Member snapshot – Trudi Thomson from RehabCo.
For the past 19 years, Trudi Thomson has helped injured workers get back on their feet.
Starting her career as an Occupational Therapist, Trudi is now Executive Manager at RehabCo and is responsible for overseeing the workers’ insurance side of the business.
Here Trudi tells us about her experiences taking part in Committee 4 Wagga’s Emerging Leaders Program and why RehabCo choose to be members…
Founded in Wagga Wagga in 1996, RehabCo has expanded to 12 locations across NSW providing workplace rehabilitation services to facilitate the timely return to work of injured workers.
The RehabCo team consists of 84 professional staff – occupational therapists, rehabilitation counsellors, psychologists, physiotherapists, exercise physiologists – that work together to maximise functional recovery, increase independence and minimise impact of injury.
As Executive Manager Trudi Thomson explains, RehabCo provides services to people who have experienced a workplace injury or illness, in every possible type of role.
“We assist individuals achieve their wellness goals, whether this is through recovery at work, preventative education, or the management of injury or illness. We understand that work is pivotal in influencing a person’s recovery and wellbeing. When work is good, the positive impacts on the workers life extends far beyond the workplace.
“Research shows us a worker’s recovery, return to work and health outcomes are better when they stay actively engaged with their workplace.
Growing up in the Riverina, Trudi studied Occupational Therapy at CSU in Albury and started working at RehabCo in 2000. After three years, she was given the opportunity to establish a new branch in Canberra. Four years later and seeking a new challenge, she moved into a client relationship role.
Trudi is now responsible for the workers’ insurance side of the business, which represents 86% of all RehabCo’s work.
“I negotiate and manage the service level agreements and relationships with the customers that fall under the workers’ insurance banner, which equates to roughly $12 million.
“With 12 offices, my focus is on ensuring consistent and quality services are provided in each location. We have a wonderful team committed to helping workers, local employers and agents achieve their goals, which makes my job much more rewarding.”
In 2016, Trudi took part in Committee 4 Wagga’s Emerging Leaders Program which, allowed her to connect with other emerging leaders in Wagga and hone some of her leadership skills.
“It was a good to get an idea of who else is local, who else is experiencing the same sort of trials and tribulations and how other people negotiate their own journey. We heard from Kay Hull and Judy Galloway and their humble beginnings. Their work ethic and ability to communicate really rang true for me. Having the guest speakers in to talk about leadership also provided reassurance that I am on the right track.”
Trudi said she feels privileged to be able to do the role she does from right here in Wagga.
“I would not be able to balance my role and all other commitments without the support from my husband, my Mum and Dad, and close friends.
“Being able to go to Sydney for the day makes it easy to have a role like this and still live in the country, on a farm, with horses, cows, dogs and a couple of kids running around the paddock. It’s very beneficial to have that balance.
“Wagga is where RehabCo started and we’re passionate about ensuring the people who live here have the same, if not better, opportunities, than if living in the metro area. We certainly want to see the Wagga community thrive, and when you want to see changes happen, you have to be bold enough to stand up and make those changes. That’s why we are members of Committee 4 Wagga.
“Having a committee focused on attracting and retaining business in Wagga, and also retaining younger professionals is very important.
“I think without Committee 4 Wagga looking at the city’s long-term future, we could easily stagnate. But they’re pushing and continuing to plan our future so that our children will not have to go to a metro area to undertake study or get the job of their dreams. We want our kids to have opportunities right here, and Committee 4 Wagga has their eye on that prize.”