Candidate: Natasha Polzin
Rural Health Club: ARMS
Discipline: Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery
Please provide summary of why you are interested in the position, your ability to fulfill the position and your previous experience related to the position. (Word limit: 300 words)
Hi my name is Natasha Polzin and I am applying for the position of Community and Advocacy Officer for the National Rural Health Student Network. Coming from a rural area in Western Australia I am passionate about rural health. When I was a child I remember travelling 3 hours each way to access health services for my brother who suffered from epilepsy. This took a massive financial and emotional burden on my family and has stuck with me ever since. I have held positions on my University’s Rural Health Club (ARMS) since I began medical school, including working in a co-chair capacity this year. I have always had a strong drive to help others as I believe that we are stronger working together and in working smarter not harder. By working in the community and advocacy space I hope to support the other clubs to delivery outstanding events and advocacy for their members. Through ARMS we were able to effectively advocate for change in the Indigenous Health curriculum and pave the way for fellow students to advocate for the changes they need. I am immensely proud to be part of the catalyst that is driving change through our medical school, questioning the narrative and pushing for improvements in an outdated system of teaching medicine. My background is administration, policy work as well as taking on leadership roles. I have found that working on the student organisation has allowed me to continue to provide leadership to my fellow students and help them to be the leaders that we are expected to be in the health field. I wish to bring this experience as well as my passion for rural health to the NRHSN to benefit its members and the rural health clubs that the NRHSN supports.
Please provide a response to the Key Selection Criteria. (Word limit: 1000 words)
1.I currently manage multiple personal, school and rural health club email addresses and calendars and have constant access to a phone, computer and internet access.
2. I have attended each NRHSN conference in 2021 as well as Council 2 in 2020. I enjoy travelling and have both the capacity and ability to travel for NRHSN events and meetings. I will be based in Cooma, NSW for 2022 which is quite central and I am easily able to travel to Sydney, Canberra and other locations in NSW.
3. During 2021 I was the Vice President of my university’s Rural Health Club (ARMS). As such I was the primary point of contact for my rural health club, attending all Council meetings and submitted my clubs annual update for Council 3 and wrote numerous articles for Cooee!
4. I grew up in rural Western Australia and have had personal experience within the rural health system, including lack of access for specialist services in rural Australia. Since beginning at the ANU to study medicine I have been involved in the rural health club and have been a staunch advocate for rural health. I began with my rural health club as the Undergraduate Officer in 2020 and then applied for Vice President for 2021.
5. Before studying medicine I worked for the WA Department of the Premier and Cabinet in various roles, including senior administration roles leading teams. I thoroughly enjoyed this time in my career and found it extremely fulfilling when I was able to work with my colleagues or staff to improve their work experience and help them to be the best they can be and meeting them where they are. During my term as Vice President of ARMS I have worked hard to foster a productive and collaborative working environment, to give everyone a rewarding experience and mostly for our junior committee members to grow into the leaders they want to be, as for many of them this was their first experience in leadership roles. Our entire first year junior committee members had had such a positive experience on the committee where they felt heard and were able to find their leadership style and passions, that they all ran for executive committee positions in 2022 and were successful. These were the proudest moments I have had since starting medical school: to see a team of individuals come together with a common goal and affect real change.
6. In my previous work I created a training module for department staff. I then gathered key individuals around the department to receive the training and then worked with the team to deliver this to the entire department staff, including follow up support and assistance. This project required me to meet with stakeholders around the department and advocate for the project, deliver the project in front of 15-20 people at a time and field and questions, queries and concerns by department staff.
7. I have worked with the NRHSN for the past year and have read through the position descriptions available on the website and consulted with current Executive Committee members on their roles. My understanding is limited to my external view point but I am excited to bring my passion and enthusiasm to the team and have extensive experience in a corporate environment as well as a student organisation.
8. During my studies at ANU Medical School we have learnt about multidisciplinary teams. I have also personally educated my colleagues on the approach of multi-disciplinary teams within a rural and remote context, even comparing availability of health professionals in various parts of rural Australia and the impact this would have on the patient. I included travel allowances and assistance available as well as personal statements on the mental impact of travelling significant distances to receive health care.
