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Speech Pathology Week: Meet our Senior Speech Pathologist, Sarah

  • 3 mins

Speech Pathology Week seeks to promote the profession and the work done by speech pathologists. As 1.2 million Australians have a communication disability, there is always a high demand for Speech Pathologists. In light of this, we spoke with our Senior ‘speechie’, Sarah Clifton, who has been in the industry for ten years.

Speech pathologists study, diagnose and treat communication disorders, including difficulties with; speaking, listening, understanding language, reading, writing, social skills, stuttering and using voice. Our Speech Pathologists work with individuals who have difficulty communicating due to; developmental delays, stroke, brain injuries, learning disability or other problems that can affect speech and language.

Speech pathologists also specialise in providing support for people who have swallowing difficulties and provide recommendations so that people can eat food that is safe and enjoyable.

What training do Speech Pathologists need?

If you’re thinking about becoming a Speech Pathologist or are considering our speech pathology services, you may wonder what training and qualifications are required. All speech pathologists in Australia must complete a university qualification and continue their professional development to renew as a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist in Australia.

Our Senior Speech Pathologist, Sarah, completed a four-year bachelor of Speech Pathology as a mature aged student after having children.

“The thought of a person not being able to communicate, is what made me want to study. I think communication is such an integral part of who we are; it’s how we connect with our world. I wanted to spend my life helping people who have difficulty doing this.”

What makes it such a rewarding career?

Speech Pathology is a rewarding career where you can make a difference in peoples lives. Sarah says she has supported people with tasks we may take for granted, such as asking for a coffee for the first time.

“I’ve watched a person in palliative care who can no longer speak, tell their family that they love them using a speech-generating communication device. I have seen people shed tears because they have “been seen” for the first time because they were able to communicate. I’ve been part of so many families, lives and communities, and I love it. It’s not always easy, but my job is full of joy, and I’m grateful every day.”

We asked Sarah what advice she would give to someone who was considering a career in speech pathology?

“It is the most rewarding, diverse and challenging career I can imagine. Communication disabilities can happen to anyone. A person can be born with a disability and associated communication difficulties or develop a communication disorder through disease or accident later in life. This means that speech pathologists see people from all walks of life, ages and all backgrounds – this means there is a lot of variety and opportunities for specialisation. And there will always be work. Do it.”

If a career in Speech Pathology interests you or you want to make a difference in the lives of others and gain a career where caring is valued, visit our Apply Now page to see or list current available roles or apply directly from the page.

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