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Posts Tagged ‘Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences’

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

University of Sydney speech pathology academics honoured

The Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences is known for world-leading education and research, and recently, three University of Sydney Health Sciences academics received prestigious awards at the annual Speech Pathology Australia National Conference.

Dr Elise Baker and Dr Belinda Kenny have received the Speech Pathology Australia fellowship. This is the highest public professional honour that the Association awards to members who demonstrate outstanding and significant and sustained contribution to the speech pathology profession.

University of Sydney speech pathology academics honoured at national awards

Dr Elise Baker (Photo: University of Sydney)

Dr Baker’s fellowship reflects more than 20 years’ experience teaching at university level in which she has consistently contributed to the profession of speech pathology and the care of people with communication disorders. She has provided high-quality submissions to parliament, numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and conference presentations. She has been the lead investigator on five competitive research grants number of successful grant applications.

Dr Baker is an expert in early phonological development and management of children with speech sound disorders.

Dr Belinda Kenny’s fellowship was awarded for her commitment to professional and ethical practice. She is a lecturer and researcher in professional ethics, clinical education and neurogenic communication and swallowing issues.

University of Sydney speech pathology academics honoured at national awards

Dr Belinda Kenny (Photo: University of Sydney)

She has developed a number of training packages for Speech Pathology Australia around ethics education and has been elected as a member of the Ethics Board three times.

Dr Kenny is committed to developing the speech pathology  profession through her teaching and has spent a decade supervising Honours and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students on the subject of ethical practice.

Sydney Health Sciences currently has four other fellows on staff including Leanne Togher, Michelle Lincoln, Sue McAllister and Mark Onslow—more than any other university. The discipline also has a Speech Pathology Australia lifetime member in Lindy McAllister.

Professor Tricia McCabe has been awarded the Elizabeth Usher Memorial Lecture, which she delivered at the Sydney International Convention Centre at the annual Speech Pathology Australia National Conference. The invitation to deliver the Elizabeth Usher Memorial Lecture is one of the highest honours given to speech pathology researchers in Australia.

The highly prestigious lecture is Speech Pathology Australia’s only annual lecture and Professor McCabe spoke on the topic “How do we change practice?”

University of Sydney speech pathology academics honoured at national awards

Professor Tricia McCabe (Photo: University of Sydney)

Professor McCabe is Head of Discipline and Associate Professor in Speech Pathology in the Faculty of Health Sciences. She has published more than 60 peer reviewed journal articles, supervised more than 20 research students, and has had $3.6 million in research grants.

Professor McCabe has spent much of the past 10 years working to improve treatments for children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). She has recently developed a self-directed learning package for speech pathologists to learn how to deliver ReST (Rapid Syllable Transition Training) treatment to children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech and Information for parents and the general community.

“It’s wonderful that three of our respected academics from the discipline of speech pathology have been recognised in this way. I wish to congratulate Dr Baker, Dr Kenny and Professor McCabe on their well-deserved achievements” said Health Sciences Deputy Dean Michelle Lincoln.

University of Sydney Speech Pathology School

In common with other departments at the University of Sydney, the discipline of speech pathology promotes students’ development of generic  communication and teamwork skills, as well as discipline-specific knowledge and skills. The course is designed to promote self-direction and encourages the graduates to have a sense of their own individuality and creativity. The university offers a two-year, graduate-entry Master of Speech Language Pathology program, intended for students coming from an undergraduate degree in any field.

Program: Master of Speech Language Pathology
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: March each year
Duration: 2 years
Application Deadline:  September 29, 2017

Apply to the University of Sydney Speech Pathology School!

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Are you wondering about the speech pathology program at the University of Sydney? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Speech Pathology Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh!

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

University of Sydney ranks number one in sport, physiotherapy and rehabilitation

The University of Sydney has been ranked first in the world in the recently released 2017 QS subject rankings for the new category that comprises physical therapy, sports therapy and rehabilitation.

University of Sydney ranks number one in sport, physiotherapy and rehabilitation

Deputy Dean (Strategy) Prof Michelle Lincoln, Dean Prof Kathryn Refshauge, and Deputy Dean (Academic) Prof Sharon Kilbreath celebrate the news (Photo: University of Sydney)

The subject areas are encompassed by a range of disciplines within the Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences.

“We are enormously proud to have been recognised in this way by our peers in academia and employers of our graduates,” said Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences Professor Kathryn Refshauge.

