Vanuatu Basic Wheelchair Training

During our July in-country visit to Vanuatu, Motivation Australia had the opportunity to provide basic level wheelchair service delivery training to eight personnel from the Vanuatu Society for People with a Disability (VSPD), the Ministry of Justice and Community Services (MOJCS) and the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The eight day training course utilised material from the WHO Wheelchair Service Training Package – Basic Level and included a mix of theoretical and practical sessions.  Participants got the opportunity to put some of their new skills into practice through providing eleven wheelchair users with new, appropriate wheelchairs and cushions.

The in country visit was also a great opportunity to meet with our partners to discuss broader aspects of wheelchair service delivery. As part of this, Motivation Australia set-up the new Vanuatu Wheelchair and Walking aid Client Database within the MOJCS. We will continue to support the MOJCS and our other partners within Vanuatu to collect and use this data to strengthen their services.

Motivation Australia would like to thank the Morris Family Foundation and USAID through the US based Leadership, Management Group for their generous support in funding the training. We would also like to thank VSPD personnel for their coordination on the ground, the LDS Church Blacksands for the great venue; VSPD, the Ministry of Justice and Community Services and the Ministry of Health for releasing their staff to attend the training; and finally all the training participants for their great commitment towards improving services for people with disabilities in Vanuatu.

Capri Movie Night: Sully

Join Motivation Australia on Friday the 9th of September at the Capri Movie Theatre in Adelaide for a night at the movies!

This time, we feature the movie Sully – the untold story of what happened after Captain “Sully” Sullenberger landed his plane on the Hudson River, on January 15th, 2009 saving the lives of all 155 on board.  This fascinating film is from Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood and stars the fabulous Tom Hank, Aaron Eckhart and Laura Linney.

Tickets are $25 and include a free glass of wine, beer or a soft drink. Doors open at 5.45pm for a 6.30pm showing.

Buy your tickets today!

Option one: Through your Pay Pal Account:

Option two: Phone the Motivation Office on 08 8556 6703 to make a credit card payment over the phone.

Option three: Transfer money directly into Motivation Australia’s bank account:

BSB: 633000    ACCOUNT NO: 138797626

Reference: Your name + Sully

Thank you to our friends at Hither & Yon, Goodiesons Brewery, and Mountain Fresh for donating our refreshments!

If you cannot make it, but you would like to buy a ticket for us to gift to someone who can – no problem! contact Kate today.


Purchase our Walking Aid Training Package!

The Walking Aid Training Package (WATP) can now be purchased!

The WATP was developed by Motivation Australia to increase the safe and effective provision of walking aids by hospital and community based health, rehabilitation and community workers.

The WATP includes the following resources:

  • Colour printed materials: trainer cards, printed visual aids, service forms, handouts, activity cards, evaluation forms and certificate template.
  • Digital resources on USB: includes Powerpoint visual aids, resources and gait training video

See the WATP flyer for more details. If you would like to purchase the WATP, please contact Kate Shortt.

Note: The package was developed as part of a broader program to strengthen assistive device provision in Papua New Guinea, and funded by the Australian Government through the Strongim Pipol Strongim Nesen project. There is no cost for electronic copies of the package for service providers in developing countries. Please contact Lauren Flaherty for more information. 

End of Financial Year Appeal

This year, Motivation Australia has worked with our local partners in seven countries in the Pacific Region and Ethiopia to strengthen rehabilitation and assistive device services for people with a disability.

In this financial year, we have trained 60 people, and 971 people have received a new mobility device or had their device repaired as a direct result of our work. We have also introduced a Diabetic Foot Clinic in Samoa that is helping to reduce the rate of amputation in that country.

With your help, we will continue working to strengthen and consolidate services, increase the number of local staff trained. Our objective is to ensure more children and adults with disabilities can access the services they need.

If you have not already made a donation to Motivation Australia this financial year (or want to make another!)                  please consider making a tax deductible donation before June 30th:

Here’s how:

  • EFT: BSB: 633000 / Account Number: 138797626 / Reference: your name
  • Online: Donate via GiveNow
  • Telephone: 08-85566703
  • In person: Visit us at 8 Hakea Walk, Aldinga Arts Eco Village


Vanuatu Technical Support Visit

Our recent technical support visit (May 16) to Vanuatu to meet with stakeholders involved in the Vanuatu wheelchair service provision project proved how valuable the time we spend to “tok tok” with our partners is.

Combined with the delivery of a two-day workshop for Wheelchair Service Managers; during this visit we met with our partners the Vanuatu Society for Persons with Disabilities (VSPD), Sanma Frangipani Association (SFA), the Disability Desk (Ministry of Justice and Community Services) and the Ministry of Health. We were able to discuss some of the key issues that need to be addressed when initiating consistent, sustainable, equitable mobility device services such as ensuring personnel have the right training, systems for data collection, setting up and maintaining facilities, and inter-organisation collaboration to manage referrals and follow up of wheelchair users in the community.

We were also able to progress discussions with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Justice and Community Services in finalising a Memorandum of Understanding for our partnership, which includes agreed standards of provision for wheelchair services. This is a very important step, and we welcome the due consideration that this MOU has been given by both Ministries.

We now look forward to delivering wheelchair service delivery training (WHO basic level) in Vanuatu in early July 2016.

Wheelchair Service Management Workshop

Running a successful wheelchair (or any other assistive technology) service requires management level support. That means that managers need to understand how to plan, implement and manage their service; motivate personnel; and ensure that the right resources are in place when they are needed. In most developing countries, service managers also need to be incredibly resourceful, in order to make the best use of often ridiculously scant funds, staff, equipment and products. They also need to know how to advocate to donors to ensure that they receive what they need (and not just what others want to give, or in the worst case, get rid of); and how to promote the value of their service amongst competing priorities.

