Lucinda Pullar gave up a professional soccer career to study medicine at Bond University in 2018.
Now in the final year of the Medical Program, the 23-year-old’s journey has come full circle and she is back playing elite sport for the Brisbane Lions in the AFLW.
The former Brisbane Roar midfielder joined Bond’s AFL club as a bit of fun between classes after meeting players in the campus gym.
“When I started at Bond I only had eyes for medicine,” Ms Pullar says. “That’s natural because it is really exciting and you can become infatuated. It’s a brilliant career with amazing people.
“But the sporting side of things has given me an opportunity I never knew I had.
“I feel quite indebted to the Bond footy club because if it wasn’t for Bond AFL, I definitely would not be at the Lions.
“It’s funny - I came to Bond to study medicine and ended up having the doors open to becoming a professional athlete again.”
A former Australian schoolgirl soccer player, Ms Pullar’s talent landed her a scholarship with the University of Southern California in Los Angeles where she studied and played for two seasons, also winning a NCAA division 1 national title.
After playing soccer all over the world, she has found her home in Bond University’s AFL club and her rise in the code has been meteoric.
She was named Bull Sharks club player of the year two years in a row and was drafted by the Brisbane Lions – the team she has supported all her life.
Ms Pullar also took out the award for Best First Year Player at the AFLW's Season 2022 Best and Fairest Awards.
“You have to stop and reflect,” she says.
“I’m playing for the Brisbane Lions, I’m playing with all these exceptional players.
“Two of my teammates are the first to hit 50 games in the AFLW.
“I have worked hard but I’ve gotten so lucky to find my way onto this side.
“The people at the helm of Bond footy - David Ashkar, Michael Swann, Luke Mansbridge, all the support staff, people like Paris Lightfoot who have been there from day dot - they are the backbone of the club.
“It is a fun, welcoming culture and when you are having fun and enjoying what you are doing and who you are doing it with, it is hard not to have success.”
Ms Pullar is juggling her AFLW commitments with her second rotation at Wesley Hospital in Brisbane.
She hopes to remain active around the Bull Sharks AFL club whenever she gets a chance.
“I’m excited to become a doctor and be impactful and contribute to both colleagues and the patients,” she says.
“Obviously as a junior doctor you are very inexperienced and you have so much more to learn.
“Your career is only just getting started and you are figuring out what you want to do and where you want to go with medicine.
“I’ve built some good sustainable skills that will carry me through when I’m a doctor but it is another ball game when you are employed and are accountable to the patients and colleagues.
“But I’ll always try to stay in touch with Bond’s AFL club - there are so many wonderful people there.”