Helen Potter

I have found my place in society and intensely love my work

Thank goodness for Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, who in 1975, offered free university education.  Without this, I would never have become an Allied Health Professional. Labor’s initiative allowed me, despite the disadvantage of growing up in a low socioeconomic environment with poor educational opportunities, to study at Lincoln Institute in Melbourne. I graduated with a Physiotherapy Degree in 1978.

I moved to Perth WA in 1979 and worked at SCGH then as a rural locum physiotherapist for several years.  Professor Lance Twomey (then Head of Physiotherapy at WAIT), encouraged me to apply for a Kellogg Scholarship to assist with funding for my Post Graduate Diploma in Manipulative Physiotherapy in 1984.  During this time, I was very lucky to experience the dynamic and innovative approach to assessment and treatment of Mr Brian Edwards.

Being driven by a passion to empower people with musculoskeletal problems and pain to care for themselves and to increase my own knowledge and skills meant I was continually learning. I involved myself in volunteer sports physiotherapy placements and led seminars, teleconferences and practical courses. I then started supervising physiotherapy students in hospital clinics which led leading to teaching undergraduate, postgraduate and Masters students at Curtin University School of Physiotherapy.

Physiotherapy is a dynamic profession which facilitated my personal growth and education.  I extended my research knowledge and skills by doing a Master of Science while an Academic at Curtin University.

A highlight of my education was presenting my Masters ‘Thesis to respected peers at the International Manipulative Therapy Conference in Perth in 1994. I was delighted with the recognition of the Australian Physiotherapy Profession with an “Award for Excellence for Contribution to the Community” in 2010,

In 2000 Prof Gwen Jull Head of the school of Physiotherapy at Queensland University invited me to run the WA component of the national clinical study later published as “A Randomised Controlled Trial of Exercise and Manipulative therapy for Cervicogenic headache” G Jull, P Trott, H Potter […] Spine Sep 2002 · I remain very grateful for Gwen’s recognition and support.

I was honoured to be awarded Specialisation in Physiotherapy in 2007. This achievement was the result of my dedication and passion to deliver the highest standard of Physiotherapy to my clients and to inspire my students over a period of thirty years.

Despite initially having no life direction, and being poorly equipped in education, confidence and self-esteem, I am pleased with my achievements through Curtin University and the Physiotherapy Profession. I have found my place in society and intensely love my work in the WA community as a Specialist Physiotherapist.

Helen Potter