• Local Pain Educators 2018

    We chose the following ten Local Pain Educators to launch the network in the Illawarra, Snowy Mountains, Murray and Murrumbidgee regions of New South Wales.

    Amanda Simister

    Illawarra Region

    Amanda works with people in persisting pain at the Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital. She is an English-Australian physio with a passion for the sea and travel. She loves surfing with her boys and the challenges of ocean swimming. She's a nomad at heart, although Australia has been her home for 17 years now. She's excited to be part of the Pain Revolution team and to play a role in achieving better outcomes for Chronic Pain treatment.

    Nicola Marshall

    Illawarra Region

    Nicky is a physiotherapist working in the chronic pain service at Port Kembla Hospital. She trained in Birmingham in the UK and has worked in chronic pain services in both England and Australia. She has a love for travel and the outdoors and settled in Wollongong 11 years ago. She is committed to her continued journey to become a local pain educator and to be able to provide ongoing support and education to her local community.

    Carla Zijlstra

    Snowy Mountains Region

    Carla is a Physiotherapist working in Jindabyne, NSW. She spreads her work across inpatient and outpatient care, in both acute and rehabilitation settings. In all aspects of her work, she brings an awareness of the need to understand all aspects of a person in their recovery. Carla is originally from Holland, and studied Physiotherapy and Human Movement while competing as a speedskater. She has always been fascinated by the relationship between body and mind. She believes in the endless possibilities and resilience that people have to recover, and the importance of engaging creativity to challenge people's capabilities. Carla has immersed herself in the great outdoors since she's lived in Australia, and loves her rural lifestyle in the Snowy Mountains.

    Gretta Walsh

    Snowy Mountains Region

    Gretta has been working as an Occupational Therapist for Cooma Health Service for the last 10 years, working in both community mental health and adult rehabilitation. Gretta is a Cooma local; she grew up there and loves it so much, she doesn't want to leave! As an OT, she regularly sees the effect that pain can have on someone’s ability to participate in things they need and want to do. For her, it’s exciting to be part of the Pain Revolution, not only because it sounds good to say, but it will provide much needed resources for the wider community.

    Dr Jonathan Ho

    Murrumbidgee Region

    Jonathan is a general practitioner currently working in aboriginal health in Wagga Wagga. His experience working with this community has helped him to appreciate the interplay of pain and mental health, complexities of pain and trauma, and drug-seeking behaviour with chronic pain. He's committed to the provision of evidence-based pain care, in an empathetic and approachable way. In the course of his career, he's done pain research at Sydney University, and had an elite career at the NSW Institute of Sport. Now, he enjoys road cycling in Wagga Wagga.

    Karen Coe

    Murrumbidgee Region

    Karen qualified as a Physiotherapist in 1993 at Sydney University. She did her first-year post-graduate training at Camperdown Children’s Hospital in Sydney, before heading to England. She spent 8 years working in the NHS, in large industry and private practice, studying and enjoying life in the UK. In 1997 she gained an Advanced Certificate of Physiotherapy in Occupational Health from the University of East Anglia, England. She managed to squeeze in a wedding back in Australia around the same time, and has worked in rural NSW since 2002. She is passionate about empowering people through education and in particular, reducing the incidence of chronic pain in our communities.

    Dr Jennifer Smith

    Murrumbidgee Region

    Jennifer is enthusiastic rural GP in Temora, NSW, with a focus on mental health and complex care. In addition to her medical training, Jennifer has studied cognitive behavioural therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy, and uses them to help people move forward in the face of trauma and chronic pain. She sees the usefulness of therapeutic pain education, and is motivated to help her patients who are in an opioid dependence cycle. She is driven by witnessing the power that people have to survive and thrive through challenges, and is amazed by what people can do with help and hope. She also believes in the therapeutic value of a hug and a good cup of tea!

    Bernadette Hurley

    Murray Region

    Bernadette is a psychologist passionate about the application of psychological theory, including motivation and behaviour therapy to help people living with persisting pain. The human suffering that the experience of chronic pain brings, including withdrawal and isolation from community, inspired her passion to improve pain outcomes in my area. She grounds her therapeutic relationships on the principle of empowering people in their own recovery, with a good toolbox of information and strategies. Bernadette is an avid runner, having run a few ultra-marathons, which also sparked her interest in a better understanding of the individuality of the pain experience.

    Dr Esther Langenegger

    Murray Region

    Esther worked as a GP in Albury for many years. After completing a graduate diploma and fellowship in musculoskeletal medicine, she entered the chronic pain field as a manager and medical officer of a multidisciplinary pain management program based at Wodonga Hospital. She is passionate about providing evidence-based information and skills to people with chronic pain, to enable them to self-manage and reduce their pain and improve their quality of life. She is excited by the challenge of increasing her knowledge about pain, and implementing this in the clinic to help her patients move forward. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, walking, cycling and reading.

    Daniel Searle

    Murray Region

    Daniel grew up on a dairy farm in South Western NSW. He lost the majority of his vision at 16, but doesn't consider this disability a barrier to living well and pursuing his dreams.
    He moved to Albury in 2007 to study physiotherapy and has been working for over 3 years with Flexout Physiotherapy. He carries a mixed case load across musculoskeletal, chronic pain, workplace rehab, sports and disability. Dan enjoys playing an active role in his local community, and is passionate about staying active. He has played blind cricket for Australia, completed in the Duathlon World championships as well as the Oceania para triathlon championship.

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