Engage with us

Engage with us

The Department of Health Professions at Macquarie University has established a wide variety of clinical partnerships and research collaborations.  Our inclusive, cross-disciplinary approach means that we welcome new opportunities to engage with our profession and the wider community.  

Prince of Wales Hospitals, The Children’s Hospital, Health Networks Australia, GWS Giants FC and Optus are just a few of our partners. We are committed to building and maintaining strong relationships with our clinical partners, which will allow you to gain more valuable experience, knowledge and help you transform future healthcare and engage in ground-breaking research.

Contact us for more information about hosting students on clinical placements, exploring research collaborations, attending our workshops and seminars and volunteering for our Health And Wellbeing Collaboration (HAWC) Program.  

The Health And Wellbeing Collaboration (HAWC) Program

The HAWC program is a clinical placement our students undertake, that complements their classroom learning, with volunteers from the community.  Our volunteers, or HAWCs, are people who volunteer to allow our students to visit them periodically. Anyone can be a HAWC. We need people of all ages.

Become a volunteer 

Make a contribution to the education of our future healthcare workers in an innovative degree at Macquarie University by volunteering with the department.

Become HAWC adult volunteer     Become HAWC paediatric volunteer

What is the Health and Wellbeing Collaboration?

Health And Wellbeing Collaboration (HAWC) is a clinical placement which is an integral and innovative approach to the education of our future healthcare workforce. The program has several purposes:

  • We aim to impart a person-centred approach to healthcare which is best taught through experiencing healthcare from different perspectives. Through this program students have the opportunity to observe healthcare in action and follow people and their progress as they navigate their own healthcare
  • In addition, students have the opportunity to integrate theoretical training with practice with real people in the early stages of their education.  This is an ideal way to ensure a deeper learning experience. Students will observe and practise foundation skills,  including interviewing, observation and analysis of movement, basic assessment, measurement of activity levels and response to exercise, as they learn them in the classroom. Students may also track health indicators, health incidents and events.

Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits of participating as a HAWC?

There will be many benefits of volunteering as a HAWC.

  • Firstly you will be contributing to the education of future healthcare workers in an innovative degree at Macquarie University.
  • Your students may, over time, perform assessments of you or your child’s mobility, balance or other activities which may provide valuable information to you.
  • Your students can also be involved in any of their HAWC’s daily activities such as assisting with home exercise programs and interacting with the children during playtime, mealtime etc and this may provide valuable assistance for families.

What will the students do during their visits?

Students will be talking to you and/or your family about you or your child’s health condition and will observe and interact with you/your child as they go through their usual daily routines.  They could be involved in their HAWC’s daily activities such as attending medical/physiotherapy appointments, assisting with home exercise programs and interacting with the children during playtime, mealtime etc.  

For paediatric HAWCs, the students will also ask your permission to take a short video of your child performing an activity, skill or part of an assessment.  This video forms part of the student’s assessment for this unit and allows their tutors to see how well they engage, communicate and interact with the child and/or family members.

When will I start?

Students will contact you to arrange a suitable time and place for your initial interview with you and/or your child.  Initial contact will be in about mid to late March (adult and paediatrics) and late August (adult).

How available do I need to be?

We do not want your appointments with our students to be intrusive or a burden, so it is completely up to you to decide when you are available. We do however hope you will be available approximately once every 3-4 weeks for students to visit and interact with you.

Do I have to provide my/my child’s whole medical history and/or health records?

If you do not want to disclose personal information about yourself, your family and/or your child then that is your right. However, if you choose to provide a brief medical and social history, your students will be better able to complete an assessment and be better able to provide advice and assistance.  Students are trained in privacy, confidentiality and professional behaviour prior to commencing the HAWC program so you can be assured that your information will be treated appropriately.

Do I/my child receive treatment for my existing (or new) illnesses?

No, you/your child will not receive physiotherapy treatment. However, the students may be involved in the implementation of existing interventions. In the first instance, the HAWC program assists students in the development of their physiotherapy skills. They will remain under supervision of physiotherapy staff at Macquarie University at all times.

What happens to my personal details?

ll personal details provided by you/your child will remain confidential. Any and all information will be used only by our students as education material and if shared in a group or discussion, all identifying information will be removed.

Privacy Policy:  The Discipline of Physiotherapy at Macquarie University respects you and your child’s right to privacy and is committed to protecting the privacy of information we hold about you. Personal information supplied to us is only used in education-related activities. Information resulting from interactions with your students may also be used within the Discipline of Physiotherapy. In this case, all information identifying you will be removed. Students will have been trained in privacy and confidentiality requirements prior to attending appointments.

Can I change my mind?

Yes. If you are unhappy with the program for any reason, please contact the HAWC coordinator immediately and we will discuss your concerns.  You are free to withdraw from the program at any time.

OK, I am interested. What do I do now?

Adult Volunteers
Complete an Expression of Interest form online or download a pdf.

Paediatric Volunteers
Complete an Expression of Interest form online or download a pdf.

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