CQU experts participate in Australian first collaboration

18 November 2022

Three CQUniversity academics have participated in an Australian first collaboration led by Griffith University's Inclusive Futures group to identify opportunities for improving the lives of people with a disability in the areas of sport and play.

The workshop series' 'Inclusivity in Play'' was held over six weeks and culminated in a pitch session held on the Gold Coast' where nine teams of participants pitched ideas generated through the workshops.

Participants included paralympians' journalists' Queenslanders of the Year' academics' and representatives of government and community' and they were set a challenge to some up with a unique idea that could be developed' adopted' or implemented.

Plans for greater access to beaches and visibility of place and space to assist planning for people with disability were just some of the ideas that emerged from the teams.

For the CQUniversity staff' it was a unique opportunity to collaborate with such a multidisciplinary group to focus on a specific problem.

Physiotherapy lecturer Sasha Job said it was an opportunity to draw on her existing research in beach-based health initiatives.

"My ongoing research has identified that 90 per cent of health professionals are supportive of beach-based health initiatives' but only 27 per cent have used the beach as a therapeutic setting'" she said.

"Our pitch sought to empower health professionals to recommend beach-based physical activity' and our solution included the creation of beach-based physical activity and sport asset map and social prescription toolkit."

Fellow Physiotherapy lecturer Dr Vanesa Bochkezanian and Director' Learning Design and Innovation Professor Kate Ames were involved with separate teams that pitched different online-offline platform ideas to promote people with disabilities to get outside' be active and social.

Professor Kate Ames said it was a great way to connect with like-minded people who are committed to the same vision.

"We have a strong commitment to equity and access at CQUniversity' and looking at how we can grow our expertise to support regionally-based initiatives in our courseware and research is important'" she said.

Dr Bochkezanian said she 'truly enjoyed the great event'.

"Working together with people with disabilities' academics' community and government organisation leaders provided great insights on how to make an idea into a reality."

The team is excited about the potential for future collaboration and development of their ideas.