The Territory provides unique opportunities for speech pathologists in acute care and community teams.
Shari is an Aboriginal woman who grew up in Darwin and studied Speech Pathology at Flinders University in Adelaide. Her mother comes from the Atherton Tablelands in Queensland. Shari completed her placements in the Territory and was motivated to return due to the diverse range of people from remote communities and cities, something she felt couldn’t be experienced working down south.
Shari was lucky enough to achieve a new graduate position at the Royal Darwin Hospital, staying for several years before joining the community allied health team in Alice Springs. The most satisfying part of Shari’s job is the opportunity to improve people’s lives as a Speech Pathologist. “I believe in the importance of being able to talk to your loved ones, communicate how you feel, being able to eat, drink and contribute to a good quality of life.”
A typical day for Shari includes visiting people in their homes, assessing their communication to identify the impacts of neurodegenerative disease, traumatic brain injury or stroke and work with them on different communication strategies. She might also assess patients’ swallowing during meal time. Shari recommends working in the Territory with so many opportunities available to expand skills and learning. She has recently moved back to Darwin as a Speech Pathologist at the Royal Darwin Hospital.
“Working in the NT also offers unique opportunities to travel to remote areas and see many parts of the Territory that you might not see as a tourist, and learn about Aboriginal culture.”
Jocelyn grew up in Brisbane and graduated as a Speech Pathologist from the University of Queensland. She joined the community allied health team in February 2020 working with clients across the lifespan in Katherine and remote Aboriginal communities.
Jocelyn finds it very satisfying when clients and their families achieve goals, grow, learn and can see the changes they have made. Relationship building and gaining trust with clients and their families is an important aspect of her work in communities. Her work makes a difference every day by empowering people to make decisions, learn and develop skills and achieve their potential. She is thankful that her own children are experiencing growing up immersed in Aboriginal culture and that the tourism highlights of Australia are on her doorstep.
”Working in the Territory is a unique cultural experience and the opportunity to be welcomed into the homes of Aboriginal people, offering them support and learning about their culture is an honour”.
Originally from Wollongong NSW, Leah travelled to Alice Springs in 2019 for an eight week placement and then returned as a new graduate. A typical day for Leah involves receiving referrals, prioritising her case load, seeing patients and writing progress notes. She also needs to complete non-clinical tasks, projects and attend multi-disciplinary team meetings regarding patients.
She makes a difference in people’s lives by discharging patients with the correct foods and fluids, so they are able to enjoy their food safely and maintain a good quality of life. She finds this aspect of her job the most rewarding. One of the best aspects Leah has found working in the Territory is the work life balance. When she is not at work she is exploring many beautiful places.
Many people are attracted to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations to promote equity in the health care system.
“Health professionals in the Territory want to work towards closing the gap and ensuring that everyone has the same access to health care, so we can ensure people have better health outcomes.”
Healthcare in the Territory promises a culturally rich experience, exciting career opportunities and a lifestyle that we think is the best in the world!