“I am very lucky to have received quality primary and secondary education. This enabled me to go to university and complete the degree of my choice. My parents valued education and this was inculcated in me from a very young age. I now work in education and help students who find it difficult to access the curriculum due to speech and language difficulties,” Kristen tells us. “I feel privileged to play a part in supporting children to reach their full potential as I strongly feel that every child has the right to receive quality education.”

Kristen is a speech pathologist and works in a language development school with children from kindergarten to Year 3 (three-to nine-year olds). All of the students Kristen works with have been diagnosed with specific language impairment, which is an oral language difficulty that cannot be accounted for by an intellectual or hearing impairment. She works with students to develop their comprehension skills and helps them to express themselves. She works collaboratively with teachers to support students’ language and academic development, and help them return to mainstream schools when they are in Year 4.

We asked Kristen why she chose to work with children. “My degree gave me both a theoretical underpinning of my profession and also practical knowledge in all aspects of speech pathology. During my uni days I had the opportunity to work with adults and children in a range of different settings. I gained valuable insight and experience during this time and realised that my passion lay in working with children.

We asked Kristen what a typical day looks like for her. “A typical day may consist of any of the following for me: assess students’ speech and language skills; set goals for students based on their language needs; meet with parents and teachers; write programs for students and teachers for use in the classroom; write reports; liaise with other health and education professionals; attend team meetings and run teacher/parent workshops.

Outside of work Kristen enjoys spending time with her family. “I got married recently and am enjoying this new chapter of my life,” she said. “I strongly believe in work-life balance and look forward to yoga, pilates and outdoor fitness. I also enjoy travelling and experiencing other cultures whenever I can.”  

ASG Student Kristen