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A coffee with…

Brendan Oakley from Southern Family Chiropractic

Pam Kloosterman recently had the pleasure of catching up for a coffee with Brendan Oakley from Southern Family Chiropractic.

What inspired you to start your business?

Even though the opportunity came quicker than expected, it was the best thing to happen.  I always saw my future in setting up a model of healthcare that would deliver consistent and measurable outcomes for patients and encourage them to take control of their health.  Our business has a really strong focus on education that can teach people to develop self-awareness.  I believe that once people realise the cause of the problem, they can correct it or alter its course.  We were thrown into the deep end when starting the business and really learned on the run, but over time have developed a strong business with a great vision for the future.

What significant changes have you made in your business since you started?

How long do you have?  The short answer is that we have focussed on a constant and consistent improvement of our internal marketing systems to ensure they are aligned with our purpose.  Our practice statement is “Delivering amazing chiropractic care with extraordinary outcomes”.  Everything we do is aligned towards that end goal for clients.  Mentoring and education has helped me to continue to refine this process.  This focus has allowed Southern Family Chiropractic to grow into a multi doctor practice.

How do you find people to join your business that truly care about the business the way you do?

That’s a great question!  That aspect hasn’t been difficult.  We have a culture of change and improvement within SFC.  This is both for personal, professional and business growth.  A prerequisite for any of our positions is that you must have a growth mindset!

How important have good employees been to your success?

Paramount!  People with a growth mindset tend to have greater abilities, to problem solve, self-reflect, be purpose focused and they work better in teams.  This overall works best for our business.

If you could offer one piece of advice to a young person wishing to pursue a career in your industry, what would that be?

Firstly, find some great mentors within the industry.  I have always had fantastic mentors who have helped me along the way and still do today.  They need to be mindful of the end goal of university and the job at hand once you graduate.  Ensure you are passionate about health and chiropractic as it is important and paramount to success. Secondly, undertake the degree at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic or its new sister school in Adelaide.  They set up their graduates for success within the industry in a more practical way.

If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Nothing!  Chiropractic was not my first degree.  Several years after finishing my first degree, I realised what I was passionate about and went about achieving this.  We spend a lot of our time at work and I truly believe that you need to be driven and passionate about the work you do and sometimes discovering this passion may come later in life.

What do you enjoy most about your career and business?

Improving the health of people on a daily basis.  I find this exciting, inspiring and very rewarding.  I am passionate about health education and the future direction of health because it is apparent that under the current model, which we have been working with in Australia, people’s health is still declining.  I really enjoy problem solving, coming in on ground level and seeing how we can further improve health outcomes for patients.  One of my current projects is getting primary health professionals of the Great Southern to work more comfortably as a collaborative team for our patients.  Sometimes the advice given to patients can be conflicting and confusing and if we can move to a certain level of consistency it will be better for us and our patients.

What challenges or opportunities are created from being located in the Great Southern?

Well, it has been challenging attracting great chiropractors to relocate to the Great Southern, but we have found some!

With opportunities, the best thing is there is no limiting factor to the level of care we can provide people within our profession and I love the diversity of the cross section of the community I get to meet.  The technology now is amazing and enables me to keep in touch with mentors in Perth, Queensland and the US that I regularly work with.  So there is no feeling of isolation living in Albany as there once may have been.

How did you end up in Albany and how do you spend your spare time?

We moved down to Albany from Perth in 2012 for the lifestyle and since then started a business and a family.  Now we would not want to live anywhere else.  I spend a lot of time with my family and we love it here, even the weather does not put us off.  With my remaining spare time I go sea kayaking, anywhere between Two Peoples Bay and Denmark with the group I belong to.  I also really love rock climbing.  I don’t know if you are aware that Albany has the best sea cliff climbing in Australia which is a very unique attraction!


118 Aberdeen Street, Albany
9841 5597

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