Coming full circle
- Future Students
- Current Students
- Research and Teaching
- Partners and Community
- About JCU
- Celebrating 50 Years
- Anton Breinl Research Centre
- Agriculture Technology and Adoption Centre
- Living on Campus
- Advanced Prawn Breeding Research Hub
- Advanced Analytical Centre
- Applying to JCU
- Australian/NZ Students
- Australian Lions Stinger Research
- Boating and Diving
- Australian Tropical Herbarium
- Careers at JCU
- Association of Australian University Secretaries
- Careers and Employability
- Australian Quantum & Classical Transport Physics Group
- Centre for Tropical Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology
- College of Business, Law and Governance
- College of Healthcare Sciences
College of Medicine and Dentistry
- News & Stories
- Get Involved
- Short Courses & Professional Development
- Clinical Electives (non-JCU students)
- Making Rural Health Matter
- JCU GP Training
- Northern Queensland Regional Training Hubs
- Contact us
- College of Science and Engineering
- COVID-19 Advice
- Cyclone Testing Station
- Daintree Rainforest Observatory
- Diploma of Higher Education
- Discover Nature at JCU
- Division of Research and Innovation
- Division of Tropical Environments and Societies
- Division of Tropical Health and Medicine
- Staff Intranet
- Economic Geology Research Centre
- Elite Athletes
- Foundation for Australian Literary Studies
- Gender Equity Action and Research
- Give to JCU
- Information for JCU Cairns Graduates
- Graduate Research School
- JCU Ideas Lab
- Indigenous Education and Research Centre
- Indigenous Legal Needs Project
- IT Services
- Information for Agents
- International Students
- JCU College
- JCU Connect
- JCU Contact Information
- JCU Eduquarium
- JCU Global Experience
- JCU Motorsports
- JCU Prizes
- JCU Sport
- Language and Culture Research Centre
- Marine Geophysics Laboratory
- New Students
- Off-Campus Students
- Office of the Provost
- Office of the Vice Chancellor and President
- Open Day
- Outstanding Alumni Awards
- Parents and Partners
- Pathways to University
- Planning and Performance
- Planning for your future
- Professional Experience Placement
- Queensland Research Centre for Peripheral Vascular Disease
- Rapid Assessment Unit
- Researcher Development Portal
- Safety and Wellbeing
- Scholarships @ JCU
- Strategic Procure to Pay
- Student Equity and Wellbeing
- TQ Maths Hub
- Unicare Centre and Unicampus Kids
- VAVS Home
- Work Health and Safety
- WHOCC for Vector-borne & NTDs
- Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
For dentist Michael Robinson, supervising James Cook University students on placement in Solomon Islands whilst working alongside local dental and medical teams in isolated and remote parts of the Pacific Island nation, has been a highlight of his career so far.
“Going to Solomon Islands has been an incredible opportunity. To know that I played a very small role in the students' journey, and helped to provide dental services alongside local teams, has been a very humbling and rewarding experience.” Dr Robinson said.
The JCU students were able to assist the local health teams as well as learn valuable lessons. Dr Robinson found they gained an insight into local clinical processes and how to provide services in extremely remote locations.
“Working in a different cultural setting has given me a greater appreciation and understanding of what it means to be a healthcare professional, as well as focus and refine what I can do and achieve as a dentist. The cross-cultural experience has been invaluable,” Dr Robinson said.
Supervising dentistry students has been an opportunity to come full circle for Dr Robinson, who graduated JCU’s Bachelor of Dentistry in 2016.
His path into the profession was born of a love of rural and remote Australia, and of the desire to work in healthcare and to help people.
As the son of teachers with a passion for remote Far North Queensland, he spent part of his childhood in some of the state’s most far flung communities, including Bamaga, Cooktown and Mornington Island.
When it came to choosing a university, he saw JCU’s focus on regional, rural, remote and Indigenous health as the perfect match.
“Being fortunate enough to study at JCU gave me a strong foundation in rural, remote, tropical and Indigenous health. It has given me a good grounding to return to work in these parts of Australia,” he said.
As for the kid who grew up in remote regions, a clinical placement in one of the most northern parts of the country was always going to be a highlight.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at university,
– socially, academically and clinically. I made some great friends and had some great experiences. But I would have to say my placement on Thursday Island, in the Torres Strait, was one of the highlights.
“Clinically, I learnt and developed a lot, but it was also a great lifestyle. I had an amazing five months, with a lot of exploring, camping, boating and fishing.”
With an ingrained desire to work in rural and remote locations, Dr Robinson started his career with South Australia Dental Service as the sole dentist in Whyalla. He then moved to New Zealand, gaining hospital experience in a Dental/Oral Maxillofacial Department.
But it wasn’t long before the outback called and Dr Robinson and his partner, a fellow dentist with experience in remote communities, found themselves in Alice Springs.
“We were both excited about moving to Alice Springs. We are very interested in public health and love the rural lifestyle, so it was a fairly easy choice for me to do what I can to help out in rural and remote communities. I enjoy the work. It can be challenging, but I find it very rewarding.”
Along with his work, Dr Robinson is also currently studying a Master’s in Public Health and Master of Business Administration through James Cook University.
He’s then planning to add another health string to his bow, having been accepted into the University’s Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery course to commence in 2020.
“Studying medicine at JCU, together with dentistry, will give me a good foundation to continue to work in rural and remote Australia and do my best to improve the health and wellbeing of the local populations.”