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Curtin University’s award speaks volumes

Media release

Curtin University’s Faculty of Health Sciences has won the WA Health Award 2012 for Excellence in Clinical Training for the Gosnells Community Speech Pathology Clinic.

The Clinic, run by final-year Curtin speech pathology students under the supervision of qualified speech pathologists, provides free outpatient speech pathology services to adults with swallowing and communication difficulties.

Mary Claessen, Lecturer in Human Communication Science at Curtin’s School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, said that the broader community benefits from students having the opportunity to work with a variety of speech impairments.

“This Clinic is the first of its kind in Western Australia,” Ms Claessen said.

“Clients receive more intensive therapy than they would in a hospital outpatient setting and we accept clients from all suburbs for services such as individual, group, restorative and maintenance therapies.

“There is also a home visiting service for clients with poor mobility and options to conduct the sessions in public areas such as workplaces where patients may have difficulties speaking to customers.”

Professor Adrian North, Head of School of Psychology and Speech Therapy, said that because the Clinic offered a free service with no waiting list, it significantly reduced the pressure for outpatient services on the Bentley and Armadale hospitals.

“Prior to the opening of this clinic, patients often experienced three-month waiting periods for assistance,” Professor North said.

“By reducing this waiting list to virtually nothing, staff in hospitals can now provide increased focus on clients requiring acute care.”

The Clinic has been a collaborative approach with Armadale and Bentley Health Services of the South Metropolitan Health Service.

The winners were announced on 15 November at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre.

For more information about the Gosnells Community Speech Pathology Clinic, telephone (08) 9394 0295, email or visit