RWAV recently placed Clinical Nurse, Teri Cunningham to Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation’s medical clinic in Morwell. Prior to this year, Teri had been working and living in her hometown of Mount Morgan in Queensland and made the decision to relocate to Victoria to be closer to her daughter.
In the months leading up to the move, Teri struggled to find opportunities that met her needs. Coming from an extensive background in rural health settings, Teri’s search eventually led her to RWAV.
“Most of my skills are in rural and remote emergency departments. That’s what I’ve done over the last few years,” said Teri.
“In between that, I do contracts in rural and remote Aboriginal communities in Queensland. I thought making a big move down here, I wanted to step in to an environment beneficial for my mental health, so I chose to come to an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO), and now I’m transitioning into primary health care.”
In the initial stages, RWAV contacted a number of rural ACCOs that matched Teri’s needs and interests. As an Aboriginal nurse with a wealth of experience working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Teri secured four interviews and ultimately chose to accept an offer with Ramahyuck.
As part of the recruitment support offered through RWAV, Teri received a relocation and retention grant. Due to the high need for primary health care nurses within the Latrobe Valley region, Teri received $14,000 to support her with the move from Queensland.
“It was just everything I was looking for. Amanda [Ramahyuck CEO] was new, and she had this vision for this clinic here in Morwell, and was filling me in about how they want to revive their mentorship with their trainees, and really build up that partnership with community.
“She understood the importance of brown faces in a health care clinic and what it does for community. And then she told me that the practice manager Merinda was from Gunai/Kurnai country, and this was her mob. This really sealed it for me.”
Teri was drawn to Ramahyuck for its leadership qualities, particularly in providing cultural and clinical support to an Aboriginal health workforce and promoting health careers and pathways in nursing and allied health.
When asked how she has found the transition from ED to primary care nursing, Teri wishes she had made the move earlier.
“Here it’s grassroots, the clients come back every week and I can see how they are going, see what the gaps are, what the needs are for those that don’t come in, I can chase them up and just do more holistic care.”
Teri’s advice for health professionals new to the ACCO space, is to do your research before you arrive. Get to know who the traditional custodians are, who the mob are, and their history.
“Every Aboriginal mob is different so make sure to learn about the history and that your cultural capability is up to scratch. Engage with community every opportunity you get, and if you don’t know something use your Aboriginal staff to help you.”
Are you interested in work opportunities in country Victoria? RWAV provides a free end-to-end recruitment service for health professionals seeking opportunities in general practice, allied health practices, Aboriginal medical services and community health settings. We also provide grants to support your professional development needs.
See our current vacancies here. If you don’t quite find what you’re looking for, we encourage you to reach out to our dedicated Recruitment Team to discuss your ideal role just like Teri did.
Reach us on 03 9349 7800 or:
email@example.com for allied health and nursing professionals
firstname.lastname@example.org for medical professionals