Graduate research in the Department of Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Prosthetics and Orthotics

Our graduate researchers make a positive impact on health and wellbeing in our communities and across the lifespan

Made Utari Rimayanti

PhD candidate, Made Utari Rimayanti (pictured above), is assessing the impact of motivational interviewing to support rehabilitation after a hip fracture.

“Only two in five people can walk as well as they did before their injury, and lack of confidence and fear of falling presents a significant hurdle,” says Rimayanti. “I am exploring whether we can effectively address the psychological aspects of hip fracture rehabilitation using motivational interviewing, a form of health coaching.”

Rimayanti is part of a team conducting a clinical trial to assess the benefits of the intervention.

“Connection is an important element to recovery,” adds Rimayanti. “If our trial is successful, I hope that motivational interviewing can be incorporated into rehabilitation practice so we can better support people recovering from a hip fracture.”

Find out more.


Polly Lim

Polly Lim, a first-year PhD student, is investigating the effectiveness of foot orthoses for people with midfoot osteoarthritis.

"I received a scholarship to study podiatry at La Trobe in 2010, and I've been working as a clinician in the public health sector in Singapore since graduating," says Lim. "I decided to pursue postgraduate studies in musculoskeletal research to complement my practice."

"My research will explore non-surgical interventions for midfoot osteoarthritis," explains Lim. "Foot osteoarthritis affects one in six adults aged over 50 years, and is a significant cause of foot pain and disability."

At present, there are no clinical guidelines around midfoot osteoarthritis. "We hope that foot orthoses make a positive impact on this condition," says Lim.

"I love being a clinician and helping people spring back on their feet and move through life," adds Lim. "I hope to continue working as a podiatrist and educator, and help train the next generation of podiatrists in Singapore."


Michael Girdwood

Meet Michael Girdwood. He is a PhD candidate in the Department of Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Prosthetics and Orthotics.

"I chose to do a PhD to challenge myself and develop my research skills," says Girdwood. "Having worked at La Trobe for the last ~4-5 years, studying here seemed like a natural choice."

Girdwood's research explores why people continue to have long term pain after suffering serious knee injuries. "I am investigating how muscle strength changes over time, if other aspects of the human system change after serious knee injury."

"It’s been great to work closely with my supervisors, and see their thought processes and ideas," added Girdwood. "I am lucky to be part of a vibrant, friendly and sociable team, which has made my experience all the better. "


Asumi Dailey

Asumi Dailey is a part-time student in our Master of Applied Science (Research) degree.

“As a clinician, I have always had a strong interest in research, as it is the key to delivering evidence-based practice,” says Dailey.

“I have already completed two degrees at La Trobe and wanted to continue working with world-class researchers. The Master of Applied Science (Research) offers flexibility so I can work full-time as a clinician and research a topic which is meaningful to me and my clinical practice.”

Dailey is exploring the prescription of ankle-foot and supra-malleolar orthoses for children living with cerebral palsy. “By identifying the rationale behind these orthoses, and their effect, we can reduce our knowledge gaps, and improve orthotic care,” adds Dailey.

“I enjoy research and refining my research skills. It’s rewarding to add to the knowledge base of your field and help improve the wellbeing of patients.”