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Industry experts join Bond's new Occupational Therapy program

The Bond University Master of Occupational Therapy (OT) program has added new members to its ranks, with the appointment of several key staff members - Assistant Professor Tawanda Machingura, Assistant Professor Sally Fields and Assistant Professor Michelle Fair.

Bond's Head of Program, Professor Susan Brandis, warmly welcomed the new additions.

“I am incredibly grateful that these impressive individuals, who make significant contributions to specialised areas of OT, are joining us at Bond,” she said. 

“Occupational therapy is in growing demand over recent years. This is not only in response to the ageing population, but increasing demands for a health workforce who can deliver specialised health services.

"I look forward to our team sharing their unique gifts and talents with the next generation of occupational therapists.”

Prior to Bond University, Assistant Professor Tawanda Machingura was the Assistant Director Occupational Therapist, Mental Health, for Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service.  A highly experienced OT, Tawanda has extensive skills in assessments, modifications, medico-legal services, mental health and rehabilitation.

“I’m excited to bring Tawanda onto the staff, his specific expertise in mental health is of valuable contribution to the program,” Professor Brandis said. 

“Tawanda is also completing a PhD topic on the effectiveness of sensory modulation therapy in people with schizophrenia, and we look forward to him sharing his experiences with our new OT students.”

Assistant Professor Sally Fields comes to Bond as an Advanced Occupational Therapist, working with the Transition Care program at Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service.  Sally holds a Master's degree in Clinical Rehabilitation, and is focused on the area of aged care and rehabilitation.  She is also an active researcher, currently undertaking a PhD in 'Driver Assessment Competencies' using a mixed method approach.

Assistant Professor Michelle Fair has over 20 years’ experience in occupational therapy and runs a successful private practice providing services in workplace rehabilitation, environmental modification and organisational health. 

“Michelle has also worked in senior leadership roles, and her MBA majoring in Occupational Health and Safety provides her with a unique view for occupational therapy in the workplace,” said Professor Brandis. 

“Her approach considers both organisational needs and those of the injured or ill worker, and providing sustainable outcomes to restrict or prevent the cycle of injury and illness.  This area of expertise is incredibly important in OT, as a lot of insurance companies and organisations place significant focus on return to work outcomes.”

The new team joins existing staff member, Associate Professor Kieran Broome who has a PhD in community access and currently works in chronic disease.

The Master of Occupational Therapy program is graduate-entry and commences in September 2016.  It is headed by the highly-experienced Professor Susan Brandis, who joined Bond after 15 years in senior management at Queensland Health including as the inaugural Director of Research for Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service.

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