Dr Elissa Hatherly was born in Melbourne, schooled in Sydney and attending university in Brisbane, she has been working in Mackay as a doctor since 2002. Having always loved sciences at school, with a keen interest in medicine from her primary school years, Elissa has enjoyed a variety of clinical roles in the region. Elissa trained in General Practice, and has worked in a variety of general practices, and also the Family Planning clinic, BreastScreen Mackay service and Breast surgical outpatients department at the Mackay Base hospital .
Elissa is also involved in medical student education as Head of the Ngudya Yamba (Mackay) clinical school for James Cook University, and also in General Practice training. She also provides specialist procedural skills for doctors across the region. In addition, Elissa is the Chair of the local headspace Consortium, and has held Board positions for Mackay HHS and NAPHL (regional medical service providers). Elissa is also active in the local community, speaking at corporate functions and fundraising events, and providing health education for local groups and organisations.
Loving both sciences and humanities at school, but with a goal always to pursue medicine, Elissa’s career has evolved with an interesting mix of clinical and nonclinical roles. Combining biology, chemistry and high-level communication skills, Elissa can positively impact the lives of her patients as well as advocate for her community. Influencing how medical education and workforce can better meet the needs of her community was never on her career radar, but a role where her skills and enthusiasm happily intersect.
Being open to new opportunities, and embracing change, are traits that have served Elissa well. She encourages all young people with an interest in STEM subjects to use their problem-solving skills in whichever direction life takes them, and welcome all other learning opportunities along the way.