History

 
 

Born in Hungary, Paul was amongst the first Hungarian refugees to arrive in Australia after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

Paul comes from a long family line of corrective footwear manufacturers.  The family business dates back at least to the early 1880s when a factory was established in Budapest Hungary that became one of the largest manufacturers of orthopaedic shoes, artificial limbs and calipers in pre-WWII Hungary.  

On his arrival to Australia, Paul's father Elek established an orthopaedic and surgical shoe and boot making business in Marrickville known as Galy & Co.  There had been a polio epidemic in the early 1950s and Paul's  father’s services were in high demand because there was a lack of adequate knowledge in Australia regarding surgical footwear at that time.

Paul worked in the family orthopaedic footwear business as an apprentice of his father.   



Due to insufficient space to meet the continuing expansion of trade and employees, Paul moved to a factory in Surrey Hills known as David Windsor Shoe Makers Pty Ltd, merging it with his own Star Bright Orthopaedic Shoe Company.

The factory employed ten tradesmen during that time, always including a number of apprentices at any one time.  The Australian Pedorthic and Orthopaedic Footwear Association credits Paul with having trained a substantial proportion of existing orthopaedic footwear tradesmen in New South Wales since 1974.

Paul married Rhonda in 1968.  Rhonda joined the family business after their children completed their high school educations, functioning as office manager and receptionist.  Workshop premises were built in North Bondi, where Rhonda & Paul have been working together since 1987. 

He travelled to Toronto Canada in 1965 and studied Prosthetics and Orthoses (orthopaedic shoe manufacturing) at McMaster’s College for one year.  On returning to Australia in 1967, he established a small orthopaedic shoe manufacturing company in Bondi Junction called Select Shoes Pty Ltd.  It became Star Bright Orthopaedic Shoe Company when it was relocated to North Bondi in 1974.

Paul's main line of business became making hand-made orthopaedic shoes for handicapped individuals, including polio victims and sufferers of vascular and arthritic conditions.  Many of his clients are elderly.  He takes great pride in helping and enabling these individuals to walk in comfort and grace.  He also makes orthotics for those with less disabling conditions, such as flat feet, diabetes, overlapping toes, and bunions, as well as people with special professional needs, such as athletes.  Many of his clientele are referred from the major Sydney teaching hospitals. 

Many of Paul's clients are handicapped, and he continues in his father’s tradition of catering to individuals with complex footwear problems such as those suffering from the sequelae of polio.  Paul takes great pride in helping and enabling his clients to walk in comfort.  Some of his clients travel significant distances for my services, including from the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and Noumea.

He has a reputation for providing a relatively unique service in today’s production line age.

Paul was distinguished “for service to the community as a medical grade footwear practitioner and manufacturer” in 2007 with the awarding of an OAM at Government House, Sydney, presented by Prof Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of NSW. Paul with Prof Bashir and Rhonda at the award ceremony.