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Owen’s Professional Journey

Owen has spent much of his adult life working in the University sector, developing connections with the wider community. He has promoted the interconnectedness between teaching and learning and provided community access to the final year students while supporting improved health and well being amongst members of the community. Continuing professional development and education of health professionals is a passion.

Owen’s clinical experience includes starting and managing the Illawarra Sports Medicine Clinic where he provided services in Exercise Physiology, for people with complex and chronic conditions and also for elite sports people intent on improving their performance. Owen worked with the members of the Australian Judo Team, the Australian Downhill Ski team, with the In-line skaters, and with many State and Regional team sport and individual athletes.

While at the University, Owen was involved in establishing the Exercise Science and Rehabilitation Clinic, implemented a very successful Adult Fitness Program, provided healthy workplace services to Illawarra Electricity and the Water Board, and worked collaboratively with the Illawarra Division of General Practice to develop and implement the Exercise – Essential Medicine for Diabetes Program, as well as the various projects noted below. More information is available about his work with IDGP.

Owen was recognised by the University of Wollongong for his energy and vision in providing opportunities for members of the local community to participate in projects targeting improved health and wellbeing which were delivered by final year students of Exercise Rehabilitation,and was awarded the Inaugural Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Community Engagement. More information about this award is available at this site.

As a previous member of the National University Course Accreditation ProgramOwen has a clear understanding of the range of skills, expertise and competencies amongst the Accredited Exercise Physiologists and Exercise Scientists. He is very aware of the potential links between these allied health professionals and the wider community, the Sports and Fitness Industry, the Health care industry ,and Medicare Locals His professional experiences also include working with medical staff in the areas of Cardiac Rehabilitation, Management of End Stage Renal Failure, and Metabolic diseases.

And from the perspective of breaking new ground in person-centred care in the most difficult of Health Care environments, Owen, with Sue and their colleagues in Compatibility Communication Systems (CCS), provided tools and training for Renal Unit staff to engage patients with the use of CCSMS visual tools. The Renal Unit staff were surprised and very positive about their increased capacity to achieve high level engagement and development of previously elusive, shared understanding with patients about their experience of living with renal failure. The evaluation of this research initiative has been published in The Journal of Communication in Health Care and is an indication of the value of CCSMS tools in the emerging field of partnership approaches to better managing chronic and complex conditions. More information about this interesting project is available through contacting owen@ortran.com.au

Owen has also gained considerable experience in the development of start-up businesses in health care. He managed the first community based sports medicine clinic in Australia. The multidisciplinary team included Medical Specialists and GPs, Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists. The Illawarra Sports Medicine Clinic continues to flourish in Wollongong more than 35 years later.

Owen was also involved in the establishment of the Exercise Science and Rehabilitation Clinic at the University of Wollongong. This Clinic provided services to the local community as well as an opportunity for final year students to gain supervised experiences while working with individuals with a range of injuries, and conditions.

Owen was invited to act as a Consultant to the establishment of similar Clinic at the University of Queensland. In his professional mentoring, Owen brings these experiences to the process he uses with younger allied health professionals keen on developing and growing their business.