An alumnus from our school was deservedly short-listed for the Global Impact Award Category of the Curtin 2015 Alumni Achievement Awards. Dr Ross James got his MSc and PhD from the School of Public Health at Curtin.
He has worked all over the world for decades impacting the lives of millions of people in low-income countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Cambodia, Mongolia, China, Philippines and Kyrgyzstan. He has also worked with Indigenous communities in rural WA. From 1998 to 2003 he based his international training work within the school before setting up a small non-profit training and consultancy group, Health Communication Resources Inc.
He has trained local radio and health professionals to work together to develop appropriate and relevant health messages which are broadcast to people who would otherwise not have access to vital health information. The style of work he initiated, and that has been adopted by others, leaves behind a lasting legacy. Local people are empowered to undertake sustainable health promotion via radio with and for their local community. Programs that Ross initiated and facilitated many years ago continue to touch the lives of people in a very real way today. Ross has also given a voice to the voiceless. The community-centered radio methodology he developed hands the microphone over to members of the community. They tell their stories in their language from their own perspective. They talk about the problems they face and the solutions they propose. They use radio to challenge those who can make a difference, to do so. People who had never before had an impact on the priorities of those who govern their lives have transformed their communities by successfully advocating for health, social change and peace.