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Team Members

Neil Smith Portrate Photo
Neil Smith
Foot Alignment Clinic - Beth Fechner Podiatrist
Beth Fechner
Gavin east West Physio
Gavin Johnston

Neil Smith | Pedorthist

Neith Smith Pedorthist and Inventor
Neil Smith
The Foot Alignment Clinic

Neil Smith is a Certified Pedorthist C.Ped.Au, specialising in Orthotics and Biomechanics. He has worked in the Orthotic industry for over 30 years and either personally made or overseen the manufacture of more than 250,000 pairs of orthotics. His clients have included, Australian representative sportspeople in Cricket, Rugby League, AFL, Soccer, Netball, Basketball, Rugby Union, Running and Boxing. Thousands of non-athletes and children with painful foot and lower limb pain have also benefited from Neil’s orthotics.

For many years Neil has worked closely with private and public hospitals, and it is this vast experience which has given him a sound knowledge of most conditions which can be treated with orthotic therapy. He has also made orthotics from the VFAS, for patients at Temple University Foot and Ankle Hospital in Philadelphia where he has donated a VFAS device.

He has held workshops on the VFAS in the USA, Manchester England and Universities in NSW. He was also a winner on the ABC’s New Inventors in 2007 and interviewed on 2GB Radio by Dr Graham about the VFAS and orthotics along with many newspaper articles.

Neil began work on the VFAS in the mid-1990s after attending University, when he became convinced there must be a better and more accurate way to prescribe and make orthotics. The system was almost five years in the development phase and has been rigorously tested with University Research and patients with foot and lower limb pain from poor foot posture. Read some of the testimonials Neil has received from patients who have benefited from the VFAS.

All VFAS orthotics are made in Neil’s Vertical Orthotics Laboratory in Marrickville, Sydney.

Neil is a former champion amateur boxer, winning two state titles for NSW in 1989, 1991 and silver at the 1991 Australian titles. He also represented Australia at the 1992 Oceania Games. He is the inventor of Sports Armour, custom made protection for contact sports, which has been worn by leading rugby league and rugby union players and boxers. He is married to Rachel and has 3 children, Angus Ava and Ruby


Gavin Johnston | Physiotherapist

Gavin east West Physio
Gavin Johnston
EastWest Physio
Hunters Hill

Gavin Johnston is a physiotherapist with over ten years of private practice experience. He has had a special interest in biomechanics and postural problems and has worked in Australia, England and Austria with a wide variety of patients, including full-time athletes such as the Newcastle Knights team, Australian Ski team, national level rowers, elite ballet dancers and various rugby teams. He is currently practice principal of East West physiotherapy in Hunters Hill.

Gavin injured his back at 17 and suffered sciatica during his university years. He found manual therapy provided excellent short-term relief but was of little long-term benefit. It was not until he started yoga that he realized the importance of balanced muscles. As Gavin’s back began to heal he could not understand why his buttock muscle would not release like the rest of his muscles were. “It was then I discovered my foot posture was the cause if my misaligned hips and, hence, my permanently overworked hip muscles,” says Gavin.

“After wearing custom orthotics for a few weeks the sciatic nerve was released from my tight buttock muscles (piriformis syndrome). I have applied the principals of biomechanical balance to my patients ever since.”

“The weight bearing casting methodology used in Neil’s Foot Alignment System is anatomically, biomechanically and clinically superb.”


Beth Fechner | Podiatrist

Beth Fechner | Experienced in Podiatry and High Risk Feet.   Originally from Melbourne, Podiatrist Beth Fechner completed her studies at La Trobe University in 2008. She studied Podiatry to help people with pain and keep them active. Beth has worked in Hobart and Sydney, mostly in private practice. She spent 2 years at the Royal Hobart Hospital working with “high-risk feet” – people at risk of ulcers or amputation.   Beth has experience working with people of all activity levels, from pre-schoolers to 90+ year olds.“Keeping active is vital for our physical and mental health, and in the later years our independence. Since commencing work with Neil and the Vertical Foot Alignment System in 2016, I have been able to correct foot posture within the tissue’s ability to move, therefore produce more effective orthotics. I had not been able to consistently achieve this when using traditional casting methods.”      Beth and her partner Antony keep active with their Labrador, Ralph, kicking his favourite soccer ball or walking around Sydney’s beautiful parks, and swimming in summer.    If you live in the Leichhardt area, please use the form to request a callback and make an appointment.