A Moment With: Bronwyn Claassen
By Anna Robb
How did you get started in your career?
I had been a dancer and had developed hip pain. I saw a physio for this who specialised in dancers and had Pilates at his practice. The was over 25 years ago when Pilates was unheard of in Australia. As I got over my injury I developed an interest in the Pilates so became an instructor at that clinic. Then I thought well why not try to get into a physio course? So I applied and was accepted in La Trobe and started the degree in 1992.
I then had great jobs early on that were within the performing arts and after 3 years as a physio I was touring with the musical CATS in a big top around Australia.
What is the best role/job/gig have you done and why?
This is a really tough question because I have enjoyed so much about so many of the jobs I have had. I’d say the winner is probably touring with Cirque du Soleil as company physio around Europe and being privileged enough to travel to explore so many fabulous places. Of course, I also had to work hard with treating the performers but the free time was exceptional.
What was the worst task you were given when you were starting out?
I don’t think there was a terrible task I had to do as a physio. But as a physio student we did placements in hospitals that covered all of the aspects of physio. I really did not like doing the cardiothoracic physio placement where we had to do chest physio on people to get them to breathe and cough up their sputum. Yuk.
What do you think you are best at?
I think I have a very good selection of all sorts of treatment tools and techniques so I am able to use the best techniques to help each patient individually.
What do other people think you are best at?
Helping my patients get better.
What advice would you give your 18-year old self?
“Can you believe that you will be a physio one day? Keep on exploring how your body and other bodies move. Don’t think it’s a mistake to be a technical dancer because it is going to get you a long way.”
What is your job now?
I am a physio at Performance Medicine in Melbourne. We specialise in performing artists and do a lot of work with the musicals in town.