Allied health initiatives showcased at final year student conference
Published: Monday 13th November 2017
Final year occupational therapy, public health, social work and speech pathology students from Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney campuses came together at the National School of Allied Health student conference on 2 November 2017 to celebrate their achievements and present their final assessment pieces.
More than 200 occupational therapy community development projects, poster presentations and honours research outcomes, 100 speech pathology honours research project outcomes and oral presentations, 40 social work professional development sessions, and 20 public health project oral presentations were showcased, demonstrating how the students’ years of study would translate to the workplace.
Social work student Siobhan Reader from the Strathfield Campus in Sydney presented on her placement project at New Horizons, a non-profit organisation focusing on mental health and disability. New Horizons’ Respite Centre aims to encourage resilience among groups of men and women.
Sydney students and staff at the National School of Allied Health student conference.
“Being part of the Centre’s development in giving individuals a voice and undertaking background research in a field that I wasn’t familiar with, were among the best aspects of this project,” said Siobhan.
Students in Brisbane reflected on their placements with Indigenous agencies as well as in other diverse fields including those dealing with domestic violence, child protection, aged care and disabilities.
Public health student Lucy Read, who did her placement at the ACU Institute for Positive Psychology and Education, presented on the iPLAY program, a community based health promotion initiative that aims to provide support to schools and their communities to improve the physical health of children.
“I was involved in many activities within this program, such as data collection, recruitment and development of intervention content,” said Lucy.
Brisbane students and staff at the National School of Allied Health student conference.
Speech pathology student Caitlin Pywell’s honours presentation in Melbourne on ‘Occupational stress in Speech Pathologists’ studied the level of self-reported occupational stress in Australian speech pathologists and differences, examining a range of practice area in addition to age of clientele and location.
“This study is definitely an area for future research,” said Caitlin. “It highlighted the importance of ensuring that, as professionals in the field, we have adequate supervision and mentoring.”
Occupational therapy students Emily Corrigan and Annie Oliver presented on their project ‘Take a break to participate’, aimed at developing an evidence-informed, occupationally focused resource of home group activities for year seven students at Melbourne’s Elizabeth Murdoch College, in order to increase students’ social cohesiveness, attention and engagement in the school curriculum.
"The holistic approach incorporating both teachers and students to achieve the goals of the project was a rewarding experience," Emily said. "Being able to build teachers’ capacity in a sustainable way was an achievement," Annie added.
Melbourne students and staff at the National School of Allied Health student conference.
Professor Daryl Higgins, Director of the Institute of Child Protection Studies, delivered the keynote address. His expertise and experience was an excellent addition to the conference program as he spoke about child-safe organisational strategies, reflecting on its relevance for our graduating students’ professions in their chosen fields.
National Head, School of Allied Health, Professor Christine Imms said the conference program was rich in diversity with project reports from a range of settings.
“I congratulate the students on their endeavours, the quality of their work and professionalism of their presentations. I also acknowledge and thank their lecturers and supervisors on their support of our students,” Professor Imms said.