Meet our team of Physiotherapists and Admin staff at Physio Direct. Physio Direct has a wide range of experience and expertise with physios from NZ, Australia, South Africa, the United States and the UK.
Amy Cram – Director
Amy graduated from AUT in Auckland in 2005 and has worked as a physiotherapist in a variety of hospital and private practice settings throughout Australia and the UK, and has travelled to over 70 countries.
Amy returned home after travelling and has dedicated the past few years setting up a physiotherapy service to smaller rural areas that would otherwise not have this service available. Physio Direct now has clinics in over 12 rural locations in both the North and South Island.
She is dedicated to bringing under serviced communities the services they are entitled to.
Amy’s passion is to help underdeveloped areas and is looking forward to further expanding Physio Direct regionally and internationally to help many more communities who have limited services.
Indu Kar – Physiotherapist
Indu moved to New Zealand 3 years ago to join her husband they are currently living in Papamoa. She completed her Master of Physiotherapy in 2012 with specialization in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy. Prior to moving to NZ, Indu was working in a reputed, multi-speciality hospital in India where she gained experience in treating various musculoskeletal, neurological and respiratory conditions. She received her Graduate Diploma in Physiotherapy from AUT in Auckland in 2016 which has given her an understanding of New Zealand standards of Physiotherapy Practice. Indu is competent in various manual therapy techniques such as Maitland, Mulligan, neural mobilization etc. and has special interest in treating various neck and back conditions with or without radicular pain; Adhesive Capsulitis; Post-operative rehabilitation of clients with fractures or joint replacements, educating clients about their condition and self-management strategies. Indu loves camping and exploring new places with her husband. Indu is excited to be a part of Physio Direct and serving the local community.
Timothy Grimes – Physiotherapist
Tim graduated with a BSc in Physiotherapy from University College Dublin in 2017. He has experience as a sports physio and enjoys the challenge of rehabbing sports injuries. Tim also has experience working in a paediatric setting. He has an interest in holistic care and the treatment of chronic pain. Tim’s own experience as a caregiver to family has taught him the importance of communication, education and the dignity of the client and family during the rehabilitation process. Tim has lived in Australia, Spain, Chile and travelled a bit around NZ.
Kylie Karakia – Contracts Coordinator
Kylie started working for the Physio Direct Admin team in Sept 2017. She is a busy mum of two school aged kids and has been living in Matamata for the past 5 years.
The Health Industry has always been an interest of Kylie’s and her hobbies include teaching yoga classes, running, cross-fit, swimming and biking. Her background is diverse; working in the hospitality trade, with ex-military experience in the signals/communication arena, and she is a qualified massage and beauty/spa therapist.
Kylie loves to challenge herself: ” I feel at the end of the day, you will never know your limits until you push yourself to them.”
And most important for Kylie- spending time with family and friends.
Helen Bennett- Operations Manager
Helen joined Physio Direct in early 2018 with 30 years administration experience, spending the past 17 years in a private physiotherapy practice administration management position. She has a great understanding of ACC, the importance of physiotherapy in the rehabilitation process and the vital role physiotherapy has in returning people to full function. Helen enjoys the development and implementation of systems, policy and procedures with a special interest in health legislation.
Helen’s excited to be part of the expanding Physio Direct team and looking forward to the logistical challenges her role brings. Outside of work Helen is an avid armchair sports fan and enjoy reading, gardening, making pottery and walking her dog (Bruce) around Rotoruas’ wonderful lakes.
Stella Wilson- Physiotherapist
Originally from South Africa, Stella graduated from AUT in 2002 and has been practising physiotherapy ever since. She started out in paediatrics with the Waitemata DHB Child Development Service but gradually moved into full time private practice, eventually building up her own clinics in East Auckland. Stella moved to Taumarunui in 2016 with her husband and two children to be closer to her family, and to help her chef husband realise his dream of owning a café.
Stella has a strong competitive sporting background in mainly swimming and hockey and played underwater hockey for the South African Junior Springboks, and then the New Zealand Women’s team, for several years. She firmly believes in the importance of strengthening and conditioning to aid recovery from injury. Stella also has a passion for hands-on therapies, especially massage therapy, trigger point release therapy, and myofascial release therapy. “Human touch has such incredible healing power with research having proven that touch will lower blood pressure, increase endorphin levels, increase pain tolerance, and strengthen the immune system”.
