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  • Writer's pictureShayna Gavin, Splash Principal Physiotherapist

Teaching the APA aquatic level 3 course

I had a wonderful time being invited back to teach the paediatric component of the Level 3 Aquatic Physiotherapy course for the Australian Physiotherapy Association

This is the highest level qualification in aquatic physiotherapy that can be achieved, both in Australia and worldwide. Australian aquatic physiotherapists who have gone through this training are well regarded for their ability to clinically reason, apply evidence based practise, and risk manage aquatic physiotherapy environments.

The physios in the program have nearly completed their training when I arrive to deliver the paediatrics section. I teach on the ways in which working with children is different to adults, risk management, first do no harm, and how to develop treatment options in the pool. We start with an interactive lecture with plenty of videos of marvellous kids doing wonderful things, and then a prac session in the pool.

I don't have an underwater shot of all the physios this time! We were diligently wearing face masks to ensure we didn't risk spread of covid to each other, and then our families and patients. This is a photo of my prepation for teaching - not like the usual laptop and notes!

If you're looking for bath baby toys, Kmart, Target and BigW have a selection. It's difficult to find babies that are big enough, and that have diverse representation of race and Disability but I'll keep searching!

If anyone would like to find out more about professional development in aquatic physiotherapy through the APA level 1, 2 and 3 courses, please contact them directly at

Shayna Gavin is a physiotherapist who is passionate about helping babies, children and young people learn functional skills so they can participate in life at home, school and in their community. Recognising that children do best in their own environments, she visits homes, schools, and leisure activities from football fields to ballet classes. She also has daily aquatic physiotherapy sessions available at two private swimming schools in Moonee Ponds and Greensborough, Melbourne. She combines principles of paediatric physiotherapy, Contemporary Neuro Developmental Treatment, motor learning, and swimming teaching to address the individual needs of each child and their family. She loves providing professional development to physiotherapists, allied health and education professionals, allied health assistants and swimming teachers.


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