Featured News High School Health Heroes

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Mon, 14 Jun 2021

High School Health Heroes

student performing CPR on a mannequin under supervision
James Cook University and Mater Hospital are joining forces to give high school students a guided, behind-the-scenes experience into the world of healthcare.

James Cook University and Mater Hospital are joining forces to give high school students a guided, behind-the-scenes experience into the world of healthcare.

Year 11 and Year 12 students from the Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton regions will explore opportunities available to them in medical, nursing, and allied health careers as part of the Heroes in Health program.

The program will give students a real-world insight into a ‘day in the life’ of healthcare professionals, with an exclusive hospital tour, a variety of workshops, and an opportunity to hear from and interact with practicing health workers.

Bachelor of Nursing Science student Brianna Hill participated in the program in 2019 and said the experience played an important role in helping her make a decision about her future career.

“Living out in a rural town, it was very difficult for me to know if healthcare was for me, as there was very little opportunity to gain any work experience,” she said.

“My goal for attending the program was to know 100% that healthcare was either for me or not for me, even if it meant walking away knowing that healthcare wasn’t for me. I absolutely loved the HERO program and it made me fall in love with nursing all over again.”

Ms Hill said she feels privileged and grateful to have had the unique opportunity to interact with practicing healthcare professionals in their working environment.

“The hands-on experience made nursing come to life for me, and made me find my passion for nursing. Seeing nursing as such a respected career, and seeing the fire and passion of other nurses on campus made me so excited to be a part of that,” she said.

Mater Private Hospital Rockhampton Executive Officer Sue Thurbon said the program was part of Mater’s commitment to building a caring, competent healthcare workforce in the region.

“Mater has a long history of providing compassionate care to the people of Central  Queensland and this partnership with JCU enables us to showcase our hard-working, committed staff as well as the range of services we provide,” Ms Thurbon said.

This year, the Heroes in Health program coincides with the opening of JCU’s Early Offer program.

The Early Offer program gives Year 12 students the opportunity to secure their place at JCU prior to the release of ATAR results, relieving the stress associated with end-of-school exams and granting students early access to JCU’s support services, ensuring a smooth and successful transition into university life.

Students who participate in the Heroes in Health program and decide they want to study a degree in healthcare at JCU are encouraged to speak to their school guidance officer about the possibility of an early offer – nominations are currently open and do not close until 19 November.

For more information on the Heroes in Health program visit https://study.jcu.edu.au/HEROProgram, and for more information on JCU’s Early Offer program visit https://www.jcu.edu.au/year-12.


Regina Blackburn

JCU Future Students Manager