It is all possible!

Partners in Life and Business – Claire and Nathan Carson

Claire started Shoalhaven Occupational Therapy from the boot of her car at the start of the COVID pandemic. Her youngest child was about to start school and she knew how difficult travelling to work across various hospitals in the Local Health District could be as a mum.  

She ran mobile clinics at community centres and soon had so much equipment she needed a storage unit. Her husband Nathan, an engineer, would go to work each day and then work on the business administration side of the family business until late each night. 

The business grew faster than either of them were expecting. They soon had a clinic in Nowra and later expanded down the hall. Nathan made the decision about 18 months in to take the leap of faith, leaving his full-time government job to be involved in the business full-time.  

He’s now studying a Masters of Business Administration and handles any aspect of the business that isn’t clinical. They’ve also started Shoalhaven Allied Health – employing staff and contractors to provide additional services to clients with business support from Nathan under one roof. 

While Claire still manages an active caseload, the appointment of additional staff has enabled her to focus on complex, urgent clients and provide mentoring to staff. After many years working in hospitals, private practice and nursing homes – she has a wealth of experience and knowledge to share: 

“I completed my Masters in Health Industry Management, which I initially thought would be for leadership withing the hospital system but I’m applying it to my own clinic.” 

“Nathan and I both worked in government roles where there really wasn’t the flexibility to be able to go to school assemblies and that sort of thing, so we wanted to create an environment that is very family friendly.” 

“The model works for us, and our STAR workplace results show that it works for our team as well.” 

Shoalhaven Occupational Therapy were rated in the Top 5 Workplaces (As measured in 2024 by STAR Workplace Australasia). Scoring 96% for workplace culture. 

While Claire is a leader in her field publishing several journal articles on evidence based best practice. She says she is still learning: 

“I’ve had great mentors and subscribe to some really valuable tools for practitioners who are running clinics. Ultimately, I’d also like to complete my PHD. 

SOT’s growth is showing no signs of slowing either with the team and demand for service growing rapidly. 

“Nathan and I have complementary skills that are both valuable to the business and enable us to grow from strength to strength. Nathan sits on the advisory board of a leading AI platform and is always looking at ways we can help more people while still delivering a quality service,” added Claire. 

To learn more about featured employer Shoalhaven Occupational Therapy visit: 

https://thinkregional.com.au/local-employers/shoalhaven-occupational-therapy/ 

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