Fuelled by a passion for working with children in the disability space, Michaela started out at Windermere as a placement student from Monash University. The ten-week placement period transpired during Covid-19 lockdowns which gave her the unique experience of working via telehealth as well as onsite. “The team members were very welcoming and supportive. I felt like I fit right in,” she says of her early experience at Windermere.
Having learnt of the many benefits of the Allied Health Graduate Program coupled with a rewarding experience during her placement, Michaela was enticed to start her career as an occupational therapist at Windermere.
In the first 12 weeks of the two-year Allied Health Graduate Program, workshops and tutorials provide a solid foundation to build on. “I could apply what I learnt straight away and felt supported right from the start.”
The program emphasises the key worker approach to ensure the service and its benefits are customised to consumer needs. “It’s a holistic approach that looks at all areas of a child’s development to provide the best service possible for the family,” she says.
The Allied Health Graduate Program also includes monthly meetings, a space for graduates to share and reflect on experiences, providing an opportunity to learn from each other. “Each time, a team member from a different discipline shares their strategies, which helps us upskill our key worker capabilities.” As a key worker and a first-year graduate occupational therapist, Michaela draws on other team members to extend her knowledge in different areas such as positive behaviour support, communication and feeding difficulties.
Training in all areas of development and learning in a collaborative environment helps to gradually build up a caseload.
“This is a role I love doing every day, and what I love most is working with children and seeing progression.”
She recommends that any new graduate use all the opportunities available, ask questions and learn from others to build confidence and clinical skills. “The Allied Health Graduate Program has really helped me to ease into my role and provided lots of clinical and personal support to start off my career,” she adds.
There are joyful pursuits outside of work as well. Michaela enjoys working out, going for walks, and spending time with her family. And of course, there’s footy. “I love watching football. I am a big Richmond supporter and have been for a very long time.”
Windermere is currently accepting applications for our Allied Health Graduate Program starting in January 2023.
To find out more visit www.windermere.org.au/careers/allied-health-graduate-program or contact one of the team on 1300 946 337