Malo le soifua ma le lagi mama,
My name is Lemisio Andy and I am an Occupational Therapist. I have been working as an Occupational Therapist for three years now. I have had some experience working in mental health but my core practise has been predominantly within the physical setting, where I am presently based in Adult Rehab of Older People.
I am full Samoan, born in Moto’otua Hospital and brought up in the villages of Vaiusu and Lotofaga. What drew me into a career in healthcare were the values I was raised with; helping others was a big part of my upbringing. At times, I have described my work as being similar to looking after my grandma - with care and compassion.
In my journey, I was part of the Health Science Academy at James Cook High School. As part of the Academy’s aim of exposing students to the various options for future employment, I was initially introduced to the role of an occupational therapist in one of the many workshops I attended. The Health Science Academy does a great job in providing opportunities for high school students to:
- Meet and greet various healthcare professionals
- Complete first aid training courses
- Be supported in exploring different options available within healthcare and MORE.
In the time that I have practised as an Occupational Therapist at Middlemore hospital, I have come to realise just how diverse our population is. Moreover, I have come to recognise the benefits that my personal background has on my ability to build a strong rapport with our Maaori and Pasifika population in particular.
I feel it is important that we grow representation of Maaori and Pasifika practitioners in healthcare as these are often the populations that are over represented in the health system.
Therefore, by supporting initiatives such as the Health Science Academies in secondary schools, we can continue to guide the next generations of health practitioners with similar backgrounds to me, as this can be a key factor in working towards creating positive health outcomes for our Maaori and Pasifika populations.