School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport Statement of Strategic Intent

The Department of Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Prosthetics and Orthotics is part of the School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport.

The School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport’s Statement of Strategic Intent aligns with La Trobe University’s Strategic Plan 2020-2030.

It contextualises our part in achieving the University’s mission: To be known for making a positive difference in the lives of our students, partners and communities.

The School proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the lands where its campuses are located, recognises the ongoing connection to Country of local communities, and values the contributions Indigenous people make to its activities.

Transforming health and wellbeing through education, research and practice

The School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport is changing the face of health and wellbeing in Australia and abroad. Our teaching and research programs are helping to build quality health systems that, in turn, build healthy communities.

Our goal is to improve health and wellbeing through our graduates and research outcomes in audiology, nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy, orthoptics, physiotherapy, podiatry, prosthetics and orthotics, social work and social policy, speech pathology, and sport and exercise science.

Our contemporary, evidence-based course portfolio – spanning foundation education through to continuing professional development – will be sector-leading and inspire a lifelong desire for learning.

We will work with our extensive network of healthcare services and industry partners to offer practice-based education that builds knowledge and delivers outstanding graduate employment outcomes.

We will become a sector leader in continuing professional development programs in allied health, giving professionals the tools to upskill, reskill, advance into leadership roles or pursue research, at any stage in their career.

We will support our students and staff to engage locally, nationally and internationally.

We will deliver translational, evidence-based research outcomes that support professional practice in all of our disciplines, but particularly in sport and exercise medicine; social inclusion of people with cognitive disabilities; and the treatment of aphasia and stroke.

Our contribution will align with La Trobe University’s research themes: Sustainable food and agriculture; Resilient environments and communities; Healthy people, families and communities; Understanding and preventing disease; and Social change and equity.

Reputation: We will become a market leader in allied health education. Our course portfolio will meet industry needs, prepare students for employment as qualified professionals and enable health professionals to build expertise.

Culture: We will embody La Trobe’s cultural values – accountable, connected, innovative and caring – in the way we work with each other, our students and our partners.

Engagement: We will strengthen our partnerships with healthcare providers and industry. We will work with them to offer education programs that support graduate employment outcomes and help to meet the demands of the allied health workforce pipeline.

Impact: We will produce research graduates and research outcomes that enhance professional practice in allied health disciplines, and help to transform health and wellbeing for all.

The School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport is comprised of a dedicated team of academics, clinicians and professional staff who work together to support our core missions of teaching and research.

We will continue to champion a workplace that is safe, inclusive and supports the health and wellbeing of our staff. We will promote equity, diversity and inclusion. The University’s cultural qualities will underpin everything we do.

We will support strategies for the recruitment, retention and career development of Indigenous employees.

We will collaborate, share ideas and drive new innovations that further strengthen our ability to deliver an outstanding student experience.

We will continue to champion a culture of shared practice that encourages innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration in teaching and research.

We will promote flexibility in working, while being accountable for maximising efficiencies. We will optimise productivity by ensuring our operations are consolidated, efficient and sustainable.

We will recognise and celebrate the achievements of our staff and students, and co-partner with them to create a culture of excellence. We will engage so that our stakeholders are informed, and staff and students have professional visibility within and external to the School.

KPI

We will know we have succeeded in our goal to develop a positive culture when we continue to improve the Employee Experience as measured by a La Trobe Employee Experience Survey.

The School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport partners with healthcare services and industry partners to deliver education programs that produce high quality graduates, build expertise in the sector, and encourage lifelong learning and engagement.

We will be known as a market leader in allied health education and a leading specialist in all of our disciplines. Our course portfolio will reflect future workforce needs and meet industry accreditation standards.

We will embed Indigenous knowledge and perspectives into our courses and provide our graduates with the knowledge and skills to work with diverse communities.

We will support our academics to ensure that our teaching is informed by contemporary evidence.

We will achieve high graduate employability and supply the allied health professions, particularly in Victoria, with a pipeline of skilled professionals and clinicians.

We will collaborate closely with our partners to achieve best practice in work-based education, ensuring our approach is augmented by sustained, hands-on learning in clinical, community, industry and private practice settings, and in the use of telehealth where appropriate.

We will collaborate with our partners to become a market leader in specialist postgraduate, continuing professional development and higher degree opportunities for the allied health workforce – particularly for those involved in the clinical education of our students.

We will reimagine our clinic model to optimise the delivery of student clinical placement training and accommodate specialist sub-discipline placement requirements for students training with specific population groups.

We will improve our facilities to ensure we offer graduates a contemporary student experience and opportunities for skills development in emerging technologies, including telehealth delivery and innovative healthcare practice.

We will provide students with opportunities to undertake international experiences through traditional and virtual models. We will embed research pathways into our courses and support students to explore graduate research options.

We will provide graduates with an education that equips them to become critical thinkers and innovative problem solvers, to ensure they improve health outcomes for the communities they serve.

We will strive to ensure that they are practice ready – that they are excellent communicators and advocates with transferable leadership skills, are digitally literate and culturally aware.

And, we will engage with our alumni to build connections to, and affiliations with, the School, and provide them with opportunities to engage in lifelong learning.

KPI

We will know we have succeeded in our goal to ensure quality of teaching when we achieve top 12 nationally in the Student Experience Survey for Teaching Quality and Overall Experience.

The School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport is comprised of an outstanding team of researchers who are working to improve health and wellbeing across communities and the lifespan.

Our research will focus on strengthening professional practice in all allied health disciplines, particularly in sport and exercise medicine; social inclusion of people with cognitive disabilities; and the treatment of aphasia and stroke.

Our research outcomes will have a translational impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities through practice improvements, with impact also measured through publications and research income.

Our prestigious research centres – the La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, the Living with Disability Research Centre, and the Centre for Research Excellence in Aphasia Recovery and Rehabilitation – will continue to play a strong role in our research success and impact.

We will support the development of our researchers, at all career stages, through mentoring and training programs, and fostering research collaborations that align with our areas of strength and expertise.

We will work collaboratively with our partners to understand challenges, bring together the right capabilities, manage projects efficiently, and guide the translation of health findings into evidence-based practice.

We will deliver high quality research training and skills development to health professionals working within our partner healthcare providers, our Higher Degree by Research students and supervisors of these students.

We will also offer innovative research development opportunities, such as our Step into Research program, to support clinicians at our partner healthcare providers to engage in research.

Our contribution will align with La Trobe University’s research themes: Sustainable food and agriculture; Resilient environments and communities; Healthy people, families and communities; Understanding and preventing disease; and Social change and equity.

KPI

We will know we have succeeded in our goals to create impact and achieve recognition when we sustain an Excellence in Research for Australia ranking of five (well above world standard) for the relevant Fields of Research in the allied health professions.