Employee in the Spotlight: Tara Whitchelo, HealthStrong Team Leader

Published: August 8, 2017

Click here for current opportunities with HealthStrong.

Tara is the Victorian Team Leader at HealthStrong, an allied health service provider recently acquired by Medibank. We caught up with her to learn more about her job, family, and interests outside of her everyday job.

Q: Tell us a bit about you – where you’re from, your family and career journey etc.

I grew up in the Dandenong Ranges and studied physiotherapy at La Trobe University in Bundoora. I started my physiotherapy career in Bendigo, where I lived for two years working in rural and remote environments predominantly with clients with neurological conditions. I then made the move back to Melbourne with my wife Sarah, and continued working in the neurological field while also commencing as a tutor at The University of Melbourne. I joined the HealthStrong team in 2017 to further expand my clinical skills and to be involved in mentoring other practitioners.

Tara on holiday in Queenstown with her wife, Sarah.

A gorgeous shot from Tara and Sarah’s wedding.

Q: What’s your role at HealthStrong and how long have you been working here?

I joined HealthStrong in March 2017, working as a physiotherapist at two residential aged care facilities, before transitioning to the role of Victorian Team Leader in May. My role is focused on supporting the physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and exercise physiologists in all aspects of their jobs. This involves regular over the phone and face to face supervision, mentoring, organising professional development events and inducting new staff. My role also involves communicating regularly with facility managers of the residential aged care facilities we provide allied health services to.

Q: What motivated you to choose a career in physiotherapy?

I had planned to be a physiotherapist since I was young, for a few reasons. I was heavily involved in sport as a child, and so physiotherapy appealed to me because it is an active job. I also wanted a career where I felt that I could make a positive difference to people’s lives, and be able to work alongside them over time as they reach their goals. Physiotherapy is a field that allows me to do all of these things and more.

Tara enjoys keeping active, and getting out and about.

Q: What’s your favourite part of your job?

I really enjoy seeing how well our team work together to make a difference to the residents’ lives. I observe daily the benefits that residents gain from our input, and am very proud of the commitment and dedication our team members display to do so.

Q: How do you make a difference through your work?

In my role as Team Leader, I am in the privileged position of being able to mentor practitioners and enable them to reach their potential and fulfil their goals. I find it very satisfying and rewarding to be able to help other allied health practitioners to improve their clinical skills and to grow personally and professionally.

Q: Our purpose at Medibank is ‘for better health’. What does for better health mean to you personally?

It means caring for yourself and others holistically, ensuring there is a balance between physical, mental and emotional health. It involves the promotion of health and wellbeing within our team and to our residents, to ensure that they can engage and participate in all aspects of life, and live a life with a sense of meaning and happiness.

Click here for current opportunities with HealthStrong.


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