June 2022


June 2022

Welcome to the June edition of Active Values in Action, our forum for encouraging the heart
– a place for team celebration and recognition.

Happy Reading.

Excellence in Breast Cancer Services

Phoebe Giffard running the Breast Cancer Exercise Classes

We are delighted to announce that we have been given funding approval from Mater Private Hospital Brisbane, via the Mater Foundation, to continue delivery of the Exercise During Breast Cancer Program for another year.

This represents firm affirmation from our past program participants and from Mater for the physiotherapy delivery of this wonderful service for women with breast cancer.

Thanks to Phoebe Giffard, Dipthi Samalia, Melanie Wells, our Physiotherapy Students and all involved in the total delivery of this package of care.

New Appointments

Administration Team

Julianna Ip

We’re very pleased to let you all know that Julianna Ip will be taking on a 6 month role as Administration Team Leader – Training & Development.  She will be involved in assisting to coordinate the training and development of new and existing team members, and involved in project tasks relating to our administration training programs. We’re very fortunate to have Juliana take on this very important role at Active.

Farewell Team Members

Isobel O’Sullivan

Izzy O’Sullivan left her part-time role with Active on 17 June, to take up a full-time physiotherapy position while completing the final stage of her PhD. Izzy joined our Weekend Team at the end of 2018, and then commenced in a part-time outpatient role in 2021. We are all going to miss Izzy’s warm, bubbly approach, exuberance and energy.

Thank you Izzy for your contribution to our inpatient and outpatient teams at Active. We wish you all the best for the future, including completing the final parts of your higher research degree.

Lauren Draheim

After 7 1/2 years at Active, Lauren Draheim, currently on maternity leave, and after much consideration, has decided to leave her role at Active, to take up a part-time opportunity at Mater Mother’s Hospital.

We welcomed Lauren to the Active family as a New Graduate Physio, in 2015.  She commenced her career with us as an inpatient physio, completing all hospital rotations, eventually adding Mars and Women’s Health to her portfolio and then served as Mars and Women’s Health Stream Leader. Lauren then additionally progressed to Surgical Team Leader.

Starting out as Lauren Griffin, she married Nick and became Lauren Draheim in 2020, creating yet another Physio squared partnership.

Lauren commenced parental leave in Mid-2021, and she and Nick then welcomed their first child, little Henry.

In her own words:

“This decision was not one I made lightly, as over the last 7 1/2 years, the Active team has become like family. I am so thankful……. I could not have asked for a better, more supportive workplace for starting out at. The culture and the team environment have allowed me to grow from the shy new graduate I was, to the confident team leader I have become, and for that I will always be incredibly thankful.”

We wish Lauren every success with her future career direction.

We’re discussing a farewell plan with Lauren, to thank her for her wonderful service to Active over the years.

Ray Lang

Ray has finished his PhD! We have had the pleasure of Ray being a member of our team for 5 years now. His career aspirations are to move towards teaching and clinical innovation.

He has been offered some exciting opportunities recently which has unfortunately meant that he cannot continue to work as part of our weekend team. His last shift was Saturday 25th June, where the weekend team farewelled him with a gift from Active.

We congratulate Ray and wish him all the best with his future career and thank him for the great service he has provided to our team and our patients.

Active Values in Action
External Feedback

Patient & Stakeholder Feedback

Claire Saxton

From a patient via Ciera Livings
I overheard a patient giving Claire such lovely feed about the care she receives from her: “You support me in a very caring and conscious way.”

Claire Saxton

From a patient via Jodie Watson
I would like to acknowledge Claire Saxton for her calm, caring and professional treatment of a Vestibular patient attending his initial appointment at Annerley. Claire quickly assessed that he needed further medical attention, and thanks to her insightful knowledge, the patient is receiving the care he needs in hospital. Upon following up with the patient, his wife expressed her gratitude:

“I would just like to say how much we both appreciated your kindness and concern for John when he was with you. It was above and beyond your professional duty and he was really comforted by it when he was in such an agitated state. Everyone at Active Rehabilitation was so good to him and we are grateful that you called in a doctor who prescribed the medication for his nausea. By the time he reached St Andrews it was working its charm.”

