Meg Austin Takes Place On The Regional Health Ministerial Advisory Panel

Written by: The Hilltops Phoenix

Meg-Austin

IMAGE: Young Hospital employee, Meg Austin believes people in regional and remote communities can only feel empowered to be part of the decision-making process around healthcare with better conversation.

As an early career midwife, Meg Austin never dreamed she would one day be among the voices that help shape the future of health outcomes for people living and working in regional NSW.

“I have particular interests in antenatal care and midwifery-led continuity of care for women who live in regional and remote areas,” Meg said.

Meg applied for a seat on The Regional Health Ministerial Advisory Panel, never anticipating that she would be successful.

“The panel is made up of such an amazingly qualified group of people with diverse and well-established careers, so as a bit of a new starter it is an amazing opportunity to give a different perspective,” she said.

“I feel privileged to be involved, and it has been an eye-opening experience.”

“I have an appreciation for planning and policy creation and understand why change takes time.”

“My role is about representing the newer graduates and staff so that early career nurses, midwives and allied health professionals have some input about some of the things that we have experienced, what we see barriers to our work.”

Prior to her role at Young Hospital, Meg worked as a continuity midwife in Broken Hill and she believes continuity of care midwifery to be the gold standard of care and would like to see the model more widely implemented across rural NSW.

Her career journey began in 2017 when she completed work experience in the maternity ward at Corowa Hospital as part of her HSC.

“Rather than treating sick people, the focus is on wellness, empowering women and enhancing people’s health,” Meg said.

“Welcoming babies into the world is the best part of life and I just love it.”

Meg has spent most of the past five years studying and working in border towns and regional areas, including Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Dubbo, Bathurst, Cowra, Parkes, Forbes, Canberra and now Young.

Her recent move to work at Young Hospital was inspired by a yearning to be closer to her family and friends in Canowindra.

“It’s nice to be closer to home,” she said.

“Mum and Dad are still in Canowindra, and I have brothers there.”

“It’s been nice to duck home for special events on the weekends.”

“I have no interest in moving to a metropolitan city and will always work in regional areas.”

“I just love the country, I grew up in a country town, and that sense of belonging, of community you do not get anywhere else.”

“I have only lived and worked in Young for a very short period of time and already I’m starting to see new mums in the supermarket, out and about, and that is really special.”

Meg feels when living and working in regional towns, you’re interwoven into the community.

“It’s why I am so passionate about making sure people feel empowered in their everyday conversations and choices, whether it be with your work colleagues, your patients, your community, you get to feel you actually have a really positive impact on people’s lives.”

KP Carmody

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