Find out some more info on Brad via his interview with Shane Heslop!
Where were you born?
I was born in Burwood, grew up in Endeavour Hills before moving to the other side of the Yarra and settling in the north eastern suburbs.
I played football and cricket growing up and even managed to play around 30 senior games for Box Hill in the VFL. Nowadays, I run for general fitness and sometimes compete in track and field. I managed a silver medal (disappointingly getting pipped by 0.1s) in the 400m at the Australian Masters in 2019, but I haven’t set foot on the track since! I also coach my daughter’s basketball team.
Leaving high school I completed a Human Movement degree before hearing about osteopathy which I’d never heard of before. It sounded really interesting so I applied later that year and was offered a place at RMIT University in Bundoora, graduating from the 5 year course in 2004.
My initial 2 years in osteopathy were spent working in clinics in Bundoora and the City which offered a great variety of patients. I then moved to Norway for a 2 year period before returning to work in Blackburn and Canterbury at the end of 2008. I am still working at Blackburn and now also work in a clinic in Lower Plenty.
My 2 years in Norway were a fantastic experience. I worked in a fish factory which cemented to me that Osteopathy is a great job to have! My wife and I spent some months living in Bergen (Norway’s 2nd largest city and one of the world’s rainiest!) before moving above the arctic circle to work for a lovely family of osteopaths in Alta. The experience of watching the Northern lights through a winter when the sun didn’t rise for 2 months was something I never imagined doing. We also did some great dog sledding trips, drove snow scooters and of course some skiing (cross country and downhill).
A summer with no darkness was also a test as you work out how best to get enough sleep with the sun constantly shining. I saw 13kg salmon getting caught (didn’t catch any myself!) and explored the scenic mountains and fjords during the long summer days.
We also took the opportunity to visit a number of European countries and Egypt before heading back home. I hope to be able to take the family back for another holiday and to catch up with some friends sometime in the next year or so.
Osteopathy has been a great career choice for me. I do work long hours but the capacity to set up those hours to suit my family has enabled me to spend a lot more time with my children than I may otherwise have been able to. It has also been a very positive feedback job in that you can see and hear that you are making a difference to patients’ day to day lives.
My favourite things about osteopathy are the variety of people I meet (and can hopefully help) and the multitude of different conditions we can treat and ways we can treat those conditions. I really enjoy trying to make connections with patients and figuring out the puzzle of how best to help them.
I believe the variety of treatment techniques we have available as osteopaths, coupled with the ability to prescribe exercises for those that require them is a winning combination. It enables us to treat people of all ages and health statuses and we can encourage people to take ownership of their health and well being.
And for those that my treatment style isn’t necessarily working, I am always happy to try and find alternative approaches/professionals to on refer those patients to.
One of my more interesting patients over the years was a woman in her 30’s who I treated very early in my career. I had seen her on and off for general back and neck pain and she had always responded well. This particular day she presented with lower back pain that wasn’t really changing with her normal stretches and exercise. On initial movement testing she could easily touch the floor with her hands and could almost do a full backward bend. I then did my normal examination of the muscles and joints and just couldn’t find anything that seemed to be the cause of her pain. I questioned her thoroughly about other symptoms and possible causes of onset and between us we couldn’t come up with anything. I gave her a number of things to look out for over the following 24 hours and told her to keep in touch. Thankfully, she paid attention to the things I had discussed with her and noticed a change in her symptoms that took her to the doctor the next day. She found out that the cause of her back pain was a kidney infection and rang me to thank me for pointing her in the right direction. This was a great example that even if the hands on treatment we perform isn’t the answer to the problem, we may still be useful in helping direct people to the cause of their pain.
I hope that I can continue to enjoy working, helping as many patients as possible. I am currently undertaking some professional development in running injury rehab and retraining so I would like to be able learn more to help those that would like to run but are finding it difficult due to injury or those starting out.
Of course travelling is back on the radar and hopefully I will get to see more of Australia and some other parts of the world in the not too distant future.
I want to enjoy as much time with my family as I can before my children think I’m not cool and wouldn’t mind seeing the Hawks win some more games again, although we have had a pretty good run!