Geelong it’s time to meet the new you.

Posted: 26th Feb

David Currell –Barwon Health Theatre Technician

From wet suit to scrubs

Out on the waves is not the most obvious place to find your next career.  But one beautiful Torquay day, in between sets, that’s exactly where Dave Currell found his dream job.  A friend waiting with him for the next wave,  told Dave there was a theatre technician position coming up at Barwon Health. 


Dave had enjoyed a long and successful career, starting out as a Phys Ed teacher and moving into retail.  In 17 years in the surf industry he started up four stores and then worked as manager of the Torquay Globe International Store  but was ready for a new challenge.  “My friend was a theatre technician and I had been asking him heaps about his job.  I liked the sound of it and I was ready for a change.”


Dave has always enjoyed helping people.  That was what drew him to education and retail, but now he was ready to step up, to help people at their most vulnerable, in the moments right before their surgery begins. A theatre technician prepares the theatre for each specific surgery, and then welcomes, comforts and settles the patient ready for their procedure. 

Dave applied for the job and found his transferrable skills got him over the line, even without any relevant experience.  “It’s everything I hoped it would be, and more.”


After an easy 20 minute drive from his Torquay home, Dave starts his day checking the booking schedule for theatre procedures for the day. “Then it’s my job to ensure the theatre I am allocated to on the day is set up perfectly for each procedure.  From sourcing, preparing and warming up specialised equipment to positioning the patient, I am an integral part of the team and the surgical process.” It’s a responsibility Dave relishes. 


“The patient has a lot of people coming at them. They are out of their comfort zone and feeling quite vulnerable.  What is every day for us is very confronting for them.  So it’s an opportunity for me to offer an act of kindness in that moment, when a person might need it most.” Dave’s interpersonal skills and knowledge of physiology have transferred neatly into his new role.  “I love people and I enjoy the caring side of my work.”  Dave is involved in all kinds of operations but his all-time favourite are caesareans.  “Joyous!”  is his words.

Dave’s new career in health is also a secure employment choice. In Geelong, like most of the rest of Australia, health and allied health is our largest regional growth industry.  The healthcare and social assistance sector is the largest employer in our region, and remains its fastest growing industry. Between 2006 and 2016 careers in caring  in the Geelong region increased by 54.2%.

Entry level jobs often require little or no previous experience and an ATAR or university degree is not a pre-requisite. Opportunities in health, like Dave’s Theatre Technician job, offer you the chance to start your career and learn on the job at the same time.

Careers in Caring are a diverse choice of occupations, including highly skilled professional positions at one of our internationally recognised health facilities: Deakin University Hospital /Barwon Health, Geelong Private, St John of God and Epworth Hospitals. State of the art childcare and aged care facilities present a surprising range of professional and entry level roles in direct care and support.

Surgeons, specialist nurses and researcher roles are amongst the fastest growing professions. Geelong’s careers in caring reflect the demands of both an aging population looking for an active and healthy retirement, and young families moving here for the unbeatable combination of lifestyle, work, education and recreation opportunities.This is great news for career seekers of all ages.

Dave Currell is striding down a new career pathway with the same ambition and commitment that brought him earlier success in education and retailing.  “As well as completing Certificate 4 with the Gordon. I am currently training to become a specialist technician in cell saving. “ 

To gain an up-to-the minute guide as to what employers value in experience, training and skills, see Geelong Careers in Caring live job feed where you will find position descriptions for all kinds of roles in this engaging, fast paced and promising sector.

For more about health careers in  Geelong, see  Careers in Caring