Incredible Interns: Fostering a more inclusive and diverse workplace

Angelica is an eager learner, passionate workplace contributor and a big spreadsheet fan. She also lives with a disability that can impact her work life - but she doesn't let it stop her.

Last year, Angelica participated in the NSW Government Disability Internship Program; a paid internship scheme that matches talented university students living with disability with roles in leading Australian government services and businesses. For students, it provides an opportunity to gain vital work experience during study, and for the government services and businesses that hire these students, it’s a talent pipeline that helps to cultivate an inclusive and diverse workplace culture.

During her time as an intern, Angelica worked in the Diversity Health Unit at SCHN, working alongside people from a range of departments, including Priority Populations, ChIPS, Trapeze and Clinical Governance. The teams she worked with supported Angelica both practically in her role, as well as supporting her development in the workplace.

As a Diversity Health Intern, Angelica primarily worked on the Interpreter Services Audit Project, contributing to writing an audit report by performing data analysis, project management, and policy analysis as well as working on other tasks regarding the Diversity Health Working Group, and the impacts of COVID-19 on CALD communities.

“In my role, I learnt skills in extracting data and performing data analysis in Excel, analysing policy, how health promotion campaigns work, and how to manage projects. More broadly, I've learnt that roles in the workplace can include a myriad of skills, so it is important to be an eager learner, ask questions, and work with other teams,” Angelica said.  

For Angelica, the internship program has been key in helping her perform at her best and achieve her potential, despite having an illness that she isn't always in control of.

"I am passionate about what I can contribute to the workplace, and receiving flexible adjustments allowed my skills and capabilities to be taken seriously, without being restricted by my condition," she said.

Since completing her internship, Angelica has started a full time position at Sydney Local Health District, and is inspired to work in areas such as policy, research, community development and health services management.

"My advice for other students is to apply for all opportunities that you can. I applied to the internship program as I was looking to expand my professional experience and open doors to future opportunities, and it has done just that," she said.

The Diversity Health Unit at SCHN works to support staff across the Network in working in a more inclusive and supportive way, in line with SCHN's commitment to improving access to services for all patients and their families and carers.

For more information on the disability internship program at SCHN, contact Jack Whitney, Manager of Diversity Health. Further details on the NSW program are available on the Public Service Commission website.