After more than 40 years of teaching and training psychology students at UQ, Emeritus Professor Tian Po Oei is grateful to continue contributing to student learning by attending regular health and fitness sessions at UQ Healthy Living.
Each week, 73-year-old Oei and his wife Elizabeth attend circuit training and tailored individual sessions using the Toowong-based clinic’s state-of-the-art strength and aerobic equipment. Students from UQ’s Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences design sessions for clients in consultation with leading healthy ageing practitioners.
“I feel it is my good fortune that by taking care of my health and wellbeing in retirement I can contribute to the learning and training of UQ students,” Professor Oei said.
“We are really happy with the facilities and the students are always very helpful and enthusiastic in helping to guide our exercises. The classes provide a balance between fixed-circuit exercises and exercises that are tailored to our needs. Our fitness and wellbeing is being maintained, allowing us to carry out our routines of living peacefully.”
Professor Oei began his academic career with UQ in 1984, when he moved to Brisbane from the University of Otago in New Zealand to take on the role of Senior Lecturer and Director of the Psychology Clinic in the School of Psychology. He received a UQ Excellence in Higher Degree by Research Supervision award during his time at UQ and led some of the school’s most successful international projects, including the UIUQ undergraduate twinning program with the University of Indonesia.
Professor Oei was made an Emeritus Professor of UQ after retiring in 2010. His commitment to education was further highlighted recently following a generous donation for a UQ Oei Family Scholarship for postgraduate study in clinical psychology leading to professional practice.
UQ Healthy Living offers many services to clients aged over 50, including psychology, dietetics, exercise and sports science, clinical exercise physiology, nursing, pharmacy, and physiotherapy.
UQ Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences Executive Dean Professor Bruce Abernethy (Bachelor of Human Movement Studies (Education) (Honours 1st Class), ’80) said the clinic is a unique model as it addresses cognitive, physical, mental and social wellbeing all under one roof, and provided an interprofessional team environment in which students can practise and learn.
“Our students get the opportunity to understand the significance of interprofessional practice and the expertise that each discipline can bring to improve health outcomes," Professor Bruce Abernethy.
"Students work with a range of clients from different backgrounds, who have varying health issues. These experiences challenge them to be innovative, utilise their clinical reasoning skills and equip them to be work-ready graduates in a complex healthcare environment.”
UQ Healthy Living is managed by UQ Health Care, a not-for-profit company 100 per cent owned by UQ. UQ Health Care Chief Executive Officer, Darryl Grundy (Bachelor of Pharmacy ’87) said clients often shared feedback about their positive interactions with students and the level of support they received.
“The intergenerational aspect is highly valued by both the over-50s and the students," Mr Grundy said.
"It’s an experience for the students that’s both enjoyable and educational, while the older generations experience social and emotional benefits from dealing with the younger generation in this setting.”
Professor Oei and his wife Elizabeth were among the first clients at UQ Healthy Living when it opened in June 2018.
“We have been attending classes for 11 months and have gotten to know many other people, so we enjoy meeting with them at each class,” Professor Oei said.
“It makes every training session an occasion to look forward to.”
Mr Grundy said that maintaining social connections is integral to healthy ageing.
“It’s great to see clients enjoying their exercise together, learning more about their health, working together to problem solve their health issues, and forming friendships outside of the clinic,” Mr Grundy said.
“I love that the clients come here motivated to change their health and make positive changes to their lifestyles. This positive attitude inspires others around them, as well as the student practitioners.”
For more information about UQ Healthy Living services and how to get involved, visit uqhealthyliving.com.au