Meet our Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Prosthetics and Orthotics students

Our students are preparing to make a difference to health and wellbeing across the lifespan

Chanel Pavitt

Chanel Pavitt (pictured above) is in her third year of our Bachelor of Prosthetics and Orthotics (Honours) degree.

“When I was in Year 11, I saw a man with two prosthetic legs, and I realised that I could design and build legs and make a difference in someone’s life,” says Pavitt. “I did some reading about prosthetics and orthotics and discovered how important this sector is, and I decided it was the right choice for me.”

As class sizes are small, Pavitt has benefited from one-on-one learning opportunities with lecturers. And, she has been putting learning into practice in our Prosthetics and Orthotics Laboratory, featuring equipment designed to teach students the entire process, from assessing a client’s needs and goals, through to creating, fitting and evaluating an assistive device.

Pavitt has worked in the disability sector for two years, where she has seen first-hand the importance of prosthetics and orthotics. “My work experience will also give me confidence when I go into my fourth-year placements,” she says.

Allied health students undertake clinical placements and equivalent experience at leading Victorian healthcare providers. During their senior years, students in the Bachelor of Prosthetics and Orthotics (Honours) degree complete an industry-relevant Honours project or a research Honours project.

“When I graduate I would like to work in orthotics, focusing on acute injuries including spinal and nerve damage care, and burn management,” adds Pavitt. “I look forward to providing care and relief to those in need.”

Find out more about studying Prosthetics and Orthotics.

Adrian Caruana

Meet Adrian Caruana, a final-year student in our Bachelor of Applied Science/Master of Podiatric Practice degree.

“I have always wanted to work in allied health,” says Caruana. “I think that there is no better joy than helping people become better. When I was a first-year student, I was unsure which pathway I wanted to take, but became interested in podiatry because of the diverse skills it requires.”

The academic staff, says Caruana, really bring the profession to life. “You get to learn from exceptional minds with years of experience in the profession,” explains Caruana. “They foster your growth and development as a future podiatrist.”

The practical, hands-on experience has been invaluable to Caruana’s learning. “The on-campus clinic allows students to translate theoretical knowledge into real-world application,” he says. “The clinical experience gives you a boost of confidence and a taste of life post-graduation.”

It was during placement that Caruana discovered his area of interest within podiatry.

“I found working with the high-risk foot population within a primary care setting to be extremely rewarding. I would like to work in this area when I graduate.”

Find out more about studying Podiatry.

Simone Appleby

Simone Appleby is a second-year student in our Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) degree.

“After working as an Allied Health Assistant for six years, I decided to progress my career,” says Appleby. “I took the leap to study as a mature student. It was a big decision, but I really value the personal and professional growth I’m experiencing.”

The practical elements of the degree, says Appleby, have been valuable to her learning and helped to bring the content to life. “I am a visual learner and the anatomy resources we have at La Trobe are fantastic,” she explains.

Appleby has completed her observational placements, which provide students with industry insight early in the degree. “These opportunities have taught me the importance of thorough assessments to patient-centred care,” she says. “I am looking forward to putting my skills into practice in future clinical placements.”

“I am really passionate about women’s health and there are opportunities for me to do further postgraduate study in this area. I would like to help women to feel empowered at all life stages. I feel confident that I will graduate with the knowledge and skills required to pursue excellence in my career and make a real impact.”

Find out more about studying Physiotherapy.

Find out more about the Department of Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Prosthetics and Orthotics on the website and LinkedIn.