On July 31st, 1990 the merger documents finalising the amalgamation of Sydney College of Chiropractic and Macquarie University were signed and sealed. This is a world first. For a number of years, several chiropractic institutions have considered the feasibility of developing university programs in chiropractic.
For too long the chiropractic profession has been discriminated against by virtue of its academic segregation from the recognised halls of learning. Why is it that unlike other professions, chiropractic has had to confine itself to a few excellent privately conducted colleges rather than enjoy the option of having at least some of its schools placed in the university setting?
Under the new arrangements, the course formerly conducted by Sydney College of Chiropractic has been adopted by Macquarie University with virtually no alteration.
The current governing board of the Sydney College remains intact as the professional advisory board to the centre. Of the many terms of agreement negotiated between the Sydney College and Macquarie University, it has been determined that a chiropractor shall head the centre as its director. A university professional selection committee considered a number of applicants for the position of director and appointed Dr. Rod Bonello. Dr. Bonello has been principal of Sydney College for the last five years and in taking up the offer of the position of associate professor in chiropractic, becomes the profession's first university professorial appointment in chiropractic. The profession should take great pride in this further source of recognition from the academic community. Congratulations Professor Bonello!
The course has been rated at a Master's degree level. Current Sydney College students have transferred to Macquarie University and will graduate with the new award, Master of Science in Chiropractic. It should be recognised that the Doctor of Chiropractic degree has not been awarded in Australia for many years. This is in keeping with Australian government policy on accredited courses so that only Ph.D. degrees are regarded as doctorates. In this way, the previous Sydney College award, Graduate Diploma in Chiropractic, has been upgraded to the new Master's degree; another world first.
The momentous signing of the merger documents by (L to R) Professor Rod Bonello, director of the centre, former principal of Sydney College of Chiropractic; Professor Keith Cairncross, School of Biological Sciences; Dr. Peter Bull, chairman of the board, Sydney College; Dr. Keith Phillips, member of the board, Sydney College; Professor Di Yerbury, vice chancellor, Macquarie University; Professor Andrew Beattie, head, School of Biological Sciences. Professor Bonello, Dr. Phillips, and Dr. Bull were the three chiropractors negotiating on behalf of the Sydney College and the chiropractic profession.
The existing college campus will transfer its activities to the Macquarie University campus on completion of the new science complex. Macquarie University is situated in wooded surrounds about one-half hour drive to the north-west of downtown Sydney. Its main campus occupies 330 aces of gently rolling slopes. Over 10,000 students are on the main campus at any one time with hundreds of others engaged in off-campus and distance education activities.
Macquarie University has an enviable international reputation in research and leads this country in aspects of applied biological science research. This expertise will now be available to the chiropractic students at Macquarie, the chiropractic faculty, and academically oriented members of the profession. This breakthrough opens the channels for the chiropractic profession to undertake top level investigative projects and other research activities that were previously unavailable. In taking these steps, Sydney College hopes to initiate a cascade effect so that other chiropractic schools may benefit from this lead. Only in this way can this great profession seek to gain a more complete understanding of the chiropractic paradigm and the function of the spine in health and disease.
Although the research activity can be carried out by only a few, there will be opportunity for chiropractors of all backgrounds to benefit directly from this development. The profession now can point to the achievement of a new level of academic status for its entry. In addition to this, advanced higher education programs for chiropractors will be available at the new chiropractic centre.
The eyes of the profession are on the new centre. In taking this great step forward, the centre carries with it the responsibility to further the recognition of chiropractic in the academic community and to meet the challenges on the research horizon.
For further information on this development, you should contact: Dr. Rosemary Giuriato Sydney College of Chiropractic P.O. Box 178 Summer Hill Sydney, Australia 2130