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LIFTING SPIRITS, How ACIRT has helped lighten Ian’s load

Even the sight of the sloping hills and cliffs around Sydney’s Eastern beaches is enough to send a stabbing pain through crane driver Ian McIvor’s back.

“Those hills around Bronte and Coogee had my name on them – I always got the steep set-ups,’’ Ian said.

The down side to being that specialist was that in recent years Ian and his dogman would often have to lug up to 70 timber beams into position to set up a base stack for the crane. Not surprisingly, his back eventually gave out in 2019.

What followed was years of shooting pain, cortisone injections, surgery, one foot dropping lower than the other and hobbling around with a walking stick.

Worse still, Ian, 55, spent months fighting for insurance and compensation. He and wife Liz, who care for their son Hayden – who has cerebral palsy – found the struggle draining.

‘’I mean especially because I’d never missed a day’s work. It didn’t matter who I worked for or what I was doing I’d show up every single day. Never used any sick days.’’

Ian, who came to Australia from Northern Ireland 32 years ago, said he had never really given dwelled on the advantages of being an ACIRT member but “it was a comfort knowing it was there in the background’’.

He now takes solace in knowing his ACIRT benefit will help support him in a time of financial need. ‘’I’m happy to let it lie there for the moment but it does give me peace of mind knowing it’s there when I need it a bit down the track.’’

While replying to an email from his insurance company recently, Ian also stumbled onto another bonus that came with ACIRT membership.

“I was about to log out but I noticed this email pop up from ACIRT asking people to complete a survey.’’ A few weeks later he learned that, by completing the survey, his name had randomly been chosen to win a Mikita combo toolkit worth $1130. He hopes that his mates and a brother-in-law might put the tools to good use refurbishing the family bathroom, including putting in handrails that he and Hayden need.

“I’d never won anything in my life. It was out of the blue and it made me feel that maybe my luck has changed. And it needed to change.’’