Amy upskills for region's health

Amy Gray uses toys and games to help patients like Marcus Elsaesser.
Amy Gray uses toys and games to help patients like Marcus Elsaesser. Tobi Loftus

GAYNDAH speech pathologist Amy Gray has become the first person in Queensland to complete an upskilling program aimed at helping rural health services recruit quality staff.

Originally from Longreach, Ms Gray now lives in Gayndah and services the North Burnett, as well as Isis and Kolan, through video calls.

The two-year Allied Health Professional Rural Development Pathway program meant Ms Gray could advance more quickly to the level of senior speech pathologist.

"I really like the variety of my job and working with the community. If I were working in a bigger place, I might see just adults or just children - but here I might see a two-year old client in the morning and a 102-year-old in the afternoon," she said.

"The broad case load I have here has helped to give me experience in a lot of different aspects of speech pathology.

"Another great aspect of the program is that I've had access to fantastic mentors."

Wide Bay Health Services team leader Lisa Baker said the program gave them more options on how to fill senior roles.

"We can.. appoint a qualified allied health professional at a more junior level, but use the salary gap to develop the professional's skills to meet our local needs," Ms Baker said.

Natasha Elsaesser's son Marcus has been attending sessions with Ms Gray for the past 18 months.

"I had no idea it was so easy to do," she said.

"I didn't realise it was in town. A lot of parents aren't aware they could be doing this."

Topics:  gayndah north burnett

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