First School Based Apprentice In Aboriginal Health

Tuesday, 19 April 2016
Leyla Quartermaine is breaking new ground at Portland District Health.

Leyla, a Year 12 student from Heywood, is the first school based apprentice in Aboriginal health to work at PDH.

The school-based apprenticeship is through South West TAFE’s Certificate II in Aboriginal Health Care course. Leyla works with the PDH health promotion team two days each week and attends Heywood and District Secondary College for the other three days as part of her VCAL studies.

The appointment is part of PDH's commitment to closing the gap on health for the local Indigenous community.

This includes the Grow Healthy Together group which works to address issues around Indigenous health in the region and the appointment of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce officer.

As part of her role at PDH, Leyla is working with the community through the SEA Change program. One of her first tasks has been to oversee the SEA Change newsletter and she has found inspiration within the stories.

They are good news stories about people and places doing positive things to help people with their diet and exercise, she said.

Leyla was particularly impressed by personal trainer Carrie Templeton who has clients aged from 16 to 75.

She has a focus on sustainable healthy eating and is one of the champions of the SEA Change program.

Her work includes formatting the newsletter and helping with SEA Change's Facebook site.

Leyla hopes her work in the health field will hopefully lead to a career as a social worker supporting the needs of indigenous and non-indigenous people.

I think that what I'm doing now will link to social work,she said. It's been interesting work and I'm enjoying it.

Leyla is supported by the PDH health promotion team and also through South West TAFE and Carlene Pickett from the Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation.

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