The QS subject rankings score universities around the world on their reputation with employers and academics, as well as measuring the productivity and citation impact of the publications of academics (also called the ‘H-Index’) as an institution and citations per research paper.

“The QS rankings are a particularly rich ranking system because it takes into account all aspects of our work: education, research and employability of our graduates.

“These rankings reflect performance across the whole faculty, from professional staff to academics to students,” said Professor Refshauge.

The Faculty of Health Sciences offers a range of undergraduate and graduate entry courses in the disciplines included in the ranking category, such as exercise and sport science, exercise physiology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech pathology.

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Are you interested in studying at the Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com for more information about your study options.

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

University of Sydney rehab sciences seminar tonight at University of Toronto

University of Sydney Health Sciences Information Sessions

University of Sydney rehab sciences seminar tonight at University of Toronto

Attend a Sydney Health Sciences Seminar

Would you like to further your studies in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology or another health science field?

Attend an upcoming University of Sydney Health Sciences information session between March 28 and 30 and get your questions answered!

Venue: University of Toronto, Bahen Centre, Room 2175
Date: Tuesday, March 28
Time: 6 p.m.

Venue: Simon Fraser University, Halpern Centre, Room 114
Date: Wednesday, March 29
Time: 5 p.m.

Venue: University of British Columbia, Woodward Building, Room 3
Date: Thursday, March 30
Time: 5 p.m.

Be sure to RSVP for a Sydney Health Sciences Information Session!

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Please contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355 for more information.

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Interested in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology? The University of Sydney would like to meet you!

Are you interested in a career in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology or another health science field?

University of Sydney Health Sciences Seminars

Don’t forget to RSVP for the University of Sydney Health Sciences Information Sessions!

Then you are invited to discover why the University of Sydney is a world leader in health sciences education and research!

Attend an upcoming University of Sydney Health Sciences information session between March 28 and 30 to find out what world-renowned health sciences teaching looks like!

Please RSVP here to save your spot!

University of Sydney Health Sciences Information Sessions

Venue: University of Toronto, Bahen Centre, Room 2175
Date: Tuesday, March 28
Time: 6 p.m.

Venue: Simon Fraser University, Halpern Centre, Room 114
Date: Wednesday, March 28
Time: 5 p.m.

Venue: University of British Columbia, Woodward Building, Room 3
Date: Thursday, March 30
Time: 5 p.m.

Study Health Sciences at the University of Sydney

Program: Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Semester intake: March
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the 2017 intake, the application deadline was September 30, 2016.

Apply to Sydney Occupational Therapy School!

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University of Sydney Master of Physiotherapy

Program: Master of Physiotherapy
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Duration: 2 years
Semester intake: March
Application deadline: Applications are usually assessed on a rolling basis (as they are received). The sooner you apply the better.

Apply to the University of Sydney Physiotherapy School!

Be sure to RSVP for a Sydney Health Sciences Information Session!

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Would you like more information about the upcoming Sydney Health Sciences seminars? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Sydney speech pathology researchers receive $6.3 million for internet-based stuttering clinic

In their third consecutive NHMRC Program Grant University of Sydney Speech Pathology School’s Professor Mark Onslow, Associate Professor Ann Packman, and Associate Professor Ross Menzies have been awarded $6.3 million to establish the world’s first internet-based clinic for stuttering.

Sydney speech pathology researchers receive $6.3 million for internet-based stuttering clinic

Professor Mark Onslow (Photo: University of Sydney)

The stuttering e-Clinic will service all the needs of child, adolescent and adult patients affected by stuttering located throughout Australia and eventually the world. The internet-based clinic model will provide economical, scalable and translatable stuttering treatments that will, for the first time, provide a means to adequately manage the public health problem of stuttering.

“The great advantage of this e-Clinic is that it can be accessed by anyone without having to visit a specialist speech pathologist or psychologist,” said Professor Onslow.

“In many cases, standalone internet treatment is effective for children and adults who stutter, and for them, having access to that internet e-Clinic, plus short weekly phone or email contact with a speech pathologist or psychologist, will be enough to treat their stuttering.”

The e-Clinic will mean that only patients who do not respond to this new type of online treatment will need to visit a clinic in person to see a speech pathologist or psychologist.

“The establishment of the e-Clinic will improve the lives of children with speech difficulties all over Australia and is an extremely cost effective way to deal with stuttering.

