18 April 2024

Students get deadly start to health career

| Chisa Hasegawa
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Thursday Island trainees Jikidda Manuel and Ashwyn Seden

Deadly Start trainees Jikidda Manuel and Ashwyn Seden says they are looking forward to seeing all the pathways available in the health sector. Photo: Supplied.

Two Thursday Island students are making their way towards a career in health through a new traineeship opportunity being offered by the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service (TCHHS).

TCHHS recently launched the Deadly Start program on Cape York and the Torres Strait, with an aim of providing local First Nations students with a direct pathway into the health sector.

The Deadly Start program was first implemented at Metro North Hospital and Health Service in 2019, and its success led to the program being used throughout other Queensland health regions.

TCHHS traineeship and work experience co-ordinator Iadakul Bowie said the students, Jikidda Manuel and Ashwyn Seden, would complete their traineeship during year 11 and year 12, and hopefully gain a permanent position after graduating.

“It creates that opportunity for our people to get their foot in the door, and gives them exposure to ignite that fire and passion,” Ms Bowie said.

“Students can then decide if they want to pursue further specialised study in nursing, medicine, allied health or other areas, or commence work in other areas such as operations or administration.

“This is such an exciting opportunity to give these young people a direct pathway into a career where they can support their home communities.”

Ms Bowie said hiring local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was an integral part of what the program had to offer the community.

“It’s about working towards closing the gap for our First Nations people,” she said.

“We’re delivering a service to predominantly Indigenous clients, I believe it’s about 70 per cent, so there’s been a huge need for Torres and Cape, and it’s definitely a great initiative.”

Deadly Start trainees will obtain a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance after completing 375 hours of paid work experience.

“We’ve got them going through all of the different areas, so it’s a good way for them to get an insight into health, and all of the different avenues they could take,” Ms Bowie said.

“They’ll be seeing what it’s like in operation services, administration, maternity, general ward, allied health, and all of the health programs that fall within the primary healthcare centre.”

Ms Bowie said students had already shown significant growth in the first few weeks.

“One of my colleagues told me that a trainee who was very quiet and shy at the start has been getting so confident with the way she speaks, and already has a vision in regards to where she wants to go from here,” she said.

“The feedback from the supervisors for both trainees have been nothing but positive.

“Even talking with parents and guardians, they’re just so proud and so happy with how they’re progressing so far.”

In July, TCHHS will offer two traineeships in Bamaga, three in Weipa and four in Cooktown.

TCHHS traineeship and work experience co-ordinator Iadakul Bowie says the Deadly Start program is an exciting opportunity for young First Nations students to get their foot in the door. Photo: Supplied.

Original Article published by Chisa Hasegawa on Cape York Weekly.

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