ACU will offer Bachelor of Occupational Therapy in Ballarat for first time in 2024

August 11, 2023 BY

Ready to make a difference like Danielle? Explore the allied health courses at ACU.

Bring enjoyment, empowerment, choice, fulfilment, growth, satisfaction, and opportunity to people. This is not an inspirational Instagram post but a job description, occupational therapy (OT) to be exact.

For Australian Catholic University occupational therapy graduate Danielle Arcidiacono, helping people was a must when she was considering her career in high school.

“My careers advisor told me all about occupational therapy and recommended it as a career to consider as it ‘ticked all of my boxes’,” she said.

“It is a career where I was able to help make a positive impact on individuals’ lives. To work with children and have the potential to open a private practice in the future. OT also allows for a variety of job options with one degree.”

“I then followed through and spent a week of work experience in Year 10 at an OT practice, attended ACU Open Day three times over the next three years and took part in two University Experience Days. After talking with academic staff at the university and experiencing OT, I was sure this degree, and career, were for me.”

The rest is history. Danielle thrived during her studies at ACU, graduated, and is now making a real difference in people’s lives.


Study OT at ACU’s Ballarat campus

ACU will be offering the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at its Ballarat campus for the first time in 2024, expanding the program to now be available at four campuses.

The Executive Dean of Health Sciences, Professor Suzanne Chambers, said ACU was thrilled to see the expansion of this program at a time when the Federal Government’s National Skills Commission has identified a shortage for occupational therapists throughout the country.

“Occupational therapy is an essential and growing area of allied healthcare,” Professor Chambers said.

“It uses a whole-person perspective when working with individuals, groups and communities with the goal of helping clients to achieve optimal health and wellbeing and assisting them with navigating everyday tasks.”


OT with a difference

It was the ability to help make a positive impact on individuals’ lives that attracted Danielle to OT. During her studies at ACU, she was able to hone her skills and now thrives on empowering others.

“Whatever I needed, whenever I needed it, someone at ACU was always able to support me.” she said.

“I can specifically recall a time I was so grateful for that support. I was struggling to understand the content in a unit, and I had an assignment due.

“As a result, I was struggling to give my best. My teacher offered to meet with me and go through my assignment, provide advice and information, and then meet again to go through the results. I literally went from a pass to a high distinction just because this teacher was willing to spend a few hours with me.

“I am so grateful to that teacher and others. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the amazing ACU staff.”


Moments that count

Post university, Danielle works part-time as a Disability Support Worker and as an OT for a few special clients.

“My clients all have a variety of disabilities, which keeps my job interesting and educational, ranging from Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Intellectual Delay, Attention Deficit Hypoactivity Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Cortical Visual Impairment, Rett Syndrome and more,” she said.

“I do find a challenge every day, but I am learning to adapt or solve them in a variety of ways. My job is so rewarding, I get to positively impact young individuals and their family’s lives. I feel so lucky every day.

“Being able to help form connections, help people achieve their goals, motivate each other and socially connect is what I love so much about my career.”


Find out more about studying at ACU at our Open Day

Open day, to be held at ACU’s Ballarat campus on Sunday 27 August, offers many opportunities to learn more about study options at ACU.

Attending an Open Day is also the perfect platform to learn about and discover courses offered and early entry pathways such as ACU Guarantee.

School leavers may apply for some courses via ACU Guarantee, a program that offers eligible Year 12 students a place at ACU based on Year 11 results.

Offers can be made as early as September, taking away much of the anxiety that can surround the application process. Applications for ACU Guarantee open on 24 July and close on 18 September.


Ready to make a difference like Danielle? Explore the allied health courses at ACU.

Find out more about ACU’s Open Day or about studying at ACU at https://openday.acu.edu.au/