Personal Stories

Indigenous Health Worker

Laquinta - Indigenous Health Worker
  • Name: Laquinta
  • Job: Indigenous Health Worker
  • Location: Townsville, QLD

"The opportunities are endless!"

Why did you choose this field of work/job?

Whilst attending Kirwan State High School, I completed a Certificate II health qualification through Connect n Grow and had the opportunity of attending the Griffith University Camp. This was a great experience for me to learn about the different areas in health and I realised that my true passion lay within the health industry.

I have always loved helping people, especially my community and family members. With health being such an important issue within the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities, I knew I wanted to broaden my skills in this area. Since being made aware that health is such a large industry, I realised the opportunities are endless! Working with an Aboriginal medical service has given me exposure to so many different areas of health and has made me realise there are so many options available right in front of me.

What tasks does your job include? What do you love about your job the most?

In my role, I am employed as an Indigenous Health Worker within an outreach program. My job involves conducting health checks, undertaking patient health screening, assessment and testing, conducting opportunistic screening as required to all clients of the unit (particularly antenatal and postpartum mothers and their families). I also develop client care plans in consultation with clients and their families and treating practitioners, promote and provide patient education including health promotion, prevention and early intervention relevant to chronic conditions, perinatal, antenatal and postnatal care ensuring quality continuity of care.

The highlight of my job would be witnessing the journey women and their families take over the duration of their pregnancy to post-partum. It is extraordinary building the rapport with women and their families and witnessing the growth of the child.

What was your study journey to get this job?

During my last 2 years at Kirwan State High School, I completed a Certificate II health qualification through RTO, Connect n Grow. I also worked closely with Seed Foundation Australia, a not-for-profit foundation who provided support to students to gain pathways into the health sector. Seed Foundation provided me with the opportunity to interview for a traineeship an Aboriginal medical service in Townsville in January 2017 and I was successful.

Throughout my traineeship I worked part-time and completed a Certificate III in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care through an external Registered Training Organisation. This course was solely on the job and involved having to complete assessments, case studies and practical hours.

In February 2019 I successfully completed my certificate and traineeship and was honoured to be offered a full time role as a Healthcare worker.

What are your future plans for work and study?

My future plans for my career are to further my knowledge and skills and become either a health or Forensic Psychologist. I love learning and have always found mental health a big issue and would to help people become more comfortable to discuss this. I would love to study this area and take these skills back to my community.

What is one thing about your study and/or job that you would love to share with people considering this career?

The opportunities for growth and development are endless. Don’t limit yourself to what you’re comfortable with. I found this hard when I first started, but soon found my feet and didn’t hesitate to ask when there was an opportunity to be had. Having completed both Certificate II and III health qualifications has now broadened my knowledge and skills and has opened so many doors within the health industry.

Having started this opportunity straight from school was sometimes difficult as I had to balance work, study and social life. It definitely helped having a strong support network from my work colleagues as well as the Project Officer from Seed Foundation and Connect n Grow.

people clasping hands

Job Profile - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker

An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker provides clinical and primary health care for individuals, families and community groups.

Career Pathway - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health could be a good choice for you if you like variety because it covers all aspects of health care.