Young Hygienist Snapshot: Jane Whitelaw

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Jane Whitelaw is a true Australian Hygiene God and current coordinator of the Master of Work Health and Safety program at the University of Wollongong……………..among other things!

Those of us who have been fortunate enough to have worked with, or be taught and mentored by Jane will testify to her energetic and relentless action to promote the education and development of hygienists, not just in Australia, but globally.  Speaking from my own personal experience I have no doubt Jane has significantly influenced the development and shaped the careers of countless hygienists and safety professionals, with many more yet to come.   And yes, I do consider myself to be one of the lucky ones!

So here’s 5 mins with Jane:

Best location I have worked: My first job as an 18yr old chemistry trainee was at an aluminium smelter in the middle of the Hunter Valley Vineyards. Part of my job was monthly environmental sampling where we’d pick the grape leaves to analyse for fluoride – at the same time picking up a few bottles of grape juice for later!

The best thing about my job is: Being a positive influence of peoples health…a small intervention today can reap lifelong reward as far as health goes.

Career Highlight: Achieving CIH at the age of 29 (in the days when there were no cheat sheets for the calculations) and still being considered a young (at heart) hygienist!

If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to: Thinking on your feet and using all five of your senses.  As my Mum would say “God gave you two ears and one mouth – listen twice as much as you speak” I’m still working on that one!!!

People normally think my job involves: Health and Safety of some sort. I’ve had 30 yrs to get an answer ready for when I’m asked.

The best thing I’ve been asked to do was: Join Brian Davies and the team at the University of Wollongong. I learn something new every day and it’s a great environment to work in. The most fulfilling part is sharing my passion with and sowing into the lives of the next generation of Occupational Hygienists across the world.

The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was: For many years I analysed about 500 urinary fluorides/yr  for smelter workers who weren’t always the most hydrated workforce I’ve seen….wish I had that data to write up now!

Jane Whitelaw

One thought on “Young Hygienist Snapshot: Jane Whitelaw

    […] hygiene gods that have influenced my growth on this journey thus far.  These predominantly include Jane Whitelaw, John (Hendo) Henderson, Frank Hearl, Alan Rogers, Linda Anthorpe, Tim White and Ross Di Corletto […]

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