Sabine Leech

'I wanted to further my career to a non-clinical role and Health Sciences seemed to be the perfect fit...'

  • Sabine Leech

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences

Master of Health Sciences

Case Coordinator, Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)

Sabine had several years of experience working as a qualified physiotherapist in her home country Germany and later Australia before moving to New Zealand.

‘During my high school years I developed a strong interest in health and I proceeded to qualify as a physiotherapist. I worked in different areas of physiotherapy for many years including being part of the team at the Dolphin Human Therapy in Australia.’

Sabine wrote an article about her work titled “Dolphin-Human Therapy in Australia” which was published in Physiopraxis, one of Germany’s most famous medical journals. After such a rewarding experience, Sabine decided to add another qualification to her list.

‘When I moved to New Zealand I was at a stage where I wanted to further my career from a clinical to a non-clinical role and the degree in Health Sciences seemed to be the perfect fit.’

She found UC to be a fantastic place to develop her skills further.

‘I enjoyed everything,’ she says. ‘I love the variety of courses and papers UC offers, the layout of the campus, the variety of social events and clubs and the lecturers are great. I mainly studied from home because I have two young children but I used to take part in the UC Spanish Club and the UC German Club, and I was a member at the UC Rec Centre.’

Sabine’s research investigated how internet and cell phone interventions could be used to help adult smokers quit for much longer.

‘I felt very blessed to have two fantastic and very knowledgeable supervisors that worked with me on my thesis,’ she says. ‘During all my years studying at UC I have made some incredible friendships which I’m very grateful for.’

As part of her time at UC, Sabine had also completed volunteer work for the Heart Foundation and Cancer Society on health promotion projects. She has also taken advantage of UC’s Summer Courses, from which she received an Award of Excellence.

‘I did summer school at UC and really enjoyed it. I took a Māori Language paper and a Pacific Studies culture paper. The reason I chose these papers because they fit together well with Health Sciences.’

She continues to build on her skills helping others with work at ACC as a Case Coordinator for clients with injuries. Her role involves using her skills to determine the rehabilitation needs of her clients, and arranging their recovery and vocational support in the Return to Work and Stay at Work programmes.

‘I have a strong passion for people and wellbeing. This position is perfect given my background as a physiotherapist and all the degrees I have successfully completed with UC,’ she says.

Studying Health Sciences has been a great experience for Sabine and she recommends other students look to make the most of their degree opportunities.

‘Every day I learnt new skills and enjoyed every minute of it,’ she says.

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