Sydney’s Best Podiatry Crew

Our Magnificent Team

While other teams take themselves very seriously, we just take your problems and treatment seriously!

The team at A Step Ahead are NOT the biggest team in Western Sydney podiatry; they aren’t even the biggest team in Penrith Podiatry! We don’t have chandeliers in our waiting area, and we don’t produce uber-cool TikTok dance pieces.

We are though dedicated, passionate, professional and caring! We are known for being good with kids, making them feel comfortable, heard and the experience fun! Our patients continuously rate super highly regarding satisfaction, and we don’t even have to pay them to do that! Our team will really listen, and we won’t rush you during your consult. We believe medicine isn’t about conditions; it’s about people!

So with all that in mind, the professional caring but not taking ourselves too seriously, here are our team profile! You’ll see that what we’ve said is reflected in those profiles, which you’ll find tend to be a tad tongue in cheek!

Thanks for checking us out, and we hope to get you back to “Happy, Healthy and active” soon!

A-Step-Ahead-Staff-The-Best-Podiatrists-in-Sydney

 

Dr Brenden Brown, Podiatrist

(AKA BB or Doctor Foot)

Dr Brenden Brown, your awesome Podiatrist

BB With one of his patients he is the one NOT in the yellow skirt!

Area of interest:

  • Sports podiatry
  • Musculoskeletal medicine injury
  • Heel pain
  • Occupational/workplace injury Workers Compensation
  • Kids/Paediatric lower limb care
  • Ingrown Nail surgery

 

You could describe Brenden, the founder of A Step Ahead, as engaging, encouraging, enlivening energetic, enthusiastic, vigorous, vital and vivacious and still fall 37 adjectives shy of perfectly describing his passion for work and for life. To say he’s your typical podiatrist is like saying Uluru is just another rock.

How it all began

He began A Step Ahead with the goal of assembling a staff of passionate people with an unquenchable thirst for life. He didn’t just want a team of podiatrists content with the status quo. Instead he wanted a team of podiatrists who dared to think big; who believed that good was the enemy of great; who understood that the harder you work, the wider the window; and who shared his boldness in thinking that they, as a staff, could better the lives of their patients.

To make this goal a reality, he went about organizing a crew. Believing that brilliance feeds brilliance, he, as a rule, only hired people smarter than himself. For as Brenden says, “If I’m the highest denominator, we’re all in trouble.”

And now, after more than 20 years as the face of A Step Ahead (or as he calls himself, “the guy who wears the fez”), his quest for bettering the lives of others has not wavered. Nor has it gone unnoticed. He has appeared on the Today ShowWhat’s Good for YouMornings with Kerri Anne and Current Affair, and has been featured in Men’s HealthCosmopolitan Magazine, the Sydney Morning HeraldNew IdeaThe AustralianThe Daily Telegraph and even the “all-knowing” Dolly Magazine, which described him as an “expert.”

Yet, despite these accolades, the endorsement he prides most came from a potential job candidate who turned down an offer with A Step Ahead under the reasoning, “They are not normal podiatrists. They make their staff work really hard.”

When away from the office, he relishes exploring all of life’s magical possibilities with his wife and daughters.

What patient or patients do you remember most?

One was an older man who could no longer walk his grand kids to school due to severe pain. Soon after we treated him and rectified his pain, he took up bush-walking with his grand kids. And the other patient I remember most was a young man who weighed 160 kilograms. He could not walk past his front gate without pain. So we fitted him with orthoses /insoles, giving him the ability to walk without pain. He then walked so much he returned one year later 45 kilos lighter and in need of new insoles to replace the original pair he wore out.

If you could meet anyone, who would it be?

Wow…Truly no one…Isn’t that crazy? I suppose the question should be framed, “Who do I admire?”…I have long admired Nelson Mandela. I admire former Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam. I admire any person, who despite popular opinion, has looked towards creating change for the greater good.

Do you have any unknown skills, facts or interests?

When I was young I was taken out of school by the Education Department and placed in what I call a “Hippy Camp.” I was selected as a potential “future leader of Australia” and was taught all sorts of crazy leadership and team building skills. I also had a microchip implanted in the back of my neck, which, I’m told, will be remotely activated when the time is right for me to lead the country. You can decide which bit is true.

What’s your biggest flaw?

Music. I would love to be able to read music, but I’m terrible at it. Also, I’m horrific at skipping.

Who would you be if you could live someone else’s life?

No one. I like the life I have. I love building my own life.

Proudest moment?

I have two:

My little girl’s scripture teacher asked her class, “Who would like to go to heaven?” All the kids in the class raised their hands except my daughter. When the teacher asked her, “Don’t you want to go to heaven?” she replied, “No. I like staying with my mum and dad if that’s okay?”

