Driven by a purpose for accessibility
Alysha Waye shares her experience interning at Bupa including working in developing accessible career pathways and the intentional actions of Inclusion at Bupa.
In partnership with the Australian Network on Disability, Bupa welcomed its first intake of four university student interns over the 2018 summer break through the Stepping Into Internship program.
One of those students included Alysha Waye who had just finished her studies, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and Science at Monash University, Melbourne.
“Focusing on health and wellbeing is a very important part of my life.
“So, when I found out about the internship at Bupa through the Australian Network on Disability, it was very appealing being able to join a company that similarly focuses on health and care,” said Alysha.
Alysha was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2015, and as a result, lives with an acquired brain injury that affects movement on the left-hand side of her body as well as being fatigued, at times, due to ongoing treatment.
“When I was first diagnosed, I really didn’t know what I was going to do, but I was determined that I would still work one day to use the skills and knowledge gained during my studies,” explains Alysha.
“I’d heard that some people with a similar diagnosis never worked again, but I was determined that wouldn’t be me.”
For Alysha, not working was simply not an option she wanted to consider.
“While not having to work may sound like freedom to some, what would you do every day that had a sense of purpose and would fulfil you?” asks Alysha.
I think it’s vital that you find something you’re passionate about and really want to do, and while money is important, it shouldn’t be the only reason for turning up each day.
Alysha started her internship at Bupa in the Health Insurance People, Change and Engagement team in January 2018 and a few months later moved to Intern in the People team with Bupa.
It wasn’t long before her skills were put to use helping to develop the foundations for an Access & Inclusion Action Plan, supporting the PACE mentoring program and being an active voice for Inclusion at Bupa.
“Globally, Bupa has a major focus on diversity and inclusion, and locally, we are aiming to create respectful and consistent best practice and become disability confident,” explains Carol Corzo, Head of Inclusion at Bupa.
Alysha is a grounded and driven young professional with a compelling voice in Diversity & Inclusion and she is a change maker at Bupa. Her passion for making tangible differences for those living with disabilities, is further enabling us to create workplace cultures where our people feel safe, included and valued for who they are.
Alysha has made such a mark during her internship that she has recently been successful in obtaining an Inclusion and Wellbeing Consultant role at Bupa.
“I’m really loving what I’m doing at Bupa around diversity and inclusion. It’s not about the money or job security, but it’s about knowing that in a small way I might be making a difference. And being part of such a diverse, inclusive and caring workplace makes me love coming in to work each day,” explains Alysha.
Outside of work and study, Alysha is also a strong advocate for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and has raised close to $10,000 through a number of fundraising initiatives such as assembling a team of close to 200 people to compete in the annual Cure Brain Cancer Foundation walk.
Alysha’s advice for people if they come across someone they think might have a disability?
“The best thing to do is simply ask a question about their wellbeing,” explains Alysha.
“Most people, like me, will be comfortable with their disability and will be able to talk about it. Try not to be insensitive, but ultimately, it’s better to ask the question and be curious, then to shut that person out and not engage at all for fear of offending. At the end of the day, everyone deserves the same level of dignity at work and that’s all we’re aiming for.”
Early in 2017, Bupa joined the Australian Network on Disability to help on the journey of becoming ‘disability confident’. Not only to ensure that services such as Bupa Therapy were best supporting the needs of people living with a disability, but to also help create a workplace that is inclusive for people with a diverse range of physical, cognitive and emotional needs.