Meet our new occupational therapist

Key takeaways
Meet our new occupational therapist

Meet our new OT, Donna

Donna Pocklington is our newest occupational therapist (OT) to join our team at Ascend Health Group, so we sat down for a conversation with Donna to ask her all things OT and what it’s like working in the disability health sector. Donna has been an OT for over a year now after previously being a baker, she decided she wanted to work in the health industry where she could help and change peoples lives. Donna opened up about what she loves about the job, her biggest challenges and most memorable moments.

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I am a wife and mother to 2 boys. I love family time, together we like to spend time outdoors; bike riding, skating, camping and at the beach. I love to bake, before I became an OT I was a baker! On the weekends if I'm not out with my family you will find me in the shed wood working. I find it is a great way to keep myself busy, whilst making beautiful things.

In your own words, what is an Occupational Therapist?

An OT is someone who helps you with all the things you need, want and have to do in your day to day life. They are part teacher, part mentor, part cheerleader, and all-round encourager.

Learn more about OT

What made you want to become an Occupational Therapist?

I saw the huge difference that an OT made to my Nana's life as she recovered after significant surgery and thought it seemed like a great job to be able to help people. I had been working as a baker and was looking for a change in career so I could have a job that didn't involve going to work at 3am. OT seemed a perfect fit for what I wanted to achieve and so I went to university as a mature age student to make it happen.

What is your favourite thing about being an Occupational Therapist?

The huge variety of people I get to work with, and how no two days are the same.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your role?

Sometimes it is difficult to help people reach their potential, especially if they have less support in place such as family and close friends. Working with people to help them understand the NDIS can also be challenging!

What is the biggest success story you have seen?

I worked with a young woman for a length of time on money skills, week after week practising with catalogues and money at home. Her family then reported with joy how she had ordered and paid for her own meal at dinner one Friday night, the first time she had done so independently!

Tell us what it’s like working a day in your life?

Varied! A day can consist of a before school appointment helping a young kid establish a morning routine, followed by an intervention with someone learning how to navigate public transport from home to their workplace, a meeting with a family member to support them to assist their loved one, and so much more. Other days might see me writing a report for NDIS and attending planning meetings, or completing supervision and professional development to ensure I'm always up-to-date with best practice care.

Tell us about a memorable moment, recovery or advancement you’ve seen in your field?

Working alongside someone for a period of time to learn a particular skill and then seeing them nail it is always a highlight for me as an OT.

If you are interested in Donna’s services she is currently available and taking on new members. Please feel free to contact Ascend on (08) 9468 5595 or send an email to

Increase your capacity with Ascend

Your support services are designed to address your unique goals and want you to feel comfortable with your ongoing support needs. We arrange an initial meet-and-greet between all our new clients and potential students until you find the right support worker for you.

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