Networking opportunities and career advice for Physiotherapy students

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 19-10-2011

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



Final year Physiotherapy students at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Fremantle Campus networked with guest speakers and listened to presentations on their chosen career path at a seminar designed to promote professional life after university.

The annual Physiotherapy Seminar is designed to give Notre Dame’s future graduates an insight into their responsibilities as health care providers and the opportunities the physiotherapy profession offers.

The seminar featured panel discussions by the Australian Physiotherapy Association and other health care bodies, plus presentations by former Notre Dame graduates who have achieved employment in different fields.

Physiotherapy lecturer at the Fremantle Campus, Pam George, says it is reassuring for final year students to be aware of the vast career opportunities before them.

“It is great for our students to hear first-hand about the experiences of our successful graduates as they have followed their diverse employment opportunities,” Ms George said.

Notre Dame graduates from 2010, Monique James, Verity Tulloch and Jemma Keeves, shared inspiring stories of their professional life as well respected physiotherapists.

After graduating last year, Miss Keeves and Miss Tulloch travelled to the 2011 World Physical Therapy Congress held in The Netherlands.

Each presented a scientific poster based on their Honours research to more than 5000 physiotherapists from around the world.

Miss Keeves’ project, titled: Referred tactile sensations in association with chronic, non-specific, low back pain patients. A preliminary investigation; and Miss Tulloch’s project, Seeing it helps: movement-related back pain is reduced by visualisation of the back during movement, were supervised by Associate Professor Ben Wand from the School of Physiotherapy.

Associate Professor Wand also had several presentations and posters presented at the Congress in his research area of chronic low back pain, including Miss James’ Honours project: Disturbances in self-perception in people with chronic low back pain: Preliminary results of a back pain specific body perception questionnaire.

In addition to securing a position at Epworth Hospital in Melbourne, Miss Keeves also spent several weeks volunteering at a community in Nepal.

Despite the language difficulties, she described it as an “unforgettable experience”.

“The development of vital skills acquired throughout the course of my studies at Notre Dame gave me the confidence to assist people in a different environment with their physiotherapy requirements,” Miss Keeves said during her presentation.

Unlike her graduating colleagues, Miss James packed her bags for the Pilbara town of Tom Price for a taste of life in Australia’s mining heartland.

Describing it as the best decision she has ever made, Miss James has worked in musculoskeletal medicine and paediatrics amongst other disciplines at the Tom Price and Paraburdoo hospitals and says she is learning all the time.

She describes one of the most rewarding aspects of her job as working with the Indigenous communities of Wakathuni and Youngaleena and developing a close working relationship with its people.

“We work holistically to promote a healthy lifestyle, targeting areas such as literacy, numeracy, gross motor development, nutrition and diabetes management,” Miss James said.

“I’ve been able to fine tune my skills under a fantastic and supportive senior physio and I’m more equipped to deal with clinical challenges, and have learnt so much, not just about physio, but also myself.

“The memories I have of my first year out are ones I will never forget and I count myself as very lucky to have seen and experienced what I have.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Leigh Dawson, Tel (08) 9433 0569, Mob 0405 959 138