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A look back on 2022


Is there a window in which these best of the year/year end highlights posts are most acceptable? And am I just outside it? Regardless, here I am with a quick look back at some of my favourite professional moments from 2022, which was another busy year for me where I learned a lot and gained some unforgettable professional experiences.


March

In March, I embarked upon a brand new journey and began a Master of Philosophy, which is a higher degree by research. This was something I had wanted to do for a long time, and I finally committed in 2022. It’s already been a huge learning curve for me, not only in terms of my research, which focuses on the assessment and analysis of personal narratives in school age children, but in terms of balancing my professional life with research, and also finding time for me! I was not always successful, but who ever truly is? (Anyone on TikTok who says they are is a liar).


May

I travelled to Melbourne to attend the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference. I love travelling and like everyone, I had really missed it over the lockdown years. A little trip to Melbourne was a great way to spark the travel bug for me again. The conference was well worth the trip and I always love connecting with my fellow speechies at these things. But just being in Melbourne was also wonderful. I had some amazing food (and coffee) and managed to squeeze in some touristy moments as well.




August

In August I was a remote Clinical Educator for university students from Flinders University. They completed school-based student placements in Darwin and I enjoyed working with them so much to develop their clinical practice in core speech pathology skills, for example understanding about ‘connection over compliance’, culturally sensitive ways of working with First Nations and other culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background clients, as well as how to collaborate with teachers and get creative about intervention models. Providing language strategies and support during Breakfast Club at Malak Public School was probably a favourite activity for both the university AND school students!


October

This month I celebrated my 14th(!) year as a speechie. It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this for that long, and that I’ve been working for myself for half that time. I have come a long way since my new grad days, but I try to tap into the same passion and enthusiasm I had back on Day 1 of working, every working day.


December

More travel! This time I headed to Darwin, where I’d been nominated for a clinical education award, which in itself was very exciting! Even though I didn’t win, I had a great time exploring the town (in the heat) and discovering a new part of Australia that I had been unfamiliar with before. I got to visit the school and teachers where the university students had been placed, and explore both the beautiful views and crocodile-inhabited waterholes of Darwin…!




Throughout the year

I attended several Professional Development workshops, on various topics relevant to my caseload:

  • Stuttering: I did the RESTART-DCM stuttering treatment with Dr Marie-Christine Franken & Ms Ellen Laroes from the Netherlands - 30 hours of Zoom over several months! It was intense but amazing!

  • Speech Sound Disorders: ReST training with Dr Tricia McCabe and an assessment/intervention for Speech Sound Disorders workshop with Professor Lynn Williams that was so well-organised and full of practical ideas…!

  • Play Skills workshops with Professor Karen Stagnitt and Dr Carol Westby (separately)

  • Language Disorders: Beyond Narratives with Associate Professor Marleen Westerveld & Dr Mary Claessen - especially interesting considering my own research project, for which A/P Marleen Westerveld is one of my two amazing supervisors!


I also ran a few PD projects of my own, including:

  • Co-facilitating the NSW Paediatric Speech EBP group quarterly meetings

  • Running a monthly group supervision for Animal Assisted Therapy

  • Providing individual supervision to many clinicians all around Australia

  • Doing in-services for private practices on topics such as working with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background clients, and providing support for oral narrative skills

Obviously at the end of all that, I was exhausted and enjoyed a nice break over the holidays. I have even more ambitious plans for this year including trips to Queensland, Tasmania, New Zealand and Japan on the cards.




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