Meet our Allied Health team

The Friendlies Physiotherapy Service is made up of Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapist and a Podiatrist. Find out more about them and their interests.

Matthew Churchill

Matt graduated from Sydney University in 1998 and completed several years in a large teaching hospital in Sydney, working in areas including orthopaedics, neurology, outpatient care, cardiac and pulmonary rehab and hydrotherapy.

He received further training in Muscle Energy Techniques (MET), Dry Needling, Swimming, running and cycling biomechanical analysis training and plaster and synthetic casting.

Matt has extensive experience working as a physiotherapist including:

  • Facilitating the introduction of extended scope physiotherapy in an emergency department to ease the load on doctors
  • Working in a busy sports injury clinic in Sydney which dealt with a range of musculoskeletal injuries and participation in ankle research
  • Working in a variety of sports roles, including rugby and netball, with preventative taping and injury management
  • Two years working in both public and private hospitals throughout the UK.

Matt has worked at The Friendlies for more than 11 years. In that time he has developed the Physiotherapy and Allied Health service as well as assisted with the CQU Australia physiotherapy program and developed strong professional relationships with all the orthopedic surgeons, general physicians and other Allied Health providers.

He enjoys all types of patient conditions but gains the most satisfaction from enabling people to return to their desired level of performance, whether that is walking or competition.

Areas of Interest: Matt has a keen interest in running and riding injuries and has completed several course assessments of bike and running biomechanics as well as swimming biomechanics.

Areas of Speciality: Dry needling, casting (plaster and synthetic), injury screening for running and swimming, muscle energy techniques for thoracic, lumbar and pelvic areas, joint replacement rehabilitation.

Matt loves running and touch football.

Sarah Atkinson

Sara has a Bachelor of Physiotherapy and worked for Queensland Health for two years before joining The Friendlies over 10 years ago.

During her career, Sara has also travelled as a physio with the Queensland Junior Soccer Girls team to the national titles.

Sara enjoys working with all types of patients, but further training and increasing patient needs have seen her develop extra skills in

  • Dry Needling
  • Casting
  • Lyphoedema
  • Women’s Health
  • Pre and Post Natal
  • Pelvic floor
  • Bladder training
  • Paediatrics
  • Workstation/worksite assessment
  • Sports Injuries

Outside of work, Sara was heavily involved in soccer before having children and used to referee internationally. Now she loves all sports and fishing.

Tara Gribble

Tara graduated in 2014 from the Australian Catholic University in Brisbane.

Tara enjoys all areas of physiotherapy with added interest in:

  • Paediatrics
  • Pilates
  • Advanced Dry Needling

In her spare time, she likes to try to get away for a night camping or catch a wave surfing.

Cory has a Bachelor of Physiotherapy which he studied locally at CQUniversity completing his degree in 2017.
Cory has grown up in Bundaberg and has been heavily involved in soccer in the local area both playing and refereeing at State League level.
Cory’s special interests include:

  • Acute and Chronic Back pain
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Sports injuries and rehabilitation
  • Orthopaedic Rehabilitation

Outside of work Cory is a keen fisherman and loves spending time on the water.

Natalya Ostrofski

Natalya is a Bundaberg local who graduated with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) which she studied locally at CQUniversity completing her degree in 2018, joining the Friendlies team as a New Graduate physiotherapist in 2019.

Natalya’s Special Interests include:

  • Inpatient rehabilitation
  • Post-operative orthopaedics
  • Sport injuries
  • Muscle Energy Techniques

Outside of work Natalya enjoys riding her horses and playing netball.

Corinne studied at the University of Newcastle in NSW and graduated with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) in 2015. She has worked at the Friendlies since October 2017. Corinne has an interest in all areas of physiotherapy. She particularly enjoys working with hospital inpatients and seeing patients following orthopaedic surgery.

Outside of work Corinne enjoys travelling in Australia and overseas, scuba diving and going to the beach.

Mitchell-Shorten

Mitch has a Bachelor of Physiotherapy which he studied at the University of Queensland, completing his degree in 2015.
Mitch grew up in Bundaberg but has spent the last 9 years studying and working in south-east Queensland. Mitch worked as a sports trainer while studying and then as a graduate worked in the community setting where he gained an interest in persistent pain. He then moved to a clinic in Noosa continuing his education in pain science, persistent pain treatment, tendon rehabilitation and honing his skills in numerous other areas.
Mitch’s special interests include:

  • Persistent and neurogenic pain with a holistic focus
  • Tendon rehabilitation
  • Degenerative shoulder injuries
  • Knee and hip osteoarthritis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Orthopaedic Rehabilitation

Outside of work Mitch is a keen surfer and water skier and loves to travel and experience different cultures whenever he can.

Kelanie Irvin

Kelanie began working at the Friendlies in 2019 after graduating from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) in 2018.

Kelanie is passionate about Occupational Therapy and enjoys working with patients across the lifespan from paediatrics to adults. Kelanie is able to assist hospital inpatients and also provide outpatient services to private clients and individuals receiving funded supports such as NDIS, Home Care Packages, DVA, WorkCover Compensation and NIISQ.

Kelanie enjoys working with all clients however her main areas of interest include implementing:

  • Neurological assessments and neurological rehabilitation (post-stroke or brain injury)
  • Cognitive assessments and cognitive rehabilitation
  • Paediatric therapy to support children who may be experiencing sensory and attention issues, developmental delays and those with physical, sensory and cognitive disabilities
  • Upper limb therapy, hand therapy and splinting
  • Equipment trials and prescription

Outside of work, Kelanie enjoys playing hockey, swimming, surfing and spending time with her family and friends.

Niamh Keegan

Niamh graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from the Australian Catholic University, Brisbane campus in 2019. Since graduating last year Niamh worked in the community and aged care sector before joining the Friendlies in April 2020.

Niamh enjoys working with all aged groups- from paediatrics to the elderly population in a range of practice areas. As a new graduate, Niamh is keen to try new things and give everything a go.

Niamh is able to assist with:

  • Completing full functional capacity assessments for NDIS
  • Providing paediatric therapy to assist with children’s development
  • Completing neurological assessments with patients and working on rehabilitation goals
  • Completing home safety assessments and minor home modifications including the installation of threshold ramps and grab rails
  • Trial and scripting of mobility aids and assistive technology
  • Completing cognitive assessments

Outside of work, Niamh enjoys travelling, going to the beach and spending time with her friends and family.

Nivea is a Bundaberg local who graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) from the Central Queensland University Bundaberg campus in 2018 and worked in the community and Aged Care sector before joining The Friendlies in July 2019. Since working with The Friendlies, Nivea has obtained further training in complex home modifications.

Nivea enjoys all aspects of Occupational Therapy however her key focus is home modifications, functional assessments, equipment prescription and hand therapy including splinting. She is able to assist with:

  • Completing full home safety reviews and recommending complex home modifications including ramps and bathroom renovations
  • Full functional capacity assessments for NDIS
  • Trial and scripting of mobility aids such as manual and power drive wheelchairs
  • Assessment of hand injuries and fabrication of splint

Outside of work Nivea enjoys spending time at the beach or spending time with her friends and family.


Kymberly has a Bachelor of Podiatry from the University of South Australia and has worked in Bundaberg for the past five years since leaving Adelaide.

She has experience working in Private, Community and the Aged Care Sector.

Kymberly enjoys all aspects of podiatry but her main interests are Paediatrics, Sporting injuries and the Diabetic Foot.

She is able to prescribe orthotics and strengthening exercises, perform nail surgeries and can offer laser and mobilisation treatments.

When not at work Kymberly loves to play Volleyball and spend time with her family.