Claire’s patient, along with her friend, brought in homemade baked treats as a ‘Thank You’, at her final appointment.

Claire Saxton & the BW Admin Team

One of Claire’s patients attended for her final appointment, supported by her beautiful friend Loretta, as usual. As a special thank you to Claire and the BW team, Loretta got up very early and baked home-made apple pies with a special message, “Thank You Active Team”. They also brought fresh cream, custard, plates and spoons so the team could enjoy morning tea. Both ladies were very grateful for all the treatment and support received.

An anaesthetist patient at Springfield Hospital brought in ‘Thank You’ flowers for Jess.

Jessica Lythall

Flowers from a patient
Jess treated a medical patient – an anaesthetist at Springfield Hospital – who had presented with suspected TIA. The patient was very grateful for the neurological assessment, and particularly the education Jess provided during her treatment. The patient returned the following day with flowers for Jess.

Well done Jess, particularly considering how daunting it can be explaining and educating a highly trained medical professional, as a recently graduated therapist.

Patient Satisfaction Survey Feedback

36 Patient Feedback Surveys were received last month. 31 were 9/10 or 10/10 responses, so 86% of all surveys were 9-10/10! Well done team.

South Brisbane

11 responses – 8 x 10/10 responses

Isobel O’Sullivan and Renee De Maria

“The care and treatment I have received has been excellent. Currently I see both Isobel and Renee collaboratively, between the Mater Hospital and the Annerley practice. They have both been instrumental in helping me understand both my health issues and how to manage specific symptoms effectively and regain my confidence.”

Emma Eaton

“Emma made me feel very comfortable – she’s very efficient very knowledgeable.”

Rielan Newell

I’d been to another in-house rehab a few years ago and I felt they just didn’t understand at all the issues I had. Rielan was amazing, he literally knew what I was going to say before I said it. I felt I was in very capable hands and also with someone positive, who is going to help me achieve my goals. Thanks!”


13 responses – 5 x 10/10 responses

Jason Crow

Jason is understanding and empathetic.”

“Jason’s knowledge and practical help = 100%”

David Cowley

His service and knowledge were exceptional.”


8 responses – 6 x 10/10 responses

Dr Joanne Bullock-Saxton

“Very experienced and knowledgeable physio.”

Martin Leet

“Knowledgeable, informative and professional advice and treatment.”

“Martin explained my health status very well to me and I feel that his exercises help.”

“The way that I was treated was very good. Certainly has made a great result with my knee surgery.”


4 responses – 3 x 10/10 responses

Shahrooz Rafiei

“The assistance, careful monitoring, and most importantly the wonderful outcome from Sharooz’s helpful suggestions, ensured I have had a very successful recovery. I am most impressed.”

Rielan Newell

“Rielan took the time to understand my needs and concerns during the Telehealth appointment. Thank-you.”

Active Values in Action
Team Feedback

Above & Beyond Award

Phoebe Giffard

Nominated by Dipthi Samalia, Matt Fels and Jason Crow

In the current Covid and Flu environment, we would like to nominate Phoebe Giffard for an ‘Active Above & Beyond’ award. Phoebe has been instrumental in her ability to cover sick leave within the outpatient team, specifically within the Mars and Women’s Health space. Her willingness to cover an unknown outpatient list at short notice, to support her colleagues and our patients, is admirable. She does so with such grace and capability – nothing ever seems to be too much for her. Despite frequent changes in daily plans recently, Phoebe is always there with a smile and positivity, helping where the immediate need is. Her flexibility and willingness to help has ensured that a large number of outpatients can continue on their treatment and rehabilitation journey. The patients are always so happy to see Phoebe. Even with the additional outpatient sessions, Phoebe has continued to do an excellent job as Surgical Team Leader, by promoting Active via the Breast Cancer Classes and stakeholder engagement, by supporting less experienced team members and by providing excellent inpatient care.

