Member profile: Dr Ava Carter

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your professional journey.

I’ve always wanted to help people, and initially I found my passion for healthcare as a dental surgeon. After a while I realised I wanted to combine medicine and dentistry so I could treat and manage patients holistically as an ENT or maxillofacial surgeon. But on my journey I found psychiatry, and that was when it became clear to me that I could utilise the biopsychosocial model to its full potential within the mental health sector. I’m currently a Consultation Liaison Advanced Trainee and loving every day of it. 

2. What motivated you to seek a position on the College Board?

I felt an incredible excitement about the opportunity to be involved in a fundamental change in an organisation that shapes the future of mental health in Australia and New Zealand. Although there is a lot of work still to accomplish and improve upon, I am motivated to see positive outcomes for trainees in the education examination space, lived experience strategy, and the rural psychiatry roadmap which is a wonderful initiative for the future of rural psychiatry and one that has enormous potential for both the community and trainees. I also knew that I would grow as a person through this position, and I learn from my colleagues on the Board and the College staff every day. 

3. In your role as the Appointed Director, Trainee what have been your main priorities and areas of focus?

My main focus has always been to elevate the trainee perspective into all conversations that occur within the College. Although I am not a representative in my role as a Board Director, I believe it is my duty to ensure that as many different perspectives from the trainee cohort are included in all discussions. A lot of this work comes in the form of working with the governance structure of the College to enable trainees to be heard at each step of the way with new and existing projects. Chairing the Trainee Advisory Committee and being an ex-officio member of the Bi-national Committee for Trainees is a major portion of my work. They have been key in allowing us to enhance the College’s culture so that manifesting genuine attention, transparency, and responsiveness to trainee concerns becomes the norm.

 4. What do you like to do outside of work?

I am a keen runner and am currently training for a marathon. I also love rock climbing and creative writing which are some of my favourite hobbies. 

5. What advice would you give to your younger self? 

To really enjoy being in the moment. I’ve always enjoyed the “small” moments like sunset and the silly conversations at the kitchen table. Yet despite trying to avoid the cliches that come with getting older, I can’t help wanting to remind my younger self that those moments are there to cherish because you never know when they might just stop.

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