On Friday night (22/9) I had the honour of attending and hosting the ARPA NSW 2023 Awards, as the NSW ARPA President. In my opening speech I emphasised that the awards are a celebration of our remarkable industry and recognition of the exceptional talent within the workplace rehabilitation industry. In addition, they serve as a platform to spotlight what makes the rehabilitation industry so distinct and extraordinary.
However, the true highlight of the evening was the captivating and inspirational talk by Sam Bloom. She courageously shared her journey from a tragic accident that left her paralysed from the chest down to becoming a two-time para-surfing champion and representing Australia in para-canoeing. Sam’s resilience and her ability to rebuild her life were nothing short of awe-inspiring. Her raw honesty was deeply humbling.
In addition to Sam’s incredible story, we were privileged to hear from her husband, Cameron Bloom, who has been by her side since the very beginning. He has documented their journey through breath-taking photos and videos. If you haven’t read Sam’s books or seen the movie (Penguin Bloom) based on Sam’s story, we wholeheartedly encourage you to do so. It had a profound impact on me, and I wake up every day feeling grateful for the life I have.
As workplace rehabilitation providers, we work tirelessly with individuals facing injuries or illnesses every day, guiding them on their path to recovery. Working within personal injury schemes can be challenging, however, it’s the opportunity to work with these remarkable clients, and their employers who support them, that truly makes this profession exceptional. Like Sam, they are the true heroes, testing their resilience and putting in the hard work every day to reclaim their lives and livelihoods. We are privileged to walk beside them, assisting them in navigating their personal challenges.
By Karen Castledine, Managing Director