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USC graduate helps patients improve gut health

15 Dec 2016

A belief that everyone should be able to enjoy food has inspired a graduate nutritionist and dietitian from Bundaberg to develop a special interest in gastrointestinal health.

Taleisha Bennier, 23, graduated from the University of the Sunshine Coast earlier this year with a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and is working as a dietitian in the Gladstone region.

The former Bundaberg North State High School student said her focus was managing gastrointestinal conditions such as coeliac disease, food intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome.

“I strongly believe that nutritional health is unique to each person and that food should be an enjoyable experience for everyone,” said Miss Bennier, who received the Chancellor's Scholarship for Academic Achievement and awards for academic excellence while at USC.

The clinical dietitian works with inpatients and outpatients at Gladstone Hospital and at a private clinic owned by fellow USC graduate Megan Leane.

“Moving to work in a regional centre has allowed me to gain experience in a wide variety of cases, including managing patients with gastrointestinal conditions and cardiovascular disease,” Miss Bennier said.

“I am continually developing my skills as a dietitian and look forward to a rewarding career working in nutritional health and wellbeing.”

She chose to study at USC because it was only a three-hour drive from her home in Bundaberg and she had enjoyed holidays on the Sunshine Coast.

“The small class sizes ensured that every student was known on a first-name basis and the lecturers provided individual support so my cohort and I were ready for the workforce.”

She said placements where she completed ‘real life’ projects, including a training needs assessment of food service staff at the Bundaberg Hospital, ensured she was work-ready when she completed her degree.

During her time at USC, Miss Bennier worked for three years as a student ambassador promoting the University at schools and career expos.

“The community nature of USC made it easy to make lifelong friends, many of whom are also dietitians that I call upon frequently to discuss patient cases,” she said.

— Clare McKay

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