

Community & Wellbeing

Cathy Choong – [email protected]

  • We want to see as many of you as possible involved! If you have any questions feel free to contact myself or your academic reps.
  • Implementation of Year 4 Talk Back sessions regarding the transition into Clinical Years.
  • First few Teddy Bear Hospital visits have been very successful and interactions with primary school students has been amazing.
  • Great start to our Interfaculty sporting competitions with high participation in the Table Tennis Competition Series and Interfaculty Touch Football. Special mention to our Males Med/Pharm Touch Team coming first in their competition. Looking forward to the ANZAC Med vs. Vet Rugby League match on 29 April!
  • Wellbeing Wednesdays and Thursdays to commence soon! Keep your eyes peeled for some cooked breakfasts in the following weeks!

Publications & Promotions

Mali Edirisinghe – [email protected]

  • Wonderful to see socials engagement is on the up – and if you’ve got something you’d like to share, tag us for a feature!
  • Pre-Clinical Handbook hardcopies have arrived and are being distributed.
  • Great news! We’re starting a Clinical Year Handbook, targeted at year 4s from next year. Send an email or message my way if you’d like to get involved in planning, writing or suggesting what should be on it – I
    look forward to hearing from you.
  • Website stuff:
    • Official documents now easier to find with its own tab on our website: www.jcumsa.org.au/official-documents
    • Our placement database is being resurrected! We’ll send reminders in your Facebook groups to fill out our survey for placement recommendations – https://jcumsa.org.au/placement-database/ with a 50% discounted MedBall ticket up for grabs
    • A flowchart on accessing research guidance is in the pipeline – stay tuned