The Southern Cross Student Opportunities Fund has granted Speech Pathology student Amy Whittle $7,500 to work with rural and remote Australian communities and seek future opportunities for professional development.
Southern Cross University is committed to helping exceptional students broaden their professional networks and opportunities by subsidising the cost of travel, accommodation and necessary activities linked to their professional practice.
“The biggest impact of completing placements with rural and remote Australian communities is the opportunity to learn and appreciate Indigenous Australian knowledge and culture. Placements allow students to combine theoretical knowledge with practical experiences that strengthen their skills to provide culturally appropriate care,” said Amy Whittle.
After submitting her application for the grant, Amy attended a Zoom meeting with the designated panel and soon after she received the call. “I would encourage any student considering the scholarship to apply! The scholarship does not limit students to a particular faculty, it is open to any undergraduate student from the second year onwards. The selection criteria were easy to follow; I spent a week putting the application together and collecting supporting documents from staff and clinical supervisors.”
“When I applied for the Student Opportunities Fund, I presented my interest to pursue placement opportunities and career development in rural and remote Australia. I have already completed one placement in Mount Isa with the Murtupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health. It was a valuable experience as I had the opportunity to collaborate with other Allied Health students from all over Queensland, to provide patient-centred care for adults in various settings.”
Amy will spend eight weeks in October completing her final placement in Katherine before graduating with her bachelor degree in December. In Katherine, she will have the opportunity to work with paediatric clients and families providing assessment and intervention for Speech, Language and Literacy needs.
“I am looking forward to my final placement. The learning experiences will be beneficial in enhancing my skills and there will be opportunities to experience the local community outside of placement hours.”
Thanks to the grant, the financial pressure over the two months of placement will be eased, and whilst she finishes her degree, Amy can focus on completing her final units of study.
“The funding has given me peace of mind and taken the pressure off when considering the implications of completing a placement in rural and remote Australia. It’s great that I don’t have to miss out on a learning experience because of financial restrictions.”
The scholarship will also assist Amy to purchase resources for her clinical toolkit. "Having adaptable, effective equipment and activities that are culturally appropriate are important to support participation in Speech Pathology assessment and intervention, particularly in rural and remote communities."
“The grant has also allowed me to focus on the units I have left to study and begin the process of applying for new graduate jobs. Speech Pathologists can work in different environments including schools, hospitals, and residential aged care facilities, so there are lots of opportunities all over Australia to work as a new graduate clinician.”
Amy hopes to attend the Speech Pathology Australia Conference in 2023 and pursue opportunities for continuing professional development thanks to the Student Opportunities Fund grant.
Learn more about Southern Cross Student Opportunities Fund.
Photo: Amy WhittleMedia contact: Content team firstname.lastname@example.org