“I’m excited. I’ve always wanted to work with kids and babies. This is the pathway I want to go down, and to have this opportunity at GEGAC just feels really special.”

It’s always a beautiful feeling when you meet someone who really feels like they are exactly where they need to be in their life at that moment.

That’s what it’s like talking with Sam Johnstone.

Sam started at GEGAC this week as an Aboriginal Maternity Health Worker.

Originally from Yuin country in Nowra, Sam spent a lot of her childhood visiting family in East Gippsland and spending a lot of time back and fourth over the border with her Nan, who is a proud Gunai woman.

Sam has strong family connections in this area and is proud to call herself a Gunai woman.

“I know a lot of the girls at GEGAC, which has made the transition to a new role a lot easier,” she said. “I’m really grateful for that.”

“After having my own daughter I realised that this was what I wanted to do.”

Sam Johnstone

As an Aboriginal Maternity Health Worker, Sam’s task will be to help indigenous Mums get the pre- and post-natal care and support that they need, in a system that is often not designed with indigenous people in mind.

“I want to make it an easier process for our Mums,” she said. “To make sure that they don’t get missed.”

Sam’s career pathway to this point gives her a broad perspective on navigating the regional health care system and understanding the needs and concerns of new mums, having worked in allied health, aged care, and local day care.

Sam’s goal is to one day be a midwife. And she’s working toward that as we speak, studying her Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice, with the support of Koori Maternity Service (KMS) Midwife Colleen Cross, and Aboriginal Health Worker trainee Leteisha Bryant.

“After having my own daughter I realised that this was what I wanted to do.”

Say g’day to Sam next time you see her, and welcome her to the GEGAC team.

She sits with Colleen in KMS, in the medical building, and is on-site Tuesdays to Fridays.

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