Handworks was initially set up by colleagues and friends, Julie Rouse and Sarah Waldin.
Julie qualified as a physiotherapist in the UK in 1981, moving to NZ in 1986. She pursued a special interest in Hand Therapy whilst working at Middlemore Hospital where she was Section Manager for Hand Therapy (1990-1996), before leaving to have a family.
Sarah, a New Zealand trained physiotherapist, qualified in 1994 and also developed a special interest in hand therapy while working at Middlemore with Julie.
Together, in February 1997, they set up Handworks in response to the need for a specialist hand therapy service in central Auckland. The first clinic was initially based in the Cornwall Medical Centre in Royal Oak. By 2006 Handworks had outgrown this site and shifted to 216 Great South Rd, Greenlane as the main rehabilitation centre.
Both Sarah and Julie were always actively involved in Hand Therapy NZ, and also in teaching of junior Hand Therapists through the AUT Masters programme.
Julie was the chair of the HTNZ ACC committee for over a decade. Her role was instrumental to the establishment of the ACC Hand Therapy Contract, and she was acknowledged for this in 2014 by being named a life member of HTNZ, an honour held by only a few.
Very sadly, Julie passed away in January 2016 after a year-long battle with cancer. Her role within Handworks and in the wider Hand Therapy community will not be forgotten. She is remembered as a highly professional, fun-loving woman and an inspiring leader. She was passionate about providing a high quality Hand Therapy service that was fundamentally patient-focused. She is sorely missed at Handworks and she has left a great legacy.