Mrs Gjyn O'Toole
|Work Phone||(02) 4921 6312|
|Fax||(02) 4921 7053|
School of Health Sciences
The University of Newcastle, Australia
|Office||HB04, Hunter Building|
As an Occupational Therapist I have enjoyed empowering people to overcome emotional, physical, cognitive or social barriers in daily life. Since graduating in the mid-1970s I have worked in various settings including general rehabilitation; stroke rehabilitation; rheumatology; amputations; mental health (both acute and long-term stay); occupational rehabilitation; paediatrics; palliative care; orthopaedics; dementia; medico legal; policy development and management in Australia. I have also practiced with children and adults in both Fiji and China.
My endeavours in Fiji for the last thirty years have contributed to raising the profile of people with disability and changing the way they are perceived within Fijian society..
My endeavours in China have contributed to increased understanding and management of children with Autism. In many cases it has empowered parents to accept their children and provide the environments that assist these children to reach their potential.
As a teacher I have worked in both universities and high schools teaching communication; general English; scientific English, Educational Psychology, research skills and aspects of Occupational Therapy. Since training as a teacher I have taught at the University of Sydney and the University of Newcastle; in Australia and in China; South Africa; Uganda and Kenya.
As a representative of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists I taught Occupational Therapy in northern..
I have a passion for teaching and my experience in various practice and educational settings allows me to assist students in many areas. I use mixed methods studies to validate my teaching and to enhance student learning. Findings from such research are generally presented at state, national international conferences.
Since joining the Occupational Therapy (OT) program in 2002, I have developed new courses in Occupational Science; Introducing Occupational Therapy; Paediatrics; transitioning into practice and communication. During this time I have lectured in Mental Health, Group work; Palliative Care, Intellectual Disabilities, Rural and Remote practice, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples health and occupations; transitioning into practice and developing relevant OT programs. I have been instrumental in supporting overseas students as they develop both their language skills and their competence to function in Australia. While teaching at UoN, my skill in teaching, my research and my experience have contributed to the transformation of many students as they discover their potential, overcome barriers of many kinds and become enthused by my commitment to bringing dignity and worth to all individuals. In recognition of my commitment to quality teaching, I received the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence and Learning Support (2007).
I have had various publications including journal articles, book chapters and books, based upon current evidence. The second edition of Communication: Core interpersonal skills for health professionals (2012), a well-researched book is used in courses for health professionals around the world.
I have also jointly edited a ground breaking book Occupation Analysis in Practice (2011) with Lynette Mackenzie. This book presents a holistic analysis of occupation for practice which some consider a novel approach for Occupational Therapists.
I actively support colleagues in both Iran and China where particular relevant health professions are developing research knowledge and skill.
I have been part of three teams receiving grant funding from the UoN, Centre for Teaching and Learning to research and develop relevant resources for students and staff of the university.
I am currently developing programs for local primary schools to ensure all kindergarten children have the opportunity to reach their potential. I am however committed to assisting OT students reach their potential through research and quality teaching.
- Master of Educational Studies (TESOL), University of Newcastle, 2002
- Post Graduate Diploma of TEFL, University of Sydney, 1992
- Bachelor of Arts, Macquarie University, 1981
- Diploma of Occupational Therapy, Cumberland College of Health Sciences, 1975
- Cultural Competence
- Enhancing Occupational Therapy Practice
- Familiy/person-centred practice
Communicating in Health practice
Enhancing student learning;
Characteristics of family/Person-centred practice;
Skills in developing cultural competence while communicating during practice.
I have been a team member on various research projects with people from within the University of Newcastle staff including Public Health, Speech Pathology and staff from Wollotuka and the Family Action Centre. This research has promoted cultural awareness and competence along with encourgaing social inclusion within the university community.
I have also been involved in research with academics from Occupational Therapy programs from other universities in Australia, China and Iran.
I have also collaborated with staff across the School of Health Sciences to enhance student learning, develop relevant assessments and develop meaningful and relevant curriculum
Fields of Research
|130202||Curriculum And Pedagogy Theory And Development||50|
|130199||Education Systems Not Elsewhere Classified||25|
|119999||Medical And Health Sciences Not Elsewhere Classified||25|
Body relevant to professional practice.
- Member - Occupational Therapy Australia
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy Accreditation
Professional Placement Supervision and Monitoring
- Group Process
- Occupational Therapy in Practice
- Psychosocial Health
- Transitioning to Practice
I have taught many subjects since joining the Occupational Therapy Program at the University of Newcastle. These include:
Introductory OT, Introduction to Occupational Therapy Practice; Paediatrics, Psychosocial Health/Mental Health, Group Process, Specialty Skills (Burns, Amputations, Oncology, Intellectual Disability), Transitioning to Practice, Occupational Science from an international perspective and OT Program Development.
I have also been responsible for supervision and organisation of Professional Placements for various year within the program.
Research Honours supervision is a regular part of my workload.
I have coordinated First Year, Third Year and Fourth Year of the OT degree as well as coordinating various courses within the degree across four years of the program.
I have consistently provided language and cultural support for Overseas OT students.