Katia Ferrar

Adelaide, South Australia

Academic, social justice crusader

On any given night in Australia, one in 200 people will be homeless. Homeless people face unique and multiple barriers accessing health services, including physiotherapy and podiatry. Katia, a University of South Australia academic, is aiming to change this by opening a pro bono, student-led physiotherapy and podiatry clinic for homeless people in Adelaide. The Open Door Clinic, which opened in May 2017, provides a rewarding experience for undergraduate physiotherapy and podiatry students, while improving the lives of the most marginalised people in Adelaide. It encourages students to not only improve their clinical skills, but explore broader concepts such as social justice and cultural communication. “I hope this clinic will serve as a model for other universities to provide a rich learning opportunity while improving the health of disadvantaged Australians.”