“We are particularly proud to put have put speech pathology up there in the running with oncology and immunology for this pool of funding” Professor Onslow said.

The funding is part of $125 million in research grants presented by the new Federal Government Health Minister Greg Hunt. The aim of these grants is to provide support for teams of high calibre researchers to pursue broad based, multi-disciplinary and collaborative research addressing complex problems.

University of Sydney Speech Pathology School

In common with other departments at the University of Sydney, the discipline of speech pathology promotes students’ development of generic  communication and teamwork skills, as well as discipline-specific knowledge and skills. The course is designed to promote self-direction and encourages the graduates to have a sense of their own individuality and creativity. The university offers a two-year, graduate-entry Master of Speech Language Pathology program. It is intended for students coming from an undergraduate degree in any field, who wish to gain the requirements to become a speech pathologist.

Program: Master of Speech Language Pathology
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: March each year
Duration: 2 years
Application Deadline: TBA. Applications for the 2017 intake closed October 14, 2016.

Apply to the University of Sydney Speech Pathology School!

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Are you wondering about speech pathology programs in Australia? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Speech Pathology Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh!

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Sydney physiotherapy student talks about her path to success

Windsor, Ontario native Alexis Curtis is well on her way to achieving her dreams of becoming a physiotherapist. With a degree in Human Kinetics (Honours Kinesiology) Movement Science and a desire to help others, Alexis decided the standard Canadian path wasn’t for her. Instead, with her eye on the prestigious University of Sydney and their exceptional physiotherapy program, she was determined that her path should be shaded by palm trees and aglow with golden beaches!

When we asked Alexis why she chose to study physiotherapy, she is quick to respond: “I have a passion for wanting to help others and I have always wanted to be a physiotherapist. I want to work with patients, helping them get back to work, sport and/or perform day-to-day activities pain free.”

University of Sydney Physiotherapy School

Alexis at the main Sydney Uni campus

Some may say travelling around the globe for education is a little too far. Taking the road less travelled can be daunting to some, but Alexis forged ahead with exuberance.

“I chose the University of Sydney because of their amazing program. They are so world renowned and have an amazing group of professors who want you to succeed!” she says.

Students undertaking the Master of Physiotherapy at the University of Sydney have the opportunity to study within one of the largest health science faculties in Australia. The pioneering work conducted by the Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences research teams has an enormous impact on the health and quality of life of the community, and its Master of Physiotherapy program rigorously tests and enhances students’ abilities.

“The program does a great job of teaching you all the fields within physiotherapy.”

Alexis agrees. “I am loving the program! Although it’s a two-year program, it is going by so fast! I knew that it would require a lot of hard work and dedication, but it is such a rewarding feeling being part of an amazing faculty. The professors are awesome and offer lots of help.”

Sydney’s clinical placements are undertaken in both the public and private sectors, and they further the opportunities to develop an understanding of the practice of physiotherapy and its place in the contemporary health system. After all, the world of physiotherapy is so much more than just rehabilitating sports injuries.

“The program does a great job of really opening the idea of different pathways in the area of physiotherapy,” Alexa adds. “I was always so driven to work in the musculoskeletal area of physiotherapy, and although I still am, the area of cardiopulmonary has also crossed my mind. The program does a great job of teaching you all the fields within physiotherapy. I am just so excited to start placement in my second year, to really get hands-on experience in different areas of physiotherapy!”

Students gain practical hours during their placements. The Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators requires physiotherapy graduates to have a minimum of 1025 supervised clinical practice hours. The Sydney Master of Physiotherapy currently offers 850 clinical hours, with options to obtain more practical experience. OzTREKK students are encouraged to maintain contact with the Alliance throughout their time in Australia to ensure they stay up to date with the requirements.

“One thing you should know is that in order to write the examinations to practice in Canada, you must have a certain number of practical hours,” Alexis explains. “The university usually has students complete four five-week placement blocks in their second year, but this doesn’t provide Canadians enough hours.”

But even with the challenge of gaining practical hours, Alexis was not put off.

“You have two options: You can either take a fifth placement block during your second year (meaning you won’t have a break during that year), or you can obtain a physiotherapist job following completion of your degree and work as a physiotherapist to obtain the remainder hours. Many students this year decided to stay a bit longer after graduation to work to earn some money instead of paying money for the additional placement block!”

