Home' Scoop : Scoop 59 Autumn 2012 Contents 34 SCOOP AUTUMN 2012
FORUM the switch
GET TO THE POINT
Who among us hasn’t yawned through a Power Point presentation? It seems the dreary use of old
technology has reached such a crisis point that Australia’s meetings and events outfit has moved to
ban it. When delegates convene for Meetings and Events Australia’s annual conference in Sydney in
April, the rules will be clear: no bullet points, no flow charts, no template backgrounds, no awful clip
art and please, for the love of God, no reading from the screen.
What’s a digital-age presenter to do? Revert to old-fashioned story telling. It’s much more
memorable and emotive, according to organisers. Videos and photos are allowed, but no image
may have more than 10 words. Sounds like a giant leap for conference-kind.
“When I gave up
was a sense of ‘Who
am I now?’”
racey Cross clearly isn’t
a self-Googler. “Am
I on Wikipedia?” she
asks, incredulous. Yes,
because she won ten medals in the
swimming pool at three Paralympic games
– Barcelona (1992), Atlanta (1996) and
Sydney (2000). But a chlorine allergy and two
disparate careers later, Tracey is proof that there
is life after international sporting glory. Life, too,
after a career as a lawyer in a big city law firm.
Having worked hard all her life to overcome the
challenges of being blind from birth, the former
WA Youth Citizen of the Year found her calling
as a massage therapist.
“When I gave up swimming there was a sense
of ‘Who am I now?’ which I guess I struggled
with for a few years,” says the 39-year-old, who
was honoured to speak the Paralympic oath at the
Sydney Games. Although she’d squeezed a law
degree into her swimming schedule, she found
practising law didn’t float her boat. A short course
in Swedish massage “just to give myself an outside
interest” proved to be a catalyst into a new career.
“Within the first hour I knew this is what
I wanted to be doing,” says the woman who
confesses to never having been a particularly
tactile person. “I felt at peace doing it, it just felt
really right. And it’s rewarding because you have
an outcome – people walk out feeling better.
Now I feel like I’m giving on an individual level,
whereas law really isn’t that.”
Tracey’s clients regularly tell her she finds
knots in their muscles they don’t know they have
– perhaps from extra sensitivity in her fingertips.
“Because of reading Braille, my fingers have
been trained to be very sensitive, so from that
perspective I get a head start on other masseurs.
But it’s not always about what you feel through
your fingers. A lot of people can tune into other
people’s energy and work at that level as well.”
Tracey runs her remedial massage practice out
of Centro Health in West Perth, and lives nearby
with her guide dog Holly and retired guide dog
Rosie (left). Her business is expanding – she’s
planning to take on more staff – and is positive
about a future without legalese.
“I’m sure when I left law to do massage a lot
of people looked down their noses at me. But a
lot also said, ‘I wish there was something I was
passionate about and wanted to do, because I’d
leave law in a flash’.”
NAME Tracey CrosS
WAS ComMercial lawyer and Paralympic swimMer
NOW MasSage therapist
words Megan Anderson
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