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Bond University bolsters Health Sciences & Medicine with appointment of new Executive Dean

February 13, 2019
Professor Nick Zwar

Bond University has appointed Professor Nick Zwar as Executive Dean, Health Sciences & Medicine to drive the university’s ambitious interdisciplinary education and research agenda in medicine, allied health and sports science.

The Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine will enhance its capacity and capability in 2019 with an extension of its Health Building as part of the University’s 30th Anniversary celebrations, launch of a specialist research institute in evidence based healthcare and new postgraduate education programs.

Professor Zwar has extensive experience in health and the tertiary sector as a leading educator, researcher and practitioner.

His previous roles include Dean of Medicine at the University of Wollongong and Professor of General Practice and Deputy Dean (Education) at the University of New South Wales.

During his academic career, Professor Zwar has maintained involvement in clinical practice, working part time as a general practitioner for over 30 years. He has contributed to, and led the development of, several sets of Australian and international clinical practice guidelines and has over 200 peer-reviewed publications.

Professor Zwar’s research into the prevention and management of chronic illness, with a focus on respiratory and cardiovascular disease, is internationally renowned. His other clinical, teaching and research interests include tobacco control, sleep disorders, immunisation and travel health.

Professor Zwar said the diversity of Bond’s Health Sciences & Medicine faculty initially attracted him to the role.

“I think one of the great challenges of healthcare in the future is providing team-based care,” he said.

“People need to work together as a team on complicated problems that require skills from a variety of backgrounds, so a faculty that has basic medical and health sciences as well as medicine, allied health and exercise and sports science, makes sense for the future of healthcare.

Professor Zwar said the Faculty’s research, in particular the international reputation and top-level academic clout of the University’s Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice (CREBP) was also a drawcard.

“CREBP has the international expertise in sustainable and value-based healthcare to understand and deliver on, meeting the needs of an ageing population with multiple health issues.

“Its focus on wellbeing as well as illness, encouraging healthy living and making wise choices about the use of medicines, medical services and health services is innovative and industry-leading. The evolution of CREBP into the Institute of Evidence Based Healthcare planned for May will further enhance its capacity and impact.

“Bond’s advanced health professional education programs in medicine, physiotherapy, nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy and sports science are highly regarded, with an outstanding reputation for student experience. The small class sizes give students a high level of contact, make it easier for staff to form connections with each individual and understand their interests.

“My focus as Executive Dean will be on maintaining and enhancing the quality of the student experience and continuing to push the boundaries of the learning environment through interdisciplinary education, personalised learning, health simulation and technology enhanced learning.

“New and innovative post-graduate programs and undergraduate offerings will be an area of focus, as will the development of our research. As a small institution we need to grow research through strategic partnerships - especially those that link closely to our expertise in evidence-based practice and other niche areas of research including stem cell research, urology and sports science.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to know the Health Sciences & Medicine team and the hospitals and community-based health services in this region to understand how we can build on our relationship with them for mutual benefit.

“Healthcare education is dependent on good quality partnerships with health and community-based services of all kinds and this is critical to maintaining our outstanding student experience.

“There is increasing recognition of what the University has achieved in just 30 years. Bond has become a serious player in academia in this country and I’m looking forward to being part of the next chapter of the Bond University story.”

Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Tim Brailsford said Professor Zwar’s skills and experience aligned perfectly with the University’s focus.

“Nick is a particularly good fit for Bond given his background in general practice, synergies with our research strengths and his experience and focus on education,” he said.

“2019 is a milestone year for the University - and Health in particular - with the extension of the building and expansion of the CREBP Research facility.

“The Executive Dean of Health Sciences & Medicine will play a pivotal leadership role in our growth and expansion and it is with great pleasure that I welcome Nick to the Bond community.”

Professor Zwar holds a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Adelaide, Master of Public Health from University of Sydney and PhD from University of Newcastle.

His professional admissions and memberships include: 

Member, COPD-X Evaluation Committee, Lung Foundation Australia, Chair, Editorial Committee, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice 9th edition, Chair, Content Advisory Group Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Smoking Cessation Clinical Practice Guidelines, Member, Atrial Fibrillation Guidelines Working Group, Heart Foundation Australia, Member, Editorial Board, Travel Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Member, Editorial Board, Medicine Today, Deputy Chair, Australian Travel Health Advisory Group, General Practice Supervisor, GP Synergy, Examiner for Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.