Parramatta High School kids get a taste of health careers

Parramatta High School students Aashana Vhora and Dhruv Patel with Blacktown Hospital physiotherapists Jessica Taylor and Trang Nguyen.

Scores of teenagers poured into Westmead Hospital for a hands-on look at incredible diversity of careers available in Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) and the Westmead Precinct.

While the day was focused on health and science careers, the overall message was that the precinct brings together people with a wide variety of interests and specialities to focus on improving public wellbeing.

WSLHD Allied Health acting director Ian Starkey and Blacktown Hospital physiotherapists Trang Nguyen and Jessica Taylor spoke about the role of allied health in a hospital setting during their interactive, hour-long session.

“For people who think they can’t get into university – don’t give up. There’s lots of pathways to getting into physiotherapy,” Jessica shared.

“Western Sydney is an area that’s developing quite rapidly; it’s a really growing area which as a junior staff member I’m still continually learning about.”

The students got to see how parts of the musculoskeletal system work as part of the hands-on physiotherapy session.

Students learned about the musculoskeletal system and got to try out physiotherapy staples including crutches, stethoscopes, strengthening bands and reflex hammers.

Other sessions covered topics including career pathways, technological innovation and epidemics.

University of Sydney senior science communicator Dr Pearl Lee shared how she has combined her loves of science and dance to forge a uniquely satisfying career in Westmead.

The University of Sydney’s Westmead Initiative hosted the health and science careers day, part of its high school outreach program which has reached about 1500 western Sydney students since it was launched in 2018.

One Parramatta High School graduate who is now studying at the University of Sydney shared his journey with the students.

“It’s good to be home and nice to see some familiar faces and come back to where I grew up and where I went to school – it’s like coming back to my roots,” Thomas Harrington said.

“My advice to high school students is you have to be self-driven, set a target for yourself and strive to achieve that target.”

The Westmead Precinct is one of the largest health, education, research and training precincts in Australia and a key provider of jobs for the greater Parramatta and western Sydney region. Click here for more information about the precinct.

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