When not at work, Stella loves being active with her children and spending time outdoors on her parents’ farm. “Family is everything”.
Brad Dennien – Physiotherapist
Brad graduated from Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia with a Doctor of Physiotherapy in mid-2019. Originally from Brisbane in Queensland, Brad’s passion for helping others is what originally drew him to pursue physiotherapy. Brad has been fortunate enough to gain experience across various patient populations. These include paediatrics, athletic sporting injuries, general musculoskeletal conditions and disease and disability, in both hospital and private practice settings.
Brad enjoys spending his spare time hiking and exploring, playing sports, photography and spending time with family and friends. Brad is looking forward to expanding his experience and knowledge in New Zealand while getting to see and explore the beautiful country and meet its lovely people.
Karen Eyles – Administrator Putaruru & Matamata
Originally from Essex UK, Karen moved to New Zealand when she was 9. Karen started working as Office Junior for fashion company in Auckland at 16 and has worked ever since in Administration/Reception, including Banking.
After moving to Melbourne with her husband , they moved back to NZ with a young family in 1989. Karen moved her young children out of Auckland when her husband sadly passed away and came to Lichfield, Putaruru, where she bought a run down farm house on a few acres. That was nearly 17 years ago and she has lived and worked in Putaruru ever since.
Karen has worked the last 2 and 1/2 years for Community Adult Mental Health & Addictions as front line receptionist in Hamilton, a job she adored. Karen loved the clients and built amazing relationships with them all. She feels it’s the utmost respect to be able to greet all clients by their name and to make them feel comfortable in their surroundings.
“People are my absolute passion, as is doing my best to help anyone in need.”
Lynley Martyn – Business Support Administrator
Lynley joined Physio Direct in 2019 as our Taumarunui based Administrator. She moved to Taumarunui when she was 13 and although she moved around a bit in her younger years she always comes back to Taumarunui, as it is where she calls home.
Lynley loves working in the health care sector, helping to make positive change in peoples lives. She has a bubbly, friendly demeanour and is an absolute delight to see on the front desk.
Outside of work Lynley has 3 children that keep her on her toes and she loves completing creative projects such as mosaic.
Taryn Ashton – Business Development Manager
Taryn joined Physio Direct in July 2019 as a Business Development Manager. She has moved from Durban, South Africa with her husband and two boys. She owned and ran a Ladies Clothing Boutique for 6 years and has over 10 years Account Management experience. Taryn enjoys building and fostering new relationships and learning about new industries. In her spare time, she can be found on the side of a sport field supporting her boys or on the beach. Taryn can’t wait to explore New Zealand’s outdoor activities with her family.
Elaine Black – Physiotherapist
Elaine Black is an experienced physiotherapist. She has worked for many years across the private and public health sectors in New Zealand and Australia and has a broad knowledge of all aspects of physiotherapy.
Elaine enjoys treating all musculoskeletal conditions and seeing clients of any age return to maximal health and well-being.
Elaine is a Credentialled McKenzie Therapist endorsing the McKenzie Method’s philosophy of education and active client involvement in the treatment of spinal and extremity problems. She is passionate about helping all clients take control of their conditions through self-management strategies. Of special interest are neck and back injuries. Elaine is also keen to ensure good outcomes for the elderly encouraging them to remain mobile and living as full a life as possible. Elaine has experience and interest in treating people with late effects of polio (Post-Polio Syndrome).
Away from physiotherapy Elaine likes to get outdoors into our forests, grow her own vegetables, read and enjoy the company of family and friends.
Marelize Ferreira – Physiotherapist
Marelize recently joined the Physio Direct team from South Africa with her husband and two young girls. She graduated in 2004 from Stellenbosch University and has worked in various sports practices, orthopedic and musculoskeletal clinics through her career. For the last nine years she has owned a private physiotherapy practice in Pretoria that focused on a multi-disciplinary team approach for patients with chronic pain, arthritis, musculoskeletal injuries, work related injuries and sports injuries.
She has a passion for helping people in pain and enjoys educating patients about their amazing bodies and facilitating the healing process. Hands-on treatment and exercise form the cornerstone of her treatment approach.
When not at work she enjoys running and spending time out-doors with her family.
