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Shannon awarded Gabby Robberds Scholarship

Kim Pham

12 May 2016: A University of Canberra student is a step closer to realising her dream of becoming a paediatric physiotherapist after being awarded this year's Gabrielle 'Gabby' Robberds Scholarship.

Masters of Physiotherapy student Shannon Standen will join the Cerebral Palsy Alliance in Alstonville next month for a five-week clinical placement, in addition to receiving a cash prize.

The award was created in memory of two-year-old Gabby Robberds who had cerebral palsy and passed away in 2010.

"I like every aspect and field of physiotherapy so I really hope to work with children in the future. As I was a dancer I'm quite interested in dance physiotherapy, if there's some way I could combine working with children and dancers and a broader scope of musculoskeletal and neurological physiotherapy that would be great," the 26-year-old said.

Mrs Standen first became interested in studying physiotherapy because of her contact with practitioners during her years as a ballet dancer. She still teaches dance classes to this day, juggling that with her studies and clinical placements. Eventually Mrs Standen would like to combine her two passions by providing dance classes for children and adults with cerebral palsy.

"I met quite a few good physiotherapists who wanted me to be aware of my anatomy and physiology and I found that really interesting," she said.

Mrs Standen thanked the Robberds family for the scholarship which she received at a ceremony held on campus on 7 April and said she was looking forward to beginning her placement. "It was very humbling to meet the Robberds family and it's great to see them still taking such a role in promoting physiotherapy because they found it was so beneficial to Gabby in her life," she said.

"I think placements are probably the most important part of our degree because that's where we can get the clinical experience and can see our skills put to use in the real world."