Dana Kabaila strives to help children feel heard and understood in her work as a speech pathologist. She is part of VMCH’s early childhood team that support young children (from birth to 12).
She loves collaborating with her colleagues to help children and their families feel connected and supported in their local communities.
What is your current role and what does it involve?
I work as a speech pathologist with children and families in the home, community and education settings, as well as here at the centre. This involves working on children’s communication and feeding goals. I work in a multi-disciplinary team –including other speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, educators, a psychologist and allied health assistants.
What was your previous role, before you joined VMCH?
I worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital, in the Hospital in the Home Program. I worked mostly with infants that had feeding difficulties. That followed my studies, in completing a Graduate Diploma of Infant Mental Health.
I’m really interested in family relationships and supporting the development of secure attachment.
What do you like about working at VMCH?
I greatly enjoy working with clients and their families. I find the work entertaining and motivating. I value the opportunities to collaborate with other professionals. The team at VMCH have been supportive, caring and passionate about the work. I find every member of the team truly inspiring.
What do you enjoy about working with kids in the early years?
I think working with children involves a wonderful mix of being playful and providing stimulating intellectual challenges as well. You are always working on problem solving and thinking creatively.
What’s the biggest challenge?
Navigating different services and changing funding models can be challenging. There is a lot of information out there and services change really frequently, so it’s just about keeping up to date with the newest information.
Also, ensuring your own work-life balance and self-care practices. It’s important to have opportunities for relaxation in your own time. Having your own relaxation practises helps balance some of the emotional intensity of some of the work we are doing.
What is your future wish for the people we support?
My wish would be to see the children celebrated for their own unique strengths, enjoying exploring the world and being heard and understood. My wish for families would be for them to feel connected and be supported by their local communities.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I like Bollywood Dancing. I’ve done dancing for most of my life,including traditional Lithuanian Folk Dancing. I also enjoy yoga, kick boxing, surfing, writing, crafting, travel, time with loved ones and, of course, cuddling my cat.