Also acknowledged by Jodie Watson

Phoebe has been called upon numerous times recently to help out at Annerley and she always greets the Annerley team and her patients with happy, positive enthusiasm. Thank you Phoebe, you’re always cheerful, thoughtful and your infectious smile makes everyone feel welcome.

We have given Phoebe a voucher for a massage at one her favourite places – Stephanie’s Spa at Balmoral.

Team Feedback

Inpatient Cancer Care Team, 10th Floor and ICU

From Eamon Kelly

I spoke with Syd, an inpatient we worked with for a few weeks, who had a bit of a rough time whilst he was here, following an illness requiring surgery. He was very grateful for all the care he received in hospital and wanted to especially thank the physio team who looked after him. He is now out of hospital, doing well and regularly attending the Men’s Shed again.

Jade Graham

From Eamon Kelly

I wanted to make special mention of Jade Graham. Jade joined our Active team, after a year of working at the Queensland Children’s Hospital.  She is currently completing her medical degree. Despite being a newer member of our team, Jade has fitted in seamlessly and is competently managing an ICU patient caseload on weekends. She embodies Active’s values of being ‘Hungry’ and ‘How can I Help’. Thank you for everything you do Jade.

Claire Saxton

From Renee De Maria

I just wanted to publicly acknowledge what a great job Claire is doing in the vestibular stream since her return.

Claire is so committed to achieving optimal outcomes for her patients and puts in an extraordinary effort to ensure her knowledge and skill progression. Claire you have been thrust into some really tricky situations and managed them all with a perfectly considered approach. You reach out when needed, yet excel in the independent setting you are often in. You accept feedback with grace and quickly turn your learning into behavior change.

Claire’s approach embodies Active’s value of being hungry and it’s great to have her back!

Eamon Kelly, Marcel Mercier & Rielan Newell

From Renee De Maria

Rielan shared a good news story about Eamon who identified, assessed and treated a cancer care in-patient with BPPV. It was lovely to hear that Eamon had taken this on so seamlessly and that Marcel had followed-up and confirmed that the BPPV was resolved. Additionally, it was lovely to see how pleased Rielan was to share with me the success of the team.

Later I saw the same lady as an outpatient, with a different and new BPPV. Despite all she’d been through, she was so confident to come and see me, because of the positive experience and excellent in-patient care she’d received from the team who identified her vertigo. What awesome team work!



Rebecca Kensington

Congratulations to Bec, Matt and Isla Kensington on the birth of their son and brother, Henry.

Parental Leave

Simone Dahl

Simone Dahl commenced her parental leave on 24 June. Wishing you all the best Simone. We’re looking forward to hearing some news about your growing family.


Happy birthday to our team members born in June:

John Fitzgerald, Alison Fenton, Nicole Fitzgerald, Marcel Mercier, Fraser Brown, Ellie Goodwin, Tara Roberts, Megan Kirkby, Jason Crow, Nicole Wu and Dharsha Petrie.

Special birthday wishes to:

Tara Roberts
Tara celebrated her 30th birthday this month.

Spotlight on the Team

Introducing... Shantel Chang

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born in Taiwan and bred in Australia since the age of 5. I grew up with my family on a golf course in Ipswich (Brookwater, for any keen golfers who might know). You’d think I would have learned how to play, but my golfing skills are shocking to this day. I blame my brother and dad, as I spent most of my childhood driving them around the course in a buggy, completing the scoresheet for them. I moved to Brisbane for high school and Uni, and now live on the Gold Coast while finishing the last year of my medical degree!

Can you tell us about a previous favourite role or job you may have had?

