April Kailahi – Why I work for NT PHN

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April Kailahi – Why I work for NT PHN

There’s a strong need in rural and remote NT for informed and evidence-based responses regarding the health workforce.

That’s where April Kailahi comes in.

As the Health Workforce Policy and Strategy Lead, April has a thorough understanding of health policy in the NT. She is responsible for developing and implementing data-driven policies and strategies to inform the decisions of our organisation.

April Kaihali is our Health Workforce Policy and Strategy Lead

Can you introduce yourself?

I have been working in the areas of research, policy, and community development for over a decade and joined NT PHN late last year. I am passionate about public policy and the importance of developing evidence-based policies which shape our public systems. I have always been interested in how social structures inform and govern society and the role policymakers have in helping to bring about a more equitable society. 

What is your role title and what is the purpose of your role? What are your responsibilities?

My title is Health Workforce Policy and Strategy Lead.

This is a relatively new position for the Workforce Branch and in the short time I have been in the role my responsibilities have grown.

Developing and implementing evidence-based policies and practices requires collaboration and relationship building. I need to understand what is happening on the ground in health services and what is happening in the local and national political space. There are practical elements to my role, such as policy submissions and needs assessments.

However, I also engage in research and analysis of best practice, which then informs the broader work of NT PHN. I need an in-depth understanding of what the social determinants of health are and how they impact on Territorians. I collaborate with colleagues to evaluate programs and analyse the data. I analyse and synthesis multiple strategic and competing policies to see how NT PHN is impacted.

My work is broad and there are often multiple projects running at the same time. Nevertheless, this allows me to understand health policy on a macro and micro level. 

How are you committed through your role to improving the health and wellbeing outcomes of the NT?

I believe that good public policy happens on the ground. If policy is not improving the lives of those for whom it is intended, then it is up to policymakers to do better.

As mentioned above, I am fascinated by the way our society has developed and how we can change it to be more equitable. The way that we live, how resources are shared, did not just happen.

Policy is a fundamental influence that informs society, and we create policy. Therefore, I strongly believe that we can collectively improve the health and wellbeing outcomes of the NT.​​​​​​​

What’s a stand-out experience from this year?

A stand-out experience from this year is being part of the growth and development of policy and strategy in the Workforce Branch. The role has grown to encompass a second person which will enhance our capacity to strengthen areas such as policy, strategy, evaluation, data collection/ analysis and designing and delivering key projects. There are many exciting changes happening in the space of primary health and we now have greater capacity to have a better impact in our work.

What are some exciting projects coming out of your branch?

One exciting project is the NT Workforce Alliance shared primary health care workforce strategy. The Alliance is comprised of organisations that have a clear workforce remit in the NT and is facilitating the development of an NT shared strategy. The strategy is designed to improve access and continuity of access to essential primary health care workforce; build health workforce capability; and build the sustainability of the health workforce.

Why do you like working for NT PHN? What brings you to work every day?

There are many issues affecting the health of Territorians and the primary health workforce, however there are also many brilliant people who are working hard to not just mitigate these issues but create a paradigm shift. I get to work with these excellent people who are highly skilled and passionate. Working in health can be difficult and relentless, but the work we do is impactful.

What are some recent opportunities you want to highlight?

I do not have one specific opportunity, rather, opportunity is just a given. My opinions and ideas have always been valued and I have always felt heard. I have been invited into forums within the organisation where I have been able to utilise my skills and experiences. The opportunities afforded to me has contributed to my love for the work and I appreciate being in a workplace that values my work.

How would you describe the values and culture of NT PHN?

Values and culture are integral to what we do at NT PHN. There is a deep commitment to learning and cultivating best practice for the values we inhabit as an organisation. NT PHN, and the NT as a whole, can be a transient place and by that nature our workplace culture gets redefined as people come and go. Nevertheless, I believe that we are becoming stronger in our commitment to be culturally responsive.

Primary health care services in the Territory are growing rapidly and so are we.

If you are progressive, innovative and a critical thinker, join NT PHN today and make a real difference in the lives of all Territorians.

Find out more: https://www.ntphn.org.au/join-us/

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