- Work placement enables students to engage with people with a disability in sport
- Students are working with professionals to allow clients to achieve recreation and independence goals
- Charles Sturt aims to provide health care to rural and regional communities with limited access to services, with the support from the University of Melbourne’s Going Rural Health program
Four Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) physiotherapy students are gaining valuable work experience providing practical support to Disabled Wintersport Australia (DWA) events at Falls Creek in the alpine region of Victoria during August and September.
Dr Rosie Corrigan, lecturer and physiotherapy academic coordinator for the physiotherapy program at the Charles Sturt School of Community Health in Albury-Wodonga and the Going Rural Health program, was instrumental in gaining the six-week work placement for the students.
“This unique placement experience started on Thursday 15 August, and enables students to facilitate the engagement of people with a disability in sport,” Dr Corrigan said.
“The Going Rural Health program makes the placements possible by supporting students studying nursing and allied health degrees through any tertiary education provider to complete placements in rural areas.”
The program is funded through the Commonwealth Department of Health and is administered by the Department of Rural Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne which is working in conjunction with Disabled Wintersport Australia.
The fourth-year physiotherapy students are Ms Charlotte Cleary and Ms Alexandra Blackburn at Charles Sturt in Albury-Wodonga, and Ms Emily Clout and Mr Aaron Sullivan at Charles Sturt in Orange.
Dr Corrigan said, “The students will collaborate with other professionals to allow clients to achieve recreation and independence goals.
“For many of these clients, acquired neurological and orthopaedic injuries have a dramatic impact on their quality of life.
“Maintaining engagement in regular activities is a key role of physiotherapists in minimising neuromuscular adaptation’s secondary to chronic health conditions, particularly for clients in rural and regional settings.”
“We have a strong and very valued relationship with the University of Melbourne’s Department of Rural Health’s Going Rural Health program to provide unique and diverse clinical placement experiences for nursing and allied health students in rural and regional communities, some with limited access to services.”
Ms Keryn Bolte, student placement manager from the University of Melbourne’s Going Rural Health program, expressed her delight and appreciation to all of the stakeholders involved in this collaboration.
“Our placements aim to deliver reciprocal benefits for our end users and students,” Mrs Bolte said.
National Operations Manager with DWA Mr Andrew Lee said, “DWA helps any and all people living with a disability who need additional help to access the snow.
“We provide assistance to people to ski, snowboard or sit-ski, making sure that they have a dignified and safe experience, and helping them realise how much they can push their boundaries.
“The event will be run on weekends for six weeks, with physio students coming up each weekend to help guide approximately 40 participants on camps.“The work the students will be completing will help our guides and participants Australia-wide indefinitely, and will be an amazing resource for our more than 900 athletes and over 300 guides.”