Stories from international team members

Real stories and advice from people who have made the move

When making a life-changing decision such as an international move, it’s helpful to hear from others who have made the leap. Here we talk to other MedHealth team members who have moved to Australia about why they made the choice, what work they are undertaking with MedHealth and the challenges and benefits they discovered.


Heather Hill,
Project Manager, atWork Australia

Heather and her family emigrated from South Africa in 2011, in search of a better life amid concerns about their personal safety and economic security. The reality of immigrating to Perth, Australia ended up being so much better than she had anticipated.

“Living in Australia matched and in fact exceeded my expectations. Being able to go to the park and shops freely – the lifestyle was so much better than I could have imagined,” she says.

Heather’s career in Australia commenced in occupational rehabilitation with WorkFocus Australia.

Read the rest of Heather's story



    There were many differences in the two countries’ systems, with limited government funding for Occupational Therapy (OT) services in South Africa, and limited funding for people with an acquired disability. If you could afford it, you could access it.

    Heather was “blown away” by the scope of work for OTs in Australia, including the assistive technologies available. She was also surprised by how supportive her workplace was for women, with a number of job share arrangements in place and the opportunity to work part-time.

    For her, the feeling of safety in Australia was phenomenal.

    “My kids can walk to school and catch the bus, and I’m able to drive with my handbag in the front seat!”

    She and her family revelled in the relaxed lifestyle and warm climate, and enjoyed the sense of community.

    Heather also noticed that Australians are mostly egalitarian and tend to shun the class system that still pervades South Africa.

    “The difference between the haves and have nots in South Africa is huge. Australians are just really nice people and are positive about everything. There are so many opportunities – if you work hard you can do anything,” Heather says.


    While there were many positives, including the fact that Heather’s sister was already in Perth, the move was not without its trials.

    She initially found it hard to build friendship networks, and underestimated the benefit of having people in your life who know your history.

    Work was also more challenging in some respects, because in South Africa she had a full-time nanny.

    “This was a shock. The lack of available facilities in Australia for working mums and managing half days at school. I felt like it took me about five years to catch up to the level of where I wanted to be, and I think this was related to childcare access,” she explains.


    Her background had been working with people who had suffered catastrophic injury and supporting their return to work, so initially she found occupational rehabilitation a challenge but settled in with support.

    After that, Heather spent eight years with the JobAccess team, doing her Master of Business Administration along the way, which led to a move into business management and her current role as a project manager.

    Overall, Heather has loved working for MedHealth, and seeing the company grow.

    “MedHealth look after their staff really well, and there’s lots of opportunity within the group. To other South Africans thinking about coming to Australia, I would say I wish I had done it 10 years earlier!” she says.


Jo Broomhall,
Executive General Manager, IPAR

Jo emigrated from New Zealand in 2007. She came for career opportunities and improved wage and employment conditions, and to make an impact by working for larger organisations.

In Australia, Jo, an Occupational Therapist, took a break from occupational rehabilitation to work as an Injury Management Advisor in an insurance role. She was fortunate to have some great leaders who encouraged her to take the next step.

In 2016, she took on a role with IPAR as its National Customer Experience Manager, then in 2019 she was promoted to her current role as the company’s Executive General Manager.

“The wonderful thing about working in Australia is that if you are prepared to put the work in, have confidence and seize opportunities, you can go so far,” Jo says.

Read the rest of Jo's story



    Jo has found Australia an easy place to live, with great infrastructure and wonderful weather. She’s also close enough to home to regularly visit family.

    As she’s moved around to different locations, she’s found it easy to make great friendships and establish new networks, with lots of fellow Kiwis and even a Kiwi section in the supermarket.

    Jo appreciates the way large organisations provide opportunities for career development, and have support structures and benefits for their team members, like discounted health insurance.

    “I don’t think I would have advanced so quickly in my career if I had stayed at home,” she says.



    Initially, Jo had to get a handle on how Medicare works and a new tax system, as well as getting used to Australian vocabulary, and vice versa. Plus, rugby union was quote foreign in AFL-centric Melbourne!

    Coming across as an allied health professional and working in occupational rehabilitation, the work has been similar, but there are different schemes and legislation, which means plenty of variety and opportunities.



    Jo says it’s been “really satisfying” working for IPAR, with so much variety in her job across customers and clients. She also feels really lucky working with such a great team who make work so much fun.

    “There’s so much flexibility regarding how and where I work. We get to help some of the most vulnerable people in Australia and help them improve their lives. It’s extremely rewarding to be responsible for a business that does this,” she explains.



    Jo says as a health professional, there are so many career opportunities in Australia for you.

    “Just do it! My family has always encouraged me to make the most of every opportunity in Australia. They are supportive of me staying here, which is great (especially when I get homesick). They love coming to visit and see how we have made our dreams a reality here.”