First male OT grad sets career sights for the love of people and family

25 January 2023
In a field that's largely represented by female specialists' Luke Hartvigsen is the first male graduate from CQUniversity's Occupational Therapy Honours degree at the Bundaberg campus – and he couldn't be happier with his career choice.

His decision to enter the field of occupational therapy (OT) was spurred on by circumstances that hit close to home for the Hervey Bay local and has also since inspired the specialist areas of focus for his career.

"Unfortunately' my Dad suffered from a stroke when I was thirteen years old' so as a young kid I watched him go through the rehabilitation process in hospital'" Mr Hartvigsen said.

"While it was a difficult time' seeing the way the occupational therapists used different therapy approaches' equipment prescriptions and the way they carried out their home visits really fascinated me.

"It was then that I realised I wanted a career in helping people where I could have a great' positive impact on a patient's life."

Graduating at the end of 2022' Luke said that studying at a campus close to home was a great choice as he could remain close to family while also working towards a rewarding career without the need to move to a metro area.

Through his achievement' Mr Hartvigsen is paving the way for higher representation of males in the sector' and on the topic of male to female representation in the industry' he said he enjoyed being in a female-dominated field.

"To other males' I say join! Occupational Therapy is an amazing career choice and there are endless opportunities within this profession'" Mr Hartvigsen said.

Originally looking at pursuing pediatric work' the graduate's focus has zeroed in on where his fascination with occupational therapy began – with equipment prescription and home modifications' and to eventually one day teach other future OT students and offer the same positive experience he had with his professors.

Mr Hartvigsen has recently acquired work locally since graduating and is enjoying his work.

"It's great to be in a role that's hands-on and active; there's so much variety in what I get to do whether it's formulating a treatment plan or using out-of-the-box activities like leatherwork with a patient'" Mr Hartvigsen said.

"I've been in my role with National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Hervey Bay for just over a month now and I am loving my career."