Meet the team – Georgia Howie
June 15, 2022
Georgia is a Project Officer at the VHA and brings an occupational therapy lens combined with a history of service delivery and organisational development positions within the disability sector. Georgia enjoys developing and implementing projects that have a positive impact on services while also improving the functioning of organisations.
Tell members a bit about your background – where has your career taken you and what brought you to the VHA?
I completed a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy with Deakin University and, while studying, I worked in disability accommodation services. I enjoyed the rewarding, and at times challenging, nature of supporting people with complex behavioral, mental health and medical needs. Outside of the VHA, I work with a family member, who has a disability, in their art enterprise. Looking to expand on my occupational therapy skills, I transitioned into health and safety where a key aspect of my role was supporting employees to return to the work after an injury.
In 2019 I grew restless and, needing a new challenge while considering my career direction, I travelled around Europe. In hindsight, the timing couldn’t have been better! On return, I pursued roles that aligned with my passion for embedding quality into practice; within disability, out-of-home care, and community aged care services. I also worked to gain experience in framework translation, policy development, accreditation, and service development, at both coordination and management levels.
While I loved the strategic, problem-solving, and collaborative elements of my position, I sought out opportunities to expand into the broader health and community service sectors, subsequently being fortunate to obtain a position with the VHA. At the start of this year, I completed a Project Management for Professionals course and I am continuing to consider my future studying opportunities to formalise my experience. I live in regional Victoria, and love the beach and markets lifestyle. One of the only silver linings of the pandemic was the changes to the concept of the ‘traditional workplace’; thankfully, this enabled me to apply to the VHA while still living regionally.
What are some things you’re working on at the moment and what most excites you about these projects?
My primary project with the VHA is supporting community health services (CHSs) to implement the Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM) and the Information Sharing Schemes (FVISS/CISS). CHSs can have a positive impact on the wellbeing of people who experience family violence, and I am proud to be part of a collaborative and consultative project that supports that.
I have also been involved in the review of the VHA’s project tools and templates – something I have enjoyed. These types of projects align closely with my interest in translating complex frameworks and systems into meaningful practice change. I look forward to further involvement in similar projects, as the collaborative nature of the VHA closely aligns with my working style.
What do you enjoy about working in the public health space?
I was drawn to the industry through personal experience and the opportunity to work in services that are caring, diverse, and inclusive. The VHA team actively works to ensure these values are enshrined in its operations. Providing quality services has a massive impact on people’s wellbeing, particularly those vulnerable members of our community. I believe in working within a sector that focuses on supporting and improving people’s lives.