Life Changing Results as Ever Better Bunch Tap Into Healthy Towns

There’s a common refrain when talking to members of Woolgoolga’s Ever Better Bunch. It starts with ‘I didn’t think the gym was for me…’ and is followed closely by ‘…but this has changed my life’.

The Ever Better Bunch is a group of eight blokes aged from their mid 40s through to 60s who are put through their paces twice a week at Woolgoolga’s Nexus Gym. They came together under the umbrella of the Woolgoolga Healthy Towns project, funded by Healthy North Coast.

Local Damon Greenwood was the prime mover behind the group’s formation in January 2019.

Damon started the Ever Better Bunch as part of his recovery process from earlier traumatic events in his life. He noticed other males in their 40s and older who were also isolated and struggling and encouraged them to join.

“I thought this could be the first step to getting them back into the community and back into a group of like-minded people, to support each other as a group and every day get a little bit better,” he said.

By any measure the idea has been a huge success. As well as catching up at the gym they also socialise together, support one another and have collectively lent a hand to others in the community.

As an example of the fitness benefits, Damon said seven months into the program the group as a whole had an average one per cent weight loss, but up to 15 per cent reduction in body fat.

Several of the group attribute remarkable recoveries from major operations and life-threatening illness to their improved health and fitness.

Damon sees great potential in expanding the exercise program beyond Woolgoolga.

“There isn’t a town in Australia that won’t have a bunch of guys who need something like this,” he said.

The Ever Better Bunch put a lot of their success down to Nexus Gym instructor Marty Symmons, who has overseen their program from the beginning.

Marty mixes up the sessions between strength and cardio work. He also tailors the sessions with mobility training that incorporates yoga moves. Several of the group have gone from being yoga sceptics to regular practitioners and now sing its praises.

“We’re meant to move and interact as humans,” Marty said. “Unfortunately, there’s less of that happening. We’re designed to move, not sit down and be on our phones all day.”

He says interaction and the non-competitive nature of the group is great for mental health.

“One of the things I like to do is send them on recovery walks around the block between sets,” Marty said. “This allows them to catch their breath and connect with the experience together.”

This story was written before COVID-19 distancing guidelines came into effect. We’ll follow up with the group to find out what they’re up to now.

Update provided 21 April 2022.

As you know, Lismore Skin Clinic in Molesworth Street was destroyed in the recent floods, and we are trying to rebuild the site as soon as we can.

In the meantime we will be moving to St Vincent’s Hospital Specialist Medical Centre – Level 4, Suite 12 – 20 Dalley Street Lismore.

We hope to be up and running in the next two weeks (by early to mid May 2022) and our receptionists will soon begin calling our patients to rebook their appointments and catch up with their needs.

Once we have a firm opening date we will update this notification.

Our email address – [email protected] and our phone number – 02 6621 3500 will remain the same as in the past. Only the address changes for a while.

We look forward to seeing you soon in our new premises.

Many thanks for your patience and understanding in these heartbreaking times – stay safe.

Dr Gudmundsen and the Team from Lismore Skin Clinic


Contact our Education Team

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Nigel Cronin
Senior Manager, Education
[email protected]
0437 169 786
02 6627 3390
Based on Bundjalung Country in Lismore

Bronwyn Thirkell
Centre for Healthcare Knowledge & Innovation and Education and Events Coordinator NNSW
[email protected]
0437 027 751
02 6618 5445
Based on Bundjalung Country in Ballina

Krissi Devlin
Education and Events Coordinator MNC
[email protected]
0447 407 473
02 6659 1808
Working days: Monday Thursday.
Based on Gumbaynggirr Country in Coffs Harbour

Mental Health Practitioner Directory

Frequently Asked Questions

Any AHPRA or AASW registered mental health practitioner providing services in the Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW.

Social workers, psychotherapists and counsellors are ineligible to list in the directory.

By listing, you will let GPs, other referrers and consumers know that you are practising in Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW. You can provide information such as where you are located, the services you provide, the population groups you support and your clinical interests.

No, the directory is a free service provided by Healthy North Coast.

This directory enables you to provide real-time information about your availability to accept referrals, as well as how long people may have to wait for an appointment. You can update this information as your availability changes. This will help GPs and other referrers ensure they only refer clients to practitioners who have the capacity to see them.

It also has a range of advanced search options and supports printing and bookmarking of search results.

You can choose to display your email address and your phone number so that people can contact you directly. You may prefer not to display these, in which case people can contact you by completing an enquiry form located in the Directory. Your choices can be updated anytime.

You can indicate wait times for an appointment for a new client or that you are currently unable to accept new referrals. You can also choose whether to display or hide your contact details. You can update your choices at any time.

Yes, you can update your listing or remove it at any time by clicking the “update practitioner details” button on your listing. You will receive a secure website link to your nominated admin email that will enable you to make changes, delete or put your listing on hold. You can also show when you are taking extended leave or are not available for a specific period, rather than completely removing your listing.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date.

You will be responsible for managing the information in your listing and ensuring that it is up to date. You will also be asked to check the information before it is published in the directory.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date so that the directory displays accurate information.

You can read the full Terms of Use by clicking here.