‘The best job in the world’: Why Speech Pathologist Scarlett Mason chooses to grow her career at Goodstart
A child’s language and communication skills are key to their social and emotional development. As a Speech Pathologist, Scarlett Mason is essential to enhancing lifelong outcomes for the children in our care. And this friendly, passionate allied health professional is making a lasting impact on our teams. Find out how Scarlett is stepping up her career at Goodstart Early Learning.
Purpose and passion
Ask Scarlett Mason why she chooses to be a Speech Pathologist, and she’ll tell you: “It’s the best job in the world!”
Scarlett is an enthusiastic and highly valued member of Goodstart’s team of allied health professionals. Based in Newcastle and Central Coast, New South Wales, Scarlett supports our Early Learning Centre teams to create communication and literacy-rich environments that nurture children’s speech, language, and social and
“The early years are so important,” Scarlett says. “Speech pathology is about helping children communicate, which has a big impact on their wellbeing and ability to form positive relationships.”
Each day, Scarlett works with Goodstart’s Educators to identify and support children who may be experiencing challenges with speaking, listening and understanding language.
This involves spending time on the floor with our teams, promoting integrated, evidence-based practice, and building Educators’ confidence to communicate with parents about the needs of their children. Scarlett also supports some of our interstate teams via telehealth.
“I love seeing the improved outcomes we can achieve with children, but what’s really special is helping Educators grow their confidence. I love it when I have been working with an Educator on building a new communication skill and by the end of our coaching session, they’re teaching that skill to others. It shows that the work we’ve done with them has made an impact. That capacity building makes me proud.”
A warm and welcoming team
Like many young adults, Scarlett wasn’t entirely sure what career path to take once she finished high school. An administration role at an allied health practice soon inspired her to complete a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours).
Scarlett worked in small private practice before moving into a managerial position. She enjoyed the challenge but realised she wanted a more hands-on role - one where she could hone her practical skills with a friendly, values-driven team that wants to make a difference. In 2021, Scarlett found that opportunity at Goodstart -
and she hasn’t looked back.
“A lot of creative thinking is involved in supporting language development. For example, a beautiful child at one of our centres uses an assisted communication tablet. He’s too small to carry the device everywhere he goes, so I’m working with the centre to put the pictures on his tablet on the walls in his room. This means the child is just as surrounded by positive communication opportunities as children who use spoken language.”
As one of Goodstart’s allied health professionals, Scarlett is key to ensuring every child in our care, no matter their circumstances, has opportunities to maximise their learning, development and wellbeing.
“The fact that Goodstart is a not-for-profit speaks to my heart,” Scarlett says. “Having worked with vulnerable families previously, I really value that Goodstart strives to ensure all children have equal access to quality early learning and support services.”
Scarlett sees that same level of inclusivity extended to our team members. “When I told my team leader I have ADHD, the first thing she did was ask me if there were any adjustments she could make to meet my needs. I really appreciated that. And I’m not the only neurodivergent staff member. It’s such an inclusive culture – the team really cares and looks out for you.”
A genuine culture of learning
As Scarlett adopts a collaborative approach to allied health and education, she is embracing every opportunity to learn and grow at Goodstart, too.
“There is a huge culture of learning here. I get weekly supervision from my Team Leader, which has really helped my clinical practice. We receive a professional development budget and a budget for external supervision, because Goodstart understands we need a different perspective sometimes. But one of the biggest benefits is time - there is time to learn and consolidate our skills, and if you make a mistake, it’s OK.”
For now, Scarlett plans to continue honing her skills and advancing her career at Goodstart. Her advice for other allied health professionals? You’ll find real purpose with a warm, close-knit team at Goodstart Early Learning.
“Most people are in allied health because they want to support others, and that’s exactly what Goodstart does. They live by their values. You can build something pretty special here.”