Toni Moynihan Award 2013 - Liz Astling
Congratulations to Liz Astling on winning the 2013 Toni Moynihan Award! The award symbolises the attributes of Tony, who sadly passed away with ovarian cancer 4 years ago. The Award is presented by IRMA, and is in recognition of service beyond the norm and outstanding leadership in the field of Myotherapy.
Samantha Rigby, General Manager of Elite Myotherapy (who also won the award in 2012), gave the following passionate and heartfelt speech, which demonstrates the passion, integrity and respect Liz has within the industry:
"Firstly I wanted to take this opportunity to again recognise the person who this award is named after Toni Moynihan. It is hard to believe that Toni passed away 4 years ago from ovarian cancer it is still very hard for me and many others here today to believe that she is not here anymore. Toni was truly an inspiration to me personally as she was my mentor and lecturer but also close friend. I often think about how much she did in fact teach and influence me. It is very pleasing knowing that through this award her legacy lives on.
It gives me great honour and pride to talk about this year’s award recipient – Elizabeth / Liz Astling. For those of you who may not know this, Liz has worked in my clinic for the past 7 years. Liz works as a training officer in our clinic making sure all of our therapists are developing themselves professionally and personally. She co-ordinates our Professional Development Program and is an integral part of our training when we have new team members joining Elite Myotherapy. I thought it would be nice to read to you some of the comments from the team at Elite that they wanted Liz to know:
” Liz is one of the most passionate, caring and thoughtful myotherapists in the business even after being in the industry for many years. On meeting Liz for the first time as a myotherapist it is clear that she has a huge range of expertise across a broad scope which can be demonstrated by her commitment to the industry via working for the Australian ballet, as a teacher of Myotherapy at both RMIT and ACST and as a training officer for Elite Myotherapy. It is Liz's dedication to caring for people and putting others first that has driven her to be the fantastic myotherapist that she is today. I aspire to be like Liz one day as a hardworking, talented and high achieving therapist!”
“Liz is a unique individual in that she has incredible energy and passion for helping people live happier lives, whether they be friends, team members or clients, she uses her healing skills to fix their bodies and humour to mend their minds.
She is motivated by making a difference to people.”
I first met Liz when she was a student of mine in a clinical placement for RMIT a very long time ago. I remember being struck by her passion, knowledge and maturity. When she was working she was totally focused on her clients and nothing would distract her, but she also had a great sense of humour and way of making her clients feel at ease.
Since Liz graduated she has been on an amazing journey in her career. Liz first ran her own successful clinic in Richmond and worked in various other clinics early on. Liz has worked and travelled full time with the Australian Ballet Company, she worked with for Toni at Christine Walsh ballet school, she has worked at the Australian Open for the past 11 years, and more recently worked as the therapist for the Fed Cup Team. She has lectured at RMIT and ACST in Myotherapy, and regularly conducts training sessions to our team at Elite.
The criteria for this award is for a member of our profession to demonstrate service beyond the norm in outstanding leadership in the encouragement of others within the profession, developed a new system or procedure that is unique and has made a contribution to the Myotherapy profession, to have been responsible for and managed an event that has been proven to benefit the Myotherapy profession. These criteria, Liz has well and truly met all of these criteria in the roles she has performed throughout her successful career. However there is another truly extraordinary side to Liz that you may not know, and in the words of Toni’s brother Ray Moynihan ..”as the years tick away, Toni will feel a quiet sense of pride and joy every time the Toni Moynihan award is handed out to someone else skilled in the art of genuine human kindness.” Liz has devoted her life to contributing to others; both with her career and in her personal life.
Liz has spent time in Tanzania volunteering in an orphanage for young children who have lost their parents and had no schooling and basic food and clothing that we all take for granted. She worked with these children during the day trying to give them an education and better their lives in the way she does when she is around anyone. At night time she worked on business plans and ideas on how to make the orphanage more profitable and ultimately help the children who had no future without it. As well as this Liz returned to Africa to work on a project called Food water shelter which was an amazing concept that she devoted so much time and energy to- all to help someone else and she wanted nothing in return. Liz was fortunate enough to leave the project weeks before they were robbed by some locals and where in fact one of her close friends was killed. She indeed had more to give this world and that is what she has done- earlier this year Liz travelled to East Timor with a health group set- up to educate the locals on how to treat the body with trigger point therapy- again she worked tirelessly helping to get as much information as she could to these people so that they may help the many people in pain that had no access to help like we do in Australia- Her most recent accomplishment has been studying and sitting the Gamsat- she wants to become a doctor to be able to work on Medics sans frontiers. Her dedication and commitment as you can see to others is past what we know as EXTRAORDINARY.
This year Liz was fortunate enough to purchase her own home - the most special thing about her new home is that it is in fact Toni’s home before she passed away. It seems very special that she has now won Toni’s award. Toni was extremely fond of Liz.
So Liz we salute you and who you are as a person- we are just so grateful to Toni that we now have this award to tell you all this while you are still alive and able to feel the appreciation we have of you for your efforts".
