Posted at 2:11pm on 16 January 2019 in Latest news
Alice Robins is a proud Yuin woman from Victoria. She completed her Bachelor of Health Science and Bachelor of International Development, followed by a Master of Speech Pathology at La Trobe University in 2017.
“I always wanted to be a speech pathologist, especially at a hospital,” said Alice.
In 2017, Alice had the opportunity to observe the speech pathologists at Monash Health during a five-day experience across Monash Medical Centre, Casey Hospital and Kingston Centre.
“It was a great experience, I had the opportunity to meet the speech pathology team and see how they work. It was such a nice environment and made me feel like I would love to work at Monash,” said Alice.
After this experience, she applied for the Monash Health graduate program and was one of two successful graduate speech pathologists in 2018.
“The speech pathology department and Aboriginal Health unit went above and beyond to support me,” Alice explained.
Alice is passionate about increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in health care. Alice explained, “three per cent of the Australian population identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, yet they only make up one per cent of the health workforce. We need to go above and beyond to see what we can do to increase the workforce.”
Alice has been working on a Close the Gap initiative with Michelle O’Rourke, Head of Speech Pathology, to create an Early Career Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander speech pathologist position at Monash Health. The position offers a unique opportunity for an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander speech pathologist that has graduated within the last three years, and will provide professional development in a culturally safe space. The two-year position will rotate every six months across Monash Health sites, have the opportunity to attend the Healthy Koori Kids program, participate in an exchange program with Royal Darwin Hospital and receive cultural supervision.
This initiative demonstrates Monash Health’s proactive approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recruitment and retention. Not only is Alice committed to the Monash Health reconciliation journey, but she is also a member of Speech Pathology Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory and Reconciliation Action Plan Committees, where she provides positive, strength-based guidance relating to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“They are my people and if I don’t make a difference, who will? Aboriginal people helping other Aboriginal people makes a huge difference and ensures better health outcomes.”