Trent Wade

Physiotherapist (Qld)

"The local indigenous children living on Palm Island were absolutely amazing. They were so humble and very welcoming."

I have always been very interested in volunteer work within Australia and abroad. I researched the SOS Health Foundation and it sparked my interest. After learning about the various outreach missions all over Australia it allowed me to put this spark of interest into action.

I guess the fact that the SOS Health Foundation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing health care and welfare support to poor and disadvantaged communities was what attracted me initially.  Given that I am already providing healthcare to the clients I am treating I wondered whether I could do the same to those that were less fortunate than us. The motto of being significant in the lives of others was something that still sticks in my head as an initial motivator to put thoughts and interests into action and help those that are really in need. 

The local indigenous children living on Palm Island were absolutely amazing. They were so humble and very welcoming. I spent a lot of time playing different sporting games with the children; ranging from marbles and playground chasey, to rugby and foot races. By gaining their friendship and trust I was able to learn a lot more about them and their way of life on Palm Island. I can say that I have never come across children that had soooo much energy. I was physically exhausted by the end of the day. And who knew playing marbles could be that tiring!

Certainly there were a few cultural barriers that were evident, but on the whole everyone was very welcoming to us and the help we were providing. Health and education are the two main areas in the community that require more work. The healthcare on the Island itself is very limited so the more resources, infrastructure and trained practitioners able to offer help would serve great benefit.

Sports are a fantastic way to engage the local children and families and therefore offer a great opportunity to educate and help in any way we can. Whether this is health specific, such as injury prevention and rehabilitation, or educating on the more holistic lifestyle aspects of healthy living.