David Coles – Occupational Therapist and Practitioner of Hand Therapy
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, Accredited Hand Therapist AHTA
David graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from University of Queensland in 1998. He has specialised in Hand Therapy for over 20 years.
He established Active Hand Therapy Gold Coast in 2009. He recently was one of 5 finalists for Australian Occupational Therapist of the Year.
He has worked locally at Gold Coast Hospital, Logan Hospital and internationally 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 an Accredited Hand Therapist (as awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association).
David is a Guest Lecturer in Hand Therapy and Splinting for OT students at Southern Cross University and Bond 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 works closely with the Gold Coast Suns AFL and Gold Coast Titans NRL teams 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
Shawn McDowell – Occupational Therapist and Practictioner of Hand Therapy
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, Accredited Hand Therapist AHTA, Certified Hand Therapist
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 Hospital and Gold Coast University Hospital which enables a seamless transition for all his surgical patients.
He is an Accredited Hand Therapist as awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association which is a post graduate program that takes a minimum of 3 years to complete. Shawn has also completed further study to become an International Certified Hand Therapist.
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 manual 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 all national and international student placements including, training, supervision, reasearch projects and assessment.
Shawn’s other interests include basketball, football, cricket, crossfit, his pet dogs and DIY.
Riley Willemse – Occupational Therapist and Practitioner of Hand Therapy
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, Accredited Hand Therapist
Riley graduated from Southern Cross University with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy. He joined the Active Hand Therapy team following an outstanding 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 an Occupational 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 Accredited Hand Therapist as Awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association which has taken 3 years of extra study to complete.
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. Over the last few years he has been working on improving research into surfing wrist injuries presenting his work at the Australian Hand Therapy Conference.
Riley will often be found treating in our Palm Beach Clinic.
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.
Liz Besgrove – Occupational Therapist and Practitioner of Hand Therapy
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, Accredited Hand Therapist AHTA
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. Her passion has driven her to undertake further study and she recently completed her first year of a Masters in Hand Therapy with outstanding marks in her final assignment. Liz has worked in multiple private hand clinics in NSW and has brought with her enhanced clinical and organisational skills in running dynamic clinics.
Liz is an Accredited Hand Therapist as awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association which required a minimum of 3 years post graduate study to complete.
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. Her calm but organised approach ensures she has great feedback from her patients with optimum outcomes.
Liz loves spending her spare time camping and horse riding.
Taylah MacAskill Auld – Occupational Therapist
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, Associate Member of AHTA
Taylah joined the Active Hand Therapy team, graduating from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours). Taylah completed her final clinical placement with us and has played an important role in our team ever since.
Taylah has her second Dan Black Belt in TaeKwonDo and is an avid musician, playing the violin. This has developed her passion for the care and management of sports, music-related and chronic hand injuries. Taylah is committed to providing a holistic approach to her therapy and strives to provide her clients with a high level of hands-on care throughout their therapy journey.
Taylah is currently an Associate Member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association, and is working towards gaining full accreditation.
Since moving to the Gold Coast in 2018, Taylah has achieved her goal of learning to surf (however probably best to avoid her out on the waves).
Neddy Van Dyck – Occupational Therapist
Master of Occupational Therapy, Associate Member of AHTA
Neddy graduated with a Masters of Occupational Therapy from Bond University. He was awarded the highest honour for an Occupational Therapist taking out Valedictorian of the year. Neddy completed his final clinical placement with Active Hand Therapy and has been working in our clinics over the last few years.
Neddy has a passion for helping others and loves to go the extra mile for his patients. He is a very hands on therapist, with an eye for customised splints and casting. As a former marine biologist he is passionate about the ocean and reducing our plastic output.
Neddy is currently an Associate Member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association, and is working towards gaining full accreditation.
Neddy will be welcoming his second child later in the year.
William Chang – Physiotherapist
Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Associate Member of AHTA
Will graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy. He has since done a number of years in the Aged Care sector. Will joined the Active Hand Therapy team to improve patient outcomes with Upper Limb Injuries.
Will has taken his previous speciality of improving pain through massage and movement and decided to apply it as a 'hand and shoulder physio'. This means he has a very hands on approach to his sessions. Will is also an accredited rehabilitation provider and enjoys following his sessions with onsite visits to gyms or pools to get the best long term outcomes for his patients.
Will is currently an Associate Member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association, and is working towards gaining full accreditation.
Will enjoys playing basketball, tennis and gaming.
Debra Morris – Practice Manager
Debra joined the Active Hand Therapy team from the banking sector. She has used her excellent customer service skills and eye for detail to improve patient experiences and ensure timely service.
She strives for a professional but personal manner and is always available for concerns, questions or feedback.
Deb enjoys early morning runs and the occasional night out!
Dee Coles – General Manager
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.
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.