NSW Management Interns' Blog

Blog posts by NSW Management Interns of the Australasian College of Health Service Management. Views are those of the individual authors and not those of ACHSM or management interns’ host organisations or employers.

Oscar Chaffey
Oscar Chaffey

ACHSM blog

2015 NSW Health Management Internship Program Orientation

Author: Audrey Lazaris

Date: 02/03/2015

The 2015 NSW Health Management Internship Program (HMIP) Orientation began with 12 excited, albeit slightly confused, new interns, each bringing with them a wealth of varied work experience and university study, as far ranging as health sciences and medical physics, to law and finance. All were ready and raring to begin the newly revised two year HMIP, and looking forward to the new opportunities and experiences it’ll provide.

Amongst a flurry of paperwork, admin matters and scones, the interns began to get their heads around the program structure. Each of us will spend the year at our respective placement organisation within NSW Health, rotating through various departments and placements, while developing a set of key competencies vital in any health management career. These are based on the recently developed Emerging Manager Competency Framework, which not only provides a means to assess each intern’s learning and development, but also allows for critical self-evaluation. The 2015 first year interns will be spending their placements across Sydney in health organisations, including South Eastern Sydney and Western Sydney Local Health Districts, The Children’s Hospital Network, Justice Health & Forensic Mental Health, The Agency for Clinical Innovation, NSW Ambulance and ABF Taskforce.

An introduction by the ACHSM Chief Executive Catherine Chaffey started the day off in perfect fashion, instilling a sense of enthusiasm in the new interns, as we pondered the career paths ahead of us. After learning about the expectations and requirements of our work placement, the administrative side of the academic component of the HMIP was explained by Professor Sandra Leggat. All interns will undertake a two-year Master of Health Administration via distance education through La Trobe University, which seems like the perfect academic complement to our professional experience. The subject options include Human Resource Management, Health Law and Ethics, Health Policy Analysis and Health Care Quality, and will involve online lectures, readings, weekly blog postings and written reports.

The second day of orientation brought with it the second year trainees, and together the two cohorts were split into four “working groups”. These include: Intern News, Marketing, Congress and Recruitment, each with their own tasks and projects to complete throughout the year. It’s another opportunity for each of us to develop a new skillset that will be valuable in our workplaces.  

We then had the wonderful opportunity to listen to Dr Kim Hill, the Executive Medical Director of Western Sydney Local Health District, who challenged us to think broadly about the changing NSW health system, to always maintain open communication and to be confident in ourselves and our own work, without being afraid to seek advice from colleagues.

A presentation from the ACHSM NSW State Branch President, Associate Professor Dominic Dawson followed, with some insights into ACHSM and working within NSW Health. This was followed by a panel of former ACHSM trainees, who spoke about their experiences in the program and how this helped prepare them for their careers beyond the program. They gave us an invaluable insight into life in the HMIP and tips to get the most out of our two years as interns.

The day concluded with a networking session involving the interns and their workplace supervisors, and was a lovely end to a busy, yet inspiring orientation program.  What inspired me the most during orientation was Dr Kim Hill quoting Einstein: “Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.” I think it’s the perfect mantra to apply to our two year internship journey, hoping that indeed we all find invaluable opportunities throughout the next two years, whilst hopefully maintaining a degree of harmony and simplicity as we begin to navigate our new career paths.


Audrey Lazaris is a first-year ACHSM Health Management Intern, currently placed at Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network, where she is working in Redesign & Innovation and the Research & Evaluation Service. 

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