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Therapists provide support to Christmas and Cocos Islands

Published 15th June, 2017
A new agreement between Therapy Focus and the Indian Oceans Territories Health Service has seen two Therapy Focus therapists deliver services on the Christmas and Cocos Islands.


Advanced Occupational Therapist Sharon Hedley and Speech Pathologist Holly Pearse have been travelling to the islands since May, where they have experienced the challenges and triumphs of working in a remote environment.

“I’m based mostly at Christmas Island District High School, where the majority of students speak English as a second language. Some have disabilities and speech and language delays” Holly said.

“My role is to review the children on the speech pathology caseload, update goals and programs, and provide strategies to parents, teachers and the therapy assistant.”

“It’s been fantastic working with the school staff, who are very enthusiastic and eager to learn. An added bonus is the beautiful tropical island scenery and seeing so many crabs on the beach!”

Therapy Focus Business Transitions Manager, Samantha Berglin said the agreement was established to support local services, who were struggling to keep up with demand as populations continue to expand.

“A growing number of school-aged children require therapy intervention, which is why the Indian Oceans Territories Health Service reached out for external support,” Samantha said.

“Having worked in other remote and regional areas, our clinicians are experienced in delivering services effectively in challenging environments. We are delighted to be able to provide access to highly qualified therapists who are backed by the resources and knowledge of an entire organisation.”

For more information about the range of services and support Therapy Focus provides, visit the How we can help page.

Speech Pathologist with Christmas Island primary school students

Pictured: Therapy Focus Speech Pathologist Holly Pearse with Christmas Island District High School students

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