I am Hamimah Ahmat and I joined SIAPO on the 29th of March this year as the Allied Health Quality Improvement Lead for Children Development Services in the South Island.
I have been practicing as a Speech-Language Therapist since 1999 in different Early Intervention centres and special schools. The last 14 years of my working experience was with the Department of Child Development in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Singapore wearing several hats – clinician, team leader, satellite head, as well as lead for various projects including inter-organisation and inter-ministry ones. I came to Christchurch to do my PhD with the University of Canterbury in 2013.
I am passionate about work that aims at enhancing equity of access and quality of services for children and their whānau. I am especially honoured to be part of a dynamic group comprising representatives from DHBs and NGOs that provide services supporting children with additional needs and their whānau in the South Island.
A lot of foundational and conceptualisation work had started since 2019 but plans were put on hold due to Covid, so my task began with picking up from where the project was left off and pulling information together as quickly as I can via various means (reading, visiting centres, talking with members and so on) in preparation for how to plan subsequent activities. Among others, my main objectives were to:
Our first activity as a group was to attend three half-day training sessions on Change Management Practitioners Program conducted Angela Cowan from 20 Watts Solution Ltd. The feedback for this training has been generally positive. The group has since met over four weekly meetings to brainstorm existing challenges and areas where changes are needed, taking reference and learning from international trends and practices.
We will continue to meet over the coming weeks to identify and prioritise areas for change and co-produce a regional quality improvement project that will impact on the way services to children and their whānau in South Island are provided. We will propose our work plan to the CDS Working Group for their approval.