There’s more to good health than good medicine and Austinmer’s Dr Paul Hoskins is living proof.
One of the founding doctors at Village Practice in Woonona, Paul embodies what it means to be a healthy member of the community.
Originally from Byron Bay, this ocean-loving doctor came to the Illawarra for his internship and never left!
Now married and living in Austinmer, Paul is a concerned global citizen who is bringing his health philosophies to the Northern Illawarra.
He swims in the ocean every day, loves the community centred around Austi Ocean Pool and is using space in the Village Practice carpark to grow vegetables!
“Getting your hands dirty gives you purpose and reward,” he says. “It’s a fundamental of life.
“You don’t have to grow everything,” he says, “just something. It’s a pathway to health!”
WALKING THE TALK
In addition to swimming, growing food and serving as a health professional, Paul has instigated the Ocean Plastic Patrol- a weekly group of families who meet before school to collect litter from Austinmer beach.
“Research shows one of the most important factors to longevity is a sense of community,” says Paul. “Village Practice is working to bring people together by creating environments that are enjoyable.
“The Ocean Plastic Patrol gives primary school kids the opportunity to be active, and it gives them a purpose. The kids to have fun while they do something for the community.
“Some mornings it’s cold, so they’re learning about commitment. It’s a job that needs to be done and it gives the kids a sense of responsibility.”
Paul says the Ocean Plastic patrol connects our personal health with the health of the planet.
“The kids are not staring at screens and they’re learning to make decisions that affect the health of the planet. Meanwhile, the parents are also making connections.
“It’s beneficial for the kids to do this every week,” says Paul. “It extends the doctor-patient relationship out of the clinic and provides a true benefit for everyone.”