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Ms Michelle Courtney
School of Health & Social Development
+61 3 522 78380
Role and profile
Michelle is a Senior Lecturer in the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at the Geelong Waterfront campus. Prior to taking up this role in 2003, Michelle worked in a range of occupational therapy clinical, management and consultancy positions. During her time at Deakin University, Michelle’s teaching and learning activities have been primarily in Level Four and Three of the occupational therapy program. Her research has investigated professional issues (for example, competence, mentoring and student transition to practice) and wellbeing for women participating in craft. More recently, Michelle has focused her research activities on the occupation of contemporary pilgrimage.
Unit Chair and teach HSO302 and HSO303 as well as teach into other occupational therapy unit as required (for, example contributing to HSO401, HSO404 and HSO102). Michelle also teaches into the theme of Doctors, Peoples, Cultures and Institutions (School of Medicine).
Michelle’s principal research interest is the multidimensional, diverse and rapidly evolving occupation of contemporary pilgrimage. Pilgrimage is a journey of great personal significance. Internationally, there are examples of health insurance companies, governments and health colleagues in nursing, psychology as well as medicine recognising participation in pilgrimage as offering substantive, positive outcomes for health and wellbeing. Performing the occupation of pilgrimage can involve the corporeal (human movement or use of transportation), objects (including funds), cyber-space, armchair study and viewing, delegation/vicarious linkages, imagination and fantasy, stationary pilgrimage (contact with passing pilgrims) and metaphor.
Understanding the relationship between the occupation of pilgrimage and the experience of wellbeing is the focus of Michelle’s investigation. Her research interest was initially inspired by her time on the increasingly popular, World Heritage pilgrimage route known as El Camino de Santiago de Compostela (also known as The Way of St James - a series of pilgrimage routes throughout Europe that lead into France and Spain culminating at the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela). Michelle has logged over 1800 kilometers on the Camino since 2009.
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