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Occupational Therapy students’ projects to help meet the growing needs of local kids

Published:08 October 2019

CQUni final-year Bachelor of Occupational Therapy students: Four years of hard work and learning with culminate in the 2019 Occupational Therapy Graduate Conference - A Future Beyond Limits - on 11 October.

A final-year project by CQUni Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) students could help improve the health and wellbeing of school-aged children.

The Life Smart Learning Program is one of three socially innovative ideas that will be presented at the student-led 2019 Occupational Therapy Graduate Conference - A Future Beyond Limits - by CQUniversity Rockhampton and Bundaberg students on 11 October.

Two student-generated ideas were developed in response to the growing needs of children, as put forward by Bundaberg’s’ St. John’s Lutheran Primary School and Rockhampton-based kindergarten, nGundanoo. The third is in response to the organisation of the conference.

Along with showcasing these ideas, students will present their new research proposals, developed as part of their honours program, to a range of stakeholders. Research topics include paediatric care, stroke rehabilitation, and mental health.

“Students will present in front of peers; invited guests; local clinicians, who might be the students' future colleagues and workmates, as well as community project stakeholders,” said CQUniversity Senior Lecturer (Occupational Therapy) Narelle Henwood.

“As the conference is open to all Occupational Therapy Clinicians in the Rockhampton and Bundaberg regions, students will also be able to build and develop strong professional relationships with local health professionals."

Ms Henwood said the conference was the culmination of four years of hard work and learning, and a celebration of students’ successes.

“This is the last chance students will have to be together as a cohort before many start work as Occupational Therapists,” she said.

“I have taught this cohort of students every year since the beginning of their study journey. Therefore, the conference will conclude with a fun awards presentation. Each student will be presented with an award that highlights their strengths and development as a health professional.”

Conference keynote speakers will include Bundaberg-based Paralympian Chantel Wolfenden OAM, and representatives from Rockhampton-based National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) providers and National Disability Insurance Agencies (NDIA).

The conference is made possible thanks to sponsorship from OTAustralia, the peak national professional association for occupational therapists. OTAustralia’s support of new graduate and members is paramount to the development of the Australian occupational therapy profession.