OT students welcomed to profession

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OT students welcomed to profession


Published on 14 November 2012

14 November 2012

Occupational therapists from across the Sunshine Coast gathered recently for a special celebration hosted by the University of the Sunshine Coast to welcome 23 Bachelor of Occupational Therapy graduands to the profession.

The group will be USC’s second cohort of OT graduates, after the four-year degree was first introduced in 2008, and this celebration to mark the students’ achievements and to present industry awards is firming as an annual event.

USC Discipline Leader in Occupational Therapy Professor Marion Gray said the celebration at Mooloolaba Surf Life Saving Club on 31 October was an important way to recognise the academic and practice skills accomplished by students during their study at USC and on fieldwork placements.

“Each year we seize the opportunity to welcome these practice-ready individuals into the profession of occupational therapy and to honour their clinical educators,” she said.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of four industry-sponsored awards to students. The recipients were:

• Belinda Ingley of Maroochydore – Occupational Therapy Australia Queensland Division Undergraduate Student Diligence Award;
• Georgia Powell of Coolum Beach – Occupational Therapy Australia Queensland Division Postgraduate Student Award;
• Brooke Tomlins of Caboolture – Surgical Synergies Award for Professionalism and Collegiality; and
• Theresa Grogan of Strathpine – Adapt Health Care Occupational Therapy Award for Achievement.

“These awards recognise those students who have excelled academically and professionally during their degree,” Professor Gray said.

USC also awarded commendations to 19 organisations, including Ozcare, Blue Care Sunshine Coast, Nambour General Hospital and the Disability Services Support Unit, for providing valued fieldwork placements for USC’s OT students.

During the evening, occupational therapist and co-creator of charity ART for SPINE Jocelyn Bartlem, whose injuries in a golf buggy accident in 2009 resulted in quadriplegia, delivered an inspiring address to students.

Michelle Widdicombe

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