Get to know your college: Kelly Andrewartha

Kelly joined the Centre for Point-of-Care Testing as a Research Officer in August 2015. She has a Bachelor of Science with more than 10 years’ of experience in pathology, having worked in both public and private laboratories as well as the Red Cross Blood Service.

What is your role and what does your work focus on? 

I’m the Program Lead and Senior Scientific Officer for the TTANGO and Respiratory Infection Point-of-Care Testing Programs within the Flinders Uni International Centre for Point-of-Care Testing. These programs focus on implementing and maintaining pathology testing for STIs and respiratory infections (COVID-19, Flu A, Flu B, and RSV) within rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical services, by training and supporting the medical service staff to conduct testing on-site for their own communities.

Where did you work before joining CMPH? 

My background Is in pathology with more than 10 years’ medical science experience in laboratories. My work immediately prior to joining the ICPOCT was completely different, I was a Quality Assurance Officer with an engineering and surveying consultancy.

What journey brought you to this point in your career? 

I started in the Centre in 2015 as a Scientific Officer to transition the TTANGO Research Trial into a translational research program. Over the years, my role has evolved and included the implementation of the Syphilis POCT program, involvement in our international work with the World Health Organization, and now the Respiratory Infection POCT Program.

What is something you love most about your work? 

I love that we get to contribute to improving health outcomes for communities and their people who otherwise would have very limited access to pathology testing. Prior to COVID, my job allowed me to travel to many remote communities to set up POCT programs and train the medical service staff on-site; seeing the country and meeting the staff were two of my favourite things and even though the travel element has significantly decreased since COVID, the ongoing interaction with the staff remains a highlight.

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be? 

It’s okay to break some rules every now and then.

What is something—big or small—that you are really good at?

Building flat-pack furniture.

What three words would your colleagues use to describe you?

I really don’t know but I’d like to think they were positive 😊

What are you most looking forward to in 2023?

Enjoying time with friends and family and doing a bit of travel.

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