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December / Hakihea 2018

Message from the Dean


Kia ora and welcome to our last newsletter for the year.

I would like to start off by acknowledging the retirement of both Cath Smith and Lynne Clay. Cath and Lynne have both been with the School in various roles for over 10 years and both have made significant contributions to teaching and research in the neurorehabilitation field. They will both be sorely missed and we wish them all the best for their respective next steps.

We have also recently undergone a number of changes with our Professional Staff as a result of the University's new Shared Services. A huge thank you to our departing staff Nicola Clarke, Jennifer Ramsey, and Anna Johnson, and best wishes in your new positions. We welcome our new staff, and you can read more about them and their new roles in this newsletter.

Thank you to Physiotherapy New Zealand for organising a great conference in Dunedin on the 14 -16 September this year. It was great to see everyone who could make it along and to catch up with Alumni at our Breakfast.

It has been an active and productive year for our School's research centre, CHARR. We are privileged to have had a number of our PhD candidates submit and graduate this year (Drs Mandeep Kaur, Ricky Bell, Codi Ramsey, Angela Gisselman and Bahram Sangelaji). It has also been a busy year with ongoing research projects big and small. And a particularly busy year given we now have two large Health Research Council grants running in the School. This is a great sign of successful team work at the School and a really good recognition of the value of the Physiotherapy profession to helping to inform the pathways to healthier lives for people.

We have also been hard at work revamping our Years 2 and 3 undergraduate physiotherapy papers to ensure our curriculum is both integrated and forward looking, educating physiotherapists for the future.

We are looking forward to our Christchurch clinic opening in new premises in March of next year. More on that in our next newsletter.

It has been a huge year here at the School on all fronts. I'd like to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to our activities over the year. And most importantly, wish everyone a restful holiday season.

Leigh Hale, Dean, School of Physiotherapy

Meet our staff

Clinical Educators play a vital part in physiotherapy education.

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Our team of Clinical Educators gathered in Dunedin recently

Each year our team takes care of around one hundred and thirty aspiring physios who tackle four clinical papers and one research paper while working at a clinic or DHB somewhere in New Zealand.

We introduce Lena who works in the South, and Liz working out of Wellington.

Lena Bekhuis

Meet our Clinical Educator in Invercargill - Waihōpai, New Zealand's southernmost city.

Before moving further south, Lena Bekhuis worked as a physiotherapist in Dunedin and a demonstrator in Anatomy at the University of Otago.

Liz Kemp

Working from the School's Northern Centre in the Hutt Valley, Liz Kemp looks after students on placement and Physiotherapy Hubs in the Hawkes Bay, Palmerston North, Hutt, Wanganui and Wellington.

Read more about Lena and Liz and their work in clinical education

New administrative staff changes

The University has recently undergone a review of support services and over the last months has begun implementing changed administrative and operational processes to ensure excellence in research and teaching at Otago.

We have had a number of changes to our Professional Staff as a result of the University's new Shared Services. We'd like to offer a huge thank you to our departing staff Nicola Clarke, Jennifer Ramsey, and Anna Johnson, and wish them all the best in their exciting new roles.

The School has welcomed new staff Kaye Jeffries, Libby Wight, Maneet Kaur, Vijay Palagulla, Hannah Evans-Turner, Glenda Paterson, and Sambo Sok.

Who to contact

Full contact information for the School here

Student stories from 2018

Te Roopu Māori

Māori Physiotherapy Student's Association

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MPSA group at Physiotherapy New Zealand Conference September 2018

Ngā Raukura O Tāne Whakapiripiri (MPSA) at Otago supports 2nd, 3rd and 4th-year students to strive, collaborate, learn and accept opportunities which become available each academic year.

Student Executive Report

Physiotherapy Student's Association

The Student Executive team organised and operated social events, formal evenings, sports and volunteering days for our physiotherapy students.

Read both full student reports for 2018 here

Research news

Research highlight: Meredith Perry

physio_merdith perry thumbnail.2018Meredith is based at our CHARR research hub in Wellington.

