True Stories: Prue Clark – No two days are the same

Many of us easily ride a bike, kick a ball or swim in the pool on the weekend without a second thought. But for some children and adults with physical disabilities, they need hours, days, months or years of physiotherapy to be able to move with ease.

CPL has a team of expert Physiotherapists across Queensland to help improve the gross motor skills (like sitting, standing, walking and lifting) of children and adults with disabilities.

Prue Clark is a physiotherapist working for CPL

Prue Clark, one of CPL’s Physiotherapists in Townsville, said that while no two days are the same, every day is about helping clients to achieve their full potential for physical independence.

Working amongst a team of seven Allied Health professionals at CPL’s Townsville service, Prue helps over 15 clients every week with specialised exercises, therapy or equipment to help them participate in everyday activities and environments they enjoy.

Prue said she starts each day with a cup of English breakfast tea and a smile.

“Over my two and a half years with CPL, I’ve never had the same day twice!” Prue said laughing.

“My day can range from travelling to help a client in their home, to a school or community visit, running a group therapy class like hydrotherapy, or a client appointment at our Townsville office.

“From age range to individual needs, every client and every appointment is different too.

“One client might have a goal of improving at a sport or in play time, where another might need help with balance and core stability, or it might be time for an equipment update or review.

“I love that I can support each client in a different way to help them achieve their individual goals,” she said.

Aside from working in CPL’s Townsville service, Prue is also part of a team of three who tackle a 10 hour drive to Mount Isa for outreach services three times a year.

“In one week, we would provide at least 150 hours of service between the three of us,” Prue said.

“We visit around 15 clients out in Mount Isa that otherwise have limited access to physio, speech or occupational therapy.

“We also assist a variety of staff with professional development opportunities so they can better support people with disabilities in their community,” she said.

Prue Clark

CPL – Choice, Passion, Life



True Stories: Martina Cross – There’s no business like show business

Martina Cross and Amy Lawrence performing their roaming act The Tattered.

For many people with disabilities, being able to communicate your thoughts, feelings and emotions can be a daily challenge. But thanks to CPL’s Screech Theatre, and one very dedicated CPL employee, people with disabilities have found their voice on the stage.

Martina Cross, Director of Screech Theatre first started with CPL five years ago as a support worker.

“I’ve have always been interested in drama and theatre performance – I was the child that was always dressing up and putting on shows for all my friends and family!” Martina said, laughing.

“I studied applied theatre at uni, which is a little different to traditional drama, because it uses drama and acting in the community for a reason.

“At CPL, we use theatre and drama for therapy and to help our clients improve their communications skills and confidence.

“I’ve been coordinating Screech Theatre for the last three years, and I love it because it provides an avenue for people with disabilities to express themselves in a different way. The confidence they gain in the drama room can be transferred into every day confidence,” she said.

Martina describes the best part of her job as “seeing performers overcome huge barriers to achieve things like speaking for the first time, or using a new communication device in front of an audience.”

“We had a performer last year who was 22 and was nonverbal – he had never spoken. But after four years of drama and performance training with Screech, he used his communication device for the first time in public, on stage. It’s these kinds of stories that make my job one worth having,” she said.

Martina explained that Screech Theatre is currently planning their next performance, which is a collaboration called ‘Beyond the yellow brick road’, which is based around the Wizard of Oz and Dorothy’s next adventure!

“I’m really passionate about having every client involved and participating – we modify activities for each session so all ability levels can be included.

“Screech Theatre’s participants are all interested in different parts of theatre too – from production, directing, costume and set design, dancing, singing and of course acting. I like to encourage each individual to pursue the parts of theatre they enjoy the most,” she said.

Martina Cross

CPL – Choice, Passion, Life


True Stories: Debbie Grant – A job where you learn every day

Debbie Grant web

Many of us easily jump out of bed in the morning, have a shower, brush our teeth and start the day. But for some children and adults with physical disabilities, beginning each day is a little more challenging.

We learn how a CPL Mobile Carer supports people at home and how she’s been improving her skills with the help of a new conference.

CPL provides personal care services in the homes of more than 600 clients in Queensland, helping them with everyday tasks that many of us take for granted.

Debbie Grant is one of CPL’s Mobile Carers, and travels all across Moreton Bay and the Sunshine Coast supporting a range of clients to start their day and get out into the community and live the life they choose.

Debbie has been working in the disability sector with CPL for 18 months and says it’s one of the most rewarding roles she’s ever worked in.

“As a school student, I did some work experience at a school for kids with disabilities and it’s taken me about 30 years to get back to this career,” Debbie said.

“I love my role and I love coming to work every day because I get to meet some amazing people, and hopefully I get to improve their daily life,” she said.

From assisting someone to start their day to meal preparation or taking kids to movies in the school holidays, no two days are ever the same for Debbie.

“Our clients are all individuals and they should be treated as people, not their diagnosis,” Debbie said.

“You shouldn’t just go in and do a task, shower somebody; you’ve got to involve the clients, and you’ve got to show dignity and respect at all times.

“I’ve learnt that, more so now than ever, I need to empower clients to make the choices themselves.”

“It’s a job where you learn every day: I learn from clients; I learn from fellow staff members; I learn from parents of clients.

“I realise that instead of concentrating on their disability, I need to concentrate more on their ability.”

“We need to be providing the best quality service we can; we need to be people-focussed, and we need to provide care that has continuity for our clients.

“Everyone needs to be focused on the person not the disability, but the person as an individual,” she said.

CPL – Choice, Passion, Life