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Celebrating World Physiotherapy Day

Diana Perriman, APAM
3 November 2016

The day started off with the traditional World Physiotherapy Day Breakfast at the Canberra Hospital, organised by Kerry Boyd, APAM, who is the Acute Support Physiotherapy Manager at the hospital. This was a marvellous occasion of networking and catching up with old friends over home-made breakfast fare fit to fuel a busy day in the clinic and ward. Jenny Robertson, APA NSW/ACT Branch Coordinator, travelled to Canberra and was made very welcome, especially when she gave everyone a free APA-branded KeepCup.

By 8.30am, everyone set off for the wards and clinic wearing T-shirts which had been organised and printed by Corinne Coulter. Corinne had encouraged everyone to bring in a white T-shirt onto which she had printed a ‘Movement for Health’ and ‘Love your Physio’ message. At just $10 each to have them printed, they were great value.

Meanwhile, we (Rob Blinkhorne and Stevie Conolan, both University of Canberra students; Jenny Robertson; University of Canberra head of Physiotherapy, Professor Jennie Scarvell, APAM) set up a stall in the main foyer with an APA banner and lots of APA merchandise (particularly iPhone running armbands). They were our ‘hook’, and we had plenty of people come to talk to us about physiotherapy and osteoporosis, and back pain and fitness.

We showed them all how to use the physical activity apps on their smartphones to track their activity, especially their steps, while telling them about the benefits of physical activity. We had lots of evidence-based facts from both the APA and from Dr Nicole Freene, APAM, who is an academic physiotherapist at the University of Canberra with specialist knowledge of the effect of physical activity.

Meanwhile, in private practice, Roy Daniell, APA Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, and his team at Belconnen Physiotherapy Clinic hosted ‘come-in-and-try’ functional fitness, Pilates and hydrotherapy sessions.

All things considered, we were well satisfied with our efforts for World Physio Day this year—we engaged each other and the community in some meaningful ways, but it was limited.

Next year World Physio Day falls on a Friday. How can we use it to raise the profile of physiotherapy and capture the imagination of our community? We would love your ideas for making next year better, whether in the private or public sector. Maybe we should have a mass walk/cycle to work and get the press involved, or host a physio facts pub quiz, or…?

Remember, this is our chance to raise our flag high and tell the world who we are and why we are relevant.

To discuss any ideas or suggestions, or to just trade stories, contact Diana Perriman on or @DiPerriman on Twitter.


   Getting our voice heard
  APA Paediatric Physiotherapist Carolyn O'Mahoney, Shayna Gavin, APAM, and APA President Phil Calvert went to Parliament House to meet with Hon Jane Prentice to express their views on the McKinsey & Company Independent Pricing Review of the NDIS.
   ACT Research Symposium
  The ACT Branch Symposium Committee extends a warm invitation to all APA members, physiotherapists and associated colleagues to attend the 2016 Research Symposium. Join us for a day of sharing new research from around Australia.
   Physical activity workshop to get patients moving
  A workshop on Australia’s physical activity guidelines is intended to get the profession on the same page when it comes to encouraging patients to be active.
   Musculoskeletal group reboot
  After a gap of more than 10 years, the Musculoskeletal group ACT chapter has a new and very enthusiastic committee.
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