Basic training success in Samoa!

A woman using a wheelchair with a bandage around one leg smiles for a photo with two service providers who stand next to her.

Motivation Australia is pleased to report the successful completion of the 2014 Basic Level Wheelchair and Walking Aid training course. The training was held at the new Mobility Device Service (MDS) in Apia, Samoa, and was completed by 16 personnel from the MDS, MTII Hospital on Savaii, Loto Taumafai, Senese and Special Olympics Samoa (SOS).

This six week training course was an opportunity for Motivation Australia to expand on the basic level wheelchair service provision training course to include clinical foundations such as basic anatomy and physiology; expanded disability, health and wellbeing sessions; the inclusion of walking aid provision, and; nine cycles of practical sessions with clients.

Practical sessions: Practical sessions are essential for participants to have an opportunity to practise each step of mobility device service provision, including: Assessment, Prescription, Product Preparation, Fitting, User Training and Follow Up. A total of 64 people were provided with an appropriate wheelchair or walking aid during the training course’s practical sessions; a new record during training by Motivation Australia!

WS Chris Dent 390x390px Volunteer trainers: Our training team Lauren Flaherty and Ray Mines were joined by three Australian volunteers:

  • Katrina McGrath and Chris Dent (pictured left with MDS staff member Timani) supported the clinical training,
  • Julian Silveri supported the technical training.

Their three week volunteer positions enabled the training to run multiple practical sessions simultaneously, as well as provide an opportunity to utilise their specialist skills such as amputee or spinal cord injury management during wheelchair service provision.

ChemtronicsDirWe acknowledge the support of Melbourne based Chemtronics Direct, who assisted us to source a wheelchair technician for the role, and then supported Julian to volunteer with us!

If you are interested in volunteering in Samoa, or on another Motivation Australia programme, please see our volunteer page or contact

SIMDES Project: The training was conducted as part of the Samoa Integrated Mobility Device Services (SIMDES) project; a four year (2014 – 2018) collaboration between the Samoa National Health Service (NHS), NOLA (Nuanua O Le Alofa) and Motivation Australia. The project is funded by the Australian Government (DFAT) under the larger Samoa Disability Programme (SDP). Additional support has been provided buy the LDS Church Charities through the donation of over 350 appropriate wheelchairs and walking aids.

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