GDP Testimonials – General Corporate Stream

Read what some of the recent participants from the WA Health Graduate Development Program have to say about how it prepared them for starting work with the Department on an ongoing basis.

Ashlin McKenna

Why I joined the program

I joined the program as I liked the challenge and the diversity of work that I could experience by taking part in three placements in the year. I felt that the support offered by the program would provide a smooth transition into the workforce and the wealth of experience and professional development opportunities would stand me in good stead for future employment.

Why I chose to work at WA Health

I chose to work at WA Health as I wanted to experience what really goes on behind the scenes in health. I wanted to make a difference to the health of as many people as possible and I felt that this was best achieved through improvements at a health system level. Upon finishing university I wasn't sure exactly where I wanted to work, so the variety within WA Health was very appealing to me.

The best aspects of the program

I am excited that I have the opportunity to make a real impact, even at such a junior level. I like being able to immerse myself in the work and learn new skills through active participation. Finally, the professional development opportunities as well as the support available really make the program stand out.

My degree / qualifications

I have a Bachelor of Science majoring in Nutrition from Curtin University.

 

Jake Nelson

Why I joined the program

I joined the Graduate Development Program (GDP) because I was attracted to the well-designed structure and range of career development opportunities that the program could provide. I knew that the GDP would allow me to gain real world experience in a professional environment. I was also drawn to the availability of mentors and buddies which helped me settle into my role and provide networking opportunities.

Why I chose to work at WA Health

I chose to work for WA Health because if offers the opportunity to have a role in improving the health and wellbeing of West Australians. This was very appealing to me. I was also aware that WA Health has a wide variety of career opportunities where I could grow and develop both professionally and personally. I had also previously worked in the private sector and felt that utilising my skills for the good of the WA public would be personally satisfying.

The best aspects of the program

The best aspects of the program have been the continual support and development opportunities that have been offered by the GDP team. The ability to complete a Diploma of Management throughout the year has given me the opportunity to consolidate my learning into a professional qualification. With a particular interest in numerical roles, the opportunity to complete three rotations in distinctly different professional environments is allowing me to further develop my analytical skills. I feel confident that upon completing the program I will be well equipped to continue to work on exciting projects within WA Health.

My degree / qualifications

I have a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Chemistry, minors in Applied Statistics and Environmental Issues from Murdoch University.

 

Adela Tang

Why I joined the program

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The Graduate Development Program provides an opportunity to experience three placements across a diverse range of roles within WA Health. I have always had a passion for health and project management, however, when I applied for the program, I wasn’t sure which area of WA Health I would like to work in. Therefore, joining the program was the perfect opportunity to consolidate my skills, challenge myself and gain an insight into various divisions and health service areas across the health system.

Why I chose to work at WA Health

WA Health provides a continuum of healthcare for the population of Western Australia, from health promotion and disease prevention in the community to clinical treatment and palliative care. I chose to work at WA Health because it allowed me to experience the diversity of roles across the system and make a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the Western Australian population whilst pursuing my interests in health administration and health promotion.

The best aspects of the program

The best aspects of the program have been the initiatives and opportunities that support and foster professional development. From the start of the program, Graduates are provided a comprehensive induction into WA Health. During this period, Graduates are introduced to their mentor and buddy who support them for the 12 months of the program.

In addition to the three placements, all the Graduates are offered the opportunity to participate in a professional development program that culminates in a Diploma of Management. Graduates are also encouraged to attend other training and professional development and networking events.

My degree / qualifications

I have attained a Master of Public Health, Bachelor of Health Science (Population Health and Pathology) and an honours year in Science (Pathology) from The University of Western Australia.

 

Melissa Mulcahy

Why I joined the program

My diverse background and interests made the Graduate Development Program an ideal choice for beginning my professional career. I particularly valued the opportunity to develop my professional communication skills in a number of contexts, and to gain wide-ranging exposure to a variety of areas within WA Health.

Why I chose to work at WA Health

I had dabbled in a number of disciplines throughout my undergraduate studies, but knew that mental health and community services were areas I remain most passionate about. I was keen to gain experience working in the public sector and to develop a diverse and adaptable skill set. I wanted to work for an organisation that delivers a broad range of services and plays a direct role in enhancing the health and wellbeing of individuals and groups in the community – so WA Health seemed like the logical choice.

The best aspects of the program

The Graduate Development Program (GDP) allowed me to develop a broad skills base whilst contributing to community health initiatives. I was able to gain excellent exposure to different program areas within Mental Health and Child and Adolescent Health. It also provided me with insight into the decision-making processes that support effective government.

For me, the most enjoyable aspect of the program, by far, has been the opportunity to work with and learn from so many different people – policy and project staff, clinicians, health researchers, community service providers, health consumers, my supervisors and program mentor, WA Health Executives and leaders, and perhaps most importantly, the GDP staff and fellow Graduate Officers.

My degree / qualifications

I studied a Bachelor of Psychology with Honours and Post Graduate Certificate in Business Administration at Murdoch University. I obtained a Diploma of Management participating in the GDP and am currently studying for a Graduate Certificate in Suicide Prevention Studies.

 

Olivia Berry

Why I joined the program

Coming from an Allied Health degree, I had decided I did not want to pursue a career in clinical practice but still loved the idea of working in health. The Graduate Development Program gives me a varied and in depth insight into how health services are delivered in WA, from decisions being debated in Parliament right down to clinicians providing the best health care practice to their patients. I know this program will open my eyes to a wealth of new opportunities and experiences, and will serve as an extremely useful springboard to whatever path I choose to take after this year.

Why I chose to work at WA Health

The Department of Health was a natural choice because of my academic background in health. I also knew that, given its size and diversity, there would be ample opportunity for me to extend my skills, build strong networks, and feel well supported in a world class system that values the training and development of newcomers.

The best aspects of the program

Graduates have the rare opportunity to be able to appreciate the way the whole system works, by being exposed to so many facets of health care delivery and rotating through diverse placements. You can be based at community clinics in remote areas, metropolitan hospitals, right through to working with the people who make decisions which will affect the health of all Western Australians.  All the while you are provided with ample support and training. There is no other job like it!

My degree qualifications

Bachelor of Science (Speech Pathology) from Curtin University.

 

Karla Sutton

Why I joined the program

I have always been interested in pursuing a career in the public sector and had fallen in love with Western Australia’s lifestyle and natural beauty during recent holidays to the state from my native Tasmania. I was also eager to work in an organisation which allowed me to gain practical experience in a number of different areas which would enable me to utilise the various skills I had developed at university. The program, therefore, seemed like the ideal way to commence my career.

Why I chose to work at WA Health

I chose the Department of Health because of the direct impact its work has on the fundamental wellbeing of the community. It is extremely satisfying knowing that the work I am involved in ultimately acts to improve the health outcomes of all Western Australians. I was also attracted to the Department of Health because of its size and diversity and the subsequent career opportunities this presents.

The best aspects of the program

The support provided to date has been amazing. Initially I was concerned that I would be at a disadvantage because my qualifications are in non-health related disciplines, but this has not been the case at all. Professional development opportunities as well as a structured support network have made me feel confident that I am capable of making a valued contribution to my placement areas.

My degree / qualifications

Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tasmania. My Arts major was in journalism, media and communications studies.
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Graduate Development Program