Matthew is a fourth year physiotherapy student at Curtin University. Work and volunteer opportunities with Senses Australia, Muscular Dystrophy WA, Nulsen Disability Services and a range of organisations in Vietnam and Cambodia helped introduce Matthew to the therapy and services available to people living with disabilities. In particular, Matthew helped to build a community program between children with muscular dystrophy and Year 11 school students.
The program aimed to facilitate and develop strong and meaningful friendships whilst increasing the students’ understanding of how disabilities can affect individuals in a range of ways. After having started in 2017, the program has delivered deeply positive outcomes for all involved in the welcoming and encouraging environment created.
After having volunteered with The Healthy Strides Foundation for almost a year, Matthew’s role has now developed into building therapy student interest for the world of neurological rehabilitation through volunteer and Professional Development opportunities. He hopes to allow interested students to learn about neurological rehabilitation in as many ways as possible.
Matthew is very interested in research, and for the next two years will be completing his Honours Research Project with The Healthy Strides Foundation and Curtin University. Matthew is investigating the feasibility of an intensive treadmill training intervention delivered within an inter-disciplinary framework for children with neurological conditions and injuries.
Reading the most up to date and relevant literature has significantly increased his curiosity in, and passion for, intensive task-specific therapies targeted at achieving goals for children in rehabilitation. Matthew hopes to incorporate this learning and research into his practice and continue to do so well beyond his undergraduate degree.