Day in the Life Series: Kelsey Stanyer

From swimming to running to stretching, from equipment set up to breathing support — everyday is different for a physiotherapist at Arohanui Special School. This series will highlight the incredible mahi done by our NZEI Te Riu Roa members.

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We are back with a fresh collection of profiles on our vibrant community!

‘A Day in the Life’ will highlight the incredible mahi done by our NZEI Te Riu Roa members. It will show the reality of our educators who care for the tamariki of Aotearoa, and celebrate all the parts that make us a diverse and inspiring bunch!   

If you would like to see a colleague or yourself in this series, please get in touch with us at ako@nzei.org.nz  or fill out this form! Thank you to those you’ve already nominated someone — we’re making our way through them!


Q1: Tell us about yourself?  

Kia ora koutou,  

Ko Kelsey toku ingoa.  

I’m proud to be the daughter, partner, sister, aunty, friend and dog mama of some pretty special people (and pup)! My passion has always been in serving others and I’m lucky enough to do this everyday through my mahi as a physiotherapist at Arohanui Special School.

Q2:  Biggest teacher/mentor growing up?

I will never be able to pinpoint one person! As cheesy as it sounds, I’m so privileged to be raised by a village and have a huge list of people who have contributed to my journey ❤️  

Q3: What does your day look like? 

I’m lucky to have a flexible timetable so it can look like whatever I make of it! I will spend a decent part of my day organising my visits across different Arohanui School satellites and liaising with staff, whānau, or other therapists. I then visit our students and spend time setting up or implementing their physio programs. This can look like so many things from swimming to standing to running to stretching, from equipment set up to breathing support – which makes everyday super varied.  

Q4:  People think my job is… but it’s actually… 

As any physio would say, most people assume we massage all day!  

In my current mahi, it looks a lot like supporting whānau, staff & our learners to live a fulfilling and active life. It’s our job to make sure our students are healthy & safe enough to participate in school. This means a lot of paperwork and adjusting of specialised equipment but its worth it to see our students thriving with their peers! 😅 

Q5: Favourite part of the day? 

I’m lucky enough to work with one of my best friends in the same therapy team so any time we get to do a joint physio session with our students is my favourite. 


What are your reflections on the recent pay equity settlement for therapists employed by schools?

Being offered a salary that reflects our skills and knowledge is truly life changing. My colleagues and I are able to stay in these roles for longer because the salary is good enough to support ourselves. I also think this is a great incentive for more physiotherapists to consider this sector.

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