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Chance meeting opens Dawe for Hannah

Graduate Hanah Daw on campus before the ceremony
Biomedical Science graduate, Hannah Dawe

A little over two years ago Hannah Dawe found herself standing smack bang at a fork in the road.

The Brisbane early years primary school teacher of three years loved teaching and knew she wanted to work with children and families forever, but there was a nagging voice at the back of her brain telling her there was something else, something more out there.

“When I was a teacher, I found that I really enjoyed doing complex case management for kids with behavioural issues and working with their families to create plans and engaging with them a bit more,” Hannah said. 

“I tried to think of ways to support them better and the idea of working in allied health was starting to enter my thinking, although I wasn’t sure if I wanted to become a speech pathologist or a nutritionist or a psychiatrist or whatever might give my career that higher purpose,” she said.

Then a fortuitous encounter occurred.

“One day I went to a tertiary studies expo in Brisbane where I met (Bond University Associate Professor Dr) Donna Sellers who spoke to me about biomedical science.

“She probably doesn’t remember it, but I clearly recall her talking to me for ages about the possibilities of medicine and about Bond’s accelerated courses and how they are the equivalent of doing a postgraduate degree elsewhere.

“And as an older student, that was a big enticement to take the career deviation that I did,” the now 27-year-old said.

Dr Sellers indeed recalls that fateful meeting and she says she couldn’t be happier to see Hannah graduate with a Bachelor of Biomedical Science.

“It was clear at that time that changing career course was going to be a huge decision for Hannah,” Dr Sellers said. 

“But having the opportunity to spend time with us, discussing all the potential pathways that she could follow after completing her degree was key.  

“Whilst many of our students plan to study Medicine, there are so many other opportunities for them after Biomedical Science or Health Sciences, from nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy, healthcare innovations and physiotherapy,” she said.

Seizing her chance, Hannah gained a place in the Bond Medical Program as a Lateral Entry student.

Lateral Entry is a unique pathway just for Bond students who have completed either the Bachelor of Biomedical Science (pre-health major) or one of the allied health postgraduate programs.  

It allows entry directly into the second year of the Bond Medical Program.  

In Hannah’s case, completing Biomedical Science as a pathway to Medicine provided her with a scientific background and important skills in health communication, an understanding of the issues and priorities of the Australian healthcare system and solid skills in problem-based learning and research.  

Hannah says it still took a little while for the whole career epiphany to materialise. 

“I worked out about halfway through my first year of biomed, about four months in, that paediatrics was where I wanted to go, so medicine was suddenly the main game for me.  

“I loved teaching, and I still do, but I knew I also liked science so when the paediatrics vision formed in my mind, I knew that was it because it promised the whole child and family future that I was looking for,” she said.

And while the career change took Hannah by surprise, her dad Paul had an early inkling.

“When I made the big shift all my friends and family were surprised but dad said it didn’t faze him because he said he always knew I’d become a doctor, he just didn’t know where or when.

“That really surprised me too because I had no idea.

“But one day not long ago he produced hard evidence, a family video of him telling me at about eight years old that I’d become a doctor. 

“He says I always had a science mind and an intrigue in me and when he saw I had an interest in helping groups of people such as families he said it all made sense,” she said.

Hannah certainly made her mark at Bond, taking on the presidency of the Health Sciences & Medicine Student Association (HMSA) and making the Vice Chancellor’s List for Academic Excellence Recognition of full-time students attaining a semester percentage of greater than or equal to 85 percent, five semesters in a row.

And with she and her partner of eight years Tim and their labradoodle Lulu now calling the Gold Coast home, they are about to welcome some special house guests.

Mum (Sharon) and Dad spend a fair bit of time in the UK these days and they are coming out for the graduation ceremony, so it’s going to be special,” she said. 

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