Jacqueline Lester, worked as a psychologist at Headspace in Shepparton and spent a year working in regional Victoria and shares her experiences.
Jacqueline relocated from Melbourne as she wanted to gain experience working with a rural population and saw her “dream position” advertised in Shepparton. She had no prior contacts in the region when she decided to move and it was the “RHPP grant that assisted greatly to get established and gain access to invaluable supervision and training.”
She says “working rurally has been extremely rewarding. You are exposed to a wide variety of clinical presentations and individuals. As a result, I feel that I have been able to grow as a practitioner and develop flexibility and versatility in my practice.” Jacqueline is grateful for the extensive exposure she gained by working in rural Victoria. “Working within rural Victoria you really become aware of the lack of services in regional and rural towns and the need for greater support. It is amazing how far individuals will travel to access services and some of the barriers they face to gain specialised care.”
Though Jacqueline has faced challenging times being away from family and friends she “found the local community welcoming” and she was “able to establish a new social network of likeminded and welcoming young professionals.”
Jacqueline loved the experience she gained and “greatly enjoyed regional experience and would encourage everyone to investigate working rurally.”