From personal trainer to working with children with disability – William’s story
“If you'd asked me two years ago, I would never have even considered paediatric disability work,” William says. “Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
William pursued a Bachelor of Physiotherapy degree with the goal of working in sports physiotherapy. With his history in competitive sports and weight lifting, and a passion for movement, it seemed like the right path.
It was only during his final semester elective placement, when he worked with children with disability, that William experienced a new environment that shifted the entire trajectory of his life.
“It was another level of fulfilment that I've never experienced before,” William recalls.
William now runs a mobile physiotherapy practice that specialises in supporting children with disability.
“I reckon, sometimes, the kids do more for me than I do for them,” William says.
He fondly recounts the story of a patient he helped learn to walk, saying, “She went from taking ten steps initially with a walker to taking 150 steps all by herself! I can just picture it in my head, her face the first time I met her versus a year and a half later.”
He adds, “It’s so nice, knowing that I've done the best I can for her mobility. That's really special to me.”
William describes his work as multifaceted. “It can be very fun, but also challenging as you play multiple roles,” he says.
For example, a day in William’s life at work might involve liaising with health professionals, being a good listener, and providing emotional support for families.
Other days, as part of his mobile service, William heads to children's homes, or schools to complete the therapy there. He also offers education to families and carers on ongoing support exercises and provides advice on necessary equipment such as wheelchairs.
In William’s opinion, the care and support sector is a great fit for people who can be quick on their feet, adaptable, and expect the unexpected.
“I honestly think my purpose in this life is to give back as much as I can and change as many people's lives as possible,” William says. “Working with these kids gives me the opportunity to get closer to that purpose every day.”
He urges people to give care and support work a try, even if it’s a sector they may never have thought about working in.
“You might end up loving it and finding a true sense of purpose, and the world would gain another much needed care and support worker,” he says.