Meet Ramishka – Clinical Advisor, Speech Pathologist

Aug 24, 2022

Ramishka Thilakaratne

We have an amazing clinical team based at our Rockingham hub who support our customers to achieve their goals everyday. Meet one of our passionate Speech Pathologists – Ramishka!

Ramishka Thilakaratne has been part of the Rocky Bay team since 2020. She has worked in hospital settings and in the disability sector overseas before moving to Australia, and has also spent time in the research space whislt working with Curtin University.

Ramishka is committed to supporting her customers to achieve their speech goals, and working with and mentoring her fellow clinicians to share expertise and knowledge.

Get to know Ramishka and her role with Rocky Bay a little more with our Q&A.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

My days at Rocky Bay are full of work and satisfaction! I like to have busy mornings visiting customers I work with – I usually visit a number of customers at schools, their homes and sometimes in hospitals to complete assessments that cannot be completed in a standard clinic. I then come back to our hub to complete all my inter-disciplinary meetings with our amazing clinicians, scheduling tasks, research and preparation for the next day. It’s non-stop, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I have a long drive home from work, and sometimes stop at the gym depending on my level of motivation! 

Tell us more about your experience in the disability sector?

Prior to joining Rocky Bay, I worked within the disability and hospital settings overseas. I always knew that working with this community was what I wanted to do, so there was no doubt I would continue this when I moved to Australia.

I also worked with Curtin University within the Research space which I continue to do. The majority of the research I have completed includes developing novel intervention approaches to support individuals with a disability to improve their quality of life.

How did you come to join Rocky Bay?

I started with Rocky Bay in 2020 when I completed my postgraduate in Speech Pathology. I continued to work with Curtin University in the Research space which made my days even more busy!

I have since then loved my role as a Speech Pathologist, and more recently as a Clinical Advisor in Speech Pathology. I do what I love on a daily basis and to be able to mentor other clinicians in this ever growing field of speech pathology has been an absolute delight.

What I love most about my role is that I collaborate with my customers throughout their journey…I love that we develop strong therapeutic relationships of trust and work together to achieve their goals.

For those who aren’t sure, can you explain what you do as Clinical Advisor – Speech Pathology?

When I first started studying to be a Speech Pathologist I assumed I would be only supporting children to speak clearly – that’s just one out of 100 skills that speechies develop!

Speech Pathologists support individuals to reach their potential in all areas of communication and swallowing. This includes articulating sounds clearly, expressing well formulated sentences, social communication, literacy skills including reading and writing, as well as the use of multi-modal forms of communication such as gestures, signs, visuals, use of communication devices etc. Speech Pathologists also work with individuals experiencing difficulty with swallowing, therefore supporting them to eat and drink safely, and enjoy their mealtimes.

We work with children with speech and language difficulties, adults with acquired communication difficulties – for example, post-stroke or brain injuries – as well as individuals with neuro-degenerative conditions like dementia or Parkinson’s disease.

When I first started with Rocky Bay, I supported a range of customers from children to adults. I then progressed to focus my knowledge and expertise on acquired communication difficulties and swallowing. I also continued to support the children I worked with as I had a strong therapeutic relationship with them, and we had made some great progress and had lots of fun!

I continue to have a varied range of customers I support which makes my role all the more exciting! 

What do you love most about your role?

What I love most about my role is that I collaborate with my customers throughout their journey. It’s not a once off interaction – I love the fact that we develop strong therapeutic relationships of trust and work together to achieve their goals.

All of us who work in the disability sector have learnt about the six ‘F’ words – Function, Family, Fitness, Fun and Friends. We not only support our customers to improve their function, but we also make sure we work towards reaching their potential in all areas of their personal and social lifestyle.

In addition to this, to be able to work together with such an incredible team here at Rocky Bay is an absolute dream! The knowledge, expertise, and most importantly the strong value systems of integrity and hard work that I see in my team members is something I am thankful for each day!

What do you love to do in your free time?

I love hiking, going to the beach, road trips and reading. Also shopping – any time any day! The hardest thing in life for me is to stay in one place!

What are three things you can’t live without and why?

1. Family and friends

2. Sunshine

3. Cheese!

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