Liz Campbell and her partner, former Australian rugby league and rugby test star AJ Campbell, took a leap of faith when they launched a physiotherapy business in the remote community of Nhulunbuy.
The bauxite mine’s refinery had not long since closed - prompting two thirds of the population of 3,500 to leave town - and the atmosphere among the people who had stayed on was very much doom and gloom.
But Everybodies Journey (Ebj) Physio and Gym not only survived - it thrived.
“The feeling in town is very different now,” says Liz. “It is a happy, positive and opportunistic environment.
“Nhulunbuy is no longer just a mining town. It has developed in many different ways and we are fortunate enough to have many other community members open such a variety of businesses and services - the town just seems to continue to grow.”
“I would not have had the confidence to open EbJ Physio and Gym without the constant support of both my partner and clients. Many people approached me and positively supported my ‘crazy dream’ and said that they would be among our clients.”
Liz didn’t want to join what at times seemed like an exodus from Nhulunbuy.
“East Arnhem Land is my home - it’s a great community and the perfect place to raise kids,” says the mother-of-one. “I wanted to stay in town and stay in my own profession. There was only one way to do that - start my own business.”
Everybodies Journey Physio and Gym attracts clients from a broad cross-section and has been successful in attaining contracts with mining company Rio Tinto, as well as Aboriginal health organisations Laynhapuy Homelands and Miwatj Health.
“I feel extremely fortunate to service the Yolngu people of East Arnhem Land. Very few people have such an opportunity and it truly is an incredible experience on a daily basis.”
EbJ Physio and Gym employs three physiotherapists, including a strength and conditioning coach, as well as a physiotherapist who has worked in paediatrics for the past 10 years.
The firm also has two gym coaches and two administrative staff.
It has consultation rooms as well as a commercial gym used for pilates, high intensity interval training, and strength and conditioning classes, as well as client rehabilitation.
The practice offers physiotherapy for private, third party, workers compensation, NDIS, Medicare and Defence Veterans Australia funded patients. It offers assessments and treatment for musculoskeletal pain, sporting injuries, ergonomic discomfort, paediatric assessment and treatment, and pelvic floor concerns. Additionally, EbJ provides workplace ergonomic assessments and manual handling training.
It also provides exercise rehabilitation following injuries, and helps improve general fitness and weight loss, plus offers soft and deep tissue massage, dry needling, traditional Chinese cupping, and chest physiotherapy for clients with acute and chronic chest infections.
Liz continues to grow and diversify as a business owner, learning new skills daily with a large emphasis on staff.
“Choosing the right staff is very important - and not easy. But we’ve got a fantastic team and I am incredibly lucky to have each and every one of them.”
Everybodies Journey Physio and Gym is just one example of the resilience and perseverance of small businesses in the Territory.
The Nhulunbuy business community is looking forward to October Business Month - embracing the opportunity to host a series of events during the month.
Liz will present as a Territory business success story at: