Fiji Volunteer: 12 months with AVI

Motivation Australia and the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) of Fiji are looking for an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist to work alongside the Mobility Device Service (MDS) team in Suva, Fiji. Your will work to capacity build local personal with the support of Motivation Australia’s clinical and technical team.

This is an Australian Volunteers International funded position, for more details about the assignment or to complete an application form click here.

If you would like to discuss the position further, contact MA’s Senior Clinical Coordinator Lauren Flaherty

Diabetic Foot Care success in Samoa!

In 2014 the International Diabetes Federation reported that Pacific Island countries account for eight of the top ten countries in the world for diabetes prevalence, with some rates as high as 37%. The increasing burden diabetes is placing on social and health systems in the region, makes the prevention and treatment of Diabetes complications a priority. Foot wounds (ulcers) are amongst the most common complications of uncontrolled diabetes. People with diabetes are more susceptible to developing foot ulcers that are slower to heal. Currently in many Pacific countries, untreated, infected diabetic foot ulcers often lead to multiple amputations and sometimes death. In Suva, Fiji there is one lower limb amputation every ten to twelve hours.

However, the World Health Organisation estimates that 50% of all hospital admissions and amputations as a result of diabetes can be prevented with appropriate foot care. A Diabetic Foot Clinic allows all aspects of diabetic foot care to happen at the same time, alongside other medical and surgical services. Preventing amputations is beneficial for the client, their family and their community; it also has the potential to reduce health care costs by decreasing hospital admissions and on-going amputee management costs (including Prosthetic devices).

Motivation Australia and the Samoa National Health Service have been working together over the last six months to introduce the Diabetic Foot Clinic (DFC) into outpatient medical services. This has been achieved through the Samoa Integrated Mobility Device Service project (SIMDES). For more information on SIMDES, click here, or download a SIMDES project flyer.

The DFC provides wound care including debridement and dressing, orthotic offloading devices and diabetes education for clients at risk of amputation. At each DFC appointment clients see the Nurse, Podiatrist and the Orthotist working as a team.

Crucially, the DFC team has linked with other National Health Service (NHS) departments through referrals to Dietary Services, Physiotherapy, Eye Clinic, Medical and Surgical Doctors and the MDS.

The DFC Clinic has been very successful, with the following key outcomes:

  • The multi-disciplinary team (MDT): The MDT has been key to the success of the DFC, with team members bringing a broad range of knowledge and skills to benefit the DFC clients. Knowledge and skills shared amongst the team members has also raised the overall capacity of the team to provide effective services.
  • Change in attitudes: A change in clients’ attitudes and behaviour has been one of the biggest successes noted by the DFC team with many clients taking more control of and responsibility for their health. This is attributed to effective communication as part of client education, as it enables clients to understand what is happening, providing motivation to continue with their treatment. Positive outcomes of treatments and the sharing of stories between clients is also key to these changes.
  • Wound healing: Consistent progress of wound healing has been a positive outcome for the DFC client group. The service has seen high numbers of serious surgical and diabetic wounds heal in a relatively short period of time.


“With their advice on controlling my blood sugar levels in order for my ulcers to heal, it has changed my diet a lot too. Not only do they focus on my foot wounds, but they’re concerned about my health in general as well”

(words of a client of the DFC)

During the recent six-month evaluation, there was strong support from NHS management for the continuation of the DFC, ensuring on-going MDT management of clients with diabetic foot ulcers. This is fantastic news for all involved and will hopefully lead to the reduction of diabetes related amputations in the future.

For more information about Motivation Australia’s DFC Resources contact Senior Clinical Coordinator, Lauren Flaherty. For more information on the SIMDES project, contact Project Manager, Ray Mines.

Algeos Australia

Algeos Australia is a podiatry supplier based in Melbourne. We are a subsidiary of Algeos Global. Established over 100 years ago and with offices in England, America, India, Middle East, China and Australia. Algeos is a global leader in the Podiatry and Allied Health supplies arena. Algeos is a committed partner to Motivation Australia.

