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Faces of Peninsula Health: Q&A with Jessie Cafarella

Name: Jessie Cafarella

Job title:  Speech Pathologist

Q: How long have you worked at Peninsula Health?

A: Just over a year

Q: What is your background? (ie qualification, how did you come into this role?)

A: I have a Bachelor of Health Science and Master of Speech Pathology Practice. Once I graduated, I spent 18 months working in Adelaide under the National Disability Insurance Agency, with Adelaide being the trial state for the Early Intervention sector. I quickly found my passion in working with kids and their families, particularly those with more significant needs and was lucky enough to get my position at Peninsula Health which allowed me to move back home to Melbourne.

Q: What does a typical day in your role involve?  

A: My role in the Children’s Team is quite varied so I don’t have a typical day – which I love! I see kids in a range of settings including the clinic in Frankston, outreach in Carrum Downs, kindergarten and home visits. I could be based at the office or out on the road, working with individuals or in groups, either way, my day involves working with pre-school aged children and their families to meet their communication goals.

Q: What do like best about your job?

A: I love the moment when a child and their parent/carer realise we have just achieved one of their big goals and they have the mixed look of surprise-pride-joy on their face.

Q: What has been one highlight/ memorable moment working at Peninsula Health?

A: I had been working with this particular 4 year old for several months, working on their speech, language and social skills so they could communicate better with peers and make friends. I went out to the kindergarten and was supporting them to play with another child, and then they independently used their peer’s name to ask them a social question and continued to play with that new friend once I walked away! J

Q: What do you enjoy most about working at Peninsula Health?

A: Between the team, the opportunities and the job role, there’s always something new happening and lots of new things to learn.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working?  

A: Spend time with family and friends, go to the gym or for a hike and balance those out with going out to eat!