GET INVOLVED

Donate your time and expertise

We seek the assistance of professionals in the following fields:

  • Allied Health Professionals– Speech Therapists, Educational/Clinical Psychologists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Nutritionists, Trained Nurses
There is a lack of allied health professionals in Fiji and we are constantly in need of such professionals who can support our multidiciplinary team in providing services to our caseload. 
 
  • Education– Trained & qualified Teachers, Resource specialists
  • Medicine– Paediatricians, General Practitioners, Neurologists
  • Artists – Professional dancers, musicians, artists

You may assist in any of the many varied programmes conducted at the organisation or assist with conducting training workshops for teachers and parents. We welcome any person who wishes to share their knowledge and assist our support groups for parents with any income generating activity, or who wish to share their knowledge and expertise in order to motivate and encourage our teachers, parents and students.



 

 
MY JOURNEY WITH FRANK HILTON - by Shelley Kennedy, Occupational Therapist  
 
Bula Vinaka, Namaste, Hello
I am from New Zealand, in a town called Hamilton. I arrived in Suva in 2015 with my husband and 2 daughters. I am a New Zealand registered Occupational Therapist by proffession. 

I have been volunteering at Frank Hilton Org one day per week for the past year.  I have found it incredibly rewarding to work within the community, especially in an organisation that focuses on supporting children with different abilities.

Occupational therapy is new to Fiji with no training offered in Fiji for this qualification. My role is varied at Frank Hilton Org but I often support parents with education sessions about how to play and engage their children in every-day activities, such as increasing their independence with feeding themselves, getting dressed, toilet training and how to understand their sensory needs. I also support the teachers with engaging the children in learning activities during classes and complete assessments when required.

The teachers and support staff within the Early Intervention Centre and Hilton School are very committed to their roles in the organisation, and are very welcoming of volunteers. There are many ways that you can help; the management team really supported me through the visa process.

I am looking forward to continuing my role in the organisation and am interested to see what happens next!
 

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MY JOURNEY WITH FRANK HILTON - by Terrie Walker, Speech and Language Pathologist.  

In May of 2016, my husband informed me that he had been selected to interview for a job in a city called Lautoka, in the Republic of Fiji. At the time I was running a relatively successful paediatric private practice in the suburb of The Gap in Brisbane, Queensland.  Starting my own private practice had rejuvenated my interest in and love for Speech Pathology and I was happily entering what I thought was the last stage of my professional career….how wrong I was.

Prior to my arrival in Fiji, I had contacted the only Speech Pathologist in Fiji, Suzanne Hopf (now Dr Suzanne Hopf).  For the first few months in Fiji, Suzanne was a terrific guide through the Health and Education systems of Fiji and through the many Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) that operate here.  Suzanne was an excellent mentor both professionally and personally and I will be forever grateful for her help.

So how did a Speech Pathologist living in Lautoka end up volunteering at Frank Hilton Organisation (FHO) in Suva?  The simple answer is that I was introduced to Sureni Perera – CEO of FHO.

FHO is so lucky to have such an intelligent, dedicated, hard-working CEO who genuinely wants to improve the services available in Fiji for children with disabilities and their families. As well as having an Audiology Department that has facilities to administer most audiometric testing; a Physiotherapy Department and the services of a Volunteer Occupational Therapist (Shelley Kennedy),  Sureni had already employed a person to run the speech therapy programs that were left by visiting Speech Pathologists.  This was the most Allied Health support that I had seen in Fiji in one setting.  Sureni also said that she would give me not only the existing part time Speech Pathology Assistant (SPA) to train, but also a full-time SPA. In short, I felt that there was fertile soil here for me to sew my knowledge and to leave growth in Fiji after my time here was finished. Developing local sustainability was something that I had as a goal right from the beginning of my time here.

Enter the SPAs who have made my journey here in Fiji so enjoyable  - Shabina Dean, Tara Lagimiri and Kelera Tatawaqa. 
The SPAs have undergone exams and assignments to prove their learning in these areas and will be an incredible asset to the students at FHO now and in the future.

Sadly my time in Fiji is now over.  My husband and I will be returning to Australia on 1 October this year.  I want to thank Sureni and her team of allied health professionals and their assistants, teachers, teacher aides and carers who have all made me feel so welcome here at FHO.  The students and families at FHO are amazing and I will miss them. You will all forever have a place in my heart.

After I leave we are hoping to continue the development of skills in the SPAs here at FHO.  We are planning to continue support through skyping, case conferencing and through the exchange of videos. I am also planning to return next year for about 4 visits to continue to develop the speech pathology services at FHO.

My dream is that, within the next 5 years, there will be 3-4 local people here in Fiji who would decide to train as speech pathologists and who would actually return to Fiji and work here.  I would also love to see a local training program for SPEECH PATHOLOGY ASSISTANTS, as I feel that with Fiji’s many Island and inland communities, the best way to provide services for all people (children and adults) with Communication Disabilities is through a Service Delivery Model that involves a larger number of Speech Pathology Assistants working under the guidance of a small number of Speech Pathologists.

I am looking forward to my future journey with FHO and thank everone one last time for making me feel so welcome in your tropical island home.