I started working at APC as one of the first employees. After graduating La Trobe University in Melbourne, I chose to complete my final clinical placement at APC as I was passionate about learning sports prosthetics and wanted to learn from David Howells, who at the time was doing all the work with Paralympic athletes and is a pioneer in the field. I worked as a technician in the first 2 years of my professional career before taking my first cast. The early days at APC wasn’t what everyone expected; between the 5 staff, we were the receptionists, cleaners, technicians and prosthetists. It was a small and very tight knit team where we would often work weekends, do long hours, then stay back and have a beer with each other afterwards. It was a real family vibe. We worked really hard to get the best outcomes for clients, and that is the core value that’s continued through the years.
I am motivated from the people we treat, I come back to work every day to help them because they need it. They may first arrive in a wheelchair but my job is to help them get out of here, not in a wheelchair, but to walk out of here. That’s a big driver for me, the pleasure you get when helping someone either get back on their feet or get back on their lost limb, whether it be an arm or leg.
APC as a company is built solely on its people, and it’s nothing without good people, great people skills, and how they interact with other people. By creating the family environment, looking after their staff, whether it be providing lunch or sending us to conferences for professional development, this isn’t taken for granted. You feel you owe it to them to give back and give the respect back to the company, or to the clients.
I’ve spent a lot of time working in the Paralympic Games and personally the 2000 Sydney Game was the start of it all for me. It’s been great to be associated with the Paralympic committee and being a part of making the best possible prosthesis you can for our athletes; aligning them the best possible way you can, and using the best possible technology to give them their best chances. We’ve seen some pretty amazing results from the Paralympic team that come to APC and to see people like that break records on that extreme level was very encouraging. We always learn that their technology filters down to your everyday clients as well.
I’ve also enjoyed working with children. I’ve seen very inspirational kids come through, with all sorts of difficulties coming up against them, but they’re kids and it’s amazing to see how they get on with it and do incredible things. They are an inspiration to everybody that works with them, but also to our older patients who may be struggling with what they’ve got to deal with.