Dominique says that working as an OT in a small community like Bowen comes with many rewards. “Bowen is really beautiful with its beaches and there’s nothing quite like the sunrises and sunsets here,” she says. “There’s always something fun to do, whether it is swimming and snorkelling on the weekends, going up the Mother Beddock Walking Track or doing musical bingo down at the pub one night of the week.”
Finding friends in a small town is also really important. “My best piece of advice for anyone going to work in a small town is to just put yourself out there because it really does pay off,” Dominique says. “I did that and now have a wonderful group of friends; we have all been a massive support to each other. They are a mix of health professionals, teachers and other people all around my age,” she says.
Connecting with the broader community is also one of the highlights of working in Bowen for Dominique. “Working in a small community, it is lovely to be really connected to the people and families you are helping. You get to see the kids who are your clients succeeding and enjoying life; you know that you helped them get there,” she says.
“For some kids, you might hear about the things they’re up to, like going to the show, starting to play a team sport or developing their social skills. You know what it took for them to get to that point. It’s really rewarding and heart-warming to hear about their achievements,” Dominique says.
“My favourite part about being an occupational therapist is getting to see the growth and progress of the children you work with. You get to see them smile when they do something that they’d previously thought they’d never do,” Dominique says. “Occupational therapy is a career that gives me variety, the chance to be creative and I’m never bored because you’re always learning.”