I made the move from private practice to Therapy Focus 17 years ago primarily because I had young children and the work hours were far more family-friendly and flexible. I never thought I’d stay as long as I have, but I’ve loved working in the team environment and the fact that you can approach your work far more holistically. It’s something I’m really passionate about. You also really get to know people working in disability and I find that so much more rewarding than treating a sprained ankle or rehabilitation of an ACL repair.

Initially I did find it hard drawing a line between personal and professional life however, and I think part of that was having three typically developing children and seeing the challenges other people have. It’s harder to emotionally detach yourself because you’re comparing and realising just how lucky you are. Amy is the eldest of my three daughters. She’s always been really easy and I don’t think she’s ever gotten in trouble in her life. She’s a quiet person and I try to respect that and not ask too many “mum questions”. That’s probably where our biggest difference lies; she’s in introvert and I’m more of a chatty extrovert.

I think that Amy’s decision to foster greyhounds really defines the sort of person she is. She’s works incredibly hard and selflessly to get these greyhounds adopted, and she’s doing this all on her own. If there’s something she strongly believes in then she’s determined and passionate about every aspect. She won’t just sit back and shout loud about it, she’ll actually get involved and do something. It’s been really interesting watching Amy go into Speech Pathology and start work at Therapy Focus. Whilst we see quite a different clientele and have different disciplines, it’s been really great to be able to chat about our work and have that in common.

I’m quite proud of the fact that I’m unapologetically me. Life has thrown me a few curve balls and I guess that has made me into a fairly interesting person. My biggest challenge is being an introvert in an extrovert’s job. Talking all day and forming connections with people is not something that I find very easy to do, but I’m getting better at it. I definitely like getting to know people, but it can be very energy consuming. So I just work my heart out at it, then get home, crash and need to be alone for some time – with the dogs.

Unlike me, Mum is just full of energy. A colleague at Therapy Focus once described Mum as ‘radiating sunshine’. I think she’s brought of light to the individuals and families she’s worked with over the years and also to her teammates. Like Mum, I can’t imagine what a job would be like without the caring aspect. To me it wouldn’t be meaningful enough. As much as I am an introvert it’s really important for me to make a difference.

Ollie & Amy Thomas
Advanced Physiotherapist & Speech Pathologist at Therapy Focus

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