Caitlin Cannon-Horton – Journey into Speech Pathology

I am a proud Wongai woman living and working on Wurundjeri land. I studied my Bachelor of Speech Pathology at The Australian Catholic University and graduated at the end of 2017.

I decided to study Speech Pathology because I wanted to contribute to my community in a significant way. I was interested in the role health workers had in developing, sustaining and actively contributing to community. I had previously studied a Bachelor of Arts and majored in Art History, I had an idea that community is sustained through art and culture and I was going to be an art curator.

It was a hard choice because I believe in both professions role in contributing to community but I ultimately decided that health and studying Speech Pathology was a better fit for my personality.

I like Speech Pathology because it is a really interesting intersection between science and humanities. There was a huge amount of knowledge in being a Speech Pathologist; I studied diverse subjects from neuroscience to ethics.

For me, Speech Pathology always comes back to communication and that is something I am really passionate about. I strongly believe in everyone’s right to be heard, to be understood and to understand others. That is a fundamental human right. Working with community is especially important due to the historical silencing of Aboriginal voices; from invasion and genocide to current political decisions. We want our kids to be heard and to fight and advocate for themselves and their place in this country.

My parents were constant supports throughout my degree, they come from medical and social health backgrounds and they set an example for me from a young age about the importance of giving back to your community. For them, this is an important tenant of living a good life. They are incredibly inspirational, thoughtful and kind people and I am thankful every day for their guidance and support.

I am now working as a Speech Pathologist in an Aboriginal controlled Early Learning Centre as part of their Health and Wellbeing team. I started my role as a Speech Pathologist a few months after graduating. I work with a wonderful team of educators and allied health professionals and I really value the variety of expertise I have access to on a daily basis.

My hopes for the future are to engage in research projects and undertake my Masters of Public Health.