Thursday, April 27, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Meet Bowen’s ‘Speechie’

Working as a speech pathologist was sown into the psyche of Bowen Hospital’s Jack Innes by a mother with a passion for her profession.

Jack’s mum, a ‘speechie’ herself, was always encouraging her son to consider a career in the vocation.

“I can’t remember a day in high school that I wasn’t visiting my Mum’s workplace to help in some way.

“I’d considered it for such a long time, but I did something else – studied sports and exercise – for a while and that helped me to make up my mind that it was what I wanted to do.”

Now a speech pathologist – helping people of all ages with communication and swallowing disorders - Jack has made his mother extremely proud.

“It was very exciting for Mum when I did decide to do speech pathology; she didn’t do a very good job of containing her excitement.”

While many of his patients are children, Jack also spends a lot of time working with oncology patients.

“I’ve had a couple of wonderful experiences with oncology patients recently,” he said.

“Patients can be struggling with their swallowing because of radiation and need assistance returning to regular diet and fluids.

“I do swallow and vocal assessments, check the movements of muscles, work out what’s safe for them to eat and drink and provide swallowing strategies and exercises.”

Now in his second year based at Bowen Hospital, Jack is loving the transition from the busy southeast to the relative peace and quiet of the north.

Bowen Hospital speech pathologist Jack Innes “Still can’t believe when going up the hill to work that I get to enjoy these views”

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