I worked at Swarovski for a year. It was great because you just told people they looked good, all day every day. It was especially entertaining when gentlemen came in looking lost, with absolutely no idea of what to buy their partners; they basically bought everything we’d recommend.

What are your personal interests or hobbies?

Coffee, food, trying to keep my plants alive, volleyball and most recently, running (nothing compared to the Luke-Jarred duo though).

What are you most proud of in your life?

Probably surviving on my own since graduating high school (my parents moved back to Taiwan after deciding Australia was too hot and there were too many spiders) and working three jobs during Uni – we made it through somehow!

Can you tell us one thing about you that the team at Active may not know about you?

For those who don’t know, I’m getting married this year – to Josh, who’s also a physio! The physio squared combo.

What are your greatest achievements in your role at Active so far?

The continuous learning and growing that Active has supported me through! I try to challenge myself, during every shift, to think of what I can do better. Every patient who we help with our skills is a win. Over the years, I realised I feel most satisfied after a day on cancer care – for me, it’s not the big achievements, but the little wins that matter most!

Introducing... Matt Fels

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born across the road at the Mater Mothers and grew up in Coorparoo. My parents are still living in the same house. My wife, Danica, and I went to high school together and we have now been together for more than half our lifetime. We both ended up working at the RBWH as new graduates, myself as a Physio and Danica as an OT. After a couple of years, we set off to the UK on a working holiday, never working for more than 3 months before taking a holiday and heading off to a new country or two. It was great that the only period I was unemployed whilst in the UK was during the London 2012 Olympics, enabling me to head to an event or activity every day, whilst the city was abuzz with Olympic fever.

We left the UK the evening Danica’s visa ran out and camped/backpacked from Iceland to Albania over 6 months, before returning home to Brisbane. This was the greatest experience, with so many wonderful memories. I learnt so much about myself and about Danica, through the challenges we experienced whilst living a little off the beaten track, and handling the increased language barrier. We have since made the long move from our childhood suburbs of Coorparoo/Greenslopes to Camp Hill, where we have now bought and renovated our first home and welcomed two children, Abigail and Jack.

Can you tell us about a previous favourite role or job you may have had?

My first unofficial job was to test out playgrounds. My father has a landscaping business and when my brother and I were younger, Dad actually predominately made and installed playgrounds. We would happily go to work with him and be the first kids to test the equipment. My favourite job was working with him at Habitat Landscapes as I was going through high school and Uni (even though I may not have always thought so at the time). It was great to learn so many practical design, gardening and construction skills to be able to put into practice now. It also gave me insight into how hard Dad has worked to be able to give my brother and me the opportunities for whichever sporting or academic path we chose.

What are your personal interests or hobbies?

Spending time with my young family – preferably outdoors. Gardening or working on projects around the home, such as the cubby house I built for Abby’s birthday – it’s a great way to unwind and challenge a different part of the brain. Sport, particularly AFL and the Brisbane Lions – I was lucky enough to play a few games with the Reserves team at the Gabba when going through high school and Uni. Dad and I go along to each Lions home game and Abby has started to attend the day games; it’s a great way to catch up and spend some time together. I was happy to give any sport a go (now I’m a little more selective, thanks to a certain ankle injury 3 years ago).  This included making the Australia/New Zealand Gaelic football team after a friend twisted my arm to try out for the state team the day before the trials.

What are you most proud of in your life?

Your life does honestly change when you welcome children into the world. I’m happy to say your perspective does definitely change and I couldn’t be prouder of our little family and the time that we have together in our family home.

Can you tell us one thing about you that the team at Active may not know about you?

I completed all my high school work experience with the aim of becoming an engineer, including a week at QUT with the aerospace engineers looking at and playing with rockets. On the day we needed to submit our preferences, however, I changed the form on the bus to school, as I couldn’t imagine Maths as my future. My parents only found out that I had changed my preferences once the offers came out later in the year. They were initially a little surprised, but are now more than happy with the career direction I’ve taken.

