Toni Moynihan Award (TMA Award) – October 2012

Samantha Rigby

The Toni Moynihan Award is given to a member of the Myotherapy profession for extraordinary service to the profession and the health and wellbeing of the greater community.

Sam Rigby is a well known and highly respected Myotherapy Association Australia member and has always been passionate about our profession.

Sam studied Myotherapy at RMIT and graduated in 1995. She has been successfully practicing since then.

Sam has a vast wealth of experience from volunteering and working. As well as running her own practice, Sam was honoured with the opportunity of working with the Women’s Tennis Association at many high profile tournaments.

In 1999 Sam was appointed Myotherapist to the Australian Sprint Kayak Team where she was selected to join the team on a tour in Europe. After Europe, Sam was asked to be part of the team for the Sydney 2000 Olympics & in Athens in 2004.

Following on Sam was appointed senior Myotherapist at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. Sam has also worked on many elite individual athletes including Essendon Footballers, Australian Baseballers, Basketballers, Swimmers and Hockey players.
Sam was also a lecturer for several years at the Australian College of Sports Therapy, where she inspired students and promoted her passion for Myotherapy.

Sam joined the IRMA Board in 1999, was a Board member for 10 years including several years as Vic-President until standing down for family reasons in 2010.

In the year 2000, Myotherapy Association Australia’s Professional Development program was born. Sam and Toni Moynihan recognised the need for ongoing education for all Myotherapy Association Australia members, not only to help further develop therapists skill base and knowledge, but they were committed to improve and develop the profile of our industry.

This was essential for our initial recognition of Health Funds and our ongoing lobbying with Government bodies. Sam and Toni jointly organised all the early professional development workshops, sourcing presenters and venues.

During all her work with athletes, and as a volunteer member of the Myotherapy Association Australia Board, she continued to practice and build her own very successful group of clinics at Elite Myotherapy.

Over the past 8 years, Sam has opened and developed three myotherapy clinics in Toorak, Richmond and Balwyn whilst raising a young family.

She has always maintained an emphasis on professional development to ensure an excellent standard of practice, a high level of service provision and importantly, to help staff to progress as practitioners and ultimately assist them in owning their own clinics.

In her commitment to professional development at Elite Myotherapy, Sam employs a training officer who contacts the staff on a weekly basis to discuss difficult cases and who creates an annual training calendar involving monthly professional development sessions with either in-house or guest presenters.

Sam will also generously fund places at regular physiotherapy Master Classes throughout the year for ongoing staff education and to keep abreast of the latest musculoskeletal research.

Sam has cultivated an environment at Elite where the staff will work as a team to support each other and as ‘personal development’ is also a key element of Sam’s training and development ethos, she will always include personal growth strategies in monthly meetings.

Sam and Toni were not only colleagues, but great friends. It was Toni who encouraged and mentored Sam during the early days of her career.

Response from Sam Rigby, our very worthy recipient for 2012:

I was very humbled and honoured when I found out I had won this award, I was on holidays and so I was very grateful to have Liz accept this on behalf of me. Liz is a huge part of my personal and business life.

3 years ago we lost an iconic figure in Myotherapy- Toni Moynihan, she was my mentor, friend and inspiration and it was in her untimely passing this award came into being. Toni did so much for our industry and she was never acknowledged and recognised for the enormous contribution to Myotherapy. This award is Toni’s legacy and was created to celebrate the amazing work that Myotherapists do in the community because this is what Toni would have wanted.

She always taught me that through hard work passion and faith I can accomplish anything I wanted. If you want to succeed in life you have to pay it forward. The driving force behind my vision for Elite Myotherapy has always been helping others to be the best they can be to reach their goals, realise their dreams and full potential as therapists.

I want to share with you all how the universe works, Liz and I had some of Toni’s ashes that she wanted her close friends to have and scatter at a place that meant a lot to her and them. We had always wanted to do something special with her ashes and never felt the time was right.

Late last week events unfolded and Liz is joining me in Byron Bay for a few days- We both decided that this was where we would hold our own private ceremony for Toni and scatter her ashes in the ocean.

Toni spent a lot of her last couple of years in Byron Bay and really loved it- her brother lives there as well. Iris from Myotherapy Association Australia rang me on Friday to tell me I had won the award and I burst into tears as I felt a strong connection to Toni particularly as I was in Byron with her ashes and we have planned to scatter them on that holiday, and I was to receive her award- it all seemed perfect to me-

Lastly I wanted to thank everyone who is part of our industry and holds as much passion for progressing our industry as do I.

To all past and present board members your contribution is amazing and to Iris and her team in the office- Thank you for your efforts and commitment.

Samantha Rigby

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