After being seriously injured jackaroo Gary Watson can never return to work on the land, but has moved on to become an aged carer for the Wesley Mission.
After being seriously injured jackaroo Gary Watson can never return to work on the land, but has moved on to become an aged carer for the Wesley Mission. Supplied

Former jackaroo finds inspiration

AFTER 20 years of life on the land Gary Watson’s dream career was devastatingly cut short.

The jackaroo was seriously injured in 2009 when the horse he was breaking in fell on him, dislocating Gary’s shoulder and causing two torn rotator cuffs.

The 56-year-old sought medical treatment at Mackay Hospital immediately after the accident, but was misdiagnosed and sent home with pain killers.

Three months of agony and Gary finally sought a second opinion from a specialist and discovered the severe extent of his injuries.

After shoulder surgery Gary accepted he could never return to work at the beloved Central Queensland cattle property he oversaw.

But he said he didn’t want to become a pensioner or be “put out to pasture” and has since found satisfaction as an aged carer for the Wesley Mission in Bundaberg.

“It’s been difficult, and the light at the end of the tunnel was a long, long way off, but in the end it has proved a positive and rewarding change,” Gary said.

“It’s given me the attitude not to take things for granted.”

Gary’s inspirational story has led him to be nominated for Q-COMP’s Return to Work Awards for 2011.

With the help of Return to Work Assist, a free program connecting injured workers with training and job services, Gary investigated his options and completed a course to become an assistant nurse before undertaking vocational training with the Wesley Mission.

The Return to work Awards is the only event in Queensland celebrating the perseverance of injured workers who get back to work, along with those who help them get there.

If you would like to nominate someone go to qcompconference.com.au.

The Return to Work Awards recognise each finalist with a certificate, and award winners receive up to $2000 in prize money.

Nominations close on July 8.

If you nominate someone let us know by emailing Emma Mcbryde.



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