What's your job about?
The Department of Human Services (DHS) delivers social and health payments and services. As an Allied Health professional, I conduct assessments and make recommendations in regards to services and supports best suited to help individuals participate in vocational activities. Every day I complete interviews with individuals to discuss their past, present and future circumstances (education, employment, accommodation and health). From these interviews and a review of medical evidence, I make recommendations in regards to the services and supports needed for each individual to overcome their barriers to employment. Working in this type of a role enables me to meet and interact with a diverse range of individuals, each with their own unique story.
What's your background?
I grew up in South West Sydney. When I finished high school I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and started studying a Bachelor of Law/Bachelor of Arts. As part of my Bachelor of Arts, I studied some units in Psychology, which I found very interesting. As such, I transferred to a Bachelor of Psychology and completed this in 2012. Throughout my high school and undergraduate studies I worked at McDonalds and progressed through leadership training with them, which really complimented my university studies.
Following completion of my degree, I started working for an Employment Services Provider, supporting individuals to overcome their barriers to employment. It was in this role that I developed further interest in health and rehabilitation, specifically Occupational Therapy, as it had the additional involvement of addressing physical health conditions.
Based on this, I enrolled in a Master of Occupational Therapy, which I completed in 2015. During my studies I participated in placements in a variety of environments including hospitals, rehabilitation centres and community organisations. From one of my placements, I was able to secure employment in a not-for-profit organisation providing crisis intervention and occupational therapy services to individuals with a brain injury living within the greater Sydney region. I then applied for the graduate program at DHS in the Allied Health professional stream. I have now been working in my role within the department for approximately 12 months. I had an opportunity to do a 3 month placement with the Top End Remote Services team, where I provided services to individuals in remote communities in the Northern Territory.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
In order to do my job you must have an allied health background and be a registered allied health provider with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. This includes Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Rehabilitation Counsellors, Psychologists, Exercise Physiologists and Registered Nurses. For this role it is really important to have a high level of professional integrity, be able to be objective and non-judgemental. Additionally, it is a fast-paced role so good time management and organisational skills are key.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The coolest thing about my job is that I get to work as part of a multidisciplinary team, working closely with other allied health professionals including Physiotherapists, Psychologists, Nurses, Rehabilitation Consultants and Exercise Physiologists. We often engage in case consultations and case studies and the sharing of knowledge across disciplines is highly encouraged. This multidisciplinary approach supports ongoing learning and professional development, enabling me to continue to grow as a practitioner.
What are the limitations of your job?
The role requires a high level of resilience and objective professionalism due to often working closely with vulnerable individuals within the community. Regular coaching and debriefing help to overcome the challenges associated with working in this environment.
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