UTS Physio Students knocking it out of the park
Over the long weekend in October, while many staff and students are enjoying the warmer weather and long weekend, UTS Master of Physiotherapy students will put their skills into practice as sports trainers for the 49th Koori Knockout at Tuggerah Oval on the NSW Central Coast.
Second year physiotherapy students approached Girra Maa, the UTS Graduate School of Health’s Indigenous Health Discipline and the organisers of the Koori Knockout, the Newcastle All Blacks, to offer their time at the Annual NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout from 4-7 October.
The Koori Knockout is an Aboriginal rugby league football tournament that has been running in NSW since 1971. Men, women and young people from all over NSW come together to compete in the four-day tournament.
While it is a chance to play footy, the tournament transcends the sports fields to bring Aboriginal people from across the state together to meet family and friends. It is one of the largest events on Indigenous Australians’ calendar. It attracts many health and support services, who hold stalls promoting good health, as well as other services including universities who provide education pathways information. In 2019 the Koori Knockout Carnival will be held at Tuggerah on the Central Coast.
The 2019 event organisers are thrilled UTS Physiotherapy students are willing and able to contribute their skills and expertise. This initiative is student-lead and student-driven.
Completing the subjects and lectures, where we talked about getting out there into Aboriginal communities and learning about their culture, I thought it would be a cool opportunity to apply knowledge from what we've learned into an awesome event.
Student, Master of Physiotherapy
Their involvement embodies the UTS 2027 Strategy demonstrating UTS students are committed to social justice and the cultural prosperity of our community. It also demonstrates the impact of the UTS Indigenous Graduate Attribute as the students understand the importance of Indigenous community, healthcare practices and access to services that are responsive to community needs.
I wanted to volunteer to be a part of the Koori knockout in order to further understand the Indigenous culture within my community and further my physiotherapy knowledge and practice within this community.
Student, Master of Physiotherapy
Jai hopes to gain more experience and insight into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, to be able to better assist and manage their health as a physiotherapist when I graduate at the end of the year.
"Being that this will be the first time UTS has been involved in the event, I know that there will be a 'feeling out' process. However, in the future, I hope to attend the event as a qualified physiotherapist to be able to supervise and facilitate future physiotherapy students’ engagement at the event from UTS," says Jai.
"I hope to be able to better organise funding for the event by creating fundraiser projects so students attending would not be out of pocket by having to pay for accommodation/food over the weekend. Lastly, I hope this is the start of a tradition for future UTS Physiotherapy students, to be able to engage in the experience while also learning more about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture."
For Tim, he hopes to utilise his skills and knowledge in preparing the athletes on the day to perform to their best ability.
"I'm also hoping to gain a greater insight into the rich Indigenous community that surrounds us both in Sydney and at the Koori knockout."