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Careers at Peninsula Health: Q & A with Annabel Cooper

Name: Annabel Cooper

Role: Physiotherapist, Children’s Services Team

What does a typical day in your role involve?

I am the physiotherapist with the Children’s Services Community Health team. My role involves seeing families with little ones up to school age who have gross motor developmental issues. For example, I work with babies who might have plagiocephaly (misshapen heads or ‘flat spots’), torticollis (tight necks) or developmental delay (e.g. difficulty rolling, sitting, crawling, walking). I also see children with postural variations that could affect their walking (e.g. in-toeing, out-toeing, knock knees, bowlegs) and others who might be a bit clumsy or struggling to keep up to their friends in the playground. There’s always lots of variety and play, so it’s a fun job!

Why did you decide to pursue a career in this field?

I started working as a physio with adults, which I also enjoyed, but then almost fell into this position with the Children’s Team … to discover that I REALLY love working with children and their families. We can help children to make changes in their physical development that can have a positive effect for the rest of their lives – that’s pretty amazing to me.

What do you like best about your job?

Other than the variety, the opportunity for play (including being very silly at times!) and the inspiring, dedicated and incredibly talented team that I work with, I really enjoy seeing the joy that the children and their families experience when they have put in the time to help resolve barriers to movement and the joy of the children themselves as they then start progressing more easily with their gross motor skills.

What has been one memorable moment working in Children’s Services at Peninsula Health?

There are so many that it doesn’t seem fair to pull out one in particular; however, it does make my heart melt when a child who has been hesitant to play with me finally decides that the physio is actually OK and spontaneously gives me a big hug!

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I enjoy yoga, meditation, pottering in the garden, reading a good book & cooking delicacies for my precious husband; and I absolutely relish walking in Nature during the first rays of the rising sun, taking photos at that time and then posting them on Instagram (@bellacoops).