Professional excellence recognised

 

The outstanding contributions of six physiotherapists to the profession have been acknowledged and celebrated during the presentation of the 2018 Queensland Professional Excellence Awards.

Surrounded by friends and colleagues at a venue overlooking the Brisbane River, the following Queensland members were announced as the winners in December.

Maria Constantinou: Contribution to the Promotion of the Profession. Maria is a passionate advocate for physiotherapy and the APA, promoting the profession in the media, at universities and in the community, nationally and internationally. Maria has an interest in the advancement of sports physiotherapy, promoting the role of physiotherapy at more than 100 national and international multidisciplinary conferences, workshops and professional development events in more than 20 countries.

Caitlin Sargent: Contribution by a Recent Graduate. Working in private practice, Caitlin has shown exponential growth, becoming a senior physiotherapist at her practice, training staff members and providing very high client care. She did this while maintaining a full-time training regime and running for Australia—all the time advocating for physiotherapy and its benefits.

Tom McMillan: Contribution to an APA National or Regional Group. Tom is a tireless representative of the regional physiotherapist. He is a regular invited participant as a rural and regional physiotherapy voice to national agenda items within the APA, and he is the national chair of the APA Rural group, a member of the APA National Advisory Council, a committee member of the Australian College of Physiotherapy and a regional representative on the QLD branch council.

Christine Wilson: Contribution to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health within the Physiotherapy Profession (inaugural award, two recipients). For more than 10 years, Christine has taken her vast expertise to all corners of Queensland as part of Indigenous Respiratory Outreach QLD—travelling from Torres Strait to Mt Isa, Cherbourg and areas in between. From 2015–2018 she provided more than 500 consults to Indigenous children, and enabled rural therapists to provide ongoing care locally. Christine has been instrumental in developing fundamental culturally-centred resources and, with the desire to improve health outcomes, she has presented this transformational work across healthcare networks nationally.

Kathryn Potter: Contribution to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health within the Physiotherapy Profession. Kathryn passionately inspires Indigenous people to consider careers in health and actively promotes Indigenous healthcare by engaging with school children (Greenslopes, Palm Island and Northern Territory), sharing her story in InMotion magazine’s ‘APA People’ and participating in the ‘Because of her we can’ poster campaign of Indigenous women in health. Kathryn is a valued member of Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) and supports the development of others via sponsoring physiotherapists to attend the International Indigenous Allied Health Conference and registering as a mentor with IAHA and Queensland Health.

John Fitzgerald: APA Queensland Branch President’s Award. Since becoming an APA member 35 years ago, John’s contributions to the profession, the APA, sports physiotherapy and the branch have been phenomenal. The APA Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist has chaired, organised and presented at national and state conferences and education events, has lectured on the Sports Level 1 course for more than 30 years in Brisbane and rural and regional areas, and has recently coordinated the redevelopment of the standardised Sports Level 1 and 2 courses and the Sports and Exercise physiotherapist career pathway. John contributes countless hours of volunteer work and generously provides assistance and guidance to the Queensland branch on issues and member queries around professional development, sports and business or private practice issues. John has made an enormous impact on the profession and the APA, and is a deserving recipient of this award.

The awards event was also attended by APA Honoured members Margaret Bullock, Yvonne Burns, Robyn Cupit, Gwen Jull, Margaret Peel and Melissa Locke.

 

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