Developing a Student Speech Pathology Service with an Aboriginal Medical Service

Ms Belinda Goodale1

1WA Centre For Rural Health, Geraldton, Australia


Student speech pathologists worked with their clinical supervisor and the child health nurse at the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service (GRAMS) to develop a new service for families. Prior to the student clinic, families could access speech pathology services with the public health services, but not at their local health service, GRAMS. The new service was developed to run alongside the child health service at GRAMS. It was developed through collaboration, and being mindful of working respectfully within the existing models of care for families at GRAMS. The students developed information resources for families and their initial services were focussed around waiting room play based interactions with families and children. This developed key relationships with families and trust in the student services that were also linked with the child health nurse clinic. After a few weeks individual referrals and regular client sessions began to grow and the important waiting room consultations also continues. This service has been in operation for a year and the presenter will share the collaborative process to develop this service, the impact on student learning outcomes and experiences, evaluation of this initial program and the plans for interprofessional expansion.


Belinda is a Speech Pathologist who has worked in rural and remote areas within the Midwest region of Western Australia and New Zealand for the past 18 years.  She is currently enjoying working as a lecturer and clinical educator for Speech Pathology students with WA Centre for Rural Health and is based in Geraldton.

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