Since graduating in 2003 and receiving her PhD in 2013, CQUni alumnus Dr Annerley Bates has made her mark as the Senior Social Worker in the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit of the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane and dedicated herself to the role with compassion. This compassion is something passed on to her from her parents and an ideal she intends on passing on to her own children and everyone she comes into contact with.
What is your first memory?
When I was three and I was out helping my dad in the garden clearing away some sticks with my sister.
Are you a CQUni Alumni? If so, what did you graduate in?
I graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Social Work and first class honours and then in 2013 with my PhD.
What was a recent highlight of your life?
The birth of my second child Miranda just over a year ago.
What was the best thing about being at CQUni?
I enjoyed the residential schools during my undergraduate degree and the friendships that I made. I still catch up with some of my peers.
Who has made an impact on your life? Why?
My parents have been a huge influence in my life. They have always supported me, guided me and encouraged me to keep going even when life is hard.
If you could solve any social issue in your community, what would you tackle first?
I see on a daily basis in my job how the lack of affordable housing options can impact on an individual or a family’s quality of life. It would be great to see this social issue resolved within our communities.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
More support for families after someone in their family has experienced a catastrophic life-changing injury. I attempt to create a small element of change every day in my work. I focus on supporting families to adjust to the injury and source ongoing psychological and financial assistance in the community. I do this behind the scenes as the patient has a whole treatment team supporting them including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and neuropsychologists.
What was the moment that made you choose your career?
I was always interested in people, their life stories and was aware of social issues as my mum was a Social Worker. Additionally, I knew I could not sit behind a desk all day crunching numbers so the obvious choice was to pursue a career in Social Work. It was the best decision I ever made. I love my job and the people I work with.
What is a motto or phrase that you live by?
“Don’t get bogged down by the small stuff”.
If your office was burning down, what would be the one thing you grabbed on your way out the door?
I work in a hospital so I think I would assist in helping patients and their families to get out safely. Everything else is replaceable, but people aren’t.
Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?
Cate Blanchett. I can’t say that I met her, but I saw her last year when we did a four-wheel-drive day trip. She was with her family at the same restaurant we stopped at for afternoon tea. I am afraid that is my only claim to fame.