Your Graphics Students are Amazing!

Susan Carroll

Course Leader

Extended Diploma in Graphics

Blackburn College


Hi Sue It is nice to meet you. I am in awe of the collaboration and the creativity that has gone on behind the scenes in Blackburn in support of Rob's effort to improve the safety culture at the clinical interface in his operating theatres. I think you are well aware that Rob's endeavours are going to help redefine clinical safety cultures around the world, and in the end there won't be a clinical specialty untouched by his passion and enthusiasm. I have looked through the efforts of your students over and over again, and each time I am amazed.

I am amazed by the images that pass before my eyes because each one is worthy of attention; each one carries its own particular part of the message in its own particular well-considered style. I thought about it for a while and the nagging thought that kept resurfacing was: "When the CEO and the Director of Nursing and the Medical Director and the Operating Services Manager and all of the staff in the operating theatres trooped by and tried to pick their favourite did they do it?" And in between browning the mince and grating the cheese and putting more wood in the pizza oven and rolling out the dough, it finally hit me. You can't. Because the power of the images side by side is more powerful than any of them on their own.

Each is a celebration of a perspective, and the strength of any bottom-up culture change lies in empowering each and every participant to be the best that they can be.

All 'Below Ten Thousand' and 'Ten Thousand Feet' do is give people a framework within which to improve. In healthcare, we are by default methodical and pragmatic in nature. Because of this, clinical education is usually a fairly boring affair with only the fear of missing some little important detail to hold our attention.

What Rob, yourself and your students have been the architects of is the manufacture of excitement in the room. I would argue that the interest created by the competition, the sense of 'fun' had in 'judging', and the infusing of the global message by having to carefully consider each entry did more to break down the traditional pattern of resistance to change than any amount of 'pleading' could have achieved. I love your work. I love your willingness to engage with Rob and help him on his difficult quest.

And I love that you have helped him make the impossible possible by virtue of nothing more than your imagination, your intellect and your ability to capture the essence of a concept in an image! You will be aware that 'Below Ten Thousand' has a website,, which is getting more and more international traffic.

It would be remiss of me to overlook the opportunity to request whether it would be possible to feature your students' works on our platform.

I'm sure our new friends in Dunedin,Dublin, Philadelphia, Delhi, The Netherlands and even those just up the road in Bacchus Marsh would be fascinated by the opportunity to peruse your collection of images. Thank you so much for making contact, and what can I say but..... "Thank you so much for everything!" Astonishing work!


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