Dayna graduated from Curtin University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science, Physiotherapy 1st Class Honours. Since graduating, Dayna has been devoted to the paediatric field having worked at Therapy Focus before moving to the Ability Centre (previously known as The Centre for Cerebral Palsy).
Over an 8-year period at the Ability Centre, Dayna held multiple positions including Senior Physiotherapist for the School Aged Intervention Program, Early Intervention Program and Movement Analysis Physiotherapist. In her Movement Analysis capacity, Dayna was responsible for running specialist clinics including Lower Limb Biomechanical, Spinal, Gait Analysis and Stepping Out Clinic. She was also responsible for providing mentorship and training to physiotherapists.
Dayna is passionate about training and education and has convened three conferences at both a local (Dystonia Study Day and Creating Possibilities for Therapists and Families) and national level (International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics).
Dayna began working at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) for Children as a Senior Physiotherapist in the Rehabilitation Mobility Clinics (Cerebral Palsy Mobility Service) in 2008 before commencing her role in the Movement Disorders Service in 2010.
In 2011, Dayna was instrumental in setting up the sub-acute intensive rehabilitation service known as iRehab at PMH. In 2012, Dayna travelled to the United States of America to tour some of the leading rehabilitation centres in North America. On her return, new ideas were implemented into the iRehab service with the procurement of specialised equipment in order to enhance functional outcomes for children in Western Australia. Dayna has since continued in her role as the Clinical Co-ordinator and Lead of the iRehab service.
In 2013, Dayna commenced her PhD at the University of Western Australia. Her thesis entitled Functional Electrical Stimulation in Children with Unilateral Spastic Cerebral Palsy, a study of the effects based on the International Classification of Functioning Child and Youth Version (funding support from the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and PMH Foundation) was completed in 2016.
During the doctorate period, Dayna published several papers and won several awards (including Best Paper at the World Congress of the International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics in Lyon, France in 2015, Best Poster at the Australian Paediatric Orthopaedic Society in 2016 and Finalist for the HESTA Young Leaders Award in 2013).
Dayna commenced her Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Curtin University in 2016 as the Principal Investigator in an innovative study that was supported by the Telethon and Perth Children’s Hospital Research Fund. The study known as iStride investigates the effectiveness of intensive locomotor training in children with cerebral palsy. The results of the study have been very promising and presents as an exciting intervention for children with cerebral palsy who require daily ambulatory and wheelchair supports.
Dayna is also the Principal Investigator for the Next Steps Project: a knowledge translation project that aims to educate and train therapists on the use of functional electrical stimulation. This project is supported by the Perth Children's Hospital Foundation.
Dayna was a finalist in the Third Sector Awards in 2018 for social entrepreneur of the year.
During these years, Dayna commenced her postdoctoral fellowship at Curtin University. In this role, Dayna was successful in major grant applications: Active Strides CP (National Health and Medical Research Fund or NHMRC) and CPMovetime (Medical Research Future Fund or MRFF).
Both projects involve national and international collaborations with the combined aim of improving the health of children with cerebral palsy. Dayna is also leading the development of a Learning Health Care System known as ‘The Power of One’ at The Healthy Strides Foundation.
Dayna was named 40 under 40 at the 2020 Business Awards and won the Allied Health Awards Impact and Innovation category in 2021. Dayna was also named a Westfield Local Hero in 2021 thanks to the support of the community.
Dayna was the co-founder and director of Therapists Abroad Inc (trading as Get Equip’d) - a Not-for-Profit, Public Benevolent Institution. This organisation aimed to support the training and provision of equipment for children with disabilities in Miri, Malaysia.
The vision was to build the capacity of the local community through partnerships with local disability service providers and local industry. However, through the pandemic many things needed to change and it was clear that a more permanent presence was warranted.
For this reason, in 2022, Dayna led the set up of Healthy Strides Malaysia with the aim of ensuring that programs that are available in Perth are also available internationally.