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ESSA Industry Awards

Industry awards 2017 banner

Applications for the 2017 ESSA Industry Awards are now closed. 

Submission of Application Deadline: Friday 13th October 2017.

A decision on the applications will be advised in December 2017. 



About the Industry Awards

Each year ESSA awards and recognises its outstanding accredited members who demonstrate through their practice, a thorough understanding of the discipline, and a strong commitment to the profession and the industry through their advocacy within the community.

Applicants for the awards must also show evidence of exceptional service delivery to their clients, their practice or the community. Innovation in program delivery or service models across the spectrum of the health and sporting sector will also be highly regarded.

Also awarded is Practice of the Year, which recognises practices that provide exceptional services and programs to their clients, or have developed innovative services or service delivery models, across the spectrum of the health, exercise and sporting sectors



Winners of the 2016 ESSA Industry Awards Announced!

ESSA is delighted to formally announce the winners of the 2016 ESSA Industry Awards.

“We have such a high calibre of entrants into this year’s awards that it was extremely difficult for the judges to make a final decision. This is a true reflection of the excellence of all of our members. Congratulations to our winners,” said Anita Hobson-Powell, CEO of Exercise & Sports Science Australia.


The 2016 Winners are: 

Accredited Exercise Physiologist of the Year Award – Emil Josef

Emil has demonstrated an understanding of the field of exercise physiology, whilst also demonstrating professional commitment and advocating for the profession. Emil has worked in the private sector of allied health since he has become an AEP and has understood the challenges of all AEPs in the field as he has experienced most of it himself whilst running multiple businesses.  Emil regularly attends GP and specialist functions and conferences to explain what an AEP is. He has also been involved in helping with the Real Men Move campaign, particularly with the middle eastern community.  Emil joined the ESSA NSW State Chapter this year to represent all AEPs and ESSA members and is part of regular meetups, workshops, meetings with PHNs and has also worked hard to create a workshop that would help AEPs develop better relationships with GPs. Emil has also worked on expanding the HEAL™ program to universities across Australia through the Australian Diabetes & Obesity Alliance.

Emil has provided free workshops and free health assessments in multiple languages for local communities in Western Sydney through his company High Performance Health Australia. He has set up meetings with doctors, solicitors, barristers, members of parliament, universities, schools and councillors to promote and educate them about what an AEP is and what services AEPs can provide to their local communities across Australia. In his spare time, Emil also enjoys mentoring new AEPs and university students to help guide them in the right direction with work and life.

Accredited Exercise Scientist of the Year Award – Ava Kerr

Ava has interests across many aspects of exercise science including clinical exercise science research, health and fitness.  She has an excellent working knowledge of and practical experience with physiological equipment and anthropometric and DEXA equipment.   Ava also has extensive knowledge about the testing and assessment requirements for other  disciplines such as biomechanics, coaching and skill acquisition.  Ava supports numerous research projects that are undertaken by USC academics and provides invaluable assistance to postgraduate students undertaking their clinical exercise science and sport research studies.  Ava’s commitment to both supporting and undertaking research in her field of expertise is contributing to important knowledge generation which is ultimately good for the exercise science profession. On a personal level, Ava is approachable, welcoming and respectful, and she tackles her work with professionalism and in doing so advocates for her profession.  Ava is also a very popular Pilates instructor, with many of her clients taking the time to comment on her passion for them to get the best workout each time they attend.  She demonstrates exercises with warmth and character.

Accredited Sports Scientist of the Year Award – Kurt Vogel

Kurt has always tried to stay on the forefront of research and learning as a whole. He does this not only for his own knowledge, but to enhance the knowledge of others around him.   He constantly educates athletes, and students, so that they can understand why everything is being done the way it is. He will also ensure people question what they do and why they do it, so that they can understand completely why they are doing what they are doing. A lot of his time is given up as a volunteer for the love of it.  He takes care of athletes – he describes how to program, how to periodise, how loading works, nutritional strategies, lactate testing, VO2Max testing and derivatives in a practical setting, how to use technology in your training – and he teaches all of his clients about this but in a way that is easy to understand and easy to remember. He steps it up even further and ensures he is on call at any time for advice on matters relating to training or life. When it comes to training he makes sure what needs to be done gets done.  He has helped athletes across many sports including tennis, athletics, ballet, boxing and weightlifting.  Kurt also volunteered his time as an Accredited Sports Scientist at the National Science Week activities held in the Brisbane Mall in August.

Practice of the Year Award – Achieve Exercise Physiology

Achieve provides services throughout Queensland with a team consisting of sixteen full-time accredited exercise physiologists.  As a company they are continually growing and evolving to ensure they are providing the best service in such a dynamic industry. To cater for a wide variety of clients their clinics are located in Townsville, Brisbane, Sunshine and the Gold Coast. Their clientele are derived from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Enhanced Primary Care, WorkCover and private clients. They provide mobile-services, in-house visits, hydrotherapy and specialist classes and cater to clients who reside in retirement villages and aged communities. To optimise their client’s rehabilitation outcomes their offices are located within a gym setting for full access to a range of gym equipment. Their private office space within the gym is available to ensure privacy and comfort for all clients during assessments and consultations.

The Acheive team are involved with the following community groups – YMCA Jamboree Heights, Headspace Townsville, Run Townsville and Townsville Running Festival, Seniors expo week & Over 50s expo, Veteran Health Week, TPI Race Day and local Townsville races, corporate challenges/ 8-week challenge boot-camps for medical practices, sponsoring local sporting teams in Townsville and Brisbane (Austag, Women’s Rugby, Netball, Soccer, Darts, Basketball referee’s association Townsville, Futsalfest competition), Men’s Shed and War, Widow presentation and RSL monthly lunch.

“Treating you, not just your condition” has become their mission statement and they believe this makes a significant difference to the level of care they deliver, influencing the trust they have with their clients and therefore the speed and quality of rehabilitation potential.  A prominent service they offer that displays going beyond the referral is their commitment to all clients, and particularly the veterans who are more prone to suffering the effects of PTSD. Throughout the year certain events can trigger a downward spiral of PTSD, causing them to be absent from sessions for days or months. Despite this, they make a point to regularly contact their clients via a phone call or a coffee catch-up to check on their wellbeing and reiterate that they are important and that they are thinking of them. It is often these points of contact that provide the opportunity and motivation to get back into structured exercise and attendance again.  The team at Acheive is driven by passion and a desire to ensure Gold Standard treatment and innovation in theory and exercise prescription for each individual. To ensure their level of treatment is uniform and effective, they regularly implement improvements and systems as well as involve all staff members in professional development.

Achieve has a strong sense of responsibility to the current Obesity and comorbidity epidemic and are hoping to make an impact, in some way to the rate of disease onset by developing and implementing group programs in 2016/2017 to help clients manage their condition (Diabetes, Osteoporosis, COPD) and educate them on self-management and healthy living. There are currently four groups that attend once to twice a week and they are seeing decreases in medication reliance, an increase in healthy habits, weight loss and increases in energy and general wellbeing. Their most recent completing 8-week Diabetes group has had an average decrease in HbA1c from 8.2% to an average of 7.6%. Whilst many do not manage a significant weight loss, the average 8-week weight change is a decrease of 2.8 kgs. They have also measured an increase in functional ability such as the timed sit to stand, and concurrent decrease in pain during movement and improvement in technique and control.

The team at Achieve are immensely proud of what they have created and are excited at the opportunities the future holds.