Current Students

Tassie’s latest Rhodes Scholar is the good medicine

Ben Hunn

High-achieving UTAS student Ben Hunn, 24, is the 2013 Tasmanian Rhodes Scholar.

Next October Ben will travel to the UK where he will spend three years at Oxford University undertaking a doctoral project on the interrelationship between Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

"It's very exciting. I expect to be overwhelmed, like today," he said.

Ben, of Lenah Valley, will this December graduate from UTAS with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.

He has already completed a Bachelor of Medical Science with First Class Honours in the School of Medicine with supervisors from Medicine and the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania.

Ben aspires to one day become a neurologist researching degenerative diseases of the brain.

"I think Alzheimer's is very interesting and of great importance to the Australian community, especially with the aging of the Australian population. Tasmania especially is the vanguard of the ageing population."

Throughout his academic career Ben has won numerous awards and scholarships, including the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Medical Student Scholarship and a Vice-Chancellor's Leadership Award.

He was also placed on the Dean's Roll of Excellence multiple times during his studies for his outstanding results.

In 2011-12 he studied an elective subject in neuropathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and received excellent results.

Ben enjoys tutoring and mentoring other students and said he sees teaching as "one of the prime attractions of medical academic life."

Despite his demanding academic pursuits, Ben found time in 2010 to volunteer as an intern in Sudan on the Sudan Medical Relief Project (SMRP).

This experience led him to found Tasmanian Medical Auditing, a private enterprise in aid of SMRP, performing medical auditing services for hospital departments and medical practices.

Ben said he hoped to come back to Tassie to work in the future.

When he's not studying or working, Ben is also "very keen on running and rowing."

Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Rich, congratulated Ben on his achievement.

"The Rhodes is a very prestigious academic scholarship and one that invariably sets the worthy recipient on a course of continued excellence.

"I extend my warmest congratulations to Ben and have no doubt he will excel in his research and study at Oxford, as he has at UTAS."

Prof Rich said the calibre of all of the applicants was outstanding.

"To have seven other UTAS students who were all eligible to be considered for the Rhodes makes the university very proud."

About the Rhodes Scholarship:

The Rhodes Scholarship is awarded yearly to gifted students who have completed their undergraduate degree and achieved First Class Honours in their chosen field of study. One recipient from each state in Australia is selected.

The Scholarship allows the recipient to study at the famed University of Oxford in the UK.

The Rhodes Scholarships were created under the will of Cecil John Rhodes in 1902. Rhodes scholars are chosen not only for academic excellence but also for sporting and leadership abilities, community involvement and strength of character.

Image: 2013 Rhodes Scholar Ben Hunn with His Excellency The Honourable Peter Underwood AC, Governor of Tasmania and Mrs Underwood.

Published on: 05 Nov 2012 11:36am