Katie O’Neill – Physiotherapist
Katie is from Essex, England. She enjoys exploring new places and participating in sports such as hiking, cycling, swimming and rugby! Just recently she climbed The Pinnacles – ” the views were amazing – I would recommend it for all.
Katie graduated in 2019 from the University of Essex with a MSC Pre-registration masters in Physiotherapy. Following this she went onto work at the Princess Alexandra hospital in Harlow, in the musculoskeletal outpatient department. She has always had a keen interest in musculoskeletal injuries that has followed on from her BSC in Sports Therapy which she completed in 2016 at The University of Hertfordshire.
She has had a number of experiences working at sports events / teams including; The London Marathon, London Broncos, England Women’s 7s and between Sep 2014- Dec 2019 she worked with Brentwood rugby club where she was able to work both pitch side and in clinic to treat and rehabilitate the players back to full fitness. Through these experiences, she has been able to see a wide range of injuries and understand how important it is for these athletes to get back to sport. Katie has enjoyed both working in a clinic and a hospital environment and seeing patients achieve their goals, through treatment and rehabilitation programmes.
Katie is looking forward to the new experiences she will face in New Zealand and expanding on her experience and knowledge while getting to see the wonders the country has to offer.
Eduan Breedt – Physiotherapist
Eduan was raised in rural South Africa at the forest verge of the Amathole Mountains. He was home schooled by his parents, along with his two brothers, and never attended conventional school. He enjoyed a literature-rich and nature-filled childhood. Having a self-directed learning approach, he grew up curious and questioning. He completed his AS-Levels (an equivalent of Grade 12) through the University of Cambridge’s International Examinations.
Eduan was selected for the 4 year Physiotherapy degree programme at the University of Pretoria and completed it in 2018 achieving a few academic awards along the way. He worked in the South African public sector where he was responsible for running weekly exercise groups, public health awareness campaigns, educating other healthcare professionals and treating people who sought pain relief.
Eduan is a passionate physiotherapist skilled in helping people manage complex and chronic pain conditions through movement, exercise, healthy lifestyle coaching, mindfulness therapy, pain neuroscience education, and relaxation therapy. He has been described as resourceful and friendly, with compassion for those suffering from life-altering illnesses and injuries. He is highly motivated to be up-to-date with current evidence, implementing it into his practice, which ensures his patients receive high-value evidence-based healthcare. He has a conviction to educate the public and other healthcare providers on evidence-based healthcare, pain management, and healthy living.
In his spare time, he enjoys tramping, playing guitar, going to the gym, reading, and writing.
Kyle Headland – Physiotherapist
Kyle Grew up in Kempton Park, South Africa and completed his BSc in Human Physiology in 2014 at the University of Pretoria. He has a passion for helping people and went on to study Physiotherapy at the University of Pretoria and graduated in 2018. During this time his passion for evidence based, holistic, person-centered health care was sparked and has a heart for seeing hurting people healed.
He worked in the heart of Pretoria at Tshwane District Hospital in 2019 treating people with cardio-respiratory conditions, neurological conditions, musculoskeletal injuries and chronic pain conditions. During this time, he was exposed to and grew respect for the diversity of culture that make up South Africa.
Kyle has a special interest in Pain Neuroscience and for helping people with acute and chronic pain conditions. Kyle prides himself on using a biopsychosocial, person-centered approach when dealing with his clients. He utilizes various techniques such as Cognitive Functional Therapy, Pain Neuroscience Education, Manual Therapy, Mindfulness Therapy, Exercise Therapy and Behavioural/Lifestyle modification in order to help people return to their most valued activities and ultimately to enjoying their lives.
In his free time Kyle enjoys gymming, cooking, making music, spending quality time with friends and exploring New Zealand. Kyle loves to develop himself as a clinician and is proud to do so with the Physio Direct team.
Ben Ferreira – Company Performance Manager
Ben recently moved from South Africa to New Zealand with his wife and two daughters. He is passionate about leadership and received a master’s degree in Personal and Professional Leadership from the University of Johannesburg in 2019. Helping people grow and develop towards excellence gives him great pleasure and energy. It is a privilege to guide people to make a greater contribution to organisational goals. Ben believes that company culture plays an important role in achieving this and relishes the opportunity to contribute to Physio Direct’s organisational culture.
