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Erin inspiring regional communities to ‘move it’

By February 16, 2021No Comments

Erin Reardon lights up when given the opportunity to talk about her work or her hometown, and she has a real connection and desire to give back to rural and regional Australia.

Now living and working in Port Macquarie, a new hometown she is ‘falling in love with’, Erin is originally from Temora, NSW.  A place where even during the toughest times, she always felt supported and was given the opportunity learn and grow. With a passion for physical activity and an innate ability to connect with people, it is no surprise Erin decided to pave her way as a physiotherapist.

LOVE FOR HER HOMETOWN

Erin quickly gained work in Temora, being one of just two physiotherapists available to the small country town at the time, and on some days she was the only physiotherapist.

Not long after graduating from Charles Sturt University with a Bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy and heading into the workforce, Erin’s father was diagnosed with cancer and she says ‘it felt right to move back home.’

“I felt so passionate about moving home and giving something back to Temora – a town that had given so much to me.”

When she reflects on this period of her life and the decision to move home she knows it was absolutely the right choice, both personally and professionally. Working as a physiotherapist in Temora allowed Erin to practice everything she had learnt, and it allowed her and a colleague to establish hydrotherapy and clinical Pilates classes in the town.

Erin was grateful to be putting her degree to good use at home, giving back to the community.

In October 2017, Erin’s father passed away and she says ‘once again Temora gave to me. I felt a lot of love and support toward my family and myself, which made our toughest time easier.’

PASSION FOR MOVEMENT

In 2018, Erin spent a period on the South Coast working with wonderful colleagues and elite athletes. Eventually her long-distance relationship with boyfriend James, also from Temora, landed them together in Port Macquarie where she says she ‘is again thriving on the variety that my job offers’.

‘Be it getting a runner back to hitting the pavement after having knee pain, or working with someone who has a spinal cord injury to roll over in bed again; it gives all sorts of meaning to life and brings the biggest smile to my face to help these people.’

If you ever have the opportunity to meet Erin face to face, that smile and her excitement are contagious.

In 2020, former CEF partner, Origin Foundation, spent a day with Erin.

When she is not changing the lives of patients, you might find her riding, hiking or in the car with James making the 8 hour trip home to spend time with her family and listening to a ‘rocking road trip playlist.’

“I love to move…
But most of all I love to dance.”

PROUD TO BE PART OF CEF

Always keen to ‘give back’ in some way, Erin speaks with great respect about Country Education Foundation of Australia (CEF) and the Temora and District Education Fund (TDEF).

“CEF shows rural and regional students there are ways to afford tertiary study expenses and secondly, that their community wants to help them and hence believes in their abilities.”

Erin was honoured to be asked to speak at a TDEF presentation dinner in 2017, and it was here that she was able to reconnect with CEF, the national organisation.

Erin was so impressive at that event that CEF thought her to be a potential ambassador for the organisation, and in 2019 that opportunity arose.

Erin will participate in the upcoming CEF ‘Aspirational Influencers’ program, sharing her experiences, wisdom and knowledge with young country students.

“One thing I learnt from going through the process of school to university to the workforce is that there was more support available than I anticipated, particularly at a community level…and it would be an understatement to say that I was welcomed back to my hometown with open arms as a skilled worker.”

It is this insight, her incredibly warm nature and passion to help others that makes Erin a perfect person to inspire young students about the importance of education and of giving back to regional communities.

FAST FIVE ABOUT ERIN

Local Foundation:
Temora & District Education Fund

Grant Received:
2012

Course:
Bachelor of Physiotherapy

Institution:
Charles Sturt University

Work:
Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy Clinics;

Port Macquarie Private Hospital

Nicole

Author Nicole

CEF Engagement & Development

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