Tom Kelly found his way into Occupational Therapy based on a recommendation.
“It was actually my mum, a registered nurse, who recommended it because of the variety. And I did enjoy the course, although there were practical parts – like shower assessments – that I didn’t like! You don’t hear about occupational rehab at Uni. But it certainly appealed to me as it was a much faster pace than what I’d experienced on placement in the hospital ward.”
He applied for, and accepted, a consultant position in the Melbourne office in November 2009.
“It was a really supportive team which made the transition easy. I also had a bunch of classmates join at the same time, including three very close friends, so the social side of things was really good.”
After a spell in team leadership, the travel bug hit in 2013 and Tom moved to the UK. It was in September 2014 that Tom returned, settling into a senior consultant role.
“IPAR had changed from a medium sized provider to the biggest. There were more service streams, like Life Insurance and TAC for people injured in transport accidents. There were bigger customers and more offices. Technology had improved and an intranet was launched. All the extra support helped with the admin part of the job and it became easier to be productive and meet targets.”
Given the increase in size and services, more career pathways opened up and in July 2017 Tom moved into the role of Technical Manager.
“I’m now working 75% on consulting and 25% focused on projects to always improve our results. I still have the freedom and variety that I enjoy. I get to be on the road, seeing different workplaces, meeting a diverse range of people. I structure my day the way I need to and can even pick my daughter up from childcare when needed.”
Rebecca Smith was always going to work in healthcare, but didn’t know exactly which area to choose.
“I was about to enrol in Radiography when someone said do OT, you’ll love the variety. They were right – as soon as I started it I really enjoyed it.”
After she had completed her Bachelor of OT at Sydney University, Rebecca’s first interview was with IPAR, for a role that she was offered and happily accepted.
“I was so keen to get started. There was loads to learn, and it was great that the team was really supportive and helpful. I loved the variety of the job. Every day was different and there was always something interesting to do.” After a year, Rebecca wanted to try working in a clinical role to put her treating skills to work. So, she accepted a role at a small hospital. While she enjoyed it, after one year she began to miss IPAR.
“After a year of clocking on and off I felt that I had learnt all I could. Having stayed in touch with friends at the Sydney office, I knew the team had tripled in size. There was now a team leader at the office whose job is to support the team.”
“I think the clinical experience helped. I’ve come back with more experience and I’m more productive. I look at my job like a lifestyle and I set up the work and my days the way I want. I honestly never have Monday-itis.”
After completing her Bachelor of OT at Deakin in Geelong, Sarah Burt was starting to wonder what she was going to do with her degree. She enjoyed the course work but wasn’t keen on the clinical placements. She found her calling when a university friend told her about a job IPAR and she started at the Bendigo office in January 2013.
“Bendigo was a small but supportive team who really helped me settle in. I also got to regularly chat to peers and experts in Melbourne.”
In 2014, Sarah took some extended leave to travel for three months before returning to taking up the same position. Fast forward to May 2015, Sarah was ready for a more senior position and was drawn to a team leadership role.
As well as career progression, the social aspect of IPAR has always been a real positive for Sarah. Even when she commenced maternity leave in 2016, she enjoyed keeping in touch, attending social and health and wellness events and taking her bub to the team lunches.
“It was when I was on maternity leave that I was contacted about a team leadership role at Bendigo. I did the interview and was successful, so in August 2016 I was back as Team Leader and just in time for the IPARTY annual celebration too, what great timing!”