When not at work Ben enjoys reading and exploring with his family. He is looking forward to discovering the wonders of New Zealand.
Alison Huntley – Administrator Napier
Alison has many years of medical reception experience and loves seeing people improve with their physio treatment. She loves living in the Hawke’s Bay with her family; spending time with family and friends, renovating their property and taking their adopted retired greyhound for walks.
Leigh Burling – Accounts Administrator
Leigh joined the Physio Direct team in April 2018 in an administrative capacity, moving into an Accounts role in early 2019. Originally from Ngongotaha, Leigh now lives in rural Tauranga, fitting work around her young family.
Her background includes administration across a variety of sectors, early childhood education and science.
Outside of work, Leigh enjoys exploring the beautiful beaches and parks around the Bay of Plenty with her family.
Lauren Keulder – Physiotherapist
Lauren grew up in Cape Town South Africa, where she completed her physiotherapy degree at the University of the Western Cape in 2014. Since graduating Lauren has been fortunate enough to experience the physiotherapy profession in a variety of different fields, initially starting out in a state rehabilitation clinic, then moving to private outpatient settings, as well as spending three years in the corporate setting where she was involved in training and educating staff members on better physiotherapy practices and interventions for overall improved health and wellness in the workplace.
From when Lauren was young she had an undeniable passion for animals, horses in particular. Lauren is a keen horse rider and competes in show jumping. This led her to combine her interests of horses and physiotherapy and studied equine physiotherapy post grad. Lauren has participated in various levels of sporting codes namely, horse riding, hockey, running, golf, weight training, softball, and boxing. This has given her a great insight into many sporting codes and enjoys treating all kinds of injuries, aches and pains.
Lauren has a passion for wellness and living life to the fullest, this speaks to the way she practices as a physiotherapist, and her goal is to see her patients living their best, fully functional, pain free life. With determination and a goal driven, never give up attitude, Lauren strives to see her patients achieve their goals and loves being a part of the rewarding journey in seeing them succeed.
Alyssa Gildenhuys – Physiotherapist
Alyssa grew up and attended school in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Her interest in physiotherapy started from a young age as she was doing several sports and therefore attended physiotherapy when she sustained injuries. Alyssa graduated from the University of the Western Cape in 2018 and thereafter worked in a very small and rural town called Calvinia. She worked in the the hospital as well as seeing patients in clinics within a 200km radius of the hospital using very limited resources. This year Alyssa did locum work in Cape Town until she pursued her dream of moving to New Zealand. Alyssa has a great passion for working and helping people and children of all ages to reach their goals, relieve pain and return to their activities of daily living.
In her free time she enjoy’s being active and outdoors doing activities such as Horse riding, trial running, gym/crossfit and hiking. Alyssa also enjoy’s travelling and discovering new places.
Chimwemwe Masina – Physiotherapist
Masina grew up along the central shores of Lake Malawi. In 2016 he obtained his BSc Physiotherapy (Hons) degree from the University of Malawi, College of Medicine. His motivation for pursuing physiotherapy was to live a fully satisfied life by putting a smile on others during their low moments.
After completing his studies in 2016 he joined the public sector and worked as a physiotherapist at the main referral hospital in the capital city, Lilongwe. In 2018 he moved to Botswana where he worked as a Resident Physiotherapist and Assistant Lecturer until his departure to New Zealand.
Masina loves knowledge and enjoys visiting interesting places during his free time.
Favourite Quote: “ You Begin to Succeed When Other People’s Problems Matter to You” – Prophet T.B Joshua
Virusha Soobramoney – Physiotherapist
Virusha, grew up in a small town Ladysmith in South Africa . She graduated in 2014, from the University of the Western Cape with a Bachelors in Physiotherapy(honors). Having been a football fanatic for most of her life, the love for the beautiful game inspired her to pursue a career in physiotherapy. Through her studies and extensive work experience which included everything from working in the public health sector through hospitals and primary health clinics to daily in-patient service in the private health sectors in SA she has been exposed to the far reaching positive impact physiotherapy can have on the quality of life for every day people.
Curiosity is a personality trait of hers, and after expounding her knowledge on the variety in physiotherapy practices in SA, she felt it’s not only time but necessary for her to take her curiosity, internationally through Physio Direct.
Apart from loving her job as a physio, she is a comic book connoisseur, an avid reader and she loves the English Premier League.
