Notre Dame to build medical research institute in Fremantle

The University of Notre Dame Australia (NDA) will use a $1 million grant from the Federal Government to help build facilities for a world-class medical research institute in Fremantle.

The Record reports that the institute will combine medicine, education, nursing and associated health disciplines to conduct cutting-edge research into pressing health issues. It is due to open in 2008 at the same time as NDA's second full medical school in Sydney and a clinical medical school in Melbourne.

The university has already purchased a site for the institute, which is a car park, and an architect is working on plans for the building.

Former Education Minister Brendan Nelson granted NDA the funding for "building for education, nursing and medicine programs" on 15 December last year in a $49 million capital funding boost to university campuses around Australia.

NDA Dean of Medicine Prof Julie Quinlivan said this would be NDA's first research institute.

"When you roll out a new university it takes time to roll out the research institutes," Prof Quinlivan said. "We are really keen to have a multi-disciplinary approach so we don't want to just the doctors by themselves. This institute will integrate medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, counselling and education.

"We thought it was really important to bring the school of education in because there is no point in having great evidence showing what works if we can't educate the public or educate clinicians and health care workers about it. Education is going to make it quite unique."

Prof Quinlivan said the institute would take on the key issues of healthy ageing, rehabilitation, and healthy lifestyle as well as including counselling and pastoral care as a part of health care. It would also be linked with the NDA Broome campus to boost Indigenous health and education.

Meanwhile the Catholic Weekly reports that Notre Dame University has signalled plans for its second Sydney campus by lodging a development application for a $17 million rejuvenation of the historic Sacred Heart parish site at Darlinghurst.

The university, which is opening the doors at its Broadway campus at the end of this month, plans to restore the Darlinghurst church, the old school, presbytery, grounds and build a new seven level academic building.

Notre Dame also intends to establish a medical school on this site, which is adjacent to St Vincent's and Mater Health, Sydney.

The university is confident of replicating the success of its Fremantle medical school - Austalia's first Catholic medical school - which opened last year.

Upon advice from the NSW Government, the university has submitted its development application to the Central Sydney Planning Committee.

Sydney campus executive director Peter Glasson says Notre Dame is committed to working co-operatively with the Sacred Heart parish and the community.

"A liaison committee, which has been meeting since October last year, aims to ensure that parish needs are well catered for," he said.

"We hope the development application will be approved in a timely fashion and parishioners will return to their restored church as soon as possible."

Pictrured: An architect's impression of the Notre Dame University campus on the Darlinghurst site.

Notre Dame to Build Medical Research Institute in Fremantle (The Record 2/2/06)
$17m campus plan for inner city church site (Catholic Weekly 5/2/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
University of Notre Dame Australia

Accreditation for Notre Dame Sydney law degree (CathNews 11/1/06)
'Preferred partnership' between new nursing school and Sydney hospitals (CathNews 13/10/05)
Notre Dame Sydney Medical School to open in 2008 (CathNews 23/8/05)
Commencement of works at Sydney's new Catholic university (CathNews 10/6/05)

6 Feb 2006