Visit Algeos at:

Charity Christmas Gifts

Give more and consume less this Christmas – donate to Motivation Australia in the name of your loved ones! 

Motivation Australia’s Christmas Wish ListEntertainment Books or Gift Memberships are a great way to give gifts to family and friends.

Wish List: Motivation Australia has teamed up with Karma Currency to create a Christmas Wish List that will support the work that we are doing in the Pacific Region. Building local capacity to provide appropriate, sustainable services for girls, boys, women and men.

Entertainment Books: Motivation Australia has sold Entertainment Books (digital and paper) for the past few years. Discover hundreds of valuable up 2-for-1 and up to 50% off offers for many of the best restaurants, cafés, arts, attractions, hotels, travel and shopping – AND if you go digital you can have those savings on the go, share your app with another family member and decrease your impact on our environment. 20% of every membership sold is donated to Motivation Australia.

Gift memberships: Our members support Motivation Australia in a number of ways – through attending events, contributing to our annual fundraising efforts or volunteering their time, knowledge and skills. Many of our members report that they enjoy learning about the work that Motivation Australia does though our website, social media and members updates. A Gift Membership is a great way to introduce family and friends to Motivation Australia. Download, complete and email the Members and Supporters form to us, and we will email you a gift certificate to include in your Christmas Card or email!

For more information on any of these Gifts, please contact our Office Manager, Kate Shortt.

Vanuatu wheelchair service provision project

The Vanuatu Wheelchair Service Provision project Phase I (WSPI) is a one year (2015-2016) collaboration between the Vanuatu Ministry of Health (MOH), VSDP (Vanuatu Society for Disabled People), the Sanma Frangipani Association (SFA) and Motivation Australia.

Together we are working towards consistent, sustainable, equitable access to appropriate, basic level wheelchairs for women and men in Vanuatu. This project will include the capacity building of four service sites in Port Vila and Luganville.

Training and mentoring for local personnel will be provided – including a basic level wheelchair training course utilising the World Health Organisation’s Wheelchair Service Training Package and Motivation Australia training material.

The WSPI project will also enable partners to look ahead and plan for future programmes that can address other mobility device needs such as: intermediate level wheelchair provision, rural and remote service provision and prosthetic and orthotic services.

The WSPI project is funded by the Morris Family Foundation and USAID, through the Leadership Management and Governance Project.

We look forward to updating you on our progress in the coming months! For more information on this project, please contact the Vanuatu Programme Manager Lauren Flaherty. You can also download the programme summary here.

Fiji Wheelchair Provision Forum

Motivation Australia, the Fiji Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) and the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Fiji National University recently convened the first Wheelchair Provision Forum in Fiji.

The Forum brought together key stakeholders to discuss strategies to increase access to appropriate wheelchairs for girls, boys, women and men in Fiji with a mobility disability.

Funded by USAID through the Leadership, Management and Governance Project, the Forum, aims were to

  • Raise awareness and understanding of appropriate wheelchair provision;
  • Share current experiences in accessing and providing wheelchairs and other mobility devices;
  • Build consensus on principles and guidelines for wheelchair service delivery, training of personnel and access to appropriate products.

The Forum was opened by Dr Tuicakau, Acting Permanent Secretary of the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services. Dr Tuicakau highlighted that the lack of appropriate wheelchair services for those who need them is a major issue of human rights; and urged all stakeholders, including the Government, to work collaboratively to address the issue in Fiji.

Download the full Forum Report including Consensus Statements here.


Ossur was founded in 1971 by Össur Kristinsson, an Icelandic prosthetist who developed the breakthrough silicone interface for prosthetic sockets, Össur has wide-ranging expertise in the development, production, and sale of non-invasive Prosthetic, Osteoarthritis and Injury Solutions products.

