New Social Worker At PDH

Photo: Julie Privett - Social Worker
Tuesday, 15 November 2016
Julie Privett had planned to eventually retire to Portland but the chance to become PDH’s new social worker has fast-tracked her relocation from Melbourne.

We bought a place here with long-term plans to retire but when this opportunity came up I moved here, about 20 years ahead of schedule, Ms Privett said.

I love it socially and work-wise, she said. I'm working on the wards, with outpatients, at Harbourside Lodge and in schools; every day is different and quite challenging. It's good to offer a fresh set of eyes with no pre-conceived ideas for all people coming to see me, she said.

Ms Privett has a strong background in teaching and social work, with 17 years teaching experience in everything from primary schools to prison. Working in a prison gives a very interesting perspective and I felt my social work and teaching skills operated together in managing and engaging the students, she said.

Ms Privett also has several years of experience in social work in hospitals and community settings, has studied art therapy and is doing her Masters in Mental Health and plans further study in trauma.

Some of the experiences as a teacher where you can only help so far left me wanting to become more involved and social work is very much human-based, Ms Privett said.

I've always thought of myself as a bit of a problem solver and if I see something I tend to do something about it rather than wait for someone else to step in.

Ms Privett's role includes supporting people in one-on-one appointments around topics such as: grief, trauma, life issues, depression, relationship issues; running groups, supporting other services, counselling in schools and seeing inpatients.

She can also assist people to link in with the appropriate service and assist with completing forms for advanced care planning, Centrelink and aged care assessments.

Having previously worked near Bendigo and in central Queensland, Ms Privett feels at home with rural life and rural health.

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