My little girl was moving from one school to another. The principal from the school she was leaving told my wife, “We will miss her. She is a great little girl, she is school captain material.” My wife cried, and then so did I.


 

Dr Alexis Furtado, Podiatrist

Area of interest;

  • Sports podiatry
  • Musculoskeletal Injury rehab
  • Kids/Paediatric lower limb care
  • Ingrown Nail surgery
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Disability management and care

 

Additional professional qualifications / certification

  • Bachelor of Science (Maj in biology)

 

Publications / Lecture / Presentations

2021 Workshop Presenter GPCE General Practice conference Workshop Presenter

To describe Alexis as merely a sports fanatic is an understatement. When asked his preference of TV channel, between movie or sport, he answered, “Sports channel, unless they’re showing a rerun of the 2010 soccer World Cup on HBO.” And often, in between patients, he mimics cricket batting strokes while, we’re guessing, picturing himself hitting a ball outside the waiting room for six. This same obsession Alexis has for soccer and cricket he has for his patients. His engaging demeanour, quick laugh, and keen ability to listen – a massively underrated trait – allow him to immediately bond with any patient regardless of age, background, or whether or not they know Spain defeated the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup.

Alexis also possesses the gift of voice. He sings for his local church and often can be heard quietly harmonizing with the clinic’s sound system, which, for the sake of everyone, especially patients, prompts us to remind him that office policy mandates all singing must be at full volume. Which, come to think of it, is how Alexis, to his credit, pursues life.

Away from work he enjoys spending time with friends and family and, if the setting is right, strumming the guitar before a bonfire over the scent of burnt marshmallows. And while he proudly calls Oz home, he hopes, once COVID restrictions are lifted, to return to India to marry his childhood sweetheart in a traditional ceremony. And based on what we know of Alex, she is one lucky lady, provided, of course, she does not mind watching HBO reruns of the 2010 World Cup.

If you could meet anyone, who would it be?
Cricket superstar, MS Dhoni, for the purpose of learning a lesson or two on how to maintain composure, or at least look like you’re composed in an extremely challenging situation.

List two words to describe yourself:
Jovial and diligent.

What attracted you to A Step Ahead?
The close-knit team environment, the different facilities available for clients in terms of rehab and the in-house orthotic lab! The systematic approach in addressing the different aspects of a presenting complaint and how these treatment modalities were tailored to every client’s needs and requirements.

What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
Chocolate chip.

What is your proudest moment?
Seeing my name on the A Step Ahead business card.


 

Dr Jason Nguyen, Podiatrist

Area of interest;

  • Sports podiatry
  • Musculoskeletal medicine injury
  • Heel pain
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Ingrown Nail surgery

Additional professional qualifications / certification

  • Shockwave Therapy
  • Advanced Injection therapy for podiatric practitioners

Professional Memberships / Associations

  • Sports Medicine Australia

Jason may possibly be our first-ever hire who if given the choice between playing a pick-up soccer game or saving the planet from imminent annihilation would not ask for time to think about it. His competitive fix comes from playing basketball and oztag (non-contact rugby or what we call no-cauliflower-ear rugby) and pushing his limits in the gym powerlifting. Jason, or Jase as he’s known at the office, has the esteemed distinction of being our only staff member who, if asked, can flip, twist and kick while upside down in mid-air (imagine a Cirque du Soleil performer in a lab coat). But his most endearing skill comes from an unwavering belief in the audacity of possibility. Refusing to settle, Jason likes to think big.  Not just big, but really, really big, as evidenced by his admiration for Elon’s Musk’s quest to fly to Mars. If Jason wasn’t helping others as a podiatrist his dream job would to be on stage, singing professionally. But don’t expect to see him at the Sydney Opera House anytime soon. He claims his voice doesn’t carry well outside of the shower. And last we checked there are no shower facilities on the Sydney Opera House’s stage. Which, at the risk of sounding selfish, is great news for us and our patients.

Why should people visit you at A Step Ahead?

Because I genuinely care about my patients and achieving a positive outcome for them. I am willing to continue to learn and improve my skills as a podiatrist to provide the absolute best care I can for every patient.

What are you terrible at?

Spelling. Thank god for modern technology and auto-correct.

If you could live anyone elses life whose would it be and why?

It would have to be Ed Sheeran, so I can live my dream of being a famous singer.

Share a story about a particular patient that had an interesting turnaround or improvement under your care.

