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SCIA launches new spinal cord injury rehabilitation program at ECU

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


  • ECU Associate Professor Tony Blazevich; SCIA Board Director, Mr David Prast; Walk on Parent, Elizabeth Boutet; National Walk on Therapist, Kierre Ireland and SCIA CEO Mr Peter Perry touring the ECU facilities

    ECU Associate Professor Tony Blazevich; SCIA Board Director, Mr David Prast; Walk on Parent, Elizabeth Boutet; National Walk on Therapist, Kierre Ireland and SCIA CEO Mr Peter Perry touring the ECU facilities

ECU has announced a partnership with Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) which will result in the implementation of the innovative Walk On rehabilitation program at the Joondalup Campus.

A direct result of $320,000 in funding from Lotterywest, the program will provide individually tailored exercises to assist people with spinal cord injuries in their rehabilitation.

SCIA will utilise ECU’s acclaimed Health and Wellness Institute as the home of the program, which will train ECU staff and students, allowing them to develop specific rehabilitation exercises while utilising the University’s state-of-the-art equipment.

Minster for Mental Health and Disability Services, the Hon. Helen Morton MLC presented a $320,000 cheque to a SCIA Director, Mr David Prast on Wednesday to mark the beginning of the project.

"SCIA has a proud tradition of advocating for and providing services in support of people with sci. Walk On is our latest initiative providing the spinal cord injured community in WA the opportunity for functional recovery promoting independence and improved quality of life," said Mr Prast.

National Walk on Therapist, Kierre Ireland is looking forward to implementing the program in Western Australia.

“Walk On is a fantastic, innovative program, and we are really excited to open a new facility in Western Australia, which is a direct result of client demand. This partnership with ECU is an amazing opportunity, and gives us a chance to collaborate together, utilising the University’s expertise in the health and wellness area.”

ECU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kerry Cox also attended and is pleased that the University has been chosen as the base of the Walk On program.

“Spinal cord injuries affect hundreds of people each year, and significantly impacts the lives of those affected, their families and friends,” said Professor Cox.

“It is a credit to ECU that we have been selected as the location of this new program, which will not only help change the lives of those affected by spinal cord injuries in Western Australia, but will also provide a valuable training opportunity for our staff and students.” .

This is the third program to be set up in Australia, with successful programs already established in Sydney and Brisbane.

For more information visit the SCIA website, or the Government of Western Australia media release.

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