Bachelor of Health Science (Physiotherapy)
She loves the daily challenges her work offers, says health sciences alumna Te Hine-ngaro Tuterangiwhiu who now works as a physiotherapist at PhysioACTION.
“My role involves working with adolescents in schools, as well as with all age groups in the community and in sports. I love working in different environments and in a role that challenges me to continue to learn. I enjoy networking with different age groups and cultures.
“I’m fortunate to have supportive work environments and managers that enable me to be myself in my role as a physiotherapist. This includes being supportive of any cultural obligations and roles that I may have. I’m grateful to have a team that actively tries to incorporate cultural practices within the workplace, including the use of te reo Māori with patients and with each other.”
Te Hine-ngaro has also become involved in the specialist field of women's health and maternity, aiming to develop more Māori representation and service development in this area.
The right decision
The decision to study physiotherapy was an easy one for Te Hine-ngaro.
“I was fortunate to have observed physiotherapists in sports, hospital paediatrics and in community settings while I was still in secondary school. What initially attracted me to the profession was the ability to work in a diverse range of fields. I chose to study at AUT as I valued the support structures they had in place within health science, which allowed me to continue to stay close to my whānau.”
It’s a decision she hasn’t regretted.
“Throughout studying physiotherapy, I was fortunate to have had great role models and support systems that allowed me to be who I am. The staff and students I looked up to and who supported me epitomised the whakatauki (proverb), ‘You must be the change that you want to see in the world’.”
The people are what sets AUT apart, says Te Hine-ngaro who received a Women on Campus Millennium Scholarship, Waitemata DHB Scholarship and Te Tohu Iti Kahurangi Award during her studies.
“I’ll forever be grateful for the many mentors and friends I’ve made through being a part of the physiotherapy whānau at AUT. There were particular groups of tuakana (mentors), kaiako (lecturers) and kai haapai (staff) that were critical in my journey through my degree. Their continued support, aroha and manaakitanga through all parts of the journey made it possible to succeed.”
One of her greatest privileges was being a tuakana herself.
“The ability to give back to the AUT community and positively influence the young minds of our rangatahi was one of the highlights during my degree.”