Hi! My name is Julia and I am one of the newest bOunceT recruits. I have just graduated with my Masters in Occupational Therapy from Glasgow Caledonian University and am joining the team as a Play Resource Officer. I will be working remotely from my home on the east coast of Canada.
When applying to Occupational Therapy programs, Glasgow was an easy choice because of its connection to my own family history. The choice was made even easier by the opportunity to travel while completing my studies. Unfortunately, that experience was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic but the memories I made and the adventures I did have were unforgettable.
While studying at GCU I had enriching placement experiences. I developed an understanding of the role of occupational therapists on a multidisciplinary community rehabilitation team. On my second placement at the Glasgow homeless health centre, I was immersed in social inequities and how one’s environment impacts wellbeing. The social determinants of health were a topic in many lectures, but this experience transformed the way I understood people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity. I completed my final placement in community mental health and addictions. This was an international placement so I gained a unique perspective of working in both the public and private healthcare models in Canada. The best part of this area of practice was helping people get the life that they want, not the life we think they should have.
My passion for health and wellness came from years of organized sport in my youth. Whether it was soccer (sorry, football), rugby, volleyball or basketball – I loved to play. As I grew older I was curious to learn more about human movement and the benefits of physical activity which led me to a bachelor of science degree at ST. Francis Xaviers University in human kinetics. During my studies, I got involved in various programs which enabled all people to participate in physical activity and develop fundamental motor skills. We worked to eliminate barriers to inclusion by adapting skating lessons, swimming lessons, hockey, walking groups, snowshoeing groups, phys. ed. classes, and after school programs. In my hometown, I worked at a YMCA community centre as an inclusive summer day camp counsellor. I also gained experience in a support worker role, the summer program coordinator, and in a newly developed position of behaviour support educator. This gave me the opportunity to nurture social emotional learning and implement sensory strategies to support the children and the YMCA staff.
I valued my years working in childcare and adapted physical activity programs because I also love to participate in play. You can find me playing outdoors in nature, in yoga, and in recreational sport leagues. I don’t think the importance of play can be emphasized enough! I am inspired by how bOunceT harnesses the power of play to promote engagement and participation in activities of daily living. I am so excited to be joining this wonderful team of people and looking forward to helping develop meaningful and inclusive play resources.