Stay in Australia and earn money? Sounds like a win-win!

“I am in Australia—what’s not to love? It is an amazing country and there is always so much to do! Sometimes it doesn’t feel real that I am in such an amazing place in the world. The weather is great, the people are awesome, and Sydney is amazing—you will fall in love with this place!”

University of Sydney Physiotherapy School

Visiting the roos at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane

All of us at OzTREKK agree: the beautiful city of Sydney is one of the highlights of our trips to Australia. Who wouldn’t want to see the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and its countless beaches? Sydney is a tourist’s haven. But where is the best place to live if you’re a student?

“Just be sure to make a bucket list for your time here in Australia because it goes by fast and there is so much to see!”

Of course, Sydney is one of the major cities in Australia, comparable to Toronto and Vancouver, and rent can vary depending on the location. Alexis warns that it can be difficult to find accommodation that isn’t overly pricey.

“As of now (until February 2018) the Health Sciences campus is in Lidcombe,” Alexis explains. “After this, the campus will relocate to main campus (Camperdown) in the city. Lidcombe is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, so if you plan to set up accommodation while in Canada I recommend you look for somewhere between Lidcombe and CBD. This way you are still able to easily commute to the city.”

So where should new students look for accommodation? Sydney is huge and has dozens of suburbs, so choices are endless!

Mystudentvillages is a great student accommodation organization that has multiple locations available for students, and you are able to set up your accommodations before coming out here,” she says.

“Prices depend on your preference of location and room type. If you would rather stay more central, closer to the city, the University of Sydney location is great.”

If you’re an adventurer, you can look for accommodation after you arrive in Australia.

“Other students from Canada decided to wait until they got to Australia and looked for places to rent with fellow students,” Alexis says. “All of them found locations, and it wasn’t too difficult at all. Just know that most places for rent (outside of student accommodation services) don’t come with furniture—this includes a fridge, bed, etc. So keep in mind that you will have to be on the hunt for those things.”

If you’ve chosen to study in Australia, then you’re already wandering off the beaten path, and Alexis encourages further adventure!

“You are here for school, but make sure you set aside some time and utilize your breaks to travel. Tigerair and Jetstar are two cheaper airlines that offer amazing deals. For Tigerair, Tuesdays is when they post big deals. When you see a good deal, book it because the prices can go up fast. Don’t be afraid to call and price match; they sometimes beat the other airline’s price! One tip with flights though: they get you on baggage, so pack lightly. You are usually allowed seven kilograms of carry-on luggage. Just be sure to make a bucket list for your time here in Australia because it goes by fast and there is so much to see!”

University of Sydney Physiotherapy School

Kangaroos have been Alexis’ favourite animal since she was little!

Any other tips for OzTREKK students?

“Australia is an amazing country and the University of Sydney has an amazing Master of Physiotherapy program. Exam time is very stressful, but don’t worry—you’ll get through it! It is expensive, so if you can, apply for scholarships and bursaries while in Canada. Also, OzTREKK is amazing! They really help with the entire process. Ask them every question you may have—they are such great help!”

So, if you’re considering studying in the Land Down Under, and you’ve got your eye on warm weather and a laid-back lifestyle, you’re already one step ahead on that path.

“Living in a country half way across the world can be hard at times but it is such an amazing, life-changing experience. I love the University of Sydney, and am so happy with my decision to come here!”

University of Sydney Master of Physiotherapy

Offered by the Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences, the two-year graduate-entry Master of Physiotherapy program is intended for students coming from an undergraduate degree in a related field and who wish to gain the requirements to become a physiotherapist.

Program: Master of Physiotherapy
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Duration: 2 years
Semester intake: February
Application deadline: September 30, 2016

Apply to the University of Sydney Master of Physiotherapy

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Learn more about Sydney Physiotherapy School! Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at 1-866-698-7355 or krista@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

Sydney Dean of Health Sciences recognised in Australia Day Honours

Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences Dean Professor Kathryn Refshauge has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to physiotherapy and to medical education in the 2016 Australia Day Honours.

The award recognises more than 20 years of contributions to allied health mentorship, higher education reform, and health and medical research.

University of Sydney Physiotherapy School

Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences Dean Professor Kathryn Refshauge (Photo: University of Sydney)

In addition to her role as Dean, Professor Refshauge is a prolific researcher and leads the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Research Group at the University of Sydney.

