From firing guns to crafting limbs
Lynden Harbour witnessed the damage landmines could do to people living in war zones while deployed in Afghanistan with the Australian Army.
The Kallangur man, now 30, joined the Army after leaving Year 10, he was just 17.
Mr Harbour's four-year stint with the artillery unit included a tour of Afghanistan.
"Touring Afghanistan opened my eyes to the effects of previous armed conflicts on civilian
populations, including injuries caused by leftover landmines," Mr Harbour said.
He left the Army in 2011 and spent several years working in pathology collection and remedial massage.
In 2017 he started a Nutrition and Dietetics degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Now he is in his final year of a Bachelor of Health Science, majoring in Prosthetics and Orthotics.
It is the only such specialisation for undergraduate students in Queensland and recently
received accreditation from the Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association.
"I love this degree," Mr Harbour said.
"When this became available I was drawn to it.
"Prosthetics is replicating a missing body part and orthotics is applying something outside of
the body to provide function to the body, and I get great satisfaction from the practical elements and client interaction in the degree."
Mr Harbour said the degree and his new skills had put him on a new path.
"I want to help people affected by wars," he said.
"My ultimate goal is to work in developing countries for non-government organisations that provide healthcare and rehabilitation for civilians."
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Mr Harbour has already had the chance to help amputees through his degree.
"Last year a group of us made a prosthetic socket for a lady in her 80s with a below-knee
amputation," he said.
"It was a daunting task. The highlight was working to make sure it fit properly to improve her quality of life."
USC Lecturer in Prosthetics and Orthotics Adam Holden said the extended major suited
people who were creatively or technically minded and enjoyed working with people.
"It provides students with specialist training in an increasingly hi-tech area of health," he
"This includes client assessment, treatment plan provision, and design and manufacture of
devices to address the functional limitations of people with illness, disease or disability."
Applications are expected to open in August for USC's 2021 intake.
Originally published as From firing guns to crafting limbs