Living in rural Australia has so many benefits over metropolitan living. The fresh air, open spaces, less traffic, less people, cost of living, sense of community are powerful drawcards for rural living.
But it comes at a cost.
Many factors including travel distance, smaller populations and limited infrastructure can make it hard for individuals to access health care services and communities to support sustainable health care services. This big issue is facing Australian rural communities and is contributing to the chronic disease epidemic we are facing now and in the foreseeable future. We need to provide a solution and supporting the mental and physical health of rural Australians needs to be a priority. PHYZ X 2U is here to create a movement that transforms lives
PHYZ X 2U was created for U, but before we figure out what you might need, it’s important to give you a little information about me.
I grew up in the remote town of Lightning Ridge in NSW. During my childhood, as the impressionable son of a passionate rural GP, I saw the struggles people face in regard to rural health access. My father successfully fought for a hospital and better access to health professionals in a remote town, and that endeavour has left an important impression on me.
As a teenager, I experienced the benefits of how exercise can transform someone’s life. I went from an anxious, unfit child, to an accomplished sporting representative and confident school leader.
During university, frustration started to develop as I learnt about the lack of cohesion between (and within) medical, allied health and fitness disciplines, even though we all had the same goals for our patients and clients.
As an adult, I travelled to Africa and South America and saw how privileged we are in our country, yet how ignorant we are of delivering this privilege equally across all of our communities. Living in a developed country often makes us forget to appreciate the most important components of our lives – water, nutrition, exercise, sleep and relationships. Things which are ultimately the most valuable to our existence, become unappreciated and taken for granted due to the ease with which we can access them.
As a professional, I am constantly exposed to overwhelming evidence supporting exercise as a preventive and restorative medicine. Unfortunately, I am equally astounded by the lack of resources targeted at delivering this medicine to remote communities, even though its impact has so much potential.
These experiences shaped a problem, a large problem that affects so many. One that needed a solution. You can look at a problem, complain and do nothing…. or you can come up with a solution. Take a deep breath, then do something. Welcome to PHYZ X 2U, a movement that transforms lives.
“You can look at a problem, complain and do nothing…. or you can come up with a solution, take a deep breath, then do something.”
A country girl at heart, I was born and bred in the North West of NSW. After finishing school, I moved to Sydney to study a Physiotherapy degree and where I met my husband, a country boy from Euchareena. We have been blessed with three beautiful children, and for the last ten years we have immersed our family in NSW’s Central West, our home.
Whilst working as a physio in Orange, Bathurst and Blayney, I met and treated many different people from all walks of life, all with different barriers to ideal health and happiness. I became interested in how we can help improve people’s health for the long-term, rather than just the band-aid that covers up the short-term problem. I got involved in several rural health and government councils, boards and working groups. I wanted to see first-hand what it was that our country’s decision makers identified as the biggest issues to rural people, and what their approach was to address that.
I quickly learned that research and statistics can tell us what the problem is, but the hard bit comes when working out how to fix it. It is now very clear to me that at the root of all the data, when it comes to rural Australia, kilometres and population underpin our biggest challenges.
A combination of my rural grassroots, a physiotherapy degree, love of activity and an avid interest in what the government is actually doing about our health problems, has led me to become Cofounder of PHYZ X 2U. The overwhelming need for action to support our rural communities become healthier, more active and therefore a better version of themselves, can no longer be ignored.
My position in PHYZ X 2U is to put research and ideas into action. We will flip the coin, turn the car around and bring health and exercise 2U.
“When you live in the bush it floods your senses; a love for fresh air, open spaces and no crowds are simple pleasures we enjoy every day. However, this comes at a price when it comes to accessing important services and access”