Sister Jo's balance a credit to ACU students

Sister Jo Scanlan's brilliant smile is an enduring reminder of the power of movement.

The retired nun has improved her balance and is once again free to explore the world after participating in student-delivered physiotherapy at Australian Catholic University's Allied Health Clinic.

Sister Jo last year sought treatment because she was concerned about falls and wanted to restore confidence in her movement.

Underpinned by evidence that exercise programs can reduce the rate of falls in older people, participation in regular balance circuits at the clinic prepared Sister Jo to tackle a trip to Papua New Guinea.    

"I can walk again with confidence," she said. "When I get wobbly, I know how to counterbalance it, and I enjoy the challenge of exercise."

Sister Jo's experience last July was the 10,000th patient treatment at Banyo's ACU Allied Health Clinic, which provides low-cost services to the community.

For the past six years final-year students, supervised ACU's team of highly experienced professional practice educators, have delivered physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology and social work services to clients.

Programs offered at the clinic include the Vestibular Balance and Mobility Physiotherapy and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy program attended by Sister Jo, with almost 1400 treatments booked last year alone.

In addition to providing a low-cost service to the community, the clinic offers professional clinical placements to more than 130 School of Allied Health students each year.

For more information, or to book an appointment, phone 3623 7740 or email

Pictured below (L to R): Clinic administrative officer Elisa Di Trapani, clinical educator Gail Wickham, Sister Jo Scanlan and clinic coordinator Mark Brown.

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