Our Team

David Coles – Occupational Therapist and Practitioner of Hand Therapy

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy Full Member AHTA

David graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from University of Queensland in 1998. He has specialised in Hand Therapy for over 17 years.

He established Active Hand Therapy Gold Coast in 2009.

He has worked locally at Gold Coast Hospital, Logan Hospitals and in specialized Hand, Burns and Plastic Surgery clinics in London and Birmingham. He also has visiting rights for all the major private hospitals on the Gold Coast.

He is a Full Member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association.

David is a Guest Lecturer in Hand Therapy and Splinting for OT students at Southern Cross University, as well as for Masters of Physiotherapy students at Griffith University on the Gold Coast. He also presents as a guest speaker at numerous conferences throughout the year.

He has works closely with the Gold Coast Suns AFLand Gold Coast Titans NRLteams as well as treating numerous world champions in surfing, track and field, tennis, boxing and swimming.

Fields of interest include sports injuries, acute trauma and complex wrist injuries.

David enjoys his surfing, sports and hanging out with his family of 5 children.

Health Provider Achievement Award

Luke McCarron – Occupational Therapist and Practitioner of Hand Therapy

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy Full Member of AHTA, CHT

Luke graduated from Southern Cross University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy. He has been a part of the Active Hand Therapy team for more than 6 years and has established himself as a leading Hand and Upper Limb educator on the Gold Coast

In 2016  the Australian Hand Therapy Association awarded him as an Accredited Hand Therapist.

More recently Luke was recognised by the Hand Therapist Certification Commission, completing the grueling exam to show advanced clinical skills in upper quarter rehabilitation. He has now been awarded the International Certified Hand Therapist title. Not resting on these laurels, Luke also continued with his studies taking on a Masters of Science in Hand Therapy through the University of Derby in the UK. His research focussed on wrist ligament injuries post surgery. 'The Evaluation of Post-operative Treatment Regimes Following Arthroscopic Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex Repair Surgery for Palmer's Type 1B Injuries' has currently been completed and he is awaiting his results.

Luke has also lectured at Southern Cross University and presented at numerous conferences. His passion for education shows to all of his patients with his humble ability to tailor a treatment program and educate patients on their conditions.

Luke’s interests include music and sport. He has represented at a state level for cricket, hockey and athletics and currently plays golf off a single digit handicap. He also enjoys playing the guitar during down time.

Shawn McDowell – Occupational Therapist and Practictioner of Hand Therapy

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, Full member AHTA

Shawn graduated from James Cook University in Townsville with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy in 2011. He has been working as an Occupational Therapist for many years in a variety of acute and rehabilitation settings. He joined the Active Hand Therapy team in 2014 and uses these advanced OT skills to facilitate the best rehabilitation programs for his patients. Shawn is also one of our therapists that works across clinics in Gold Coast private and Gold Coast University Hospital which enables a seamless transition for all his surgical patients.

He is a full member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association.

Shawn is the man that knows the difference between a band saw and a coping saw. His love of renovation has driven him into specialising in work related injuries, especially from trades and munual labour. He has expert knowledge in workcover facilitation and return to work programs. Shawn's patients value his caring, down to earth nature and he gets great satisfaction in being able to assist them returning to meaningful activities.

Shawn is the University Student Placement Co-ordinator for Southern Cross, Bond and Griffith University Hand and Upper Limb OT students. He facillitates student placements including, training, supervision, reasearch projects and assessment.

Shawn’s other interests include basketball, football, cricket, crossfit, his pet dogs and DIY.

Mikayla Southam – Physiotherapist

Doctor of Physiotherapy, Associate Member of the AHTA, Bachelor of Musical Arts honors. MAPA

Mikayla graduated with a Doctor of Physiotherapy from Bond University on the Gold Coast in 2015. She then joined the Active Hand Therapy team immediately following graduation. Since then she has honed her upper limb skills and has become the clinics shoulder expert.

