25 years of Wavelength

Supporting Doctors. Impacting Healthcare.

7 min | We are Wavies

Celebrating 25 years of trust, expertise, and support for doctors, we’re marking our 25th anniversary milestone with reflection on our growth so far and optimism for the future. 

The journey started in 1999, when Recruitment Consultant Claire Ponsford and Dr John Bethell, who first came to Australia from Scotland as a medical graduate, joined forces to form a medical recruitment company with the aim of helping internationally trained doctors build their dream career in Australia. The pair knew that creating a supportive and nurturing workplace would ensure healthcare clients, doctors and partners would receive the same level of care, support and understanding. 

Claire and John circle

Claire and John - Wavelength's Founders

Speaking of the initial partnership, Claire says, “I think it's unusual within a business partnership, to have worked together for 25 years and supported each other in both personal and business challenges, and to have had, you know, very robust discussions, but never one argument. I think it's quite rare.” 

John adds, “When Claire and I started Wavelength it was just two of us for two years. And you know, we had a discussion right at the beginning, ‘how are we going to work together?’ And we covered those things off in a in a general sense. But the time when I understood Claire's values and the strength of her character, it was very early on, when my father got sick and I had to drop everything and go back to Europe. Claire could easily have called it, but she demonstrated her character at the very beginning. And that’s still the way we do things, we look after each other.” 

The company values that were formed in those early days still ring true today, and resonate with all Wavies, both in their professional and personal lives.  

“The values are so meaningful to others because they're authentic,” Claire explains. “They come from a place within us. I've always felt that we need to be proud of the business. And if it doesn't reflect our values, then we can't be proud of it. So that's why our core values and hiring people that fit those has been so important over the years.” 


And we put so much stock in our values that we just talk about them all the time because we live and breathe them,” John says. "And we expect people to understand that when they join.” 

A company of two for the first two years, Wavelength grew organically and hasn’t looked back. Now with over 80 staff, including a robust recruitment team covering all medical specialties and seniorities, along with operational and support staff, and the team from leading healthcare executive search firm Ccentric, which was acquired in 2019. Over 25 years the company has lived through Y2K, the GFC, and, of course, the COVID pandemic. Through it all, the close-knit, people-focused culture has remained true. 

“It takes a village,” said CEO Chris Riley. “The current and past employees, the clients and the partnerships, the service providers, and all the relationships that we've built over the years... all those stakeholders have contributed to the to the success of Wavelength.” 


The rapport between Wavelength and Ccentric consultants and their clients and candidates is built to last. Over 97% of clients would recommend the company to their peers. Wavelength has built a reputation for the unmatched experience and expertise of the recruitment team, who go above and beyond to ensure clients and candidates are perfectly matched. There’s an enduring commitment to the experience of candidates and clients too, ensuring we remain at the forefront of technological advancements and opportunities to improve the recruitment process – and longterm careers- for all those we work with. 

“One of the things I like about Wave is the fact that we have this incredible 25 years of legacy, these founders who had a vision which we've really held onto, but at the same time we're not stuck in the past,” says Katrina Haddad, Chief Experience Officer. “There's a real commitment to investing in the future of the organisation, in investing in technologies, in investing in new people and new ideas. That blend of old and new is really powerful and quite unique to Wave.”  


Central to Wavelength’s success is a commitment to continually prioritising excellence, heart, integrity, and ingenuity. This year, our quarter-century celebrations will highlight our commitment to Australian Healthcare through stories about our people, our doctors, and the impact they’ve had over the last 25 years. 

As Chris and the Wavelength team embark on the next 25 years, with the full support of John and Claire, the company remains true to its founding principles. A key focus will be adapting to the ever-changing needs healthcare sector, and embracing innovation to continually improve the experience of doctors, healthcare clients, industry partners and employees.

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