Claire Smart Image

After graduating from Merici in 2014 I accepted an early entry offer into the Bachelor of Physiotherapy degree at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Albury. I have loved every moment of my last three years at university, and though challenging, I have built on the many skills I developed at Merici. The great opportunities I have had at CSU include representing CSU at the Eastern Uni Games for Volleyball, receiving an Executive Dean’s Award, being accepted into the Integrated Honours program and presenting my honours project at the CSU Science Symposium in Wagga. The focus of my project is investigating practitioner reasoning and experience in using Kinesio Tape (aka coloured sports tape) in Paediatric Physiotherapy Practice. I am looking forward to many exciting placements in my fourth year in neurorehabilitation, musculoskeletal, paediatrics and cardiorespiratory physiotherapy. Once I graduate I would love to work in paediatrics and with people with disability both in Australia and overseas. These aspirations would not have been possible without the amazing teaching and empowering culture I was brought up in at Merici.

These aspirations would not have been possible without the amazing teaching and empowering culture I was brought up in at Merici.

From my time at Merici I made many lifelong friendships, including Elizabeth Zoneff who is studying a Double Degree in Engineering and Science at the Australian National University. Together in July this year, we took on an adventure charity challenge to climb the Great Wall of China for Parkinson’s Disease. After my Dad was diagnosed in 2015 with early onset Parkinson’s disease, we wanted to do something to raise awareness and give hope to others in the same situation. We had an incredible time in China exploring Beijing, trekking remote sections of the Wall, and being immersed in the Chinese culture. Our highlight of the trip was the incredible scenery along the wall and having my Dad along for the trek. His determination and perseverance was an endless source of inspiration to us (it was also handy to have a photographer for all those photo worthy moments!). We were overwhelmed with everyone’s support through our fundraising reaching over $5200, which goes 100% to Parkinson’s research thanks to the Shake it Up Australia foundation. Our advice for anyone wanting to make a difference is to not give up, sometimes it’s the smallest of actions that have the greatest impact."