Meet Tom – our work experience student!

July 2019

A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of hosting a young and aspiring work experience student! I got the chance to interview him the following week over video conference. With me in southern Cambodia, we had some technical difficulties with an unstable internet but he was patient and laughed a long with me! Thanks Tom!

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Tell us a bit about yourself…

I’m Tom Carder, I’m in year 10 and I turn 16 at the end of the year.

What subjects do you do at school?

The standard subjects like English and Maths but my electives are Food Tech, Woodwork and (PASS physical activity and sport science).

Next year I start year 11 and I want to do Biology, Chemistry, Food Tech and PE.

What did you do last week?

I did some work experience with different Exercise Physiologists and Dieticians. Monday and Thursday I was in the Bites Health Clinic with Chantelle and Dan and on Tuesday I was driving around western Sydney and Hornsby with Ani from Specialised Health.

(Ani is Specialised Health’s NSW Team Leader and Exercise Physiologist. Chantelle is Director, Dietician and Exercise Physiologist with Bites Health Clinic, and Exercise Physiologist with Specialised Health. Dan is a Dietician with Bites Health Clinic.)

Why did you choose these for your work experience?

I wanted some experience in the health industry and my mum is a Rehab Counsellor so she suggested this.

Do you exercise?

I play football and have started Rugby at school. I also use the school gym. And do some stretches.


How did the experience with Specialised Health compare to your expectations?

I was worried and nervous because I haven’t had a ‘real job’ before but it was good. I do have casual work as a referee with Football Federation Australia.


What sort of conditions did you see our EPs and Bites Health Clinic work with?

With Chantelle and Dan mostly it was people who wanted to lose weight, get fit and healthy. Some diabetes and lady with PCOS, which I hadn’t heard of before.

With Ani I saw people who had injuries and were trying to get back to work.

What did you learn?

I learnt some new exercises and stretches from Ani, and learnt how to do some other exercise properly (like barbell squats).

For Chantelle I made a few fact sheets for her clients.

These were on:

  • Two types of dietary fibres: soluble and insoluble.
  • Probiotics and mental health (there is a link between them, but its not clear. More research is needed!)
  • PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and AMH. AMH is a hormone that is higher in PCOS.

It was interesting to see the different set ups. Chantelle had a gym in the back of her clinic and the clients would do their exercises at another gym outside sessions. Ani met his clients in gyms near them.

(Ani meets his clients at locations favourable to the client in order to support improved adherence to the rehabilitation program. Often injured clients in compensable schemes have some more BPS barriers compared to private clients).

What was your favourite part of the week?

I liked seeing the different gyms with Ani, using different gym equipment and being out rather than office.

Glad you had an enjoyable and educational experience Tom! 

Do you have any follow up questions I can answer about Exercise Physiology?

No, all my questions were answered by Ani and Chantelle last week!

Comments from Chantelle:

How sweet was he!? Definitely enthusiastic and empathetic!


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