On: March 14, 2022

“I have been able to work with all our business units, I have been able to speak to hundreds of team members across the country and developed strong working relationships with many of them. It has really helped to catapult my career within MedHealth.”

Mathew Clark is the Injury Prevention Team Leader at Cogent, and the WH&S Specialist for MedHealth. Living in Melbourne during the pandemic and helping team members affected by COVID-19, Mathew’s experience over the last two years has been intense. But Mathew says he wouldn’t have it any other way.

My career journey with MedHealth

I first Joined IPAR as an Injury Management Consultant in 2014 after finishing my first degree and later became a Team Leader. During this time, I was an SME (Subject Matter Expert) for Functional Capacity Evaluations and Student Placements and was able to conduct a number of services including functional capacity evaluations, ergonomic assessments, and return-to-work consulting. Further to this, I had various quality assurance and account management responsibilities.  From 2015, I commenced a Master of Ergonomics, Safety and Health at La Trobe University which was completed in mid-2019.

In September 2019 I was offered a secondment role with MedHealth as Work Health and Safety Specialist, which subsequently became a permanent position. This secondment began my transition around the business and has helped me gain some valuable experience.

In January 2021, I moved to Cogent Thinking as the Injury Prevention Team Leader, leading a team of Care Coordinators who support a number of clients with services such as pre-employment medical assessments, health monitoring and other occupational health assessments, whilst also continuing in my WH&S role for MedHealth.

My motivation

From a leadership perspective, seeing my team members learn, grow, progress through their careers and be happy is very motivating. I have always aimed to train my team members with a view to taking over my role, or another role they may want to pursue one day.

From a WH&S perspective, the fact that we have been able to support over 2000 team members navigate the COVID19 pandemic and have not had anyone seriously ill from COVID-19 due to a workplace exposure, is very satisfying and I feel lucky to be a part of the team’s success.

After I started the WH&S role towards the end of 2019, we soon faced the bushfire season of 2019/20 which was then quickly followed by the outbreak of COVID-19. It was and has continued to be a busy and challenging time. I was soon working with people across the business that may have been exposed, or who just needed guidance and support in navigating COVID19. The silver lining for me was that I have been able to work with all our business units, I have been able to speak to hundreds of team members across the country and developed strong working relationships with many of them. It has also really helped to catapult my career within MedHealth.”

The challenges

Learning different systems was one of the main challenges, but it just takes time. Also, being familiar with your services is important, and coming into an area where I was not necessarily the expert was another challenge, but I was fortunate to be part of a team who all knew their services and were willing to help me learn.

An understanding leader

I’m easy-going. I think I am approachable as a leader, and I hope that people feel comfortable enough to contact me. You need to be understanding, flexible and be a support to your team. This is how you get the best outcomes for everyone.

Transitioning roles

I think I was a little nervous about transitioning. It’s always an awkward conversation to have with your current Manager. I had to mentally rehearse the conversation and plan for the reaction. But at the end of the day, there’s an understanding and a preference for skilled value-driven people to stay within MedHealth.