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ECU speech pathology graduate awarded Young Achiever Award

Embedding culturally responsive care has been central to ECU graduate Mitch Walley's speech pathology practice, who was recently recognised with a Young Achiever Award at the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia Awards.

Mitch Walley wears a suit holding his award. Mitch Walley.

Mitch Walley is a Ballardong Noongar with ties to Yuat, Pinjarup and Wudjari, and he is also a higher achiever with a passion to support mob.

Embedding culturally responsive care has been central to Mitch's speech pathology practice, where he has achieved a 94 per cent attendance rate with patients.

Since graduating from Edith Cowan University (ECU) in 2019, Mitch has gone on to work as a Speech Pathologist at Derbarl Yerrigan Health Services, and he was recently recognised with a Young Achiever Award at the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia Awards.

"It feels very nice to be acknowledged for the work I do, but I have to give credit to the team I work with at Derbarl – the paediatrician team," Mitch said.

"All of us together work hard to achieve what we can to support our mob and our children, helping give them the skills and support they need in a system that at times doesn't work for them."

One of few

Mitch works in the area of Paediatric Service at Derbarl Yerrigan Health Services and is one of few Aboriginal speech therapists in the country.

Derbarl Yerrigan Health Services have commended Mitch's commitment and passion, as being integral in supporting the development of the Derbarl Paediatric Services Model of Care.

"Mitch also brings a strong passion in promoting more mob to consider a career in allied health and is a proud member of the Indigenous Allied Health Australia network."

Balancing act

Along with his work in speech pathology, Mitch has a love of arts and culture.

Mitch also studied a Certificate IV in Aboriginal Performance and a Diploma of Screen Performance at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).

He also works as a tour guide with GoCultural Aboriginal Tours and Experiences and is an actor in the arts industry.

"The challenging part is balancing all these at once," Mitch said.

"But I love and enjoy all these aspects so at times it doesn't feel like work. The rewarding nature of supporting children and mob as a speechie, to sharing our story and history to people and creating content is what I love doing.

"I just want to be a role model for people and just ensure that I'm the best person I can be."

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