An insight into life on Palm Island

BecThis was my first experience of Palm Island since having the SOS Physiotherapy Clinic up and running. The clinic has become a point of contact from which to integrate with the Palm Island community and I found this certainly enhanced my ability to engage with the people there. Having been to Palm before, I enjoyed the opportunity to build on relationships that are getting stronger over several visits in the past three years.  One local man, whom I’d treated in the past, brought along a visitor to the Palm Island Festival to organise the Boxing Tournament.  I was able to provide Physiotherapy treatment that significantly imp­roved his condition. His positive experience provided a good connection for the clinic with the local people gathered to participate in or watch the tournament.

I am grateful for the opportunity SOS Health has provided for me. Just an hour after arriving on the ferry, I found myself at the Grand Final of the local Rugby competition, providing Physiotherapy/Sports Trainer services. It was so enjoyable to be instantly interacting with the local teams.  The beauty of representing SOS Health means you are part of something much bigger than yourself. You represent a community of physiotherapists who all work together and build on what others have done before.

I love going to Palm, and this time I was able to share the experience with my family. We had the opportunity to enjoy so many different aspects: the great outdoors walking to Wallaby Point along the Great Barrier Reef and climbing Mt Bentleigh; fishing in the Coral Sea when friends offered to take us out on their boat; to being welcomed at the Women’s Refuge to offer massages and physio treatment; taping and scoring at the Youth Festival Netball Tournament; and partnering with the local hospital to treat in their portable treatment room at the Festival. Palm Island offers unique and varied experiences for physios coupled with a magnificent natural environment and the most beautiful, welcoming people.  It’s so easy to make friends with everyone in the community.  Healthcare is a great leveller.  It lends itself to interactions with all members of the community.  Palm is no exception.  It’s just more condensed, making the experience varied and interesting every time.

Over the consecutive opportunities I have had on Palm Island, I sense a building momentum of both personal and community growth.  There is hope and there are dreams for the future.  I feel honoured to be welcomed in the Palm Island community and look forward to my next trip.

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