This cross-disciplinary group has benefited from her leadership, dedication and willingness to support and advocate for junior and senior allied health clinicians and researchers. She has directly supervised more than 50 PhD and master’s students and mentored hundreds more.

The University of Sydney professor is well known for her ability to inspire students and young academics to achieve more than they ever thought possible—a trait recognised with numerous awards including the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Research Supervision award and similar honours from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council.

Professor Refshauge’s own contributions to health and medical research are enormous. She is regarded as an international leader in her field, particularly in sports injuries, back pain and nerve and muscle diseases. Her work has been recognised with awards from the Australian Physiotherapy Association and the Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease association. In 2015, Professor Refshauge was elected as a fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

More recently, her research focuses on improving quality of life for women following breast cancer treatment. She is also a Chief Investigator on the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Neuromuscular Disorders.

The faculty congratulates Professor Refshauge on this well-deserved achievement.

The Faculty of Health Sciences is a world leader in health research, sciences and education. We achieve this through encouraging international collaboration across all our research endeavours, and through strategic partnerships that are global in their reach.

Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences

The university’s Faculty of Health Sciences strives constantly for excellence in intellectual enquiry, academic freedom and integrity. To support these goals, the faculty provides an engaging and stimulating student-centred learning and teaching environment, attracting some of the best students and researchers in Australia.

Offered by the Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences, the two-year graduate-entry Master of Physiotherapy program is intended for students coming from an undergraduate degree in a related field and who wish to gain the requirements to become a physiotherapist.

Program: Master of Physiotherapy
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Duration: 2 years
Semester intake: February
Application deadline: TBA. For the 2016 intake, the application deadline was October 1, 2015.

Apply to the University of Sydney Master of Physiotherapy

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Learn more about Sydney Physiotherapy School! Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at 1-866-698-7355 or krista@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Sydney speech pathologist keeps an eye on vocal fry

University of Sydney Speech Pathology School lecturer Dr Cate Madill explores the speech phenomenon becoming increasingly common with young women in Australia, the UK and US.

Much has been written about vocal fry in recent years, with the focus on what it is, where it comes from and what it means. For those who don’t know, the term refers to the lowest vocal register, where the vocal cords are tightly closed for a very long time in the vibration pattern, resulting in a low pitched, creaky voice.

Some of the most recent commentary has focused on how women who use vocal fry are perceived, with detractors and champions, researchers and social commentators weighing in on what is a growing phenomenon.

So why is vocal fry, a commonly occurring phenomenon across all speakers, becoming the focus of commentary and criticism of young women in Australia, the UK and the US?

There are numerous blogs on vocal fry—with commentary, opinion and current media and YouTube examples.

What is vocal fry?

Vocal, or glottal, fry is a description of voice quality (not pitch or loudness). It is also called glottalisation, and is considered a normally occurring feature in many tonal languages, such as Vietnamese, Wu Chinese and Burmese.

It occurs in everyone (men and women) at some time, usually momentarily, and most commonly when we wake up in the morning, before we are fully conscious; when we are tired or de-energised; at the end of phrases, specifically on the last word or syllable; and when we are stressed or anxious.

Vocal fry is perceived as “creaky” or “croaky” and low-pitched as it is the result of very slow and somewhat uneven vibration of the true vocal cords. It is caused by a more flaccid, thicker vocal cord movement and the recruitment of the false vocal cords (the muscles that sit above the vocal cords that we use to hold our breath and cough).

This type of vocal cord vibration results in increased collision force of the true vocal folds (remember the true vocal folds are the only muscles in the body that hit each other).

This increase in force during vibration of the vocal folds can be traumatic and cause injury to the vocal folds if it occurs a lot—injuries such as laryngitis, vocal fold swelling, and vocal nodules, to name just a few.

Vocal fry is a commonly occurring symptom of a voice disorder (when it is present in a person’s voice a lot of the time).

So, fry occurs normally in many languages, cultures and contexts. It is a descriptor of the lowest part of the vocal range, a symptom of a voice disorder, and currently, a cultural phenomenon related to gender, age and geography.

But what does it mean and what attributions do people make when they hear it?

The meaning or attribution given to voice quality has been investigated in many studies—the most rigorous research was conducted by Jeffry Pittam and Cindy Gallois in Queensland in the 1980s. They found that people attribute meaning to the sound of the voice, specifically: solidarity (is this person like me or like-able; are they one of my tribe?) or status (are they more or less powerful than me).

