Physiotherapy Research Lead and Critical Care Physiotherapist, Western Health / Associate Professor, Centre for Integrated Critical Care, Melbourne Medical School, University of Melbourne, Melbourne
Bachelor of Health Science (Physiotherapy)
Creating better outcomes for patients and their families is one of the highlights of her career, says AUT physiotherapy alumna Associate Professor Kimberley Haines who is now a clinical and academic expert in the field of critical care.
“I work at a major metropolitan hospital in Melbourne, Australia, and am responsible for developing our physiotherapy research programme. This involves mentoring physiotherapy clinicians in research to help them develop their ideas to design and conduct research in the clinical setting. I also conduct my own research programme on recovery after critical illness, developing my academic track record in this field through collaborations and supervision of higher degree research students.
“I really enjoy the ability to work with collaborators internationally and locally within Australia and across professions. Getting to work with clinicians to help support their academic growth is incredibly rewarding. My work has also given me the opportunity to travel, which has been a huge privilege.”
Kimberley has had a number of achievements she is particularly proud of in her career so far, including receiving competitive international grant funding, publishing with esteemed researchers in highly-ranked journals and contributing to national guidelines for COVID-19 patients in intensive care. Recently she was also appointed as a clinical associate professor at the University of Melbourne; the same university where she completed her PhD.
Taking the first step
Kimberley still remembers the start of her journey towards a physiotherapy career; enrolling in AUT’s Bachelor of Health Science (Physiotherapy) in the early 2000s.
“I was really keen to study a degree related to health, and I really liked the idea of physiotherapy and the future lifestyle and opportunities it might provide me. AUT was the only university in Auckland which offered this degree, so it was a natural choice. I can still remember the excitement I felt when I received the letter of acceptance into the degree!”
For Kimberley, the people she met throughout her studies were what made her time at AUT special.
“One of the highlights for me was making friends who I continue to be friends with today. The lecturers I had were all amazing too. Dr Julie Reeve and Associate Professor David Nicholls were two of the cardiorespiratory lecturers who particularly inspired me.”
Advice for other students
Kimberley has some great advice for other students considering a career in physiotherapy.
“Your future career is really what you make it. The more motivated you are, the more you will find people who are willing to invest in you and support you through your career.”
Don’t underestimate the importance of relationships, she adds.
“Investing in and building relationships with people is so important as it can really help your future success, as well as your ability to make a lasting impact on others.”