Early Links Supporting Inclusion

Meet Emily, Allied Health Assistant     

Emily Allied Health Assistant

By Shanelle Pescud

Marketing & Communication Officer


Emily is one of the fantastic allied health assistants at Early Links. We asked Emily to tell us a bit about what she does at Early Links and what she enjoys most about her role.

Hi Emily, can we start by asking what being an allied health assistant at Early Links involves?

Being an allied health assistant (otherwise known as AHA) involves being an active member of the trans-disciplinary team at Early Links. Being an AHA means providing support, assistance and working collaboratively with all team members to deliver great outcomes to all clients and their families. Allied health assistants do a range of activities. This can include making resources for clients, helping in group activities (such as our Big Yellow Bus playgroups or our range of school holiday playgroups), planning and conducting one-on-one client sessions, actively participating in team meetings, assisting in disability support worker sessions, and writing progress notes! The role of an allied health assistant is extremely rewarding and fulfilling. I don’t think I have ever completed a day’s work at Early Links where I haven’t walked out the door with a smile reaching from ear to ear!

How long have you been with Early Links, and what were you doing before that?

I have been a part of the Early Links family since January 2021. Prior to joining the wonderful team at Early Links, I worked in many different roles including being a pharmacy assistant, retail assistant, medical receptionist, and a ward clerk. I also have had years of child minding and babysitting under my belt which provided me with many skills and experience that has ultimately assisted in my role as an AHA.

I am currently in my final year of study to become an occupational therapist.

What do you enjoy most about being an allied health assistant?

There are multiple different reasons why I love being an allied health assistant. I think the main reason would have to be witnessing clients achieve goals and develop new skills! When you witness this, you immediately experience this incredible sense of achievement and honour in being a member of the Early Links team to help the client achieve their goals. It is even better when you see how proud the parents/caregivers are when they see their child thriving! Nothing beats this feeling!

I also want to point out that being an allied health assistant, specifically at Early Links, I always feel like a valued, respected member of the team. This continually motivates me to develop my knowledge and further develop my skills to ultimately become a better AHA, and one day, an even better occupational therapist!

“I don’t think I have ever completed a day’s work at Early Links where I haven’t walked out the door with a smile reaching from ear to ear!”

How can people identify if they or someone they know might benefit from allied health assistance?

Allied health assistants can provide a range of therapeutic and program-related support which can be immensely beneficial to the client and their families. A good way of identifying if supports from an AHA may be beneficial to the client would be to schedule in a chat with the key worker to discuss the possibilities of gaining AHA supports and discuss all the amazing, positive benefits that we can provide. Allied health assistants are a great resource to utilise as we can provide similar supports to occupational therapists, speech pathologists, dietitians, educators, physiotherapists and music therapists which can assist in moving towards the clients’ goals and developing new skills!

Is there anything about our allied health assistance services that you wish more people knew?

Allied health assistants can provide similar supports to that of the therapists! Us AHA’s receive incredible guidance and support from the transdisciplinary team, which equips us with the knowledge, skills, and resources to provide similar supports as the therapist, to the client. I think that this is a role that not all individuals or clients are fully aware of. The best way to describe an AHA is to think of them as a ‘junior therapist’. We too provide client-centred care and are working towards achieving client goals. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to empower others and have a positive impact on their health and wellbeing. It is a very special feeling to be a part of someone’s life journey and story.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your time at Early Links?

To not be afraid to ask questions! Asking questions is how we develop our knowledge and our social skills which in turn will develop our abilities and confidence as an allied health professional. It also assists in building interpersonal relationships among your co-workers, which can lead to future opportunities and collaborations. The lesson was made easy through the kindness and support I receive at Early Links. All co-workers are extremely approachable and will go above and beyond to offer their advice or assistance.

I could truly go on and on about all the different lessons I have learnt while being at Early Links, however I think this was one of the best pieces of advice I can offer from my time here so far.

How do you like to spend your time when you’re not at Early Links?

When I am not working or completing university assignments, I like to spend my time with family and friends, camping, baking, exploring nature, patting almost every dog I walk past (this is probably my favourite pastime), and renovating my first home!

Want to know more?

If you want to know more about the support our Allied Health Assistance Team provides, you can visit our Therapy Services page or get in touch with us using the contact form below.

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