In my (unpublished) PhD, undertaken at the University of Sydney, women with croaky voices were perceived as being more neurotic than men with croaky voices. Women who had clear voices were perceived as being less neurotic than men with clear voices.

That suggests croakiness in women’s voices has a stronger effect in attribution of neuroticism by others than men, and that voice quality is judged more in women than men.

This parallels the findings in other research that women are judged on their physical attributes more than men.

The relationship between power, gender and the voice

Traditionally, older people are attributed more power than younger people and men are attributed more power than women.

A lower pitch is perceived almost universally as the speaker (male or female) having more authority and/ or greater status. We know that the average pitch of women in Australia has dropped since the 1950s.

This fact coincides with a greater participation in the workforce and overall empowerment of women in modern societies in the same timeframe. It also coincides with the empowerment of the younger generation relative to the older generation.

It has been reported that vocal fry as a vocal phenomenon is occurring more frequently in young women (in their twenties and thirties) in the US, the UK and Australia.

Anecdotally, it is also being observed by speech pathologists more commonly in young women in Brazil, but is not reported as a phenomenon in Europe.

There are three likely hypothesis for the increase in vocal fry in young women in modern, western society:

1) A lower pitch is a sign of empowerment, and we know young women are generically feeling more empowered in these societies; therefore, they may be unconsciously signalling this empowerment by lowering the pitch.

The only problem is that when women are in their twenties and thirties, their pitch is still relatively high due to the anatomy and physiology of the voice (pitch naturally lowers in women over time due to changes in cartilage, muscle tone and hormones).

Vocal fry has the effect of perceptually lowering pitch, even though it is not clear sounding. Thus, young women may be unconsciously signalling their own sense of personal power using this voice quality.

Unfortunately though, we know that both male and female listeners will perceive women more negatively if they use a hoarse, rough, creaky tone. Also, continued use of vocal fry is more likely to lead to a voice problem in women that can limit communicative effectiveness and reduced vocal capability.

2) The second possible hypothesis relates to the solidarity attribution we have observed in previous voice research. A person’s accent and/ or native language identifies them as being part of a common tribe.

We all know of the phenomenon whereby we unconsciously mimic a communication partner’s physical movements, accent or verbal style as a means of improving the effectiveness and sense of ease of communication.

Voice quality can also be an identifier of tribal belonging. Vocal fry is a distinct, easily identified vocal feature (unlike many other less obvious features of resonance or vocal clarity) and may be used as an identifier of a gender generation—young women living in a democracy who may have a similar value system and sense of belonging in that tribe.

3) A less likely hypothesis is that the cause of vocal fry is the opposite to empowerment—it is a sign of anxiety and stress. The voice box responds to the “fight and flight” response (in which anxiety is only the continuum) by tightening (holding the breath) in preparation to stabilise the thoracic region to provide greater strength to the limbs for fleeing or fighting.

As women participate more in verbal-based activities, and as their profile rises in the media, we are hearing women’s “voices” more and more. We may be hearing the sound of women under pressure.

This is a less likely hypothesis given the prevalence of vocal fry in social communication settings, where it likely that young women feel more at ease with each other.

In any case, it’s hard to ignore the fact that it’s fine to fry if you’re a man,  an older woman, or a person in a position of status, e.g., a news reader.

We also have to ask ourselves who is doing the criticising? I’m yet to hear young women criticise themselves for using it; in fact, it seems they don’t notice or comment that they are using it.

Vocal fry may be the new voice for young upwardly mobile American women. So who has the problem? Clearly not the young, empowered women in question.

It’s hard not to conclude that all this commentary about vocal fry is not actually about the voice, but about power and status, and who is allowed to have it.

Dr Cate Madill is a lecturer in speech pathology at the Faculty of Health Sciences. First published in The Conversation.

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Would you like more information about studying speech pathology at the University of Sydney? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Speech Pathology Schools Admissions Officer Jaime Notman at jaime@oztrekk.com, or 1-866-698-7355.

Monday, October 19th, 2015

University of Sydney celebrates Speech Pathology Week

Alumni, staff and friends of the Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences came together recently to celebrate the 2015 Speech Pathology Week.

University of Sydney Speech Pathology School

Learn more about studying speech pathology at the University of Sydney

Hosted by the discipline of speech pathology at Cumberland Campus Lidcombe, guests were given the opportunity to hear about the vital role that speech pathologists play in closing the communication gap in indigenous children.

