Meet our Rural Health Professionals - Meghan Maguire

28 November 2023

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​Occupational Therapist, Meghan Maguire, has worked throughout Queensland, and has recently relocated to the Western Downs region after a short stint in the Northern Territory. We caught up with Meghan to hear all about her journey so far and it is clear she has a passion for rural Queensland and is making a real difference in her community. Meghan shares her story with us below and some advice for new grads.

"Originally from Townsville, (which does make me a loud and proud NQ Cowboys supporter) I moved down to Brisbane to complete my Occupational Therapy (OT) degree at UQ. I have always had a strong interest towards rural, remote and Indigenous healthcare and once I graduated, I was very excited to put this passion into practice. I took a new grad role and moved out to Emerald, right in the heart of the Central Highlands. After getting this taste of the rural lifestyle, I was eager to take on a new opportunity which led me North West to Mount Isa.

Following this, I headed up to the Territory to continue to learn and expand my clinical skills as well as to experience new opportunities within the world of OT. In July 2023, with the support of HWQ, I have recently relocated back down to the sunshine state, working within the Western Downs region.

It has been really special to continue my connection with HWQ, in particular working with Louise, who was able to retain my work experience and history and support me in sourcing a new position moving back to Queensland. Having the access to relocation support has been a massive help to say the least! It has allowed me to take on these new opportunities whilst reducing the financial pressures that come alongside moving, as we know Queensland has a fair bit of ground to cover. Every bit of support helps making the transition to a new work role and community that little bit smoother!

One of the most advantageous aspects of the HWQ includes the access to the Scholarship program which provides financial support for ongoing Professional Development (PD). I really admire this funding scheme as it allows clinicians who are working outside of metro regions equal opportunity to attend PD’s regardless of their working location. HWQ recognises the additional location barriers that rural and remote clinicians face and the associated cost that comes alongside this with accessing external face-to-face learning and networking events. This funding scheme is inclusive of transportation and accommodation support, for me this has made attending these functions possible.

There are so many aspects I love about rural Queensland! I love connecting with what the community has to offer and each town has their own hidden gems you get to discover. There is so much on offer whether it be socially, sports teams or new sites and places to check out along the way. The stunning scenery and sunsets never get old either. I also love the connection in small towns and getting to work across different services, there are always events or community activities and it’s such a great way to network and make service linkages where possible, the more you get involved the better!

One aspect I find really rewarding is being able to provide services that people would otherwise have to travel long distances for. Offering a face-to-face appointment can be such a fulfilling experience for someone who has been on a waitlist or not had the opportunity to work with an OT within their community before.

What advice would I give to other health care professionals or students considering working rural? To go for it! The first step might always feel the most daunting but once you take it, it leads you down a pathway to meet some fantastic like-minded people and provides countless opportunities to develop your clinical skill set!" ​

​Main Image - Meghan Maguire with her brothers at her graduation
Above - Some beautiful rural Queensland sites Meghan has photographed