Once again, we congratulate you Liz for your hard work and dedication to Myotherapy, your peers, and of course, your clients!
The Toni Moynihan Award is given to a member of the Myotherapy profession for extraordinary service to the profession and the health and wellbeing of the greater community.
Sam Rigby is a well known and highly respected IRMA member and has always been passionate about our profession.
Sam studied Myotherapy at RMIT and graduated in 1995. She has been successfully practicing since then.
Sam has a vast wealth of experience from volunteering and working. As well as running her own practice, Sam was honoured with the opportunity of working with the Women’s Tennis Association at many high profile tournaments.
In 1999 Sam was appointed Myotherapist to the Australian Sprint Kayak Team where she was selected to join the team on a tour in Europe. After Europe, Sam was asked to be part of the team for the Sydney 2000 Olympics & in Athens in 2004.
Following on Sam was appointed senior Myotherapist at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. Sam has also worked on many elite individual athletes including Essendon Footballers, Australian Baseballers, Basketballers, Swimmers and Hockey players.
Sam was also a lecturer for several years at the Australian College of Sports Therapy, where she inspired students and promoted her passion for Myotherapy.
Sam joined the IRMA Board in 1999, was a Board member for 10 years including several years as Vic-President until standing down for family reasons in 2010.
In the year 2000, IRMA’s Professional Development program was born. Sam and Toni Moynihan recognised the need for ongoing education for all IRMA members, not only to help further develop therapists skill base and knowledge, but they were committed to improve and develop the profile of our industry.
This was essential for our initial recognition of Health Funds and our ongoing lobbying with Government bodies. Sam and Toni jointly organised all the early professional development workshops, sourcing presenters and venues.
During all her work with athletes, and as a volunteer member of the IRMA Board, she continued to practice and build her own very successful group of clinics at Elite Myotherapy.
Over the past 8 years, Sam has opened and developed three myotherapy clinics in Toorak, Richmond and Balwyn whilst raising a young family.
She has always maintained an emphasis on professional development to ensure an excellent standard of practice, a high level of service provision and importantly, to help staff to progress as practitioners and ultimately assist them in owning their own clinics.
In her commitment to professional development at Elite Myotherapy, Sam employs a training officer who contacts the staff on a weekly basis to discuss difficult cases and who creates an annual training calendar involving monthly professional development sessions with either in-house or guest presenters.
Sam will also generously fund places at regular physiotherapy Master Classes throughout the year for ongoing staff education and to keep abreast of the latest musculoskeletal research.
Sam has cultivated an environment at Elite where the staff will work as a team to support each other and as ‘personal development’ is also a key element of Sam’s training and development ethos, she will always include personal growth strategies in monthly meetings.
Sam and Toni were not only colleagues, but great friends. It was Toni who encouraged and mentored Sam during the early days of her career.
Response from Sam Rigby, our very worthy recipient for 2012:
I was very humbled and honoured when I found out I had won this award, I was on holidays and so I was very grateful to have Liz accept this on behalf of me. Liz is a huge part of my personal and business life.
3 years ago we lost an iconic figure in Myotherapy- Toni Moynihan, she was my mentor, friend and inspiration and it was in her untimely passing this award came into being. Toni did so much for our industry and she was never acknowledged and recognised for the enormous contribution to Myotherapy. This award is Toni’s legacy and was created to celebrate the amazing work that Myotherapists do in the community because this is what Toni would have wanted.
She always taught me that through hard work passion and faith I can accomplish anything I wanted. If you want to succeed in life you have to pay it forward. The driving force behind my vision for Elite Myotherapy has always been helping others to be the best they can be to reach their goals, realise their dreams and full potential as therapists.
I want to share with you all how the universe works, Liz and I had some of Toni’s ashes that she wanted her close friends to have and scatter at a place that meant a lot to her and them. We had always wanted to do something special with her ashes and never felt the time was right.
Late last week events unfolded and Liz is joining me in Byron Bay for a few days- We both decided that this was where we would hold our own private ceremony for Toni and scatter her ashes in the ocean.
Toni spent a lot of her last couple of years in Byron Bay and really loved it- her brother lives there as well. Iris from IRMA rang me on Friday to tell me I had won the award and I burst into tears as I felt a strong connection to Toni particularly as I was in Byron with her ashes and we have planned to scatter them on that holiday, and I was to receive her award- it all seemed perfect to me-
Lastly I wanted to thank everyone who is part of our industry and holds as much passion for progressing our industry as do I.
To all past and present board members your contribution is amazing and to Iris and her team in the office- Thank you for your efforts and commitment.
- Samantha Rigby
John Reddish Service Excellence Award 2012
Congratulations Catharine Bainbridge!
Congratulations Catharine! Late last year, Elite Myotherapy and Catharine were selected as a finalist for the John Reddish Service Excellence Award 2012.
The initiative is sponsored jointly by the Rotary Club of Kew on Yarra and the City of Boroondara to acknowledge the provision of customer service excellence within the city's small Shopping Centres.