Paul galy oam


Paul Galy is a certified Medical Grade Footwear Practitioner Custom Made (highest level), competent in the design and manufacture specialised and customised footwear. 


Paul has undertaken professional development to maintain his  professional standards in his qualifications of orthotist, prosthetist and pedorthist.  He has annual creditation with the Medical Grade Footwear Practitioners Association. 

Paul is asked from time to time to lecture to the Post-Polio Network of NSW and the Marie-Charcot-Tooth Association.  

This is an edited version of a lecture Paul gave to The Post-Polio Network (NSW) Inc on 7 March 2003...

I would like to provide you with some background of my professional expertise.

I am firstly an orthotist trained in the tradition of making orthotics, calipers, splints, and other prosthetic devices.

I am secondly a qualified prosthetist.  I make prostheses for lower-limb amputees, for example.   In this instance I would usually make a "false forefoot".  Some people have two different sized feet and it is very important for aesthetic reasons to make a false front to the shoe so that both limbs will look identical.

My third qualification is that of pedorthist.  Pedorthists make foot appliances and medical grade footwear (orthopaedic shoes and boots).

I am a third-generation pedorthist.  My father started his practice in Australia in 1956, when my family arrived in this country.  I was nine years old at the time.  My father was in his late fifties and had great difficulty learning a new language.  As a result, I would attend work with him at 6:00 am every morning, to act as interpreter for his clients, who he would see between 7:00 and 9:00 am.  And then after school, between 3;30 and 7:00 pm, I would also be there to interpret.

I completed my apprenticeship with my father in 1965.  I then attended the McMaster's College in Hamilton, Canada, where I completed two courses in prosthetics and graduated as an orthotist.   On my return to Australia I resumed working with father.

My father had a special interest in making shoes and appliances for polio survivors.  The effects of polio is the result of nerve injury by the polio virus which results in the loss of muscle function.  He explored how the lower limbs react in terms of weight-bearing and altered function.

The complications of polio were also very important considerations.  For example, the heel bearing most of the weight may develop hard, thick and sensitive skin.  Painful cracks may also develop, which may weep, making the client prone to infections.  Painful ulcers commonly result.   There are simple effective ways of preventing this scenario.

My father passed his knowledge about the foot-care management of polio on to me.  In the last 30 years I have been asked many times to speak at venues, but have declined because of my busy practice.  I treat a large number of diverse clients.  They suffer from vascular disorders, diabetes, arthritic deformities, trauma (or accident) cases, stroke, MS (multiple sclerosis), as well as polio survivors.  I have some clientele who travel from South Africa, New Zealand, Noumea, Japan and the far reaches of Australia.  I have some clientele who have been attending for over thirty years.

I have a particular way of running my practice: dress is always casual, t-shirt and jeans the norm.   Once a client is accepted, we become friends - for example, a first-name basis is used - the aim is for clients to feel free to express their concerns, specific needs, expectations and sensitive problems.  In this environment we usually achieve optimal results.

Footwear needs to be functional, comfortable and aesthetic.  The client shouldn't walk with a limp if possible.  Aesthetics is important - the footwear should not look bulky or heavy and I have become skilled at this over many years.  Mobility is particularly important.  If it is restricted, all other bodily functions become adversely affected.  If the client sits all day because they can't mobilise, they gain weight, retain water, become constipated, their muscle bulk wastes - all this causes further immobility - a vicious cycle.  Everyone who can should break out of this cycle, with the cornerstone being to improve mobility.  This will ultimately improve their quality of life.

There are a large number of polio survivors who have managed with ready-made shoes, stuffed with stockings, built up by unqualified untrained shoe repairers. Lots of you have recently seen specialists who have referred you to podiatrists.  Many of them have never seen a polio survivor, but they have attempted to make an orthotic devised to be put into ready-made shoes.  Most of them have not worked, mainly because they simply do not fit into ready-made shoes.  So they might try to put them into oversized joggers, which go out of shape quickly and do not provide support. Coping becomes more difficult.

With his emphasis on customer service it is not hard to see why some clients have been seeing Paul for over thirty years.  His busy practice, Starbright Orthopaedic Shoes, is located at 80A Blair Street, Bondi NSW 2026, and he can be contacted on +612 9130 3117.


(See History page in David Windsor Shoemakers website)

Paul's enthusiasm for painting has always been an essential part of his life.  He identifies as artist as well as medical grade footwear practitioner.  He has explored numerous styles of art, including oil painting, relief and acrylics.  Oil painting has been his predominant style.  He has always painted under the pseudonym Paul Galy, which, for simplicity and consistency, he has also adopted as his professional trade name. 

In 1967, he had his first exhibition of paintings at the Norman Lindsay Art Gallery.  He has subsequently built up an extensive collection of paintings over the years. 

In 1989, he completed a series of large oil paintings known as The Australian Commemorative Series.  The series consists of twelve very large oil paintings, each one 2 metres x 1.25 metres in size, depicting major historical events that portray Sydney’s development, in twenty-year steps from 1788 to 2008.  Each painting had been extensively researched and carefully planned to be as historically accurate as possible.  The undertaking became a family project.  This ambitious project included the development of a book that Paul published in Australia outlining Australia’s history, known as The Australian Commemorative Series: An Australian History Through Sydney’s Eyes.  Paul's son researched and wrote the book, each chapter providing a chronological historical account of the twenty-year period in which the historical event is set, and a detailed narrative of the historical event being depicted.  Originally known as The Sydney Spectrum, the paintings became The Australian Commemorative Series because Paul planned to complete the series for the 1988 Bicentenary.  A serious accident, however, incapacitated Paul which delayed the completion until 1989.  The paintings have been exhibited a number of times in Australia, including in Waverley, Randwick, Sydney, Blue Mountains and Yass, between 1989 and 2001. 

The Limited Edition Australian Commemorative Series Art-History Book and Limited Edition Prints are now available through this website. 

Paul has exhibited other thematic series of paintings, including:

·        The Circus is in Town, consisting of a very colourful and whimsical series of 101 oils and acrylic paintings of clowns, in Balgowlah in 1995.

·        Mongrel Series, consisting of large oil canvases composed of a anthropomorphic canines, in Leura in 1997.

·        Australia Day Series and Outback Australiana Series, consisting of oil paintings depicting Australia Day Sydney Harbour scenes and outback landscapes with sheep and cattle, in Darling Point in 2000.

(see Artwork pages)

Paul Galy the Artist


Paul Galy the Medical Grade Footwear Practitioner