A nursing home hairdresser had severe pain on the sole of her foot that showed no improvement after recommended exercise and an orthotic footwear prescription. Upon closer inspection, I discovered hundreds of thousands of almost invisible grey hair splinters in her foot! After debriding the surface of her sole she received almost instant relief.

What’s your proudest moment?

My parents both left their countries at a young age to escape war and to provide me and my siblings better opportunities in life. My getting into university, completing it with distinction, and now working as a podiatrist serves to them as proud justification for their efforts.


 

Noel Milligan

Position;
Front desk “wrangler”
Guy with the answers
Aka reception

Qualifications;
Noel has a very enormous brain and a heart to match but he’s also completed

  • 2 years of a Podiatric medicine degree
  • 2 years of Bachelor of science current (Immunology & Pathology and Infectious Diseases)

Fun fact; Noel has been a patient of the clinic for over 15 years!

Whoever said youth is wasted on the young has never met Noel. (Middle age, in case you’re wondering, is wasted on constantly looking up former romantic crushes on Facebook.) In between stints with us he took two years off to pursue classes in Infectious Diseases, Immunology and Pathology, with the high-minded intent of expanding his medical knowledge so as to better serve the public. It’s a mindset that he attributes to the advice given to him by his brother, John, to simply “be good.” It’s also the mindset that has us convinced that if Noel was any more altruistic he’d be one radioactive spider bite away from being a superhero, minus, or so we hope, the guys-in-tights thing.

Coincidently, Noel, when asked what he would do if he could be a superhero, replied, “Sort out climate change.”

When away from work Noel has the personality of a National Geographic Special. He, to date, has completed more than 500 SCUBA dives. And if he’s not underneath the water, he’s on top of it in his kayak, once paddling as far as 80 kilometres offshore. We’re not certain what prompted him to paddle back but we’re guessing to spend more time on converting his van, named Lily, into a camper. Or perhaps to spend time organizing his passports (he has citizenship in Australia, Ireland and England). Or even maybe to try a new plant-based dish (he’s been vegan since 2017).

When not in or on the water Noel possesses the Gumby-like ability to place both feet behind his head. And from what we know of Noel he’s doing this not for himself but as a podiatric experiment, with the betterment of society in mind, to see if, through contact, athletes foot can cause athletes ear.

If you were an astronaut what planet would you visit?
A planet with an ocean and sustainable atmosphere. I’d like to SCUBA dive off-world!

What’s your favourite Old School song?
This Must Be The Place – Talking Heads

Why should people visit you at A Step Ahead?
We go above and beyond “what is says on the box”. You become a part of our family when you join our practice. We believe in more than just doing the right thing. We aren’t afraid to be the movers and shakers in our field. Know, if it’s cutting edge you’re seeking, that we’re A Step Ahead of the competition. The care here is second to none.

Which country would you most like to visit?
Canada. They have nice people, beautiful National Parks, and I could learn to snowboard.

What’s your proudest moment in life?
I thought I was going to leave high school at the end of year 10. I then went on to graduate with an ATAR of 93.75.


 

Shendi Brown

Position;
Past Practice manager
ASA Team trainer
Shen is no longer working in the business day to day but she is always watching!

Qualifications;
Project management
Change Management
Podiatry Assistant
Diploma of Massage Therapy
Hairdresser (no really she was)

Shendi in glasses

Shendi, yes she's the one without the beard!

Shendi has more titles than Amazon.com. Among them include: podiatry assistant, massage therapist, longest-tenured staff member, office foot lollie distributor, Brenden Brown’s wife (yes, the same Brenden Brown from the bio above, who founded A Step Ahead), Brenden Brown’s go-to girl, and Brenden Brown’s dream instigator. Her expertise in foot care allows her to travel with her husband, attending to the needs of the elderly in aged care facilities and examining the feet of refinery workers in Brewarrina and Bourke.

And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention her title of chocaholic. Shen craves chocolate like koala bears crave eucalyptus leaves. There are some on our staff who suspect Shen is Willy Wonka’s secret love child. But her tastes aren’t limited to chocolate. She also has a fondness for French wine. If not at A Step Ahead, she could see herself working as a cross between Willy Wonka and a French sommelier. But unless France and Switzerland merge and begin producing Château Lafite-Rothschild-filled bontons, we’re confident Shen won’t be leaving us any time soon.

When not attending feet or pursuing chocolate, Shen enjoys cooking, skiing, scuba diving, exercising, and shopping for clothes.


