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From world-class nurse to world-class leader - how ECU gave Professor Address Malata the confidence to do anything

Monday, 03 August 2020


When Professor Address Malata looks back on her time studying nursing at ECU, she never imagined one day she would become the first Vice-Chancellor of the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), the first female to hold the position.

A qualified nurse and midwife, Professor Malata is now in her fourth year as Vice-Chancellor and is very satisfied with the growth of her university.

“My university has made so much progress, we’ve just had a performance review of universities in Malawi and the Chief Director in the Office of the President informed me that my university is number one,” says Professor Malata.

Continued from Alumni News...

The MUST is at the forefront of innovation and is helping with the fight against COVID-19 with technologies including breathing apparatuses, nebulisers, 3-D printed face shields and disposable gowns currently being manufactured at the university. Students are also coming up with COVID-19 tracing applications and other technological innovations.

Professor Malata says the fact that the “university is fulfilling its mandate” gives her a great sense of satisfaction and has even drawn praise from Dr Saulos Chillema, the newly elected Vice-President of Malawi.

“Innovation is new to Malawi, when they were showcasing what our students can do everybody was shocked. Our students can come up with local nebulisers in Malawi. To me, that’s what I want to do because I see a gap there.”

Prior to becoming the Vice-Chancellor of MUST, Professor Malata was Vice President of the International Confederation of Midwives from 2014 to 2017, which is the peak body for the protection, promotion and practice of midwifery globally. She was also the Director of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice from 2014 to 2016.

In these roles, Professor Malata became an acknowledged international speaker with industry and academic links to the United Kingdom, the United States, Norway, Germany, Spain, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands and Australia.

“The education system at ECU prepares you to handle anything and to handle it with confidence. I remember when I came back from school, my colleague who studied in the United States noted two things about me, you can write very well and you can also present very well, your presentations are excellent,” explains Professor Malata.

“Even in a huge meeting with Heads of State [including the Vice-President] I will say something and when I say it, I say it in such a manner that people won’t forget. These are the skills that ECU gives you and people should value the educational preparation that ECU gives its graduates.”

Her advice to young graduates is to be proud of their achievements and continue to strive to do their best not just for themselves but all of humanity.

“I’m always proud that I came to ECU and that I’m a product of ECU and can share my life with Malawi, Africa and the world.”

You can read more about what Professor Malata and the MUST are doing to tackle COVID-19 here.

Professor Address Malata is the inaugural ECU Distinguished Alumni Award Winner. Do you know a fellow ECU alumni like Professor Malata doing extraordinary things – either in their career, in the community or through their personal achievements? If so, why not nominate them for the ECU Alumni Awards.


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