First Nations Features: Glenn Milliken

Name: Glenn Milliken

Mob: Kamilaroi

1) Gr 2 Musculoskeletal/ Emergency Care Physiotherapist at St Vincent’s Hospital
2) Program/Finance Manager in Consumer and Small Business at Telstra

Tell us about myself?

I am 28 and graduated at Monash University with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Hons) and have been working as a Physiotherapist through St Vincent’s hospital. I also am currently completing my Masters in Business Administration where I obtained a Scholarship to work at Telstra in management.

Why did you go into the health profession?

I decided I wanted to be a Physiotherapist at a young age, and with the help of the Yulenj Indigenous unit through a pathways program, I was able to successfully achieve this goal. The passion came when I started to see a Physiotherapist for my tennis injuries. My cousin was a Physiotherapist and I aspired to be just like him one day. Which was helping sports people prevent, treat and manage injuries. In fact, during university it became much more than that. Physiotherapy ranges from neurological, cardiorespiratory, orthopaedics, paediatric, geriatric, sports/performance, intensive care, rehabilitation centres, aged care, hydrotherapy and many more specialisations. Currently I work mainly in orthopaedics and the emergency department in a team called ALERT; which is a team that responds to social work and physiotherapy patients.
During my time at St Vincent’s I also got the opportunity to be seconded to a management role in the Aboriginal Health Unit for six months where I worked as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nursing, Midwifrey and Allied Health Graduate and Cadetship Coordinator.

Did anyone inspire you? Do you have any role models?

I have had many mentors along the way, such as health professionals I aspired to be, tutors, lecturers and my family who supported me all the time in every choice I have made.

What do you believe are the major health issues facing Indigenous Australians currently?

There are many, just briefly I will talk more related to my work. Some issues are around Indigenous patients not turning up to their appointments. This can be multifactorial due to lack of transport, financial strains, fear of being away from family, education gaps etc. We also have a high rate of patients who decide to leave the hospital against medical advice due to wanting to be back at the bush, or home with family. Sometimes that fear of isolation. We have great initiatives and Aboriginal Health Liaison Officers and staff training to really assist with these measures.

Do you have any words of advice for aspiring health professionals?

I have so much admiration for all our Indigenous and non-Indigenous health professionals. Especially nursing. If you are someone who wants to help people, make a difference in their lives and their families don’t hesitate to be that helping hand. It can be tough at times, but the job is so rewarding. Take every opportunity that comes your way, but always remember to give back, especially to our community.