Growing up between Bollon & Cunnamulla, there weren’t many shops. Forget shops, there wasn’t a hospital. We had an amazing bush nurse about 1 hour down the road, and the closest hospital was 2 hours away. In this hospital however, you didn’t find any allied health professionals that provide therapy to little kids with disabilities. My mother tells a story of once driving to Toowoomba, over a 12 hour round trip, to visit a Speech Pathologist. This therapist was unable to fathom how “advanced” my brother Jack was. He was a cute little boy with Down Syndrome who had amazing manners and was hitting his speech and language milestones. Shocking. Unfortunately, mum wasn’t impressed with the session and decided that the 12 hour trip wasn’t going to be worth it in the future. What a shame that this was her only experience, and a 12 hour round-trip was her only choice. Becoming a Speech Pathologist was certainly a decision that stemmed from growing up with Jack. Starting a telehealth company? Well that was purely a copy of my childhood schooling, via distance education. We used to have classes, recorder lessons and even choir! Over the UHF radio. If we could go to school over the UHF radio, surely you can do speech therapy over skype, right? When I was a new graduate speech pathologist, home was a property 80 km from Goondiwindi. I was instructing equestrian at my local pony club, when the mums would ask I would move home to be their speech pathologist. I thought… I can do this from anywhere! My boss at the time was an amazing woman - Kate Broderick from Spot Therapy Hub in Sydney. Kate helped me launch SPOT Rural - our original telehealth company, and my baby. After 2 years of working in Sydney and running SPOT Rural on the side, my sister had a baby and I thought it was time to head back home. So I sadly parted ways with Kate, and took Spot Rural with me back to western Qld. I wasn’t sure where we were going (SPOT Rural and I!), but I was glad to be heading back out west. After working for 9 months at Qld Health Roma as the paediatric speech pathologist and general speechie in Roma and surrounding towns, I decided that I’d seen enough. Enough of the lack of quality services in the bush, enough of the waiting lists, and enough of the sheer battle that families have to go through out there to access A service, let alone a GOOD or GREAT service. After one of many very passionate, teary phone calls to my dad, I decided to quit my well paid, comfortable and challenging government job - and go out on my own… with 8 weekly clients and a breath of fresh air! Best decision that I ever made. This was April 2018. The next move was to Brisbane, as the internet was superior and there were Speech Pathologists’ a-plenty! I was going to build this online empire and I needed to be well positioned for it. Baby steps though, the first official SPOT Rural graduated from a step-ladder in my sisters spare room, to the spare room of my Brisbane sharehouse. And it was heaven. By January 2019 we had moved the Head Quarters (HQ) to my new home with now fiance, Michael (thanks Mike!!) and we employed our very first full time Speech Pathologist, Taylor. Throughout last year we continued to employ a full time speechie every 2-3 months, and I’m out of breath just thinking about how much of a whirl-wind that was! By November our little cottage was bursting at the seams, even with most of that staff working 3 days or full time from home. It was time to take the leap into an office, and I only inspected one. We’ve been here (in Murarrie, Brisbane) since December 2019 and holy moly what a whirl-wind it has been! We decided to re-brand, launching a new website, a new podcast, changing the technology we use for our service… and pretty much just running around like wild women GETTING.IT.DONE. The re-brand journey has been a tough one for me (personally). This company was founded to support rural and remote Australian families, and THAT HAS NOT CHANGED. What has changed, however, is that there are other families who need our help too; families who don’t live in remote areas. They felt like they couldn’t access our service because of our name. It’s wild, but it’s true… so we decided to simplify, and re- brand, to “Spot”. www.spot.family is our website and is SOOOOO relevant to what we do. Why? We don’t just work with individuals, we work with the ENTIRE FAMILY to improve outcomes and reach their goals. Now, family can be their actual family, or their school family (teachers and TA’s) or their hospital family (nurses and AHA’s). The messaging is clear - we focus on working with you AND your family to make sure that you reach your goals! So now that you’ve heard our story…. I guess you might think, what’s next? SAME HERE - I’m always cooking up exciting things for our team to sink our teeth into, and we have some great things planned for the future. It feels like yesterday that I was working from the spare room in my sisters house, from a step-ladder, with my one-year-old nephew breaking down the door at a strong crawl. I am so, so proud of Spot, how far we have come, and where we are going. For a business that I was told “would never work” - it seems to be working, for many Australian’s and beyond!
Are you the creator of this podcast?
and pick the featured episodes for your show.
Connect with listeners
Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fansYes, let's begin connecting
Find new listeners
Understand your audience
Engage your fanbase