News On the frontline with Ebola and Isis

On Thursday 31 October, Leo Cusack kindly visited Marist to speak to Ms McNaught’s Year 10 Modern Africa class and Mr Ahearne’s Year 11 Religious Studies class. Mr Cusack gave an informative and engaging address about his work with Aspen Medical in Africa and Iraq.


Mr Cusack spoke to the students about the challenges of running an Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The boys were fascinated by the confronting and shocking facts about the Ebola pathogen. Along with all the interesting facts, the boys also heard plenty of life-changing stories that kept all the boys attentive and listening to every word spoken by Mr Cusack.

Aspen Medical were also tasked with setting up a hospital in war-torn Mosul during the height of the Isis occupation. Mr Cusack shared his experiences working at that treatment centre that assisted a staggering 48,000 people who were affected during the battle for Mosul. We were astounded by a story he told of a mother and child who had been shot by an Isis sniper. The doctors managed to save both the mother and baby in emergency surgery; however, the baby was born with an AK-47 wound on its elbow. This confronting story amazed all of the boys and gave us an appreciation for danger that many people around the world face on a daily basis. It made us thankful for the peace and safety that we live with in Australia.

The visit was a highly engaging learning opportunity for the staff and students. We would like to sincerely thank Mr Cusack for spending time with us and giving the students a broader understanding of the true challenges of Ebola in Africa and the fight against Isis in Iraq.