9. I am aware of and read the Cooee! publications as well as the position statements available on the NRHSN website.
10. As Vice President of ARMS I have managed the social media for our committee for 2021. I was able to significantly improve the content that was delivered to our followers through consistent engagement, increased sharing of articles and resources pertaining to Rural and Indigenous health as per the goals the executive committee outlined at the beginning of the year. I ensured that the content being shared was always relevant to our members and aligned with the views and opinions of the rural health club.
11. From my work experience I am very familiar with timelines and am able to prioritise my workload to suit the changing business needs of the organisation. I was subject to Parliamentary questions which had a strict deadline to be submitted, in addition to briefing notes, speech notes etc. required for the Minister to perform their duties. I was able to successfully meet these deadlines or else identify when I would be unable to meet the deadline and required assistance or modification of other factors to ensure that the deadline would be met.
12. I have held many corporate roles, including management experience, that required professional behaviour. I have also held the position of Vice President for ARMS for the past year and have ensured that our behaviour was always professional when representing the student body.
13. I have experience as a manager of a team of administrative staff. I have also worked within small office’s for a large portion of my working career, as well as within a medium sized department. I have also held an Executive Committee position within ARMS, a year representative on a student sub-committee and been a member of a working group whilst at university. I have extensive experience working within many different teams of many different sizes.
14. I have worked closely with the Rural Doctors Network during 2021 to arrange a scholarship evening and obtain advice on various matters pertaining to the running of the rural health club. I have a good working relationship with Chris Russell and his team.
Please provide your Curriculum Vitae. This can include a summary of specific previous experiences you have had related to rural health and leadership (events, courses, positions held, relevant previous or current employment). (Word limit: 500 words)
VOLUNTEER HISTORY ANU Rural Medical Society (Rural Health Club) February 2020 – Present Positions:
- Health Science Representative (2020)
- Vice President (2021)
- Initiate undergraduate membership
- Transition to central document management to ensure continuity between committees
- Come up with unique event ideas, plan and deliver events
- Foster good working relationships between committee members, assisting members with tasks resulting in full retention to 2022
- Revamp ARMS social media, increasing connection with members and dissemination of information
Ellenbrook Library January 2017 – December 2019 Delivering library books to elderly people
Night Hoops January 2017 Basketball program run for at risk youth
Days for Girls January 2017 – 2019 Sewing sanitary hygiene products for women in developing countries
WORK HISTORY Executive Assistant Department of the Premier and Cabinet (WA) January 2014 – May 2017 March 2018 – October 2018 October 2018 – January 2020 Key achievements
- Creation and introduction of a department wide electronic correspondence process to increase efficiency and reduce printing costs.
- Creation, implementation and delivery of a Microsoft Surface Pro and OneNote training program.
- Creation of an electronic timesheet approval process.
- Successful transition from paper-based records management system to electronic enabling improved tracking of correspondence and improved follow up.
- Design and implementation of template event brief package to suit changing business needs.
Support Officer Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (WA) Aboriginal Culture and History Unit January 2018 – March 2018 Key responsibilities
- Assisted with the design of a centralised Ministerial Liaison Unit (after Machinery of Government department merger) including creation of processes and templates for new unit.
- Assist with Aboriginal family history research; Quality assure, edit and research of biographies and family history for Aboriginal World War I publication.
Key achievements – Identified key areas for improvement to streamline processes and ensure quality ministerial documents.
Executive Administration Department of the Premier and Cabinet (WA) Special Inquiry into Government Programs and Projects May 2017 – December 2017 Key achievements
- Successful implementation of Records Management Plan, updating as required to reflect changing business needs.
- Designed and maintained correspondence register t.
Executive Officer Department of the Premier and Cabinet (WA) Various dates between 2015 and 2016 Key achievements
- Foster good team work and collaboration.
- Reduction in number of overdue correspondence through improved tracking and follow up.
Ministerial Liaison Officer Department of the Premier and Cabinet (WA) November 2016
EDUCATION Australian National University 2020 – expected completion 2023 Medicinae ac Chirurgiae Doctoranda (Doctor of Medicine and Surgery) Curtin University 2016 – 2019 Bachelor of Science, Health Science Major License’s and qualifications Working with Vulnerable People Current National Police Clearance March 2021