“From the time I was a young child the principles of social justice were intertwined in the lessons that my parents taught me. Several decades later and after a few different careers as a retail worker, insurance case manager and public servant I realised that I wanted to focus my energies on a career that could make a real impact on people’s lives, not just at an individual level but on a larger scale.”
After enrolling in the Master of Public Health at the University of Sydney, Ashley started working as a Health Promotion Officer for NSW Health. He was inspired by the opportunity to think critically about the immense healthcare challenges faced by marginalised communities and was excited to be part of their solutions.
Since graduating Ashley has devoted his career to solving healthcare problems in priority populations, balancing various local health district roles with lecturing and research.
He has been actively involved in reducing the incidence and impact of HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STI's) and Hepatitis in his local community by planning and implementing sexual health programs, and published his first journal article “Is cost a structural barrier preventing men who have sex with men accessing condoms? A systematic review."
Today, Ashley is working as an Executive Manager to the Office of the Chief Executive at the Western Sydney Local Health District and is completing his PhD on the barriers that Aboriginal people face when accessing healthcare.
He says, “I enjoy solving complex health problems and deciphering how big picture concepts can be translated into practice that positively affects the health of the community.”
In 2014, while working for UNICEF, Dr Vandana Joshi was positioned in Sierra Leone's Ebola ‘red zone’ to help fight the biggest health crisis on the planet at the time. They were called ‘The Ebola Fighters’ and were collectively awarded TIME person of the year for their efforts.