Providing care for the community

I was born on May 9, 1986 in Esperance, Western Australia. My parents are James and Danielle Ryan, originally from Port Lincoln. My Dad was one of eight children in the family, and one of six brothers who all bought farms in WA. I’ve got two younger sisters, Jaime and Kodie. Growing up on the farm was pretty fun, I had lots of cousins around me so it was never boring and we were all pretty close.

When I was 16 I went to boarding school at Santa Maria College in Perth and did year 11 and 12 there. At the end of year 11 I met Craig Chatfield and we had a long distance relationship during year 12. After year 12 I wanted to do nursing and once I finished school Craig and I moved to Bunbury where I did enrolled nursing at TAFE.

We moved back to the farm where Craig helped raise stock while I worked at Ravensthorpe Hospital. I would do 1000 kilometres a fortnight and the hospital only had two nurses on shift, it was isolating at times but interesting. Craig and I married in 2007 and we had our first child, Fletcher in 2008 followed by Rylee in 2010.

During all this my Dad and his brothers had all finished farming so we all decided to move back to Port Lincoln. I had visited Port Lincoln once every 12 months as we had a lot of family here. We packed our Nissan Patrol and trailer full of our house, and Dad had a Ford F250 and trailer and we moved in 2011. I had a job organised at the EP Old Folks Home and Craig was doing lots of other jobs.

At that time I went back to university and studied registered nursing externally through Charles Darwin University, which I finished in 2015. I wasn’t at the home very long when I got a job at Boston Bay Family Health Practice, where I still work. It’s a family practice so it’s very family focused and there is never a dull moment, it’s like a whole other family.

When we first moved here we went to Boston Football Club on a Thursday night to meet some people and Dad dobbed me in saying I was a sports trainer in WA, so I fell back into it. We joined Boston because my Dad and his family had played for them, Craig always played football and I was a trainer for a club called Southerners. As a sports trainer there is always something new to learn and I love educating on how to help people’s recovery and who doesn't love broken bones and blood?

I have been head trainer at Boston for about three years and I won the Una Stephens Memorial Club Service Award last year as well as being nominated for Sports Trainer of the Year. It’s nice to be recognised from such a supportive family club. In January this year we welcomed Campbell, completing our family unit. Craig “retired” from football this year and I hope to spend more time with the kids next year, especially with Campbell becoming a toddler and the two older kids becoming more involved in sport. Fletcher loves anything he can play especially football and Rylee is a gymnastic junkie and we are often telling her off for forever doing cartwheels.

I’m loving life and enjoying my work, we have started using lasers for treatments such as hair removal, skin rejuvenation and scarring, it’s great to offer this great service to the community as often people had to go to the city, it’s very exciting. Port Lincoln is a great community and we feel so lucky to be here and to have met so many people along the way.