Guest speakers at the event included Dr Alison Purcell, BAppSc (SpeechPath) (1980), MAppSc (SpeechPath) (1988), Ph.D. (Health Sciences) (2006) and Stephanie Ruston, BHlthSc (Hearing & Speech) (2006) MSLP (2008)

Dr Alison Purcell is a senior lecturer and speech pathologist at the University of Sydney. Her expertise in conducting studies that profile the speech and language skills of urban Aboriginal children led to an invitation to become part of the Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH).

Alison provided insight into the study, the collaboration involved and the community engagement, highlighting the need to continue and develop this crucial partnership. Alison’s key point was that “all health professionals and researchers working with Aboriginal communities need to be brave enough to step away from the safe expert role to being a true partner with our patients and communities by detecting their voices, comprehending their message and then acting on their wishes.”

Stephanie Ruston is a paediatric speech pathologist who has been working with Sydney’s South West community for the past seven years. She currently works at KARI Aboriginal Resources Inc., a not-for-profit community organisation in Liverpool. Stephanie discussed considerations of working with Aboriginal Children in Out of Home Care (foster care), the use of a developmental trauma based model to work with these children and the results that therapeutic interventions have had thus far.

University of Sydney Speech Pathology School

In common with other departments at the University of Sydney, the discipline of speech pathology promotes students’ development of generic  communication and teamwork skills, as well as discipline-specific knowledge and skills. The course is designed to promote self-direction and encourages the graduates to have a sense of their own individuality and creativity. The university offers a two-year, graduate-entry Master of Speech Language Pathology program. It is intended for students coming from an undergraduate degree in any field, who wish to gain the requirements to become a speech pathologist.

Program: Master of Speech Language Pathology
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: March each year
Duration: 2 years

Apply to the University of Sydney Speech Pathology School!

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Are you wondering about speech pathology programs in Australia? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Speech Pathology Schools Admissions Officer Jaime Notman at jaime@oztrekk.com, or phone Jaime toll free at 1-866-698-7355 for more information.

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences students get a taste for research

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Health Sciences have a unique opportunity to gain hands-on research experience as part of a new scholarship program.

University of Sydney Physiotherapy School

Scholarship recipients Amy Large and Sarah Hawker working on the 1000 Norms Project in the Sydney Performance Lab (Photo credit: University of Sydney)

Four of the best and brightest Indigenous students have taken part in the program which allows them to spend four weeks during study break working on the day-to-day running of an academic research project of their choice.

Program Coordinator Dr John Gilroy and Mrs Simone Cherie-Holt said the faculty attracts some very bright Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, but many don’t understand the research process and opportunities to progress onto honours, masters or PhD programs.

“The scholarships provide opportunities for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to experience research early on and gain a better appreciation for what it can do for their careers as health professionals,” said Dr Gilroy.

The Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences has a long history of supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students through the Yooroang Garang Indigenous Student Support Unit, and has graduated 79 Indigenous allied health students between 1992 and 2014.

Indigenous student support officer Simone-Cherie Holt said many students had never considered research as a career or development opportunity before hearing about the scholarship program.

“This program is important because even if students don’t choose to keep going formally in academia, they will leave with a better understanding of research and how to implement it, which makes them better health practitioners,” said Mrs Cherie-Holt.

Physiotherapy students Scott Daley, Cameron Edward, Sarah Large and Amy Hawker are the first to be awarded the scholarship. All chose to work on the 1000 Norms Project with researchers Marnee McKay and Jennifer Baldwin.

Ms McKay said she is impressed with the professionalism and work-ethic of the students and encourages other academics to consider becoming involved in the program.

The scholarship program is an initiative of the Faculty of Health Sciences, funded by the University of Sydney’s Wingara Mura – Bunga Barrabugu strategy which aims to improve the engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in all areas of university life.

University of Sydney’s Master of Physiotherapy

The University of Sydney offers a two year, graduate-entry Master of Physiotherapy program, which is intended for students coming from an undergraduate degree in a related field and who wish to gain the requirements to become a physiotherapist. Coursework throughout this program builds on the major areas of the profession, such as musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary and neurological physiotherapy, as well as looking at the profession in its societal context.

Program: Master of Physiotherapy
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Duration: 2 years
Semester intake: March each year

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