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Former naval officer charts new course at UC

Antony Perry

13 April 2017: The circumstances that led Cameron Garnock to undertake a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at the University of Canberra are vastly different to many of his cohort.

The former naval officer was serving in the Middle East in 2012 when he crushed his thigh bone while carrying out his duties promoting maritime security.

He underwent several operations on his leg after returning to Australia and the injury ultimately cut short his time in the navy.

The 30-year-old graduated on Thursday 13 April, as part of the University’s first cohort of undergraduate physiotherapy students.

“When I injured my leg I underwent several operations to reset it,” Mr Garnock said.

“I was spending a fair bit of time around physios, particularly after my surgeries, and that’s when it struck me. I thought, ‘Wouldn’t this be a desirable job?’”.

Mr Garnock was one of 53 students accepted into the degree and he seized this opportunity with both hands, making the most of regional placements and work experience opportunities.

A keen rugby union fan, Mr Garnock was delighted to work with the University of Canberra Vikings during the side’s inaugural National Rugby Championship campaign in 2014. He said the opportunity to work alongside people at the peak of the industry was a highlight of the degree.

“I undertook a huge number of placements across the four years and they were what made the degree so great,” he said.

“From regional placements in Orange and Moruya to working with elite athletes at the Brumbies on campus, the real-life experiences I was provided with were so beneficial to my learning experience and progression.”

But it was a placement at the University’s Health Hub that he said gave him great insight into what it would be like to work as a private practice physiotherapist.

“I did a placement focusing on musculoskeletal injuries at the Health Hub and that gave me a really good idea of the area of physiotherapy I wanted to work in,” he said.

“Seeing patient after patient and working efficiently to avoid falling behind was a really important part of the learning experience.”

Mr Garnock is now working as a physiotherapist at SportsCare and Physiotherapy.

Read about more of our recent graduates:

Paul’s inspiring walk to collect UC degrees

Kefu’s UC love story

Mistletoe’s role in treating cancer focus of PhD