Updated: May 21, 2018

Julie Isbill

Thrivher Achievements:

  • Became a Doctor of Medicine 2016

  • Founder of Swimming School: Pacific Jules

  • Founder of Ocean Swimming squad: Bold and Beautiful

  • Female winner Bondi to Watson’s Bay Swim 2005 & 2006 (10 km)

  • Winner of the Ocean Swims Distance Tally in Australia 2006-2007 season

  • Rottnest Channel Solo Swim 2006, 2007, 2008 x 2, 2009, 2010, 2016 x 2, 2017 x 6 (19.7 km)

  • Rottnest Channel Solo Return 2015 (39.4 km)

  • English Channel Swim 2016 (33.8 km)

  • The Catalina Channel Swim 2015 (35 km)

  • Manhattan Island Swim 2017 (48 km)

  • Cook strait Ocean Swim 2018 (26 km)

Thrivher Dive

I can’t start the day without: A swim in the ocean

Best read of all time: Life of Pi by Yann Martel and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Non-negotiable: Swimming and Sleeping

Most random job: Picking tomatoes and aubergines

Mindful habits: Swimming

My biggest fear: Spiders

Go-to for fun: Swimming… Well, it’s all I do! (as well as being a doctor)


Did you always know what you wanted to do as a career and did that influence your studies?

I had always wanted to practise Medicine, as far back as I can remember. Unfortunately, by the time I was finishing school I had a boyfriend, which really took my attention away from my studies and I didn’t get the grades I needed to study Medicine.

I began a Higher National Diploma - if I could get enough credits during the first year I would be able to transfer directly onto the second year of an Honours Degree course to then pursue Medicine. I did very well in my Honours Degree, but decided I really needed to start earning some money, so took a position in a hospital undertaking skin cancer research and decided not to continue with medicine at that time. From there I got a job at GlaxoSmithKline doing data management; designing databases for clinical trials.

What was the next most defining point in your career?

I moved to Australia, after a couple of years in similar fields of work to what I’d been doing in England, I still yearned to practise Medicine.