The phrase “reach for the stars” is said to come from a poem written by Virgil called the Aeneid. This Latin poem was written sometime between 29 and 19 BC. The simple meaning behind it was to “set your goals in life high in order to achieve success.” It’s an inspiring quote. However, we often overlook the word “stars” and set our sights on one “big” North Star. We then design a single path to reach that goal and forget to appreciate the collection of stars we acquire along the way that make up our very own beautiful constellation.
Our guest, Professor Sharon Goldfeld, is a pediatrician and public health physician at the Royal Children’s Hospital’s Centre for Community Child Health and Theme Director for Population Health at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, who shares her career journey and how she visualizes each of her accomplishments as stars she collected along the way to her North Star, building an amazing constellation of stars that fueled her career success. She explains how she harnessed the “burn” or “power” from each star to help her achieve her North Star.
[02:30] Sharon’s journey and one key lesson learned
[04:17] Gaining clarity on your career path
[13:42] Overcoming doubt and seizing the opportunity
[19:39] Work-life integration
[25:32] The stars along the way towards your North Star
[28:05] A great team is vital to success
[31:53] Relationship-building is the most important skill
[38:33] Being agile & pivoting during COVID
[42:47] The importance of self-care
[44:54] Sharon’s parting words of wisdom
“Having a great team allows you to do more and allows your passion to fuel others.” – Sharon Goldfeld
“Relationship building is the most important skill any of us can have.” - Sharon Goldfeld
“When you are passionate about something, stoking that passion makes it burn more.” – Sharon Goldfeld
Professor Sharon Goldfeld is a pediatrician and public health physician at the Royal Children’s Hospital’s Centre for Community Child Health and Theme Director for Population Health at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. She has a decade of experience in state government as senior policymaker in health and education, including holding the role of Principal Medical Advisor in the Victorian Department of Education and Training. Her unique career has seamlessly straddled research, policy and practice with her cross-sectoral approach ensuring her research is roust and of high policy and practice utility for greater translation success. Her research program focuses on addressing disadvantage and inequity though epidemiological studies, developing metrics to drive system change, and community based randomised controlled trials (RCT’s) in both health and education to improve child development. As the COVID-19 pandemic deepens, Prof Goldfeld has led the effort at MCRI to leverage existing cohort studies to provide a unique understanding on how the pre-pandemic experiences of children and families shape risk and resilience for children during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in its aftermath. Sharon was recently awarded the inaugural Marles Medal for excellence in original research that led to outstanding achievement in research impact.