Physiotherapist dons the Green and Gold

As physiotherapist Cameron Edwards walks through his department at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead (CHW) donning green and gold, nothing can take the smile off his face.

Cameron, a proud Gamilaraay man, has qualified for the 2023 World Triathlon Multisport Championships in Ibiza, lining up for the duathlon event on April 30.

When he boards the plane bound for the Spanish island this week, Cameron will also be celebrating his one-year anniversary at CHW where he works currently in the Kids Rehab Oncology and Outpatients clinics.

Juggling preparation, work, and life commitments has been challenging, with Cameron’s alarm blaring at 5am each morning for training over the last few months. But as soon as he received his Australian uniform, it all seemed worth it.

When I looked at the uniform for the first time, it was a proud moment to see the colours and my name with ‘AUS’ written beneath,” Cameron said.

“I’m so happy. Just getting to the World Championships is an achievement, lining up will be so special. It’s a really great opportunity.”

Cameron qualified for the event through the Goulburn Duathlon last year, which he recalls as an ‘absolute mess’. He wasn’t aware it was a World Championships qualifier, nor the State Age Championship, nor that he actually won the race until it was time for the medal presentation.

“I was quite unprepared. I hadn’t even pumped up my bike tyres and realised they were quite flat. I didn’t have any nutrition with me either! I started the race and it felt slow and hard, but then on the last leg I overtook quite a few people and moved my way to the top. Out of nowhere I overtook first with just 100 metres to go,” Cameron said.

“It was so cold that I just wanted to leave. Someone said to me that I might have qualified, and I responded, ‘for what?’ Then I stuck around and ended up getting the gold medal, the State Age Championship for NSW, and had also qualified for the World Championships.

“So, it was a bit of a funky journey.”

Cameron’s love for sport and experiences in his youth is what drew him to physiotherapy.

His work on international aid trips, coupled with needing knee surgery during his representative rugby league years, physiotherapy to him was the best of both worlds.

He has since worked across many hospitals in western Sydney and landed at CHW last year, in an allied health career that he has loved since day dot.

“Physiotherapists are health teachers, that’s how I see the profession. It’s important for the patients that we build a rapport and adherence, and that’s through education and teaching,” Cameron said.

I love being part of change and progress. Seeing a patient who wasn’t able to do someone once, or at a given time, or were nervous about movement – restoring function to them is a joy.

“To be part of that journey is super special, to be a giver and not necessarily a taker. Helping improve their lives is fulfilling.”

While Cameron will miss his patients, and they him, his focus for the next few weeks will be representing the Hospital, Australia and his heritage with pride in Ibiza.

And as for his goal? He just wants to beat someone.

“I actually don’t mind where I come because I’m just proud to be there, some of the athletes there will be semi-professional, on the cusp of, or were professionals in their youth. I know I can beat my time in Goulburn, so those are my two goals.”