Mad Hatters at Lunch

Dr Donnalee Taylor and volunteer students Veronica Munday-Stevens, Stephanie Burges, Rose Blackwood, Philippa Thomas and Taryn Don.

Every fourth Friday of the month the first year biomedical science students get together for a freaky lunch to relax, meet fellow students and form a community.

By Cornelia Koppang Henriksen

On April 4th the first year Biomedical students of James Cook University got together for a Freaky Friday Mad Hatter Mid Semester Madness lunch held at the under-croft of the nursing buildings.

Some of the students dressed up as characters from the popular  book, Alice in Wonderland.

Dr Donnalee Taylor and volunteer students Veronica Munday-Stevens, Stephanie Burges, Rose Blackwood, Philippa Thomas and Taryn Don.

THE HARD CORE FREAK: Dr Donnalee Taylor and volunteer students Veronica Munday-Stevens, Stephanie Burges, Rose Blackwood, Philippa Thomas and Taryn Don.

“Sense of Community”

First Year Experience Coordinator for the Bachelor of Biomedicine and Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Dr Donnalee Taylor, says the Freaky Friday workshops bring a completely new experience and opportunity for the biomed students.

“In the past biomedicine has not been that successful in creating a group setting for the students, but now they are staring to feel like they belong to a group, that they are involved,” she says.

“It is nice to create this sense of community.”

Friday’s event was the second Friday lunch, and Dr Taylor and five volunteer students will make every fourth Friday a freaky one, each with different themes.

Get Important Information

It was the academic Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Sally Kift who inspired Dr Taylor to start arranging the regular support event for the students.

Professor Kift says the lunch also helps the lecturers to inform students of important information.

“It is all about providing information to the first year students to support them in their transition from high school or transition back to university,” she says.

“We have guests from around the university, the library, the council and other different areas. They come and meet the students, so they can feel that the comfort level is better when they perceive that they know someone and have a contact if they struggling with something,”

“Never Talked Before”

GOOD OPPOTUNITY: Katielyn Guirguis, Amy Davidson, Hannah Coman and Chloe Mawere says the event is important to meet fellow students.

GOOD OPPOTUNITY: Katielyn Guirguis, Amy Davidson, Hannah Coman and Chloe Mawere says the event is important to meet fellow students.

Most of the attending first year students say the Freaky Friday’s are important in the making of a bio-med community.

Students Katielyn Guirguis, Amy Davidson, Hannah Coman and Chloe Mawere all say they want to continue to attend the event in the future.

“We are often maybe 500 people in one class, so we do not really get to socialize much in that setting,” Amy says.

“The Freaky Friday is fun and it gets everyone together.”

Cameron Brown, another first year student, also says the event is great for meeting new friends.

“This is actually the first time we have talked together. It is really nice to have this chance to get to know each other,” he says.

“It is also nice to get to know our course coordinator.”

If you are a Biomedical student and want to attend, contact Dr Donnalee Taylor.

FREE LUNCH: The first year biomedical students get free lunch at the event.

FREE LUNCH: The first year biomedical students get free lunch at the event.

POPULAR: 50 of 75 students RSVP'd they were going to attend the Freaky Friday event last Friday.

POPULAR: 50 of 75 students RSVP’d they were going to attend the Freaky Friday event last Friday.