Our Team

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 the 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 will often be seen treating in our Coomera Clinic. 

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

Miles Gray – Physiotherapist

Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Bachelor of Exercise Science, Associate Member of AHTA

Miles graduated with a double degree of Bachelor of Physiotherapy with First Class Honours, and a Bachelor of Exercise Science, and has over 10 years of experience. He has worked in a number of Private Physiotherapy Practices, specialising in hands, shoulders and necks. He also spent time working as the physiotherapist for Gymnastics Tasmania, giving him specific experience in return to high level sport at a national level. Miles joined the Active Hand Therapy team to improve patient outcomes with shoulder conditions and other Physiotherapy concerns.

Miles has taken his speciality of a 'Hand Physio' to include further knowledge in shoulders and spinal pain. This enables a complete injury picture to be established for complex injuries. This means he has a very hands on approach to his sessions.

Miles is often booked out as his patients love his relaxed, professional approach. 

Miles is currently an Associate Member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association, and is working towards gaining full accreditation.

Miles enjoys travelling and photography outside of work. 

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, courses and exams 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.

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. Her caring nature and high level knowledge delivers excellent outcomes and her patients are always providing us with their positive feedback. 

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. 

His mature nature and passion for education creates a fantastic rapport with patients. His patients will often refuse to see anyone else! He aims to go the extra mile for everyone and works hard behind the scenes to ensure his patients get the best care. He is a very hands on therapist, with an eye for customised splints and casting.  

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. As a former marine biologist he is passionate about the ocean and reducing our plastic output. 

Ryan Cook – Occupational Therapist

Master of Occupational Therapy, Associate Member of AHTA

Ryan graduated with a Masters of Occupational Therapy from Bond University. Originally from Tasmania, he has made the Gold Coast is home and has been a fixture at Active Hand Therapy for the last few years. 

Ryan has a very calm, organised manner and enjoys the practical, hands on, treatment approaches that being a Hand Therapist provides. His ability to problem solve and think outside the 'box' helps tailor plans specifically to patients. Ryan is highly skilled at custom-made splints. 

He enjoys treating a variety of injuriese bus has a particular interest in post-surgical care and sports related injuries. 

Ryan is currently an Associate Member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association, and is working towards gaining full accreditation.

Ryan enjoys getting outdoors and engaging with any sports. AFL, basketball, golf, cricket, you name it!

Nicola Poole – Occupational Therapist

Master of Occupational Therapy, Associate Member of AHTA

Nicola graduated with a Masters of Occupational Therapy from Western Sydney University. She has spent the last few years working as a Hand Therapist in hospital settings prior to taking up her role at Active Hand Therapy. 

Nicola has a wealth of Hand Therapy knowledge that she has brought with her from the hospital setting. She is highly skilled in treating fractures, carpal tunnel and hand and upper limb trauma.Her sessions are tailored for each patient to regain meaningful function whilst remaining client centred.  Her efficient and precise delivery of best evidence based practice, with commitment toward ongoing study allows her patients to see great results within her sessions. 

She enjoys treating a variety of injuries but has a particular interest in post-surgical care and sports related injuries. 

Nicola is currently an Associate Member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association, and is working towards gaining full accreditation.

Nicola played soccer for Australia for many years in the Matilda's team and is an avid sports person. 

Claire Forster – Physiotherapist

Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Associate Member of AHTA

Claire graduated with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy and has always known that she wanted to be a Hand Therapist. She has specialised in Hand Therapy since graduating, honing her Phsyiotherapy knowledge to include shoulder and upper limb injuries as her speciality. Originally from Canada,  she has made the Gold Coast her home and has been working at Active Hand Therapy in our Southport Clinic for a number of years. 

Claire has a great mix of both splinting, casting, wound care and physiotherapy skills which allows her to treat any underlying condition that may be stemming from other areas. She is very methodical in her treatment goals and combined with her caring, sensible nature, patients will get a well developed, clear picture of their injury goals. 

 

Claire is currently an Associate Member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association, and is working towards gaining full accreditation.

Claire enjoys playing women's rugby and the enjoying the lovely Gold Coast beaches.

Hamish Inch – Physiotherapist

Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Associate Member of AHTA

Hamish graduated with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy and has been working in various Physiotherapy practices for a number of years. He has specialised in foot, lower limb and hand injuries which has opened up a perfect position within Active Hand Therapy. Hamish has a very methodical style, enjoying the diagnosis and treatment of injuries. He has a unique speciality in also having wound care knowledge allowing post-operative care for the best rehabilitation outcomes.

 

Hamish enjoys all sports and hanging out with friends. 

Gym Rehab for Sore Arms – Exercise Physiologist

We have experienced muscoloskeletal Exercise Physiologists as part of our team. Our EPs work across various gyms on the Gold Coast and we have private gyms in our clinics. All our EPs have further interest in hand and shoulder injuries and specialise in the upper limb. Our team are passionate about health and fitness. Combined with their down to earth attitude, this makes exercise programs for patients that enable real outcomes and improvements in strength and health. 

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

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 to join our fantastic team, please forward your CV and covering letter.

Email your application