Celebrating 2022 International Allied Health Professions Day with IAHA Member Riley Park, Speech Pathologist

My name is Ryley I’m an Aboriginal man with Eastern Arrernte heritage. I’m in my final year of my Speech Pathology degree at Flinders University in South Australia. I grew up on Larrakia Country in Darwin, NT and I plan on returning to the NT to provide Speech Pathology services to Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples.

I was inspired by the Speech Pathologists working at Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) NT, as a cleaner during my gap year after high school. I was inspired by the amazing work Speech Pathologists did in collaboration with patients, in helping them overcome their swallowing and communication difficulties, to be able to swallow safely and talk to their family and friends after recovering from stroke or brain injury.

The experiences I gained at RDH inspired me to become a Speech Pathologist, as I want to give back to my community in Darwin and help inspire young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to pursue studies and employment in Allied Health.

Allied Health professionals’ day means shining a light on the amazing work that Allied Health professionals do with people of all ages and backgrounds to help them; talk, eat, walk and get back to what people love doing in everyday life.

I’ve learnt over my studies that I take things in my body for granted, particularly my ability to swallow and talk to family and friends with no problems. I feel that if I lost the ability to swallow my favourite food safely or talk to my family and friends. I would be lost and scared if Allied Health professionals weren’t there to provide the services that I needed.

If you want to pursue studies in Allied Health or employment in Allied Health, just go for it. The amount of impact you could have on the lives of individuals, groups and communities is an amazing experience and a highly rewarding part of studying and working in Allied Health. You also get to meet wonderful people from all walks of life and tell exciting and unforgettable experiences from their lives that you will carry forever.

October 14, 2022


Posted by: Renae Kilmister