First Allied Health Scholarship recipient starts in the Tasmanian Health Service
The first allied health professional to be recruited under the Tasmanian Government’s $1.125 million Allied Health Scholarship Program has commenced working with the Tasmanian Health Service in Burnie.
Graduate Radiation Therapist Caitlin Chong began working at the North West Cancer Centre last month relocating from Victoria following the successful completion of her training in radiation therapy.
Caitlin’s scholarship is the first of 45 on offer across 10 professions that will be allocated in the coming months to provide a workforce boost on the ground in areas experiencing workforce shortages.
The program targets students across a range of hard-to-fill allied health professions who are completing their final year of study in 2023-2024 to either stay in the State after graduating or relocate and work in Tasmania.
As part of the scholarship, graduates receive an initial payment of $15,000 to support their study fees with a further $10,000 payment made upon completing three years of service in the THS.
Caitlin said the scholarship was an attractive incentive that had made the decision to relocate to Tasmania a realistic possibility.
“As a student, I spent time in Tasmania on clinical placements and really enjoyed it. I’m a keen hiker, so I loved the easy access to the outdoors, but also the lifestyle more generally.
“When I saw the scholarship that was available, it made the possibility of relocating to Tasmania even more attractive."
Department of Health Chief Allied Health Advisor Kendra Strong said:
“Our allied health workforce play a key part in caring for Tasmanians in our hospitals, clinics and in the community and this scholarship will further boost our workforce by providing an incentive for those professionals to choose to begin work with the THS.
“Over the coming months, allied health students across Australia will graduate from their courses and progress into the workforce to start their professional journeys.
“The Allied Health Scholarship is attracting significant interest from top graduates and we look forward to welcoming many more allied health professionals like Caitlin to our health system."
Professions targeted include Psychology, Radiation Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Dental Therapists and Oral Health Therapists, Prosthetics and Orthotics, Speech Pathology, Podiatry, Physiotherapy and Radiography.
The incentive builds on the Tasmanian Government’s efforts to grow and retain its own Allied Health workforce in Tasmania, with an existing investment of $6 million over four years in the Allied Health Education and Training Program, which aims to grow capacity for additional professional experience placements for University of Tasmania students and is critical to supporting the University’s new allied health courses and a sustainable supply of local graduates.
Pictured L-R: Paula Hyland (Hospitals NW Chief Executive), Kendra Strong (Chief Allied Health Advisor), Caitlin Chong (Radiation Therapist), David Gration (North West Cancer Centre Chief Radiation Therapist)