Clinician of the Year 2021: Tahlia Colebrook

Vivir Healthcare

Vivir Healthcare

17 December 2021

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Clinician of Year Award

Our Clinician of the Year award recognises a clinician within our company who we feel has best exhibited our values, has shown great care with their clients, has received high commendations from their colleagues, and has demonstrated a strong performance within their profession throughout the year.

The ‘Clinician of the Year’ is selected by an internal panel from our winners of our ‘Clinician of the Quarter’ competition, who were nominated by their peers for their hard work and dedication.

The winner of ‘Clinician of the Year 2021’ is… Tahlia Colebrook!

Tahlia Colebrook is one of our hardworking Speech Pathologists who operates across our Homecare and NDIS sectors. Tahlia stood out to our panel for her leadership of our Speech Pathologists nationally, her steady line of loyal advocates singing her praises, and her dedication not only to providing care to her clients but to supporting her colleagues.

“Tahlia has worked tirelessly throughout 2021 under a shortage of Speech Pathology resources in Eastern Australia. Not only did Tahlia cover referrals across NSW and the ACT, Tahlia did an exceptional job of mentoring our new Speech Pathologists, creating resources for key clients and developing educational materials to support the Speech Pathology team going forward. Under challenging circumstances, Tahlia has provided exceptional clinical performance and demonstrated great leadership and perseverance.”

-Nomination Submission for Tahlia


Q&A with Tahlia Colebrook

We spoke with Tahlia about the services she provides, her award wins this year, and her professional advice for any budding clinicians. So let’s crack into it…

Q1. What do you enjoy most about being a Speech Pathologist?

Having the ability to be that one person in the day for someone that is able to stop and listen to what they have to say. Living in a residential aged care facility can be so isolating, as we’ve seen snowball during the lockdown, and being able to break down barriers and develop rapport with different people who want to be able to connect with another person, is so incredibly rewarding. Allowing someone to reclaim their identity and to improve their quality of life through eating, drinking, and communicating. To allow them to feel valued through the words you say to them and how you treat them is so important, and something that is unfortunately not often able to be prioritised in a residential aged care facility setting. Being a Speech Pathologist allows me to prioritise this and to help my clients feel like themselves again.

Q2. What is your favourite thing about working with homecare clients?

Being able to visit people in their homes means that you are privy to the life experiences that have made them who they are. I feel so honoured when they share with me the relationships and accompanying stories that have shaped the people that they are. Working with homecare clients means that you get to find out what they like and dislike, and then are able to shape your intervention to motivate them to engage. I’ve been taught to knit by a client this year, I’ve spent hours discussing poetry, and I’ve learnt some Greek. Being able to connect with someone by sharing their passions allows therapy to be so much more rewarding and enjoyable for both myself and my client. ​

Q3. What does winning clinician of the year mean to you?

I am so incredibly grateful to be recognised as Clinician of the Year for 2021. Being able to be acknowledged in a wider domain for the work that I do with my clients, improving clinical confidence and competence for the wider Speech Pathology team, as well as for education and Quality Improvement for some of our providers; demonstrating how much is involved with Speech Pathology in Aged care and homecare, and how much more needs to be done for change to happen. Winning Clinician of the Year shows me that my effort is valued and important in shaping the role and understanding of Speech Pathology in this domain, and inspires me to continue on that journey.

Q4. What would be your advice to any new starters with Vivir?

Passion is one of the most important things you can have in our line of work. Working in aged and homecare can be very challenging, so having the passion to advocate for your clients is so important. You do your best for them when you are passionate about what you do.

Sharing your passion helps other people develop theirs, and so my advice for our new starters would be to engage as much as you can. Share what you know with everyone you work with. Your number of years experience doesn’t necessarily equate to proficiency – a Speech Pathologist who has been in the field for 40 years has so much knowledge to bring to a team, but equally as a new graduate that enters the field with the most up-to-date research and methodologies that can be hugely valuable when shared.​