Her research focuses on the relationships between physical activity and green space and their effects on the health and well-being of people living with and managing long term conditions.

She talks to us about the importance of translational research which offers practical benefits for people and communities

physio_Phd graduates 2018 dec 650Research student highlights

Three new PhD's in Physiotherapy

We are so proud of our freshly minted new PhD's in physiotherapy who graduated on Saturday December 8 2018. From left: Drs Angela Gisselman, Codi Ramsey and Bahram Sangelaji.

Celebrating our undergrad's contribution to research

Our undergraduates contribute in many ways to research produced within CHARR at the School of Physiotherapy. Many are engaged in research related work as part of honours projects, 4th year group projects, and summer studentships.

You can find out more about the research work of our 2018 Honours candidates here

More research news

Farewell to colleagues Cath Smith and Lynne Clay.

A huge thanks for their research contributions to CHARR over the years

We marked World Diabetes Day in our Diabetes Community Exercise programmes in Dunedin and Invercargill. We notched up in exercise equivalent the distance between Dunedin and Manapouri. A great event showing the power of team work, communities and health professionals working together, and family to help reach wellness goals.

Read more here about the event and about our Diabetes Community Exercise research project

CHARR staff, David Baxter and Ram Mani, contributed to an editorial by University of Otago research theme, Pain@Otago, in a recent New Zealand Medical Journal.

Find more media reports about our Pain community outreach work

Congratulations to our staff and students who have been awarded grant funding.

Learn more about projects and funding successes here

Alumni stories

Rachel Horwell

Many of our baby boomers are living longer and more active lives than their parents.

physio_rachel horwell thumbnail 2018. 225Yet older New Zealanders who live with 'visible' neurological disorders can find it hard to stay socially connected, and some have limited options for physical activity.

Graduate and dancer Rachel Horwell is doing something about it.

Read about Rachel and Dance for PD® here

physio_kelsi parker thumbnail 225 2108Kelsi Parker

Rowing New Zealand named its selection for this years' women's rowing 8 summer training squad in September 2018.

Otago educated physiotherapist Kelsi Parker loved seeing her name on that selection list ... again.

We profile Kelsi and her life in elite rowing, along with her plans for life after sport here

History notes

Major new publication out now

Clarke_coverOTAGO - 150 Years of New Zealand's First University
by Alison Clarke

Due for release in time for Christmas, this thorough and highly readable new publication covers the complete history of New Zealand's first university.

New Zealand's original School of Physiotherapy features in the evolution of Health Sciences education at Otago.

Order online at:

150 years at Otago

In 2019 the University of Otago will celebrate 150 years of heritage, tradition and its ongoing international reputation for excellence. As Otago alumni you are warmly invited to join us during our Queen's Birthday Weekend Celebrations (31 May – 3 June) or for one of the many events planned for 2019.

Your personal invitation:

Class of '67-'69 reunion

Students of Physiotherapy in Dunedin between 1967–1969 are getting together in 2019 to celebrate 50 years since graduation.

For more information and contact details:


We remember with gratitude, the life and work of School of Physiotherapy graduate Brian Davey, a leading physiotherapist and advocate for physiotherapy worldwide.

A graduate from the Class of 1961, Brian passed away recently in his adopted home country - Australia.

Brian served as the WCPT Executive member from the Western Pacific (1982-1988) then as the WCPT President for a term (1988-1991).

Taranaki Daily News article:

WCPT article:

Keep in touch

As University of Otago and School of Physiotherapy alumni – you belong to 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 alumni, ensure your contact details are up to date by contacting the alumni office at this address

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

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

Please do keep in touch.


Lawrence, R. (2005). Branding terroir in the ′New World′: Modes of representation in the wine industry. In P. Sorrell, C. Ozcan, E. Kocabiyik & Z. T. Ultav (Eds.), Proceedings of the IST Product and Service Design Symposium and Exhibition on Agricultural Industries. Izmir, Turkey: Izmir University of Economics. [Full Paper]

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