Dolly Parton said “if you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one”, and with NZ being the home of hobbiton and Ian Fleming, her new road is starting to look extremely adventurous and hopefully prosperous.”
Sophie Dibley – Finance Manager
Hello, a little about myself.
Not sure how I ended up being Finance Manager for Physio Direct Ltd as I’m an outdoor person at heart. I was brought up on a farm and I’m still farming now – not sure if I work for Physio Direct in my spare time or work on the farm in my spare time??
Anyway, apart from doing finances for Physio Direct, and working on our drystock farm, we have a 500 cow dairy farm with a 50/50 sharemilker managing that one.
Sophie has a small nursery growing mostly native plants for planting back on the farm. She grows these from seeds and cuttings and produce about 8000 plants per year.
Sophie really enjoys walking/hiking – recently completing the Queen Charlotte track and this year (2020) and will also be walking her 30th half marathon in 2021.
Sophie has 5 grandchildren who she loves spending time with AND if she has any spare time she also likes quilting and sewing.
Joshua Ma – Physiotherapist
Joshua was born in Canada, where he grew up near the Rocky Mountains. His love for travelling and always seeking an adventure has taken him across the globe and now New Zealand. Joshua graduated with a Doctor of Physiotherapy Degree in 2018 from the University of Melbourne. He has experience in hospital, private practice, and high-level sports setting treating various types of musculoskeletal and neurological conditions.
As an athlete, Joshua understands the physical and emotional impact that an injury can have on one’s life. Through his own experiences, it has led him to a particular interest in the treatment and management of sporting injuries, fractures, pre-and post-joint replacement, low-back and chronic pain.
Joshua emphasizes listening to his patients to get to the root cause of the problem, tailoring the treatment plan to the individual to achieve their goals. He uses a combination of exercise, education, manual hands-on therapy, dry needling and taping/bracing based on his patient’s condition to provide them with the tools and confidence to return to daily activities and function.
When Joshua is not treating patients, he enjoys spending his time outdoors, running, hiking, camping, rock climbing, photography or just sitting back and reading a book.
Sheryl Rumbal – Business Support Administrator
Over the past 20 years, Sheryl has worked in General Practice and then moving into Occupational medicine where she managed a small team and conducted audio screening and drug testing.
Sheryl enjoys working in the health sector and understands how important physiotherapy is in the rehabilitation process, so people can move forward pain-free into their day.
In her personal time, she enjoys walking, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, gaining her 200 hour Yoga teaching training in 2020, along with reading and baking and spending time with her family.
Alfanso Litchmore – Physiotherapist
Alfie was raised in Kingston Jamaica as a youngster before moving to London, England where he was originally born. He enjoys watching and participating in sports including American football, football, tennis, cricket, and of course rugby. Alfie is also a very keen traveler and is fascinated with learning about other cultures and rituals.
Alfie graduated in 2018 from the University of Essex with an MSC Pre-registration Masters in Physiotherapy. Following this, he went on to work at Barts NHS trust In London, where he completed physiotherapy rotations in Oncology, Critical care, and Surgical unit. He then went on to specialise in musculoskeletal physiotherapy at Queen Marys Hospital outpatient department in London. He has always had a keen interest in Human movement and health that has followed on from his BSC in Sports and exercise degree which he completed in 2014 at Southampton Solent University.
Alfie’s working experience has provided him the chance to work with both athletes and the general population, treating a wide variety of injuries and pathologies that can affect the human body. Alfie enjoys the complex practical nature of his role which allows him the opportunity to connect with his patients and support them with their rehabilitation goals.
Alfie is excited to explore and learn about his new home – New Zealand. He is keen to see all the beautiful nature that the country has to offer and to educate himself on the culture and history of the people.
Two of his Favourite Quotes From his hero Muhammad Ali:
Don’t count the days, make the days count.
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.
Tryphaena Sampson – Remedial Masseuse
Tryphaena is originally from Brisbane, Australia & graduated from Gold Coast QAcademy College of Remedial & Massage Therapies in 2014. She has worked mainly in a private practice setting in Brisbane for over 5 years, with further studies in Reflexology, Pregnancy massage as well as Trigger Point Dry Needling. She has always been interested in holistic health, natural therapies and helping others, and enjoys meeting people from different walks of life & being able to help them through her work.