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Vincentia High School

Vincentia High School

Learning For Life

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Melanie Von Bertouch

Melanie Von Bertouch

What year did you graduate VHS?

I graduated in 1998. We were the first year 7 cohort to go through VHS, and the second graduating class ever.

Where are you working now and in what role?

I completed a degree in Speech Pathology straight out of school. After graduating I worked in a private clinic for a while, and then spent a few years with the Dept of Education in QLD. I now own my own speech therapy clinic and have a few staff.

What do you love about your job?

While challenging, day to day my job can pretty fun; you get to be silly and play games a lot of the time. But the best bit is when you see the progress the children are making. Communication is one of the most important skills we have and it has such an impact on a child’s future. Knowing that you helped that kid to be able to get a job and be a successful member of the community is amazing and makes it all worthwhile.

Did anyone at VHS inspire you to follow your chosen career path?

Speech Pathology wasn’t even something I had heard of until I was in grade twelve - I read about the course in the University guide. Mr Dodd, the career adviser at the time, was super-helpful. He organised for some additional work experience time for me at Shoalhaven Hospital so that I could get a chance to see what it was all about. If it wasn’t for that opportunity, I probably wouldn’t have been sure enough to decide to pursue that path.

Did you have many challenges to get to where you are now?

Everyone has challenges and life never pans out the way you imagine, but I think I’ve been pretty lucky. Having good friends and family behind you makes it all a bit easier!

Do you have any advice for our current students?

There is a serious shortage of Speech Pathologists Australia wide, so my advice is to study speech pathology and you’ll never be out of work! Seriously though, if you follow your interests then its much easier to turn up to work each day.