What's your why?
In that strange period after high school, where society expects you to have an idea of the career you will choose for the rest of your life, I had no idea what to do. So I delayed it, had a year off and got to know myself and the world better. Kicking this can down the road; eventually, I had to make a start on a career. I decided on an electrician and thought the mines would be the best spot. I started an apprenticeship, interviewed for the mines and quickly figured out it wasn’t for me.
The next option was University. I picked the degree titles with sport, science or exercise in them and got my first preference, Sport and Exercise Science. Not knowing this is the degree to do if you want to become an Exercise Physiologist or Sports Scientist, I just liked those three things. My first semester was a real struggle. I almost failed every subject. I didn’t learn to study at School, and paying attention wasn’t my strong suit unless I enjoyed the content/activity.
By the second semester, I got into the swing of things and started to excel. I found an interest in how the human body works and that you can implement strategies to change it for the better and, conversely, for the worse. I was implementing all the learnings I had on myself as a growing ‘fitness and health fanatic,’ using myself like a lab rat. I began personal training and loved implementing what I learned with my clients, friends and family (if they let me).
With my passion for the health and fitness industry growing due to its effect on my health and my 20yr old boy brain’s love of having big muscles, a few things were happening that set up my path around the same time. Firstly, I was learning about the chronic health issues facing our communities. I won’t go into it here, but it’s enormous, devastating, growing, and the most significant issue we must address as a society. I also learned that these chronic health issues could be prevented or even reversed with lifestyle interventions, with exercise at the top of the list. I couldn’t believe that nothing was being done for such a big problem, with the solutions for that problem being pretty straightforward (both simple and complex).
Then we were given an assignment for a business studies subject. It was to build a business plan for any product or service. The business had to address and solve a problem (insert light bulb moment). How about a company that’s focus is to help solve the chronic health issue facing Australia? Again, I won’t bore you with the details, but I became obsessed with the assignment. The basis of the business I did this assignment on is what Movement Therapy is and will become in the future. With a few changes, i.e. why did I set the bar so low to help Australians and not the world😅?
I finished my degree but didn’t feel I had enough knowledge, especially in dealing with people’s issues in the early stages of musculoskeletal problems. So I started Physiotherapy, and it was a great fit. Most stories don’t go in straight lines, however. After my master's degree in Physiotherapy, I started my first job at a Physiotherapy practice and hated it. Big patient volumes, no mentoring, education or support, short appointment times with fancy machines that go bing, minimal patient care, and I was in no way improving people’s health. It wasn’t part of the solution I was looking for. Luckily at the same time, I was still personal training and seeing the effect lifestyle medicine and good movement therapy can have on people’s lives. So I quit my first Physio job around six months in, and my eye started wandering towards re-training as a Doctor. Perhaps that’s where I can have more of an effect?
Around the same time, I got a job with an Osteopath. For a Physio at this point in Sydney, it was like working with a ‘witch doctor.’ My Uni mates let me know as well. I started to see good patient care and that the skill set I was learning had a lot of value in the community. I also saw how much I didn’t know. I had the challenge I was looking for and saw my career's worth.
When my application for med school was accepted, I was in a bit of a pickle. I said no initially but was convinced to give it a try. Uni by day, Physio by night. The point that got me back on the right path was when I started placements in the hospital. It’s the place people end up when their chronic health issues have been pushed too far, especially the cardiology ward. It was so frustrating for me. For the majority of the people there, this could have been prevented. Added to this was some of the content we were learning was incredibly boring for me. I felt like I was back in high school. Was I learning a skill that would help me pursue the vision I had back in my undergraduate degree? My answer was no, so I dropped out.
A few other zigs and zags later, Movement Therapy was born. My career is finally cemented, and I’m so grateful for my decisions as a 20-year-old. My why now is to support the people around me that I’m on this journey with as we strive to move our communities towards health optimisation.
What's your guilty pleasure when you have free time?
I'm not sure I have to be guilty about these but in no particular order... playing guitar, reading, surfing, bush walks and finding quality food to eat with Jess
What does the world need more of to be a better place?
A shift in consciousness—a realisation that our individual well-being is intricately connected to the well-being of others and the planet as a whole. This shift can inspire profound transformations in how we live, relate to one another, and engage with the world around us.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
Funnily enough, I have thought about this a lot. I think you have to look at this from a nutritional standpoint. I would have to tick a lot of boxes otherwise the rest of your life would be filled with perhaps a high sugar misery. So organic pastured scrambled eggs with a spice and herb filled vegetable stir fry (all organic and locally sourced of cause) and some of Jess's sourdough toasted, with a pot of loose leaf black tea. Oh and the tea has to have Tasmanian leatherwood honey and Tilba Tilba cream in it as a bit of a treat.
If you were marooned on a tropical island, which two staff members would you want with you and why?
I would take the person I have known the longest, BJ, and the person I have known for the least time, Jasmin. I love getting to know new people, it's a big part of why I love being a therapist, but there's nothing like talking with someone you have had the privilege of knowing for many years.