Hi Raini! Welcome to the Inner East PCP!
Describe your role at the IEPCP.
Dynamic. Challenging. Exciting…
My role consists of supporting social and health organisations in the East to coordinate and collaborate on prevention initiatives across a broad range of priority issues, some of which include prevention of violence against women, social inclusion and healthy eating.
What sort of work were you doing prior to starting IEPCP?
I was actually enrolled at the University of Amsterdam undertaking a Master in Social and Cultural Anthropology; which took me on a 3 month research trip to Seychelles to study the semiotics of food, intentional exercise and the body and its relation to obesity and diabetes in the male population. Before this, I was very fortunate to undertake dynamic prevention and service coordination projects for Baker IDI, Eastern Health, HealthWest Primary Care Partnership and SA Health’s OPAL (Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle) program.
What excites and motivates you about starting as the Prevention Coordinator at IEPCP?
I have worked in the prevention space for 5 years, prior my year abroad and I truly believe it is the best investment for population health. My work in this area allowed me to experience the absolute necessity of this type of work, but also the difficulty of facilitating it, especially in silos. These experiences motivated me to think about other, more systemic ways of approaching preventative health initiatives. I feel that as workers in the community and health sectors, our collaboration and shared expertise can make our efforts stronger and more efficient. This very idea of sharing expertise and experience to make a difference in prevention, and ideally population health is what excited me, and what currently excites me about this job. Essentially I came looking for a job at a PCP and was able to land this one. Lucky me!
What strengths do you bring to your work here in the inner east?
I think my strengths lie in my employment learnings and experience. The tasks and challenges I have been faced with have taught me many things and have allowed me to work across a wide spectrum of issues including obesity, diabetes, tobacco cessation and prevention of violence against women. As well as with a wide variety of populations including pregnant women, children and cultural specific groups. I think my learnings and experiences afforded by my previous employment are an asset I can bring to the inner east.
Additionally, I come from two academic disciplines in Public Health and Anthropology, both of which I try to bring to my work. I hope that the combination of these disciplines will act as a benefit for the work undertaken in this role.
Tell us something about yourself that we don’t already know.
I am a qualified Archaeologist. Since childhood I have had a passion for culture, which initially lead me to a degree in Archaeology. I also used to work as a Personal Trainer for about 6 years while I was at university. Under some very unconventional wisdom from one of my university lecturers, I was encouraged to combine my two passions culture and health, which lead me to transition into Medical Anthropology and eventually into my public health education and career- which is how I ended up here!
If you could change one thing about the world right now, what would it be?
Tolerance for difference. I believe that greater health and wellbeing would extend from more equitable and tolerant societies. The second thing I would action would be good coffee for everyone!
If you weren’t working at IEPCP right now, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t working here, I think that I might be looking to further explore my area of interest (the intersection of health and culture) through a PhD. But as I have just finished the thesis for my second Master, I am very glad to be here!