 

Heidi Raketic

Position;
Front desk “Wrangler”
Team Biscuit supplier
Team Pet lover “BB you sure we can’t get a clinic cat? Ok well how about clinic chickens?”
Aka Reception

Qualifications
“Qualified Badass”

Heidi and Dan Georgievski

Heidi and Daniel Georgievski, International football and A-league star

Heidi, or Heids as she’s known at the office, carries the lofty distinction of being the only A Step Ahead employee to ever be awarded Young Australian of the Month. Though she harbours no recollection to what merited her this soaring honour we’re certain that if there was such a thing as Middle-Aged Australian of the Month she would win that too, hands down, for her boundless creativity.

Away from the office, she enjoys cooking, often experimenting with new recipes, giving her the enviable gift of an unbiased pallet. This bears especially true when it comes to ice cream.

When asked to name her favourite flavour, she replied, “All of them!” When not cooking, or entertaining thoughts of becoming a professional taste tester,  she dabbles in art. Though she has no preferred medium, she was once offered $1500 for one of her mosaics.

Yet with so many accomplishments to her life resume, her greatest source of pride comes from hearing compliments directed towards her kids. All worthy recipients, no doubt, in her mind, of the Young Australian of the Month award, if only she could recall what it involves.

What made you decide to join A Step Ahead?

I wanted an opportunity to work in health, and the hours were perfect for my situation.

If you could meet anyone famous, who would it be?

No one really…Is that weird?

If you could live anyone else’s life, who would it be and why?

My husband because he has an awesome wife.

Why do you like working with the Step Ahead Team?

Because they are more like my extended family rather than colleagues.

What are you terrible at?

Managing money.

Heidi and Dan Georgievski

Dan G: “So Heidi I’m going to pretend that I’m here to Learn reception. Please just forget that I’m your favourite A-League player.”
Heidi: “Yes yes yes forget that my faaaaaaaavourite A-League player is sitting inches behind me! Easy yup, I can do that!”

Heidi and Dan Georgievski

Dan: “Hmm, you know if the whole soccer thing doesn’t work out Heidi I think I might give this a try”
Heidi: “Is it getting hot in here? OK, so I’m concentrating! I’ll point to this. That’ll look professional”

Heidi and Dan Georgievski

Heidi: “OK, I give up! I can’t keep this up”
Dan: “Nice try, Heids. Nice Try!”


 

Trenna

Official Position: Bookkeeper
Unofficial Position: Mother Hen, Keeper of Keys, Brenden Brown’s Auxiliary Memor

Qualifications;
Bachelor General Studies Bachelor Teaching

We view our employees as family. So call us thrilled when Trenna, or Tren as her friends call her, held us in high enough regard to return for a second go with us.  When she agreed to return it made for one fine day. Which, for shameless segue purposes, happens to be the title – One Fine Day – of a George Clooney movie. And George Clooney happens to be one of two people – the other being West Indian cricket player, Viv Richards – who Trenna would love to meet. So George, if you’re reading this, try to fit Tren into your schedule. Make it happen and we’ll provide you with a free bunion massage. See? This is what families do: support each other.

Unfortunately, however, we can’t help in her desire to live the life of Queen Elizabeth for her autonomy from mundane household chores like cooking and ironing clothes.  While we, if queen, would focus on more glamorous royalty perks (doesn’t require a license to drive, on the Pope’s Christmas card list, can make jokes about Boris Johnson’s hair without fear of recourse) this is what endears us to Trenna: her sensible honesty, which she, as no surprise to us, champions as her strongest quality.

Though she always entertained thoughts of working as a lawyer, Trenna, prior to rejoining us, served as a school teacher, where she enjoyed shedding her normally shy demeanour to dance and sing with her young students. (A good career choice since judges, we’ve been told, frown upon lawyers dancing and singing in court.)

When away from work, Trenna enjoys diamond painting, following cricket, especially the T20, and binge-watching the legal dramas All Rise, The Spilt and How to Get Away With Murder. And though it’s not the chore-free life of Queen Elizabeth, hopefully, she can take cheer in knowing that thanks to her brilliant work rarely a day passes that we, especially Brenden’s memory, don’t utter, “God save the bookkeeper.”

What two words describe you best?
Organised and meticulous.

What are you terrible at?
Telling people “no.” I have been told that I am too kind-hearted and that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I find it hard to say no to people, as I don’t like disappointing or hurting them.

What Attracted You to A Step Ahead?
I was taking a break from teaching and was very interested in accounting and bookkeeping. I saw a job ad for a A Step Ahead and liked what I saw when I visited its website.

Favourite ice cream flavour?
Royal Copenhagen’s Old Fashioned Toffee.

What’s Your Proudest Moment?
Completing uni. I graduated in the top two percent of my class and scored, in the majority of my units, a High Distinction. Upon graduating I became the first member of my extended family to successfully complete a uni degree!