Current job title: Community Paediatrician-Child Protection, Senior Staff Specialist South Western Sydney Local Health District, Senior lecturer UNSW
What are you doing now?
I am currently the clinical lead for Child Protection services in South Western Sydney as well as the consultant Community Paediatrician for Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation in far west New South Wales. I am involved with policy development at State, national and international levels promoting a rights-based perspective to child health and population health (via being on the executive committees or working parties of the International Society for Social Pediatrics & Child Health, International Pediatric Association, the National Association for prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect and the International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect). I provide consultancy services in international maternal, newborn and child health, and work on population based research projects in Asia- Pacific when they come my way, also regularly do voluntary health clinics in the Pacific. I have submitted my PhD in international maternal and child health at the University of New South Wales.
What did you do after finishing medical school / university studies?
I pursued Paediatrics as a specialty, always asking my seniors and peers how to do more international work. I was told the most useful thing was to be well qualified and then offer your services globally, so I did a Masters in Applied Epidemiology (via ANU) in my last 2 years of advanced training. I did a term in Darwin as a registrar and regularly worked in Aboriginal health. In my first year as a consultant community paediatrician, I started working in South Western Sydney as a developmental paediatrician, thereafter I have worked in child protection and population health. I have taken time off and done stints in India (research, advocacy and worked for NGOs), also elsewhere in Asia Pacific. In my current jobs I have set up specific clinics for vulnerable populations in South Western Sydney and Broken Hill including for refugee children/youth, children in out-of home care, indigenous children, children of substance using parents and children of parents with mental illness.
What was your ‘big break’?
I don’t think I ever had a ‘big break’. Doing the Masters in Applied Epidemiology and being involved with a broader public health community was good. More recently, my involvement with international organisations has helped me improve my reach.
Where are you headed / What’s your dream job? Are you in it now?
My dream job would be to have a mix of international maternal, newborn, child health and Aboriginal health…no I am not in it now. But I have several elements in my job that tick the global health box.
What did you study that has helped you (during or since medical school)?
Masters in Applied Epidemiology and PhD in Public Health.
Top tip for students interested in a similar global health pathway?
- Get good at whatever your passion (in Medicine) is
- Be aware of the politics behind international health/global health
- Find a good mentor
- Get connected with others with similar interests and passions
When I am not doing global health you’ll find me…
Dancing (classical Indian stuff)