I’d like to use my first post as a way for you to get to know me. My name is Julie Condon. I grew up on a cattle station, and one of my favourite things is still going mustering with my family! I love to ride horses, and compete in campdrafts when I can.
When I was 4, while climbing all over a hot water system tower and playing with things I shouldn’t (my poor parents) I sustained an electrical burn to my hand. This burn resulted in an emergency trip to the closest hospital via The Royal Flying Doctor Service. Multiple surgeries later I returned to the station, missing one finger! Considering I am now a hand therapist, the fact I’m missing a finger is fairly ironic…..
My parents are amazing people and they helped me by completing exercises and therapy with me, and by encouraging me to use my hand normally. Consequently I have a fully functional hand – I can hold the reins on my horse and even touch type!
I tell this story about my hand as it has helped shaped my career direction. I can honestly say I understand what people are going through when they have a hand injury and I hope that this understanding makes me a better therapist.
If one of my favourite things is going mustering, another is hanging out with my 7 nieces and nephews. They range in ages from 10 to 3 and are so cool! Kids come out with the best things and I find it very refreshing to see the world through their eyes.
So, why hand therapy?
I always knew that I wanted to do something in the medical field. I am drawn to helping people. I’m not sure if it was my own hand injury that led me to hand therapy but ever since I learned that hand therapy existed I knew that it was what I wanted to do.
Hands are vital to not only our every day life but also to our sense of self. Along with our face, hands are most often exposed to the world; how they look is a reflection of our personalities. We use them to show affection and rage, to demonstrate a point and to complete the activities that define who we are.
I love that my job can help people to restore these incredibly important structures! I also love that I get to be creative, scientific and clinical in my job. No client is the same, so I have to rely on my scientific and clinical knowledge to allow me to be creative to make sure that I am customising my therapy specifically for the client in front of me. It keeps the days interesting!
I am constantly learning and pushing myself to add more knowledge and skills to my therapy ‘tool box’. I have worked at The Canberra Hospital and The Townsville Hospital in the public system. I have managed another private hand therapy clinic in Townsville, and I have worked side by side some of the best hand surgeons in the country in The Brisbane Private Hospital and The Wesley Hospital while working for Extend Rehabilitation.
I am a Certified Hand Therapist. This is the highest possible international recognition of skills and competence the hand therapy industry has. I will admit to being super excited when I achieved this qualification!
I am also a Full Member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA), which requires an extensive application process. Along with being a member of the association, I am also on the Management Committee of the AHTA, in the role of Education Officer. This means I am responsible for the management and development of hand therapy education across Australia. It is a lot of work! But it is so rewarding to be able to contribute to the profession on a national level.
I have also achieved my Post Graduate Diploma in Advanced Hand Therapy from Monash University in Melbourne, with High Distinction. It was my first time in Melbourne and overall the whole experience was great!
You can find out more about my specific qualifications and learning I have completed by connecting with me on LinkedIn.
I think that that covers just about everything! Thank you for your attention and I hope we can work together in the future.