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Physiotherapy Alumni News

June / Pipiri 2020

Message from the Dean

physio_thumbnail. Leigh Hale  2017We welcome you to this June 2020 edition of our Alumni newsletter.

What an extraordinary and challenging first half of 2020 it has been.

The School of Physiotherapy has, so far, successfully navigated the unprecedented times presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Dean describes the School's timely responses to COVID-19, and recent advances in teaching and research ...

News from the School

The moment young Hilda Mulligan stepped down from the Capetown train in February 1971 she grasped the meaning of the term 'in the deep end'.

Fast forward 30 years, and physiotherapist and educator Dr. Hilda Mulligan reflects on her rewarding career in physiotherapy.

Read our detailed brief interview with Hilda here ...

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News from the Clinics

Public welcomed back to face-to-face physiotherapy clinics

New Zealand’s move to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 means many University of Otago health clinics are now re-opening to the public.

Our physiotherapy clinics have begun opening their doors to varying degrees for public face-to-face appointments as the move to Level 1 appears likely.

Telehealth extends reach of physiotherapy clinics

School of Physiotherapy Clinics are fortunate to have already made considerable progress with online delivery of clinical advice well in advance of the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020.

Telehealth involves the use of information and communication technologies to deliver healthcare when patients and care providers are not in the same physical location.

Access to physiotherapy and clinical advice will, in future, be usefully supplemented by commonly available digital technologies and our acting director of clinics Matt Dick outlines progress in this university Bulletin article ...

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Meet the staff

New Zealand has an aging population.

Can physiotherapy maintain its well earned reputation when faced with growing numbers of older patients and limited resources?

There are compelling questions for the School of Physiotherapy's 'new' lecturer Ally Calder.

Ally spoke with us about her focus on disability related issues recently ...

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Student stories

Our annual School of Physiotherapy badge ceremony involves a degree of gravitas.

The event helps deepen our Year 2 students' understandings of the professional aspects of physiotherapy.

Read about this years' badge ceremony ...

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Research highlights

Research and knowledge transfer are key to activities at the School of Physiotherapy.

The busy first months of 2020 were followed by the onset of Covid-19 which has meant a number of unexpected challenges for our research teams.

Associate Professor Gisela Sole organised the 'Shoulder360: Navigating between clinical practice and research' symposium in January. Around 80 took part in Dunedin and online, and we were delighted to welcome international research visitors Associate Professor Craig Wassinger from East Tennessee State University in the US and Jean-Sebastien Roy from Laval University in Canada to the School.

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Shoulder360 attendees Associate Professor Craig Wassinger, Hamish Osborne, Associate Professor Jean-Sébastien Roy, Associate Professor Gisela Sole, Angela Cadogan and Margie Olds

Find out more about CHARR research advances in early 2020 ...

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Alumni stories

Forestry in New Zealand can be a tough business which registers many injuries and some fatalities each year.

Otago educated physiotherapist Mark Shirley is an intern director at City Forests and his professional input may help improve the health and safety of workers.

Read about Mark's pathways to innovative practice in detail ...

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History notes

physio_christine arthur class of 57 in parkThe Otago physiotherapy Class of 1957 holds the 'gilded' trophy for staging the most reunions since graduation.

They got together again for a lively time in Wellington in February 2020 and Kris Arthur (pictured) again proudly modeled her original physio blazer.

And, after a decade of dedicated work in New Zealand and elsewhere the Class of 2009 agreed to gather in 2020 at the legendary Captain Cook in Dunedin.

They share their stories with us here ...


It is with sadness that we recall the passing of Jocelyn (Jo) Scrymgeour née Wright who graduated from the New Zealand School of Physiotherapy in 1958.

Our brief tribute to Jo is on our alumni tributes page ...

Keep in touch

As University of Otago and School of Physiotherapy alumni – you are part of a rich and diverse world wide community.

Stay connected to continue a rewarding relationship with your University, your fellow Otago alumni and the School.

Planning an event or organising a class reunion? We can offer help, and encouragement with logistics and planning.

If you would like to receive regular news from Otago alumni, ensure your contact details are up to date by contacting the alumni office at this address

You can follow the School of Physiotherapy on Twitter here: @physiOtago

Follow research activity at the School on Twitter here: @OtagoCHARR

Please do keep in touch.

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