What are your greatest achievements in your role at Active so far?

My greatest achievement in my role at Active is being able to watch and facilitate the growth of the team – from educating students who have since become Active physiotherapists, to supporting recently graduated physios to flourish and develop their personal treatment approaches, to assisting team members to accept the challenges of a new role or to pivot in their career and take on a new opportunity. It’s a pleasure to watch the depth of knowledge we have here at Active, particularly as the team consistently achieve fantastic results, not only for their individual patients, but as they strive to grow Active as a business and the Physiotherapy profession as a whole.

What's New

New Clinical Documents

Announcing a New/Revised Outpatient Musculoskeletal Clinical Guidelines

  • Breathing Pattern Disorder Clinical Guidelines – New

Thanks to Karl Harm and Rielan Newell for the creation of this guideline, and to Joanne Bullock-Saxton and Anthea Goslin for their input and review.

  • Lumbar Discectomy Clinical Guideline – Reviewed
  • Lumbar Fusion Clinical Guideline – Reviewed
  • Lumbar Laminectomy Clinical Guideline – Reviewed

Thanks to Joanne Bullock-Saxton for the creation of these guidelines and to Simon Freestone and Jarred Janetzki for their input and review.

These can be found in the Clinical Guidelines folder in Dropbox.

Please take a look at: F:\Dropbox\Clinical Manual\Clinical Guidelines\Competencies

  • New AHPRA Code of Conduct

AHPRA have recently revised their shared code of conduct, which came into effect on 29 June 2022.  Please read the code here:

AHPRA Revised Shared Code of Conduct (advance copy)

 You can see a summary of the key changes here:


Events & Presentations

Representation at an International Level

Ellen Lake presenting at the 9th IOPTMH Conference in Athens


Ellen Lake

In her dual roles as National Chair of the APA Mental Health Committee and Vice President of the International Organisation of Physical Therapy in Mental Health (IOPTMH), Ellen attended the 9th IOPTMH Conference in Athens, Greece, on 4-6 May. Apart from attending the conference sessions, Ellen was also asked to moderate the General Meeting, a wonderful acknowledgment of her contribution to Physiotherapy and Mental Health. We’re delighted by your achievements Ellen – congratulations.

Representation at the National level

John Fitzgerald and Ellen Lake at the NAC meeting – May 2022


John Fitzgerald, Jason Crow and Ellen Lake

APA leaders from around the country recently gathered in Melbourne for another APA National Advisory Council (NAC) meeting. The role of NAC is to advise the board on important and emerging matters relating to the physiotherapy profession and the association. The NAC comprises APA members who are presidents of branches or chairs of National Groups. Other NAC members include representatives of the student group, the rural and remote membership base, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee and the Australian College of Physiotherapists. Thank you to Active’s team members who are worthy, and busy, members of this important group. Active are truly actively represented!

Dave Cowley – Urological Society of Australia & NZ – Annual Scientific Meeting 2022

Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting 2022

Dave Cowley

Dave Cowley was invited to present a 45 minute presentation as part of a workshop entitled: “Complex Male LUTS Revisited: Thinking Outside the Prostate.”

Dave’s presentation was titled: “The role of the pelvic floor and physiotherapy.”

He received the following wonderful feedback from Professor Vincent Tse:

“Best pelvic floor presentation I have seen, international standard. Should have been in the plenary session for male LUTS.”

Congratulations Dave, the team are very proud of this achievement.

Abstracts Accepted for APA Conference

We’re proud and thrilled to let you know that we have had 4 abstracts accepted for this year’s APA FOCUS Conference.  The conference focuses on the latest in business, education, leadership and practice in physiotherapy.

  • Cultivating an extraordinary workplace culture – John Fitzgerald
  • The Holy Grail – a clinical governance framework for new physios – Jason Crow
  • Leadership Development – more than just training – Anthea Goslin
  • Taking Physiotherapy to the World – How to influence an entire nation of physiotherapists – John Fitzgerald

We wish them all the very best for their presentations in October.

