University Places Spotlight on Placements
Nominations for the Employability Excellence Awards close on Friday 15 September
Hailing from the NSW regional centre of Tamworth, Maggie Fulwood understands the barriers regional people can face travelling long distances for medical care. Now, in her first year out of university, Maggie is using her degree to help her patients across Australia through her work as a telehealth speech pathologist.
Maggie was one of the students recognised in the University of Newcastle’s Employability Excellence Awards in 2022, with her work placement provider highlighting her ability to work with patients on a personal level to break down barriers as one of the qualities that inspired them to nominate her for an award.
The awards, now in their fourth year, were introduced to reflect the University's increasing focus on providing students with placement opportunities to help them be career ready. The hands-on placements provide students with the skills and experience that makes them employable graduates.
The Awards were set up to thank the people who gave their time and effort to provide students with placements in their workplaces, and recognised the achievements of students while undertaking those placements.
Maggie explained how the work placement she undertook helped her develop the skills to make an impact in the workforce after she completed her degree.
“My placement was the final opportunity to practice and strengthen my skills as a speech pathologist in a supportive environment,” Maggie said.
“It was a beautiful place where I felt supported with my caseload and I could rely on the senior speech pathologists to support me and to help me to feel confident to then go out on my own after I graduated.”
Professor Mark Hoffman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic says it is important that the University recognises staff, students and local businesses and urged people to nominate for the Employability Excellence Awards before nominations close on Friday.
“As a University we are passionate about providing students with the education and skills that make them highly employable and ready to enter the workforce. We want to see as many nominations as possible to recognise the students who have achieved phenomenal things during their placements,” said Professor Hoffman.
“We also recognise that these opportunities take a willingness to dedicate time and effort from local businesses and our staff. These are the people and organisations who make it happen and ensure our students get the most from their placement, so we want to say thank you and recognise that commitment.”
Now a fully-fledged graduate, Maggie works with clients from across the country with a range of conditions.
“I really enjoy orofacial myology, which is how your muscles and the structures in your face can affect your functioning, whether that be your swallowing, or your speech, or your overall development,” Maggie said.
“Because we’re a telehealth company we’re able to see clients across Australia. The waitlists for speech pathologists can be long so being able to offer a service through telehealth means we can see more people and avoid long travel times for patients.
“Many of my clients are from regional areas so it makes it feel all that more special because they wouldn’t easily be able to access these services otherwise.”
Nominations for the awards close on 15 September, with winners announced on the 9 November. Everyone is encouraged to nominate students, staff or local business who deserve recognition by visiting newcastle.edu.au/employability-awards.
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