A story of partnership celebrated on Melbourne’s streets

In a bustling Melbourne laneway, a dazzling art display captures the essence of partnership that is inherent to the many wonderful clinical researchers of the Florey. Among these is Dr Shawna Farquharson, whose story has been celebrated in the Parkville Storytelling Project.

Dr Shawna Farquharson stands in front of a mural featuring herself, part of the Metro Tunnel Creative Program

Around 25 years ago, Dr Farquharson was a Senior Radiographer working in paediatrics at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. Every day, children would arrive battling the most complex illnesses. Every day, the brightest scientific minds would come together to work towards medical breakthroughs. And every day, clinical teams would deliver the highest quality of care, making a difference in the lives of each and every patient.

She began to understand the importance of partnership between radiographers, clinicians and patients and the vital role of the radiographer in bridging the gap between scientific advances and patient care. For Dr Farquharson, this remains one of the most rewarding aspects of her profession.

For over a decade now in her role at the Florey as Chief Research Radiographer, Dr Farquharson has contributed to ground-breaking neuroscience. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has become a key tool in studying and understanding pathologies and trauma that effect the brain.

She says it is not only a privilege to work at one of the world’s leading Neuroscience Institutes, but that seeing patient’s lives transformed makes it even more worthwhile.

When a patient returns after surgery for a follow-up MRI scan, now seizure free and living life to the fullest for the first time, she is always reminded how important it is to keep striving to make a difference.

Shawna has recently finished her year as President of the International Society for MR Radiographers and Technologists where she hoped to inspire and empower MR Radiographers and Technologists around the world to become future leaders of the profession.

“As a Radiographer, I am extremely proud to have my profession recognised for its contribution to internationally renowned science and clinical research,” said Dr Farquharson.

“The artwork beautifully captures the breadth of a Radiographer’s role in collaborating with both patients and healthcare professionals to support scientific and clinical advances. It is an honour to represent The Florey in this project.”

The project was commissioned by the Metro Tunnel Creative Program. Illustration by Alice Lindstrom. Photography by Nicole Reed. Wording has been adapted from project story by Sonja Dechia.