Our Physios in the Media
Radio Interview

Dave Cowley

Congratulation to Dave Cowley, who did a wonderful interview on ABC radio as part of Men’s Health Week.

For those of you who’d like to listen, the link is below.

The interview with Dave starts from the 44th minute and goes for 6 minutes.

Awesome work Dave – 6 minutes of composure and sound clinical advice.



All set up and ready for Renee’s Vestibular presentation to the Highgate Hill GP practice

Stakeholder Presentations

Vestibular Presentations for GP Practices

Thanks to Renee De Maria for excellently representing Active by presenting details of Active’s Vestibular Service to the Highgate Hill and Annerley GP practices this month, to some highly engaged GPs and their Practice Nurses.

Renee De Maria – HINTS Professional Development Evening 13.06.2022

Active In-house Professional Development Offerings

Vestibular Stream Evening – HINTS Training

Thanks to Renee De Maria and the Vestibular team for delivering yet another fantastic professional development evening on 13 June. There was great attendance and a wealth of learning.

Dr Ben Lancashire – Women’s Health Stream Evening 27.06.2022

Women’s Health Stream Evening

Thanks to Dani Morrison and the Women’s Health Stream team for pulling together a wonderful evening of learning about post-surgical breast management on 27 June. With high quality external and internal speakers, including Dr Ben Lancashire, Heidi Peverill, and Kate Quinn, it was a popular and very well received event.

PowerPoints and information can be found at:

F:\Dropbox\Clinical Manual\Outpatient\Resources\Breast Cancer Care\WH Stream Meeting June 2022

Musculoskeletal In-service

Thanks to Emma Eaton for her excellent presentation to our team on Blood Flow Restriction Training.

We appreciate the effort and generosity of spirit that goes into these presentations.

Active’s Upcoming Professional Development Offerings

Please see the Basecamp schedule for all of Active’s July internal professional development activities.

Leadership Evening

  • Attendees: Leadership Team
  • Topic:  Building an Exceptional Team Culture
  • Date: Monday 18 July, 6:30 pm
  • Venue: South Brisbane Gym

Dinner provided at 6:00pm


Dave Cowley

Congratulations to Dave Cowley who had an interview published in the Continence Foundation of Australia Bridge Magazine this month.

The article – Rehabilitation for Male Pelvic Floor Muscles, can be found here, on page 15


Community Service

Simon Freestone & John Fitzgerald – 11 Engineer Regiment – Employer Recognition Dinner

On 24th of June, John Fitzgerald attended a marvellous event, the 11 Engineer Regiment Employer Recognition Dinner, with our Physiotherapist and Army Reservist, Simon Freestone.  As an Australian Defence Force reservist, Simon undertakes reserve service and training, enabling him to contribute actively and provide fantastic support to the wider Australian community. This dinner hosted by Defence Reserves and Employer Support, gave recognition of Active’s release and support of Simon, enabling him to perform these important duties.

Social Events

Barefoot Bowls

The team, and many of their children, enjoyed an afternoon of Barefoot Bowls on Saturday 27th June.

Thanks to our wonderful social convenors, Ellie Goodwin and Margot Weis for their organisation of this event.

Admin Team Social

A well-deserved break and get-together was enjoyed by the Admin team, joined by the Exec Team, on Friday 24th June at Fitzgerald’s.

Fabulous turnout and a great evening!

Active Ball

*Important COVID-19 Reminder*

  • If you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19, please get tested and stay at home until your test returns a negative result.
  • Regularly wash your hands and disinfect your phone.
  • Maintain physical distancing especially at work.

What do I do next?

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Annerley +617 3346 1768

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    COVID-19 Update: Both in-clinic and on-line video consultations are available. Mask wearing is mandatory at all of our clinics.