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Celebrating 20 Years (a message from Director and Founder, Angela Willsmore)

On this day, 16th February, way back in 2004, as a 22 year old new graduate physiotherapist, I opened a business to help people in the Limestone Coast.  It was initially called Angela Dunsford Physiotherapy, and from 2006 Good Country Physiotherapy. 


Angela in 2005

I felt somewhat prepared for the challenges ahead.  Growing up on a farm, I had firsthand insights into being self-employed, and the trials and tribulations involved.  I had worked as a receptionist for a leading private physiotherapy clinic in Adelaide during my university studies, and learned a great deal about running a successful health care business from them.  I had also undertaken a clinical placement in the second year of my degree in Naracoorte and Keith, so my eyes were wide open from day one. 

 

Never one to shy away from hard work, I hit the ground running, consulting three days per week in Naracoorte and two days in Bordertown.  At that time, there had been no physiotherapist in Bordertown at all for the preceding 18 months.  The demand was huge – I was booked up for weeks in advance, with a 6-8 week waiting list of desperate patients wanting to see me.  It was not uncommon for me to work from 8am – 7pm, five days per week.  After consulting, I often taught pilates classes or helped out at football training for several local clubs. 

 

Angela in 2010

I did it all in the early days – made all my own appointments, took payments, balanced the books, paid my tax and all the other administrative and business accounting tasks that go with a small business.  It was a steep learning curve, and it interfered with my social life on many occasions, but it helped pave a solid foundation for a business that continues to grow and develop every year.   

 

Over time, more clinic locations were added including Keith and Kingston.  I employed my first staff member back in 2005, who helped with my admin tasks part-time in Naracoorte.  I employed my first full-time physiotherapist in 2006 who helped me in Keith and Bordertown.  Over the 20 years, Good Country Physiotherapy has employed another 80 people across the Limestone Coast region. 


Our business has expanded as the skills and experience of our team have developed.  We have one of the largest teams of physiotherapists in rural South Australia.  Our unique point of difference is the very high calibre of our physiotherapists, with seven holding or working towards a Masters degree in musculoskeletal, sport or women’s health physiotherapy.  This is so rare outside of the metropolitan area. The geographical reach of our clinics is extensive and we are well regarded at state and national level by many key stakeholders in health care and other industries.  


Angela in 2014

As I reflect on my journey over 20 years in business and clinical practice, I am incredibly grateful to all the people who have contributed along the way – the present and past staff members, my friends, family and fellow business owners near and far, and especially the amazingly loyal patients who have trusted Good Country Physiotherapy with their physical health care.  It has been a great honour to serve the community of the Limestone Coast in this way and I hope that our team will continue to make a positive difference to the lives of many in the years to come. 

 

Happy 20th birthday Good Country Physiotherapy!!

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