Help for skin disease, podiatry and therapeutic services recognised

Winners of Chancellor Community AwardsThree UniSA projects with considerable community outcomes and collaboration have been recognised at this year’s Chancellor’s Awards for Community Engagement.

UniSA Chancellor, Jim McDowell, congratulated the winners for their outstanding work.

Researchers Allison Cowin and Zlatko Kopecki, from the Future Industries Institute, won the “best collaborations in contributing to creating more vibrant communities” category for a project which improves the quality of life for seriously ill children with skin blistering.

The project examined the benefits of an in-home nursing program for children with Epidermolysis Bullosa, a disease that causes skin to be so fragile it can be injured easily and cause blisters.

“The project has been extremely successful with it initially piloted in South Australia, then expanded into a national program and has now been adopted in a similar format internationally,” McDowell says.

The researchers partnered with Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association (DEBRA), Women’s & Children’s Hospital (Department of Dermatology), BrightSky Australia and the Little Heroes Foundation.

UniSA’s podiatry team won the “best collaborations in improving the sustainable use of resources” category.

The podiatry team collaborated with the Nganampa Health Council for its Tjina Wiru (Good Feet) project which provides podiatry services to the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands community.

“The project has evolved into a student-led clinical program and to date, more than 4000 occasions of service have been provided, the primary focus being diabetes foot care but also includes sports injury management, paediatric podiatry, footwear advice and nail surgery,” McDowell says. 

The UniSA project members receiving the award were Sara Jones, Ryan Causby and Cyndi Cole.

A project providing therapeutic services to the community won the “best collaborations in building human potential across the community through intergenerational approaches” category.

Kobie Boshoff, Angela Berndt and Carolyn Murray from UniSA’s Occupational Therapy area, partnered with Department for Education and Child Development, Helping Hand Aged Care SA, ACH and Southern Cross Care for the ‘learning from each other’ project.

“The project has seen the partners work together to develop an innovative and responsive intergenerational placement model which provides a goal-focused, group therapeutic program to around 2500 community members including children, and older people with dementia,” McDowell says.

“The three projects which received awards are outstanding examples of UniSA staff using their expertise to benefit sections of the community.

“Engaging with the community is at the core of UniSA’s values, and I am very proud to highlight these remarkable projects.”

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