Elsie 390x390To help support some of the key people in the Pacific Region who manage wheelchair and other disability services, Motivation Australia ran a two-day Wheelchair Service Management Workshop in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

The Workshop brought together some of the people who are truly the back-bone of disability specific services in their countries. This included staff from the Spinal Injuries Association in Fiji, Tungaru Rehabilitation Service in Kiribati, Mobility Device Service (National Health Service) in Samoa, the Community Based Rehabilitation Service in the Solomon Islands and both Government and Non-Government services in Vanuatu. The Workshop was facilitated by Motivation Australia, with local support from the Vanuatu Society for Persons with Disabilities. We were also delighted to have the strong support of the Vanuatu Ministry of Justice and Community Services who welcomed the overseas participants and hosted a closing dinner.

The Workshop utilised the World Health Organisation Wheelchair Service Training Package Management Module; as well as resources developed by Motivation Australia and partners in the Pacific Region. Considerable time was built into the programme to allow for participants to discuss and share their strategies for successfully implementing wheelchair and other mobility device services in their countries. This opportunity for sharing proved to be one of the most successful outcomes from the Workshop, and all participants strongly requested further opportunities to meet in similar forums in the future.

Samoa 390x390Motivation Australia would like to thank USAID for their generous support, through the US based Leadership, Management Group, VSPD personnel for their coordination on the ground, the Vanuatu Ministry of Justice and Community Services and all of the participants for their great commitment towards improving services for people with disabilities in their countries and the Pacific Region.

Timor Leste – Wheelchair Training

Motivation Australia was delighted to work directly with our partners in Timor Leste, the National Centre for Rehabilitation (CNR), to deliver basic level wheelchair service delivery training for four technical staff and eight clinical staff.

The training, delivered early May 2016, was co-funded by Motivation Australia and LDS Charities. Motivation Australia consultants, Andrew Congdon (Occupational Therapist) and Andrew Rose (Rehabilitation Engineer) delivered the training over eight days, using the WHO Wheelchair Service Training Package – Basic Level, as well as some additional material developed by Motivation Australia to cover the types of wheelchairs that our partners most commonly use. The training included a mix of theoretical and practical sessions, with nine wheelchair users attending the training to provide participants with an excellent opportunity to practice their skills in wheelchair assessment, prescription, fitting and user training.

This in-country visit was also an opportunity to discuss CNR’s current wheelchair services with the management team, including Executive Director Veronica das Dores, Clinical Programme Director Nazario da Silva, and Administrative and Logistics Director Alexandre Morais. Training observations and service development recommendations were discussed in further detail at the conclusion of training with Nazario da Silva, Angelito Cacerres, Workshop Manager, and Tomas Oqui, Senior Physiotherapist.

Motivation Australia and CNR have a long history of working together, and plan to continue our collaboration to help improve the rehabilitation services available for people with a disability in Timor Leste.

Fiji technical training

Motivation Australia, Fiji National University (FNU) School of Physiotherapy and the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) have been working together since 2012 to increase the numbers of trained wheelchair service providers.

Together we have trained a number of clinicians and technicians using the Wheelchair Service Training Package – Basic level (WSTPb). In 2012, FNU integrated the WSTPb into their Physiotherapy and Community Rehabilitation Assistant courses. While this has significantly increased the numbers of clinically trained personnel in Fiji (and around the Pacific), the numbers of technicians who can assemble, adjust, repair and maintain wheelchairs remained low.

In order to address this, Motivation Australia and the SIA held a three-day technical training workshop in Suva. Six participants from Fiji’s two main islands attended the training, which covered: wheelchair assembly, maintenance and repairs.

This training has expanded the numbers of trained technicians at the SIA and provided the opportunity for the development of a new wheelchair service at Labasa Hospital on the island of Vanua Levu. While Labasa physiotherapy department previously had access to clinicians, there were no trained technicians on the island!

Congratulations to all who successfully completed the training!

Diabetic foot care research

The Samoan National Health Service’s Diabetic Foot Clinic (DFC) was established almost a year ago, with the goal of providing quality, multidisciplinary wound management to reduce the number of amputations caused by diabetic foot complications.

While we can see the benefits of the DFC through individual client outcomes it is important to understand the broader benefits (and costs) of the clinic in order to ensure that it is both effective and sustainable.

Marjolein Weigman from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, has been interning with Motivation Australia in order to undertake this research as part of her Bachelors Thesis. Marjolein recently spent three weeks in Samoa collecting data required to complete her project investigating the “Costs and benefits of the Diabetic Foot Clinic in Samoa”.

She is now in the process of analysing the wealth of data she collected and is looking forward to sharing her findings. We are certainly excited to hear about the findings of her research and hope that the data can be used to expand non-surgical diabetic foot services throughout the Pacific!

Marjolein and Motivation Australia would like to extend a sincere thankyou to all personnel from the National Health Service and Ministry of Health for their support and collaboration, with a special thanks to the staff at the Mobility Device Service and DFC.

She is pictured above with some of the MDS team (L-R): Junior, Timani, Ao, Marjolein, Pauline and AJ.


Thank you for purchasing your tickets to Motivation Australia’s Fundraiser.

You will be able to collect your tickets from Kate Shortt on the night.

Remember, doors open at 5.45pm. See you there!

If you have any questions you can email Kate or phone her on 08 8556 6703.