Meet the Team! Claire McKay

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Claire McKay. Claire joined the NCFH as a Research Assistant in 2021, using her Honours in Health and Medical Sciences (Deakin University and NCFH, 2020) and Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Health and Medicine (Deakin University and NCFH, 2021) to further her understanding of the health issues facing farming communities and families.

Keep reading to learn more about Claire and the work she does for rural and remote communities through the NCFH.

Favourite Quote:

You’ll have bad times, but that’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.

Good Will Hunting

What is something that Australian farmers have to deal with that you would like to fix?  

The first thing that springs to mind is the barriers to both essential and specialist healthcare services. Having to travel long distances for medical care, especially for specialist services such as dialysis, is a major problem for farmers and others living in rural and remote areas. Socio-cultural barriers can also be a problem when accessing services – especially mental health services.

What do you like about working with NCFH? 

The sheer number of opportunities for growth and to develop your skills – there’s always something new to learn!

What are you currently working on at NCFH? 

I currently work on the PPKN (Primary Producer Knowledge Network) project as a research assistant, and I help to manage the Gear Up for Ag Health & Safety program. I have a pretty broad spectrum of tasks in any given week – from Q&A, podcast & blog content creation to networking with Victorian secondary schools.

What is your background? 

I completed an undergraduate in Science at Deakin University, then completed an Honours year in Health & Medical Science – I originally intended to go into Medicine, but I really enjoyed my year spent researching chronic kidney disease in farmers and decided to go into research instead. I spent a lot of my life living rurally, and was keen to make a difference in the field of rural/farmer health.

What are the values that drive you? 

Fairness, accountability, and balance.

What are your three favourite podcasts/books? 

Too hard to pick! But a few favourite books are ‘The Divine Wind’, ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’, and ‘Lion’. And the entire Harry Potter series.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?  

I like getting out of the house (especially this year!) for a long bike ride or a hike, and I really enjoy anything art-related. Also spending time with family and my cat (Bert).

To see the upcoming Campfire topics, or to find out more about GearUp, follow the links below.