Putting health science into practice at WHO CC UTS

Written by Holly Mandlik, UTS Bachelor of Health Science graduate

As part of my Bachelor in Health Science at UTS, I had to undertake an internship within an organisation that was aligned with our career goals. WHO CC UTS was perfect: it was in line with my degree in Health Science as well as my passion for wanting to improve health systems and those that govern them. It was an amazing opportunity to learn about the industry that I wanted to get into.

I began in February 2019, with the intention of completing my required 140 hours by the end of March. However, this quickly changed and I found myself swept up by the passion of the centre’s staff for the work they were doing within the Western Pacific.

Not only did their passion for their work draw me in but their willingness to teach me everything and anything me wanted to know, made me feel welcomed and confident to undertake the daily tasks I was assigned.

I was immediately included in projects such as the Vital Role Nursing Report, and learnt about the processes that research centres undertook in order to develop the methodology and research questions while comparing and including several different frameworks. I wrote abstracts, created media posters and mapped huge frameworks against one another.


Once March came around, I asked the director of WHO CC UTS, if she would be willing to keep me on for a longer period of time, as I transitioned from my Bachelor’s to my Master’s degree throughout the year.

I wanted to be able to apply more of what I had learnt throughout my degree into practice and they were willing to help me do this.

As the year progressed, I was given more responsibility with the added guidance and teachings of the staff. I was given the opportunity to map the PARsifika research element of the project that then flowed into the qualitative data analysis, for the Research project. Yes, it was definitely a challenge to begin with, but I was supported by the staff and resources from the start to complete the task, and it quickly became an interesting aspect of my weekly routine.

Reading through interviews from health professionals across the Western Pacific Region was fascinating. Not only was I learning how to analysis research, but I was gaining an even broader understanding into the different cultural aspects that influence the different levels and types of care around the region.


It’s not all work within the centre; we did get to socialise with each other and also with leaders within the region. I was lucky enough to meet the Western Pacific Regional Director, Takeshi Kasai, when he visited the centre to talk about his new Operational Shifts and his vision for the region. I also had the privilege of being part of the State of World’s Nursing Meeting that was held here at UTS, by the centre. This time, I was meeting the Chief Nursing Officers from around the region. Both opportunities allowed myself to learn how to develop relations with senior leaders within the region.

My time at the centre gave me the confidence to seek employment within NSW Health, and to achieve some of my career goals. I have been lucky enough to be given the opportunity to be part of the Cabinet and Parliament Team, within the Executive Ministerial Services, at the Ministry of Health NSW as a Senior Business Partner. This role includes disseminating information for the Ministers of Health, for conferences and question time in government.

I look forward to seeing where my career goes in the future, but would like to thank WHO CC UTS for giving me the foundation and confidence to continue working within the health industry.

My time at the centre will not be forgotten and I walk away feeling as though, the work I did may one day make a positive impact in the way the health systems train and educate their nurses.

Find out more about studying Health Science at UTS

Related: My public health placement with WHO CC

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