Tony Flanagan graduated from Lincoln Institute of Technology in 1982. In January of 1983 he started work at the Royal Children’s Hospital as a junior physiotherapist for a 12 month period gaining valuable experience in 3 areas of physiotherapy, namely cardiothoracic/chest physiotherapy, Neuro physiotherapy and orthopaedic physiotherapy. The last of these areas was always his interest but he valued the time at the Royal Children’s Hospital to develop a general knowledge of the medical model and more specifically an insight into orthopaedic or musculoskeletal physiotherapy. During this year he regularly attended, as an observer, to Mr Bill Juliano, a physiotherapist in the city of Melbourne.
At the end of 1983, Tony applied for a 6 week locum position at a private practice in Carlton. He completed this in February of 1984 and at the end of this period he worked not only for that practice but on a permanent/part-time basis for 5 different clinics throughout Melbourne including CBD, Carlton, St Albans, Templestowe and Chadstone. By the end of 1984 he thought he was well enough equipped to start his own practice. Having recently married and moved to Northcote, he started Fairfield Physiotherapy and Sports Injuries Centre in Railway Place, Fairfield. Although Tony enjoyed his first endeavours into his own private practice, he thought his knowledge could be enhanced further and hence in 1986 he undertook full time study at Lincoln Institute, gaining a post-graduate diploma in manual physiotherapy. During this year, Tony employed a full-time locum but also worked on a part-time basis in order to maintain contact during this study year.
At the beginning of 1987 he returned to full time private practice and during this year changed locations from railway place to the current location in Station St, Fairfield. It was also in 1987 that he began a long association with Amcor, and he worked on a permanent/part-time basis as an industrial physiotherapist until the closure of the Fairfield Mill in December of 2012.
Tony has continued to work in the same practice and all the while continuing to do professional development underpinned by a strong interest in the McKenzie method of mechanical diagnosis and therapy. He uses a McKenzie approach with a strong emphasis on patient education and involvement in the management of their musculoskeletal conditions which has provided a framework for not only Tony’s practice but also the other physiotherapists within the practice, all of whom have had training in the McKenzie method as well as other professional development within and outside the practice.
Tony has also worked at the TAC as a member of the inaugural clinical panel from 1994 through to 2009, only stopping this association when the TAC moved to Geelong. During this period Tony published 2 articles, Maintenance physiotherapy in 2000 and Justifying the Ongoing Physiotherapy in Long-term Patients (2006). Tony has a strong interest in all musculoskeletal conditions with a special interest in the management of low back pain and cervicogenic headaches.