Meet the team – Kate Ditchburn
January 27, 2022
Kate Ditchburn is the VHA’s Engagement Coordinator. Having worked as a content writer and completed a Master in Health Promotion, Kate is now applying her strong interest in health communications and promotion to the public health space, seeking to identify and implement creative ways to engage with and learn from VHA members.
Tell members a bit about your background – where has your career taken you and what brought you to the VHA?
I started my career as a content writer while completing a Bachelor of Journalism and travelling abroad. I have always loved writing, but I found myself quickly developing a special interest in health communications. I decided to complete a Master of Health Promotion and it didn’t take long to realise this was exactly the type of work I really wanted to do. I moved into community health and took on additional health promotion project roles. Some highlights include working on a co-design disability advocacy project, coordinating a schools education program, and building brand awareness of a small not-for-profit organisation.
I came to the VHA looking to broaden my practice and to support public health systems. In my role as Engagement Coordinator, I get to work on enhancing member experience and engagement in the VHA’s services and support. It’s great to be able to combine my interests in communications and public health in the one space. Outside the VHA, I also work casually on women’s health projects including as an exercise facilitator!
What are some things you’re working on at the moment and what most excites you about these projects?
One project I am currently working on is strengthening and expanding our VHA networks and Communities of Practice offerings. I love learning about what is important to different members and being able to provide support and resources that enhance their vital work in our health system. Our current VHA networks include the Regional Rural Roundtable, Prevention Health Network, and Community Health Network. I am looking forward to seeing these networks shine and new networks emerge.
I like to be creative in my work and maximise the opportunity for engagement in experiences like networks, events, or general communications. It can be tricky to navigate delivering an event in the changing COVID environment, but I really enjoy using different tools like hybrid events, interactive quizzes, online whiteboarding and collaboration platforms to create a productive and meaningful experience.
What do you love about working in the public health space?
Public Health is such an exciting and important space. There are endless learnings and so much opportunity to improve the human health and development of all. I enjoy seeing how broader policies and communications can shape all aspects of the health system right down to service delivery and patient experience. We need a healthy system to support healthy people! It’s very rewarding to be able to contribute to that.