She also has a keen interest in music related injuries with many years experience in music, dance and competitive gymnastics. She completed her Bachelor of Musical Arts Honors Music in violin performance at Western University, Ontario in 2008 and is currently the associate concertmaster of the Queensland Medical Orchestra. This enables Mikayla to not only diagnose and treat these injuries but to understand hand and shoulder positionings and practice workloads.

Mikayla recently presented her research on QuickDASH analysis on hand and upper limb pathologies at the national APA and AHTA conferences and was also published in the Journal of Hand Therapy. She also lectures to Physiotherapy students at Bond University on Hand and Upper Limb subjects.

She is an Associate Member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association and is working towards full membership.

Mikayla also enjoys traveling, cooking and playing with her pet dog, Manly.

Riley Willemse – Occupational Therapist

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, Associate Member of AHTA

Riley graduated from Southern Cross University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy. He joined the Active Hand Therapy team following an outstanding student placement in 2015. Riley has specialised in hand therapy ever since and is working towards becoming internationally recognised with a Certified Hand Therapist exam in November.

Riley is extremely passionate about helping patients fulfil their rehab goals. In his spare time he works as a Therapist Carer helping people improve their quality of life through various rehabilitation programs. He has also recently completed his advanced tendon management course and his advanced trauma course.

He is an Associate Member of the AHTA and is currently working towards achieving full membership later this year.

Riley has an interest in fracture management. He has specialist skills in wrist fractures and finger fractures, including his ability to remove and apply casts.

Riley enjoys all sports and has competed in AFL and cricket at a senior level since a young age. He is sure to be out surfing in his spare time.

Laura Zahra – Occupational Therapist and Practitioner of Hand Therapy

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, Full Member AHTA, MOTA

Laura graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from the University of Queensland in 2006. She has worked and specialised in Hand Therapy for over 10 years. ​She joined Active Hand Therapy in 2011.

She has worked locally at Gold Coast Hospital Orthopedic Department and helps to facillitate the smooth transition of patients from public to private.

She is a Full Member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association. Laura is trained in dry needling techniques and is an expert in custom made thermoplastic splinting.

She finds it extremely satisfying to use her knowledge and skills as a Hand Therapist to help people return to optimal function and performance.

Laura has a keen interest in all paediatric injuries and complex fracture management.

Laura's other interests are being active with her pet dog, boating, sewing and hanging out with her young children.

LIz Besgrove – Occupational Therapist

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, Associate Member of AHTA

During a clinical placement at Active Hand Therapy, it was very clear that Liz had the skill and passion for Hand Therapy. Upon graduating from Southern Cross University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy she was immediately employed and became a dynamic part of the team. Liz has since spread her wings gaining valuable experience in multiple private hand clinics in NSW. She has now returned to the Gold Coast and has brought with her these enhanced clinical and organisational skills in running clinics.

Liz is an Associate Member of the AHTA and will gain full membership later this year.

Liz is an enthusiastic hand specialist, with a passion for treating chronic hand injuries, especially osteoarthritis. She loves to be creative in the workplace with her ability to sew custom-made braces and develop personalised splints.

Liz loves spending her spare time camping and horse riding.

Edi Henderson – Senior Administration Officer

Edi has been the Senior Administration Officer at Active Hand and Upper Limb Therapy since 2011. She has worked nationwide in a variety of Medical and Allied Health centres, until she decided to settle on the beautiful Gold Coast.

Her professional and humorous manner gives our patients a pleasant experience at reception.

Edi enjoys skiing, cycling, fitness and walking her pet dog.

 

Dee Coles – Business Manager

BPharm

Dee is a practicing pharmacist that has managed small and large health care businesses. She has worked in the private and public health sector specialising in clinical and business auditing. Clinically she has an interest in pain management and medication safety, making her a perfect fit for Active Hand Therapy. Dee is currently studying her Masters in Business Administration.

Dee is passionate about reducing our environmental impact and according to her five kids, loves making school lunches.

Career Opportunities

Active Hand and Upper Limb Therapy is often looking for experienced Hand Therapists and Administration staff. If you have experience in these fields and would like tojoin our fantastic team, please forward your CV and covering letter.

Email your application