Wednesday March 8, 2023

Eastern Health is celebrating some of our incredible women during the week of International Women’s Day (8 March).

Aboriginal Employment Coordinator Megan Austin has been recognised by her colleagues for her courage in challenging the status quo, to ensure our Aboriginal workforce is supported.

“Supporting Aboriginal people, especially in large organisations is very important. It’s a job that comes with a lot of difficulties for Aboriginal people; how we are perceived by non-Indigenous people, the importance of building resilience in an organisation and the fact that we’re going to encounter racism still in all aspects of our lives, unfortunately,” she said.

“I’d never considered health until I actually saw this position description. I thought, this is actually written for me, this job has got to be mine.”

Ms Austin has worked tirelessly to bring the Aboriginal Workforce Plan 2023 – 2026 into fruition, engaging with many people across the organisation to ensure it accurately represents the needs of our current and future Indigenous colleagues.

“I’d always worked alone at other organisations, but this role requires that I work with other people which I’ve embraced. I have always known that no good work happens in isolation,” she said.

“It’s so important that we have input from Aboriginal colleagues in the work that we do. It’s really exciting to bring our staff into these conversations when they wouldn’t necessarily be if they weren’t encouraged.”

Aboriginal Employment Coordinator Megan Austin
Aboriginal Employment Coordinator Megan Austin Image: Eastern Health

Although Ms Austin has made all this new ground, she acknowledges there’s a lot more that needs to be done. With this in mind, she is excited to keep developing in the Aboriginal workforce space.

“I think we can do some research and write some papers about what we’re doing here; how we’re developing our workforce, what are the issues that our people face around cultural safety and inappropriate behaviour they encounter, where there’s a strong emphasis on wellbeing and belonging.”

As part of celebrating the incredible women at Eastern Health, the executive leadership team have chosen to recognise six women for their efforts in embodying our values and striving towards our strategic goals.

“It’s such a nice feeling to be recognised in this way,” Ms Austin said.