A dancer at heart, Olivia has always been passionate about analysing movement and educating others on how to improve.

“Growing up, I was heavily involved in dancing which gave me an appreciation for how the body moves,” Olivia said.

This made the decision to study physiotherapy easy for Olivia but she was still faced with the decision of where to study.

“I chose to study at the University of Newcastle due to the high success rates of job allocations as well as the dedicated teaching staff, and volume of practical placements,” Olivia said.

Now in her fourth year of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) program, Olivia says her positive experience with the lecturers at the University of Newcastle has cemented her choice.

“Having so many great lecturers and teachers that have a wide experience in different areas of physiotherapy allows us to engage with content more deeply through their personal experiences.”

Olivia has had the opportunity to apply the knowledge she has learnt in a practical sense.

“Placement is a vital opportunity to put the principles learnt during lectures and tutorials into practice.

“Placement seems daunting but is the most exciting and rewarding part of the Physiotherapy degree,” Olivia said.

This has set Olivia up for her career.

“The sheer volume of placement, particularly during the final year helps you to prepare and feel ready to work.

“The variety of placements in different locations and working with different people in different settings enables a broad knowledge base to be developed.”

Olivia’s academic achievements have also shone.

“My dedication to my studies has been recognised and rewarded through being a part of the College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing Scholars Program and being a successful applicant to the Tamworth Year-Long program,” Olivia said.

The year-long program is run by the University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health (UONDRH) and aims to encourage students to seek opportunities in rural areas when applying for jobs. Through this program, Olivia can stay in Tamworth for her final year to complete placements in the area and complete her final courses, as well as participate in community engagement in a variety of settings.

“Some highlights of my experience so far have been teaching the local community about physiotherapy practices, working as part of a multidisciplinary team in the hospital as well as with my peers from other degrees, and helping others overcome some of the challenges that come with living in a rural location.”

Olivia’s journey at the University of Newcastle has allowed her to align her career aspirations.

“My current goal is to obtain a job in NSW Health where I can work and grow while learning new skills in all areas of physiotherapy.”

Study physiotherapy at the University of Newcastle.

Olivia Gittoes

Olivia Gittoes

Olivia Gittoes is a current student at the University of Newcastle studying a Bachelor of Physiotherapy.

Having so many great lecturers and teachers that have a wide experience in different areas of physiotherapy allows us to engage with content more deeply through their personal experiences.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.