Notre Dame Physiotherapy students share award for excellence

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 5-11-2009

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



Excellence in service, research, contribution, education and community service were recognised at the recent Australian Physiotherapy Association (WA Branch) Awards held in October.

Second year physiotherapy students, Joanne Dower and Kate Maaskant, from The University of Notre Dame Australia’s, Fremantle Campus, were the joint recipients of an award for Excellence in Community Service. The award recognised their voluntary work with a 15-year old teenager with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy

Ms Dower and Ms Maaskant first met the teenager and his physiotherapist at Rocky Bay, an organisation which provides care and support for people with disabilities, particularly those with neuromuscular and other neurological disorders. This initial contact was to fulfil the requirement for Notre Dame physio students to undertake voluntary work as part of their pre-clinical experiences in years 1 and 2.

Since finishing their official pre clinical component the girls have continued to provide therapy for the teenager in his home.

Professor Peter Hamer, Head of the School of Physiotherapy at Notre Dame said Joanne and Kate were to be commended for their efforts.

“The experience involved the students carrying out a weekly passive mobilisation and stretching program that had been provided by his physiotherapist,” explained Professor Hamer.

“In just over two months not only had they completed the expected number of hours, but they enjoyed and gained so much from the experience they were keen to continue and are committed to carry out the program for as long as the young man and his family would like them to do so.

“Their spirit of giving has clearly been of benefit to all involved – congratulations and well done!”

The nominees for the award were nominated by people within the community for a physiotherapist who had shown service and dedication beyond expectations. The students had been nominated by the boy’s parents.

Media contact:

Michelle Ebbs 08 9433 0610, 0408 959 138