PearsonThursday 12 April 2012, 10:59AM
Media release from Pearson
Three New Zealand Occupational Therapists are in the running to
receive the inaugural Pearson 'Always Learning' award - a $5000
study grant aimed at acknowledging the important contribution Kiwi
Occupational Therapists make to the community.
Private practitioners Glenda van de Ven-Long from Palmerston North
and Catherine Fink from Christchurch, along with Otago Polytechnic
Principal Lecturer Merrolee Penman, have been chosen by a panel of
judges as the three finalists in line for the award.
The judges, made up of representatives from the New Zealand
Association of Occupational Therapists and Pearson Clinical
Assessment, were impressed by the diversity of the applications and
how they reflected the broad areas of practice in which
occupational therapists can play a role in helping people.
Glenda plans to use the Always Learning grant to attend advanced
training and meet with expert Occupational Therapists who are
working with people with a dual diagnosis, (where mental health
illness, substance use disorders and /or brain injury collide and
are seen as primary conditions).
"I would like to inspire other New Zealand Occupational Therapists
to up-skill in the area of working with people who present with
multiple and complex behaviours and needs," she says.
Catherine, whose interest in promoting physical and mental wellness
both at work and in the community was heightened by the Canterbury
earthquakes and the effect they have had on people's health, hopes
to use the grant to help further the role of the Occupational
Therapist in the area of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Having previously worked in a World Federation of Occupational
Therapy (WFOT) Project to support the development of Chinese
Occupational Therapy Educators knowledge of Occupational Therapy,
Merrolee would like to use the prize winnings to join the first
study tour to China organised by Otago Polytechnic.
"With this tour I would be able to meet some of the Occupational
Therapy Educators I first met in the WFOT Project in 2011 to gain
an understanding of their learning needs, and consider ways in
which Otago Polytechnic may be able to assist these Educators to
engage in the study opportunities we offer," says Merrolee.
"There were a lot of interesting project ideas," explains Pearson
General Manager Anne Madden. "But one of the factors that
helped distinguish the top three was that each finalist's project
aimed to develop an area of work that is not well established in
the NZ occupational therapy community."
Each finalist will now go through a rigorous interview process
whereby judges will each rank the finalists then compare and
discuss their rankings in order to decide on the overall winner and
The winner will be announced on Thursday 26 April and will be
publicly acknowledged at the New Zealand Association of
Occupational Therapists bi-annual conference in Hamilton in
September. The prize is a $5,000 grant to support further
study in the winner's chosen area of interest.
Pearson Always Learning Award entrants were required to complete an
application form outlining their existing experience in the area of
practice related to the professional development activity,
explaining how undertaking activity would impact on their clinical
practice, improve the health and well-being of New Zealanders and
benefit the wider Occupational Therapist community.
This is a new award offered by Pearson Clinical Assessment to
recognise the great work of Occupational Therapists in New
Pearson Clinical Assessment is a division of Pearson PLC - the
world's leading publisher and producer of materials that help
educate millions of people worldwide.