This article was original published in the second edition of Griffith’s First People Health Unit Newsletter.

Hayley Roxburgh is part of both the Wiradjuri and Bundjalung Peoples from different regions within New South Wales. Hayley is graduating from the Bachelor of Child and Family Studies. She selected this degree to support young children and their family who are currently going through hardship. Her desire to be the person families could turn for support particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic was also an influence on her studies and wanting to graduate.

Hayley had indicated a very strong desire to do her final placement working with a community controlled health service. First Peoples Health Engagement Lead, Chris Levinge was approached by Kerry Smith (MPhil) Lecturer and Field Education Program Advisor seeking assistance for Hayley to complete her final placement. As First Peoples Health is a member of the Karulbo Indigenous Health Network on the Gold Coast, Chris was able to reach out to Kalwun Health Services and leverage a placement opportunity for Hayley.

A very big and special thank you to Rowena Backler, Service Manager, Child and Family Support Services and her team at Coomera Integrated Health Services Centre for supporting Hayley. Hayley has kindly shared some of her learnings and reflections from her final placement opportunity.

“I had the opportunity to complete my final placement at Kalwun Child and Family Support Services, Coomera. I regard my final placement at a First Peoples Health Organisation as the most instrumental experience for my degree as well as for my future career. During my placement at Kalwun I witnessed the significance of a collaborative partnership between First Peoples clients and healthcare workers. My placement at Kalwun elucidated clients should be treated as the expert of their lives and as workers, we should always highlight the strengths each client possesses especially when working with First Nations People.

Throughout my time at a First Nations Health Organisation, I experienced how multifaceted the human services profession is within the health sector. Therefore, no day was the same during my placement. During my time at a First Nation Health Organisation, I experienced a wide range of opportunities which includes but is not limited to over 30 home visits, multiple research reports, educational booklets about the LGBTQIA+ community, contributing to the completion of the organisation’s manual.

Lastly, the most significant part of my journey with Kalwun was working as a case manager for a family. Overall, the staff within Kalwun were a continuous outlet for support and have treated me as a team member. The employees provided constructive advice and guidance along my journey with them. Therefore, the placement at Kalwun has rewarded me extra knowledge and confidence to become a skilled professional supporting our community moving forwards.”

– Hayley Roxburgh

If like Hayley, you’re seeking a career where you can show that you care, take the first step with a degree in Social Work or Human Services. Not sure which degree to choose? See our quick explanation guide for advice.