Celebrating 50 years of service

Identical twins Jo and Jenn Johnston have clocked a combined half a century with MDHS this year – and they’re still going!

Beginning on the same day back in 1997, Jo continues to work in the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit, Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Jenn spent 18 years in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, before taking up a new position in the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health.

Together, they’ve volunteered at numerous Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) Connections at Christchurch, Townsville/Palm Island and Melbourne.

Jenn and Jo at the 2019 LIME Connection

“My highlights have included leading the Specimen Reception team during the white powder anthrax surge following 9/11, being part of the changing work-flow practices as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the many long-standing friendships I’ve made.” says Jo.

The identitical twins at Palm Island, 2015

“I’ve worked with amazing people across both departments, witnessed cutting-edge research and seen PhD students go on to forge successful careers. I had the opportunity to travel to London with the 2018 Indigenous Leadership Fellows cohort, which was also a highlight” says Jenn.

They’ve been part of the Twin Registry studies at the University and sailed Port Phillip Bay with the Micro Admin team on a yacht skippered and built by one of the Department’s Virologists.

And they’re still able to confuse Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty, who to this day can’t tell them apart.