Nina Murray, Occupational Therapist Trainer for the Community Based Rehabilitation Program

“I am passionate about occupational therapy and providing rehabilitation in a community setting as I believe it is the
best way to improve the quality of life through purposeful and meaningful rehabilitation. To me, volunteering gives a
true sense of purpose and meaning and is a humbling and rewarding experience. I have been lucky enough to
complete tertiary education and therefore I believe it is my responsibility to use my education to the best of my ability.
Through my tertiary studies I volunteered in India and found this to be a rewarding experience and I could see first-
hand the impact of building the knowledge of those around me to achieve positive outcomes for the community.
When finishing my time in India I knew that I wanted to continue advocating for occupational therapy particularly in
countries where people with disability are significantly disadvantaged. Following this stint in India I travelled through
Nepal and was in awe of the beauty, culture and the kindness of the people. I would be thankful to have the
opportunity to provide a meaningful and purposeful contribution to this country which best capitalises on my
existing skills.
In my most recent role I worked in the ACT Health Community Rehabilitation Team providing rehabilitation for
persons with a neurological condition. Through this role I provided therapy to assist a person to maximally participate
and improve independence and safety in completing activities of daily living. Through extensive knowledge in this
field and working within the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) I feel I am equipped to provide training and
build the capacity of the Karuna Foundation Nepal (KFN). With the allied health assistance who I provided therapy
plans for, I developed the capacity of the health assistant to independently run these therapy programs. An example
of this is a client who identified a goal to independently prepare meals. Through assessment of the client we were
able to identify the functional and cognitive deficits. From this the health assistant and myself provide upper limb
therapy, demonstrated and provided training in adaptive equipment and provided routine practice to assist with
developing cognitive skills. Throughout the therapy program I made myself approachable and encouraged the health
assistant to ask questions and provided practical training where possible to provide holistic education to better
understand and implement occupational therapy, among others.
Through my university studies I have published peer reviewed research to reputable journals, inclusive of the
Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. Thus, demonstrating my skills in conducting and writing research, but more
importantly through this experience I have developed skills in presenting. Research can be complicated and
overwhelming hence to effectively disseminate research it needs to be presented in a jargon-free and easily
digestible way. Furthermore, I am willing to promote KFN through development of strong written skills which can be
used across platforms inclusive of social / print media, websites, journals or international documents. Currently, with
my colleagues we organize both formal and informal sessions to share experiences to assist in empowering
knowledge to the wider team. Through this network we can identify best practice and support one another. This is an
important factor in my workplace and I feel I have the ability to translate this to KFN. Hence, through these
experiences I have demonstrated my ability in strong written and verbal skills to present an array of information
across platforms. I have built a strong network with experienced occupational therapist in Australia who would
encourage networking through other means i.e. Skype or email.
Although Nepal is a long way from Australia, Kathmandu has relatively good internet connection therefore I would be
able to speak to friends and family from time to time. I am excited to develop a support network in Nepal through
joining social groups, for instance I enjoy yoga and would look to join a group. Secondly, I enjoy hiking and would be
located in one of the best places in the world to do this, so I would look to find a hiking group. I have had experiences
in moving from home i.e. I am from Western Australia and moved to Canberra, I have an easy-going nature and
found it quick to settle in and create a network of friends, which I believe I would also be able to do in Nepal. I have
an open mind and optimistic spirit, to ensure volunteering is a positive experience.”

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