Joondalup Health Campus
Part of Ramsay Health Care


Hospital and training provider enhancing Aboriginal employment

Jun 05, 2019

A relationship between Joondalup Health Campus and Indigenous healthcare training provider Marr Mooditj is helping to maximise Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander employment.

The relationship between the two organisations started ten years ago and the hospital currently employs some of the graduates and takes students on placement.

Last week, 21-year-old Kayla Dickie of Marangaroo was working at JHC to fulfil requirements for completing her Certificate IV in Primary Health, which will give her the equivalent of an Assistant in Nursing (Advanced Skill) qualification.

She has just completed her three week placement at the hospital, where she has spent time working with the Aboriginal Liaison Team, on a medical ward and in the Emergency Department.

“It’s been really good, I’ve enjoyed the variety of work and have learnt a lot,” she said.

JHC Aboriginal Liaison Officer Tammy Symmans helped teach Kayla during her first week, providing valuable tips and also genuine understanding, having herself been in the first group of nurses to graduate from Marr Mooditj ten years ago.

“I’d completed a Certificate IV – Health Science Foundation and then went on to complete my enrolled nursing qualification,” she said. “I was a single mother at the time and living up in Geraldton.  It was hard work but I kept going and I’m so glad I did.”

On graduating, Tammy worked for sister Ramsay Health Care site, Hollywood Private Hospital, for several years, before moving on to work for Brightwater Aged Care and most recently joining JHC as one of three newly-recruited Aboriginal Health Officers.

She says that helping Kayla has taken her right back to her days as a student and she’s really enjoyed giving back to the next generation.

Kayla said that in high school she always thought she wanted to go into nursing, but a passion for netball side-tracked her career goal for several years.

Now the Marr Mooditj student is back on track after a chat with her Mum.

“Mum said I either should go into mental health work on into primary health – and so that’s what I did and here I am,” she said.

Although she isn’t yet sure what she wants to do when she graduates, Kayla says she is enjoying the learning journey and has appreciated the support of Tammy and other staff who have made her feel welcome and valued.

“It’s been good place for me to get experience in a hospital setting and I’ve learnt heaps,” she said.

7-13 July is NAIDOC Week – a time to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.