Festival of Learning offers diverse knowledge and expert insights

By Tessa Harding

Brand Engagement Manager

On Monday 5 February 2024, Therapy Focus staff came together at the picturesque Joondalup Resort for a day of learning and professional development.

The inaugural all-staff event, known as the Festival of Learning, gave attendees the opportunity to explore areas of interest with 15 breakout sessions covering a diverse range of clinical topics. Staff were invited to register for their preferred sessions, which were facilitated by Therapy Focus’ clinical leads and experts at the forefront of research and best practice in their respective fields.

View the schedule for the day.

Therapy Focus staff at the Festival of Learning

“The event was fantastic. The quality of the presentations and speakers was absolutely amazing and shows what talented staff we have.”

– Support Staff, Therapy Focus

A popular morning session saw Professor Tony Attwood, who is one of the world’s foremost specialists in autism, deliver a presentation via Zoom that explored assessment and intervention for autistic individuals with eating disorders. The session was co-presented by Dr Michelle Garnett, who is a clinical psychologist with more than 30 years of specialising in autism.

Professor Barbara Singer, an APA Neurological Physiotherapist and Fellow of the Australian College of Physiotherapists, shared her 30+ years of knowledge in neurological rehabilitation with her session exploring intervention for spasticity, dystonia and ataxia.

Barbara Singer delivering a presentation

Pictured: Professor Barbara Singer delivering a session at the Festival of Learning

“I found the event to be a good way to connect with other staff and feel a part of the team. The seminars were very relevant to my role and have given me lots to think about for my customers.”

– Physiotherapist, Therapy Focus

Therapy Focus continence clinicians and physiotherapists were fortunate to learn from Alison Wroth, who is the Principal Physiotherapist and Founding Director at Consano Pelvic Health Centre. Alison shared her extensive experience identifying and treating pelvic floor prolapse symptoms.

Occupational therapists were treated to a masterclass in hand and upper limb assessment and intervention, with Perth Children’s Hospital Senior Occupational Therapist, Simon Garbellini, sharing his wealth of knowledge in hand and upper limb conditions.

Presenters from the Australian Childhood Foundation provided invaluable insights into complex trauma and how it impacts the needs and experiences of children and young people. The session also provided practical strategies and interventions for use with those who have experienced trauma.

Simon Garbellini delivering a presentation

Pictured: Simon Garbellini delivering a session at the Festival of Learning

“Excellent event, electives, topics, venue and food… I can use the information immediately with my customers.”

– Speech Pathologist, Therapy Focus

Sessions facilitated by Therapy Focus’ clinical leads were of a very high calibre, with topics covering continence research, transport guidelines, respiratory case studies, gut health, assessments, and executive functioning. A session exploring neuro-affirming practice was particularly popular, with staff eager to understand the impact of specific therapy strategies on certain neurotypes.

The day was also a learning opportunity for support staff, with employees from Therapy Focus’ Finance, Customer Experience, and People, Talent and Culture Teams attending a session focusing on improving wellbeing in the workplace.

Between sessions staff enjoyed catching up with colleagues from Therapy Focus’ 14 offices, including those from Bunbury and Margaret River. Staff who weren’t able to travel to Joondalup Resort participated online and were able to access session recordings post-event.

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