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Scholarship put young Kara Kara woman on the path to speech pathology career

Joseph Guenzler -

The art of being committed to your work at Victoria's largest public health service while being a prominent advocate for First Nations wellbeing is all in a day's work for CQUniversity alumnus Hannah Thompson.

A proud Kara Kara woman from the Central Highlands, Hannah is an active member of five different Speech Pathology Australia groups and advisory committees, where she provides input on how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture relates to the organisation's competency standards.

Ms Thompson recieved a BMA Indigenous Scholarship during her studies which she notes helped her embrace new career opportunities.

"My goal is to combine my passion in speech pathology with my desire to help close the gap between First Nations and non-First Nations Australians in the healthcare and education sectors," Ms Thompson said.

"The experiences I had at CQUniversity, my BMA scholarship, and the connections I made throughout my studies opened doors for me post graduation."

Upon graduating in 2018, Ms Thompson was employed at a Central Queensland therapy clinic before accepting an early career speech pathologist position in the public sector.

"My current role has certainly changed my perspective of working in public healthcare," she said.

"Every day has its own challenges, especially being the primary speech pathologist on the COVID ward during the peak of the pandemic, however, the team around me are very supportive and uplifting."

"In the public space, you work alongside incredible people and learn so much on the job."

"I am grateful for the opportunity to work across a variety of areas in Emergency Medicine, Intensive Care Unit, Head and Neck Cancer Population, General Medicine, and Subacute settings in neurological rehabilitation and movement disorders."

Committed to her craft, Hannah also volunteers as a member of CQUniversity's Speech Pathology Course Review committee.

"We need more speech pathologists and allied health professionals in the industry, particularly in our regions," Ms Thompson said.

"I am proud to give back and play a part in shaping the futures of current CQU students."

"I am very open to career opportunities as they come. I have begun, and am keen to continue to work in the higher education space."

CQUniversity Speech Pathology Senior Lecturer Tina Janes acknowledged Hannah's commitment and outstanding success in the profession.

"Hannah is a great role model for our program and an example of where a career in speech pathology can lead," Ms Janes said.

"A passion for assisting those who experience communication and swallowing difficulties can culminate in a far-ranging career by studying speech pathology at CQUniversity."

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