Hannah Thompson is a speech pathologist from Central Queensland University.
Hannah Thompson is a speech pathologist from Central Queensland University.

Speech pathology champion inspired by her grandmother

WHEN CQUniversity Speech Pathology graduate and proud indigenous woman Hannah Thompson sets out for a work day, she knows she will be challenged and rewarded.

As a woman from the Kara Kara tribe of the Central Highlands region, she hopes to blend her love of Speech Pathology with her passion for helping close the gap between indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in the healthcare and education sector.

"Many of my clients at CPL, a disability services and support organisation, are non-verbal, so I use a range of communication aids to give them a voice," she said.

"We can work with a speech generator or a switch which gives them the chance to respond with Yes or No answers."

Hannah was the recipient of a BMA Scholarship recipient said she was originally inspired to focus on Speech Pathology after a touching personal experience.

"I had no idea what speech pathologists did until my grandmother had a stroke. In the hospital, I saw first-hand the speech pathologist work with her to improve her swallowing and her speech," she said.

"From there I went home and researched the profession and fell in love. I know this is exactly what I am supposed to be doing."

Hannah is based in Rockhampton but covers a wide area including Gladstone and Emerald on behalf of her employer.

She juggles her work life with sporting pursuits as a keen netballer and school team coach.

"I'm especially loving working with children with a disability," she said.

"I was first inspired in this area when I worked with children in Thailand therapy centres, as part of a Speech Pathology overseas excursion organised through CQUGlobal Outbound."

Speech Pathology Australia recently invited Hannah to provide input to members on how indigenous culture relates to the organisation's competency standards.

This peak body input follows Hannah's 2018 involvement in a select network connecting the grassroots view of indigenous allied health students to the national vision of indigenous Allied Health Australia.

During her time as a CQUni student, she volunteered for the Australian indigenous Mentoring Experience.



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