A Professional Journey From New York to Sydney First Person on the Last Page First Person on the Last Page
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First Person on the Last Page  |   June 01, 2010
A Professional Journey From New York to Sydney
Author Notes
  • Heather Weiner, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist for Communicate Speech Pathology in Australia. She focuses on working with children who have speech and/or language delays or difficulties as well as children with disabilities. Contact her at hmweiner@gmail.com.
    Heather Weiner, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist for Communicate Speech Pathology in Australia. She focuses on working with children who have speech and/or language delays or difficulties as well as children with disabilities. Contact her at hmweiner@gmail.com.×
Article Information
Balance & Balance Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Professional Issues & Training / ASHA News & Member Stories / International & Global / First Person on the Last Page
First Person on the Last Page   |   June 01, 2010
A Professional Journey From New York to Sydney
The ASHA Leader, June 2010, Vol. 15, 39. doi:10.1044/leader.FPLP.15072010.39
The ASHA Leader, June 2010, Vol. 15, 39. doi:10.1044/leader.FPLP.15072010.39

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After relocating from my home in New York City to the opposite side of the world in Sydney, Australia, my world was feeling upside-down. My fiancé is Australian, and after meeting him in Sydney where I previously studied, we decided that the time was right to spend a few years in Australia. I was lucky to find a job and began working in a private pediatric practice, similar to what I had been doing for two years in New York.
I started working the day after my move to Sydney and after a 24-hour flight. Everyone thought I was completely insane, but as a fast-paced New Yorker, I needed to get busy and into a routine as soon as possible.
The major differences were that I now had to drive to each client, instead of walking or hopping on the subway—and of course…the accents! For example, there was no need to work on the “er” sound in Australia…Why? Because a farmer (pronounced “farm-err” in New York) is actually a “far-mah” in Aussie-speak! The kids think I sound like an actress and constantly ask me to say words like “dawg” and “cawfee.”
I have now been living and working in Sydney for more than six months and I have to say that being a speech-language pathologist is the one thing in my life that has stayed constant. It is what I know how to do and what I am passionate about. Although I am far from my family and friends, this field is rewarding and I come home every day feeling fulfilled. I work primarily with preschool children and I often see real progress in a short period of time and I am inspired to push them and myself constantly.
I have been to several professional conferences in Australia and have continued to build my professional network. Our profession is one that is wanted, admired, and respected in Australia and there are employment opportunities in both private and public settings. Australia leads the way in many aspects of hearing research and the profession remains on the Department of Foreign Affairs “wanted professions list.” ASHA’s mutual recognition agreement of certification made it possible for me to have the opportunity to work in both places, and I am very appreciative for the reciprocity arrangements currently in place.
Although I continue to try and settle into this new country in the other aspects of my life, I am exceptionally proud to call myself an SLP and I am grateful for the career path this profession has provided.
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June 2010
Volume 15, Issue 7