Conference delegates listening to a presenter off screen. In the fore ground are two women in colourful dresses.

Rehabilitation and Mobility Conference

Celebrating the Conference Theme: ‘Pacific Leaders creating Sustainable Services’, delegates from nine countries in the Pacific region, inclusive of those who use, provide and manage services worked together to share ideas, discuss and learn about how to build inclusive rehabilitation…
Two men lean over a table, reading an assembly manual. Both of them are pointing to the page. Next to them on the table are parts of a wheelchair and some tools.

Fiji: Wheelchair service training

Motivation Australia and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance recently collaborated to deliver an intermediate level, wheelchair training course for 20 Fijian, Ni-Vanuatu and I-Kiribati personnel in Suva, Fiji. Intermediate level wheelchair services provide wheelchairs with extra support for children and adults…
Diabetic Foot Clinic nurse talking to UniSA's Podiatry lecturer.

Kiribati in country visit

Motivation Australia’s recent work in Kiribati has been across two projects; the Pacific Mobility Device Service (MDS) Project, and the Kiribati Amputation Prevention (KAP) Project. In February, Katrina McGrath was able to visit partners in Kiribati for: The final KAP…
A male participant of the training adjusts a wheelchair, while a female participant checks off a list of changes that need to be made.

Mentoring local personnel to provide appropriate wheelchairs

Intermediate level wheelchair service training builds the capacity of personnel to provide wheelchairs and supportive seating for children and adults who need additional postural support. A recent children’s wheelchair clinic in Vanuatu aimed to extend the skills, knowledge and confidence…
MA's and Kiribati staff looking at training materials.

High Risk Foot Management in the Pacific

Katrina McGrath from Motivation Australia (MA) joined volunteers from the International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) Australian National Member Society Outreach Committee (ISPO Outreach) in presenting a 3 day Instructional Course for High Risk Foot Management in the Pacific. The course provided…

Kiribati Fire Update

Late last year, the building of our partner in Kiribati – the Tungaru Rehabilitation Service (TRS) had burnt to the ground. Since that time, Motivation Australia has been working closely with TRS to offer what assistance we can. TRS have moved their service to a temporary location; and requested assistance to re-stock their tools, equipment and materials to enable them to continue proving a low tech orthotics service; basic and intermediate wheelchair provision; and their physiotherapy programme. Motivation Australia secured funds through the Church of the Latter Day Saints, Rotary and private donors – to purchase hand and power tools, materials for wheelchair modifications, prosthetic repair and orthotics fabrication. The International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics have helped considerably in sourcing this equipment, and procuring donations in kind from Australian suppliers. Together – we have been able to help TRS on the slow path to recovery.


Kiribati Tungaru Rehabilitation Service Fire

Motivation Australia staff were shocked to hear this week that the building of our partner in Kiribati Tungaru Rehabilitation Service (TRS) had burnt to the ground. Fortunately no one was injured, but all tools, machinery and mobility products were lost.

Our thoughts are with the TRS staff who will now begin the slow process of rebuilding their service again from nothing.

Island perspective: wheelchair provision in Kiribati

You are never far from the Pacific Ocean in Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas). In places the capital, South Tarawa, is only as wide as the road you’re standing on (which also happens to be the only road).

Kiribati is a Micronesian nation consisting of 32 coral atolls and one island, spread over an enormous area of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Kiribati is listed as one of the Least Developed Countries by the UN. It’s a fragile environment; unable to sustain much diversity of food (which leads to widespread diabetes) and extremely low lying making it one of the first nations likely to disappear when sea levels rise due to climate change.

Communication and transport are both problematic and can cause significant delays. It’s also a particularly difficult environment in which to be a wheelchair user; rough and sandy ground, no accessible buildings, salt water corrosion and torrential downpours.