Introducing Austin Health's first Aboriginal Employment Officer

Josie is a proud Ngemba woman from Bourke in New South Wales. 

You may also recognise Josie, as she’s a current Austin Health employee working in the physiotherapy team at Repat. 

“When I read the job description for Aboriginal Employment Officer, I knew it was a role where I could make a big difference for my community,” Josie Quinlan said. 

This is a new role for Austin Health that will focus on attracting, retaining and developing our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce and contribute to Austin Health becoming an organisation of choice for Aboriginal employees. 

Josie will be part of Austin Health's Diversity and Inclusion team, and will also support the development of appropriate cultural safety and cultural competency programs across the organisation.

She will also work to build strong networks internally and externally to identify opportunities to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment and support career development.

Josie will commence in the role on 13 July.

“I’ll spend the first few weeks in the role meeting and listening to as many staff and community stakeholders as possible.

“Together we’ll establish Austin Health’s priorities for the next 12 months and beyond. I’ll also be working within the Diversity and Inclusion team in commencing work on Austin Health’s second Reconciliation Action Plan,” Josie said. 

Josie is passionate about building support networks for the Aboriginal community.

“I also think it’s incredibly important that we do things that say to the broader Aboriginal community that Austin Health is a culturally appropriate and safe place to work.”

“As an Aboriginal person, I can see a bit more of what my community needs. It’s about letting people know that there are career pathways and opportunities available to them.”

“I moved from my hometown of Leitchville, in Northern Victoria, to Melbourne when I was 20 years old. I didn’t know what opportunities lay ahead or even how to find them. I wish I’d had someone to reach out to for discussions about my strengths, interests and help align them with a career path.”

Prior to her roles in healthcare, Josie spent a number of years in corporate roles at Fusion Retail Brands and National Mutual/AXA. 

“I’d had a spinal surgery at Austin Health, and had returned back to work after a great deal of physio and was sitting at my desk thinking, I’ve just learnt how to walk properly again, maybe I need to be in a role where I can be more active and hopefully help someone else get back on their feet too in some way.” 

Josie went on to complete a Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance at RMIT, she worked at Alfred Health for just over a year and has been at Austin Health for the past three. 

“I think it’s important to find where your passion lies and work there. I’d like to think mine is supporting and empowering others, which is why I’m just so excited for this new role.”