PhD student Mal Fernando was on top of the world – well, on top of the Gold Coast – after his award-winning presentation at the Australasian Wound Management Association [AWMA] conference last month.

Mal was invited to a sponsored dinner in the Q1 Tower after his presentation was awarded 96% in his category, which capped off an enjoyable conference.

Mal’s presentation, Plantar pressures are higher in patients with previous diabetic neuropathic ulcers: Results of a meta-analysis, explored how plantar pressure is still elevated in people with a history of ulceration, making them vulnerable to recurrent ulceration.

Mal said this highlights the importance of offloading, even after ulcers have healed.

His presentation was scored 96/100 for the stream Best Practice. It was scored both for the abstract and the quality of the presentation.

“Some of the assessors said the presentation was well polished, well presented and captivated the audience, and was interesting,” Mal said. “So I was very happy with the outcome, which was unexpected.”

Mal’s prize was free registration to the next AWMA conference and workshops in Melbourne in 2016. He also managed to go to the Q1 Tower dinner.

“The tower dinner was really good but I don’t think this was directly a prize, although it was nice to be invited!” said Mal.

Mr Fernando was the only delegate from James Cook University.

“I made a lot of new contacts around Australia and got to hear a lot of interesting new research as well as share what I have been doing,” Mal said.

“It was a really good outcome in the end and was good to represent the VBU, JCU, SMD and Townsville Hospital and Health Service all at the same time,” he said. “I was very happy with the outcome and feedback and it was a good opportunity to go and network.

“I want to thank medicine and JCU for sending me there.”

Congratulations to Mal and the VBU for their ongoing research excellence in vascular health.