Touching milestone in USC’s Vanuatu project

Published: Comments:
Community University & TAFE

Social:   

A simple video of a child in Vanuatu crawling for the first time has demonstrated the incredible ongoing effects of a work placement by USC Occupational Therapy (OT) students nearly a year ago.

Five USC students spent seven weeks in 2016 assisting families in a rural community in North Vanuatu, and were recently delighted to receive a video showing the progress of a three-year-old child who they visited throughout the placement.

The child, who has Down Syndrome, had limited mobility before the fourth-year USC students began working with her and her mother to improve strength and movement.

USC Lecturer in Occupational Therapy Dr Ann Kennedy-Behr said the students’ activities with the child and the tasks they introduced to her mother had helped her advance remarkably in her independence. 

“When we first saw her, she was sitting and reaching out for objects but she wasn’t close to crawling,” she said. 

“We started by moving items a little further away from her, giving her small successes, and introduced activities her mother could engage in.

“When the Medical Santo posted the video of this little girl crawling independently, the students that were placed with her were absolutely thrilled. One of them told me they were crying out of happiness when they saw it.

“It really brought home to them that what they do can make a real and ongoing difference.”

USC graduate Rylee Bradford, one of the USC students who undertook the placement, said she had been amazed to see the improvement in the young child.

“I became quite emotional when I saw the video of her crawling,” she said. 

“It was really humbling to see the difference in her and to know that we’d contributed in some part to that outcome.”

Following the success of the work placements in 2016, USC has secured Australian Government New Colombo Plan funding to send six OT students and six Paramedic Science students to the island in June this year.

Dr Kennedy-Behr said working in a low-resource environment like Vanuatu was challenging for students and had made them better clinicians.

“That hands-on experience and their ability to deal with complex situations will be invaluable in their future careers,” she said.

“Many Australians might just see the gorgeous beaches in Vanuatu, but it’s also a developing country and that can be quite confronting.

“All the feedback we’ve received is that the capacity we built in that Vanuatu community has really made a positive difference to that community.”
 

 
University Of The Sunshine Coast : View Full Profile
90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
07 5430 1234
University Of The Sunshine Coast
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Samara uses Headstart to lead Bali library project 22 May 2017 | A high school student studying Indonesian at USC has used her language skills to help lead a $20,000 initiative to provide a rural village in Bali with a library. More information...
Students to shine at USC faculty awards event 19 May 2017 | USC will join with industry sponsors in recognising the best and brightest business, arts and law students at its annual awards and prizes ceremony tomorrow night (Friday 19 May). More information...
Snail researchers target parasitic disease 17 May 2017 | A five-member genetic research team from the University of the Sunshine Coast is part of an international collaboration that has identified the complete DNA set of a freshwater snail notorious for transmitting a... More information...
USC launches new Master of Teaching 17 May 2017 | USC will introduce a Master of Teaching (Secondary) in Semester 2 this year that will give aspiring teachers the opportunity to be qualified in time for the 2019 school year. More information...
USC medallist begins work as a paramedic 16 May 2017 | A decision to enrol with his wife in a university pathway course at USC has taken Brisbane’s Fraser Bliesner from part-time work and travel to a career as a paramedic. More information...
Business expert is USC’s new Deputy Chancellor 16 May 2017 | The University of the Sunshine Coast’s new Deputy Chancellor is award-winning small business operator and philanthropist Scott Williams AM, of Noosa. More information...
USC graduate returns home to teach in Nanango 15 May 2017 | Former Nanango State High School vice-captain Nathan Trace is back at his old school as a science and physical education teacher after recently graduating from USC. More information...
USC Law lecture to tackle costs of climate change 15 May 2017 | The far-reaching economic consequences of climate change will be debated at a free public seminar to be hosted by the USC Law School on Monday, 22 May from 5.30pm. More information...
Free USC health checks for Indigenous children 12 May 2017 | Up to 30 Nursing Science and Midwifery students and academics from USC will help lead a free day of health and wellbeing checks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families in Gympie... More information...
Aspiring orators to gather for Debating Expo at USC 12 May 2017 | Developing disarming discourse and creating robust rebuttals will be high on the agenda for those attending a Sunshine Coast Schools Debating Expo at USC on Thursday 18 May.  More information...



Social:   
comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service