We held our School of Allied Health Final Year Student Conference on November 2. This annual conference celebrates the final year projects and presentations of students from social work, occupational therapy, speech pathology and public health and is held concurrently on the Melbourne, North Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane campuses. The conference was the final academic activity for most of the presenting students, before they step out into their new roles within the professions they have been studying. It was a rich and rewarding day, and gave staff the opportunity to celebrate the students’ completion of studies and wish them well for the future.
Staff and peers listening to a student’s project presentation.
The following items highlight a few of the activities and outcomes of a very busy few months:
School staff have been recognised in recent learning and teaching awards.
Congratulations to Dr Leigha Dark, Speech Pathology academic in North Sydney, on her recent Australian Award for University Teaching for taking a scholarly, collaborative approach to the design, implementation and evaluation of authentic mulit-modal learning to enhance student engagement within the speech pathology discipline.
Congratulations are also extended to Associate Professor Diane Jacobs on being awarded an ACU citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, for leadership in learning and teaching at the speech pathology discipline, interdisciplinary and faculty level.
Congratulations to Dr Jean Burke, Social Work academic on the Strathfield campus, on raising awareness through her research into media portrayals of albinism and the strategies to address stigma and prejudice that Africans with albinism experience. Jean’s research highlights the challenges to human rights associated with the work done to address the high prevalence of murders and body-part trafficking that those with albinism may experience. Jean’s work was showcased in the Conversation in October. View article.
Dr Melanie Lowe, Public Health academic on the Melbourne campus, also had work showcased in the media recently. This work arises from the research collaborative addressing Creating Liveable Cities. The research takes a more nuanced look at what makes a city liveable than some of the benchmarks used internationally, and provides guidelines for future work. The research was highlighted in the Financial Review in October. View article, and access a brief report here.
School community engagement fundraising activities
ACU occupational therapy staff and students formed over 20 teams of 4 and took 10,000 steps a day for the month of Steptember to raise much-needed funds for people with cerebral palsy. Lead by the indomitable Dr Margaret Wallen, occupational therapy academic on the North Sydney campus, together we stepped over 25 million steps and raised nearly $13,000 for this important cause. The top stepper was Kristy Gietz (NSW), top fundraiser Nikita Vio (NSW) and top team was ACUOT Hope on the Move (NSW) – Gisele Van Den Berg, Nikita Vio and James and Jackie Robert-Thomson.
Congratulations to everyone who contributed to this important cause. A fine example of ACU’s values in action.
Odd Socks day
On Friday 6th October occupational therapy students from the Melbourne Campus, championed by Alexandra Logan, held an Odd Socks Day stall to help ‘stamp’ out stigma surrounding mental ill health. This was the second annual Odd Socks Day stall with students drumming up donations of new socks to mix up and sell as odd sets to show that “anyone can have an odd day”. Students smashed their target of $1000 and managed to raise over $1700 in four hours at the stall and a further $500 in online donations, reaching an astonishing $2200.
Thanks to the committee of Alexandra Skate, Eliza Gregerson, Jess Angus, Kelly Howard, Kate Ritchie and Georgia Abbott for their tireless work to run the stall, raffles and raise awareness of mental health supports and services for our ACU and wider community.