Pioneers of advanced technology, our mission is to improve people’s mobility. Among other accolades, Össur is honored to be recognised by the World Economic Forum as a “Technology Pioneer”. True advocates of ‘Life Without Limitations‘‘, the Company works with individuals, clinicians and diverse communities to support a better quality of life for millions of people around the world and are proud to support Motivation Australia.

Emergency response wheelchairs: APOTC workshop

Senior Clinical Coordinator Lauren Flaherty recently represented our sister organisation Motivation (UK) at the Asia Pacific Occupational Therapy Conference held in Rotorua, New Zealand. Lauren presented an intensive, four-hour workshop focused on Motivation’s Emergency Response Wheelchair and training package.

The provision of wheelchairs in a conflict or disaster related emergency situation continues to require the support of trained service providers, however the situation requires those providers to modify the way in which they work. The teams are focused on meeting the short term needs (less than six months) of: people with a pre-existing mobility disability who’s wheelchairs may have been lost or damaged; people with acute injuries that could be discharged from hospital, freeing up resources for people with more serious injuries, and; those who have acquired a permanent disability as a result of the emergency situation.

Motivation (UK) in collaboration with Handicap International and Johanniter International has developed an Emergency Response Wheelchair and training package in order to meet this specific need. The wheelchair can be purchased and pre-positioned in preparation for an emergency situation. The training package can be delivered to emergency response personal before or during an emergency response – it is a XX hour package that focuses on the essential skills required to ensure that the wheelchairs is provided in a safe way.

For more information on the Emergency Response Wheelchair or training package, contact Lauren Flaherty or Motivation’s (UK) Sarah Sheldon.

Information & data collection workshop

The Samoa Disability Programme (SDP) is a comprehensive Australian Government funded initiative currently being implemented in Samoa. The programme is led and coordinated by the Government of Samoa through the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development (MWCSD), with a number of activities implemented by a range of other Government and non-Government agencies. Motivation Australia have been asked to provide technical assistance to the MWCSD in operationalising their Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) framework and creating information & data collection tools.

In September the Motivation Australia team started the new project in Samoa by running a one week workshop with MWCSD, NOLA (Nuanua O Le Alofa) Samoa’s Disabled Person’s Organisation (DPO) to establish the stakeholders’ priorities; map the programme’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) framework against National, Regional and International policy instruments; and meet with the Disability Taskforce stakeholders to discuss current information & data collection experiences. Next the team will analyse, consolidate and rationalise all of the various sources of Monitoring & Evaluation Questions into a draft framework with Indicators to inform the information & data that needs to be collected. Discussions with the diverse group of programme stakeholders yielded several new sources of baseline data, as well as practical insight into the successes and challenges of data collection about disability in Samoa.

If you would like more information on the Samoa MEL project, please contact Samoa Project Manager, Ray Mines.

Walking Aids: Training package

The Motivation Australia team has been working on a Walking Aid Training Package, aiming to increase safe and effective provision of walking aids by hospital and community based health and rehabilitation workers. The package has been developed as part of a broader program to strengthen assistive device provision in Papua New Guinea, however once the package is completed it will be able to be used throughout the Asia Pacific Region.

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As part of the development process, pilot training sessions were delivered on 11th of August with Community Based Rehabilitation Workers and Inclusive Education teachers at the Creative Self Help Centre. A second pilot was held at Divine Word University with third year physiotherapy students on the 12th of August.

The training package is focused on ensuring that community personnel can assist people to be as mobile as possible with walking aids that are appropriate for the person and their environment. Training resources have been developed to be delivered easily in different contexts – materials can be printed onto training cards/paper or loaded onto a tablet, laptop or computer for teaching.

Motivation Australia would like to thank the Creative Self Help Centre and the Devine Word University for hosting the training. Thanks to Mercia for delivering the training at the Devine Word University and a very special thank you also to the participants for taking part in the training, sharing their experiences and providing valuable feedback to improve the training.

Feedback collected during the pilot will now be used to inform the next version of the package that will undergo a review by clinicians and stakeholders in Fiji, Australia and PNG. For more information about the training package contact Lee Brentnall.