Name: Lourdes Lay
Institution: University of Sydney
Course of study: Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy)
Years completed: 2014
Physiotherapist Lourdes Lay was brought up in Alieu Villa as part of a big family of two brothers and five sisters. At high school she joined the student council helping to organise sport and social activities at the school. And, after, graduating she worked in a private clinic in Alieu Villa helping sick children and patients with a disability, delivering their medication and supporting clinic admin.
Lourdes values the opportunity to help people get better from any sickness they have. She likes working as a physiotherapist at Dili’s National Hospital because it’s focused on providing an active program of treatment rather than a passive one.
Growing up her parents always valued education and when her two sisters secured government scholarships in Environmental Science, she decided to apply for an Australia Awards Scholarship to study healthcare. Advised by nuns at the clinic to opt for a specialist area Lourdes decided on physiotherapy.
Lourdes gained a scholarship and in Australia she settled in quickly with the family she was living with. But at the University of Sydney she experienced a very different learning environment than the one she’d been used to in high school.
She quickly adapted by taking a more proactive approach to researching information, speaking up in class and working as a team with fellow students.
After graduating in 2014 Lourdes undertook a 12-month Government Graduate Internship Program as a Physiotherapist with the Medical Rehabilitation & Palliative Care Department, at Dili’s National Hospital. The internship not only provided her with the opportunity to learn more about patient assessment and treatment techniques and to apply the skills learnt from university, it also resulted in a permanent job.
“My internship strengthened my motivation to work as a physiotherapist at the hospital and confirmed my initial decision to aim for a career working in Timor-Leste as a physiotherapist.”
She also heeds her own advice keeping herself active by playing badminton after work to keep fit and to relax.