I am an occupational therapist and I want to inspire younger Australians to become young care professionals. My vision is to create a new approach in the industry where age diversity and leadership is encouraged throughout the workforce. Where young people view a profession in care as a great employment option that provides them a job; a job they love and one that loves them back. This is about closing the gap between the youth and the aged in our community and bringing them together to create a strong future for all
How did you find your passion?
I am an occupational therapist, with a passion for aged care. I am passionate about highlighting and addressing the challenges GenerationY workers face as young aged care professionals. I have worked as a sailor in the Royal Australian Navy, where I saw the effects of good and bad leadership on team culture, and the mental health of it’s workforce. After receiving a medical discharge I became an occupational therapy student and saw similar leadership parallels throughout the healthcare industry. A few years ago my Mum attempted to take her own life. It left me shaken and scared for the future. The public health system was even scarier. I want what is best for my Mum and if something like this could happen so quickly while she was so young, what could happen when she was 65+? She is well now, but I want to make sure she gets the best of care when we want it. Now I have set my sights on improving the next port-of-call in her journey — aged care.
As an occupational therapist I know the difference a passionate and empathic employee can make to the lives of many. My vision is to create a new approach in the industry, where age diversity and leadership is encouraged throughout the workforce. Where young people view a profession in aged care as a great employment option that provides them a job; a job they love and one that loves them back. I have worked on this idea for 12 months; working tirelessly researching, speaking at conferences, being profiled in the industry media, and guest blogging on industry websites. This is about closing the gap between the youth and the aged in our community and bringing them together to create a strong future for all.
Tell us about your dreams / goals for the next 12 months
- Run a brilliant event that showcases young caring professionals in a format that is completely non-traditional (flipping everything on its head)
- Build a sustainable revenue stream into my business, though regular speaking engagements, building my products to my target market
- Establish positive and collaborative partnerships with organisations that have similar visions/missions to my organisation (Acorn Network).
How will the scholarship support your endeavours?
I will use the Aim for the Stars grant to improve my website and purchase software to assist with<br>social media presence. This will ensure I am using my time, effort, and brand in the most effective way. The scholarship will also allow me to establish my business as a For Profit (For Purpose) business - covering initial set up costs. The remaining grant money will allow me to meet industry leaders, providing the resources for flights and accommodation; allowing me to present my vision of leadership and place myself in front of the very people I am seeking to inspire. These presentations will showcase Acorn Network's message to a national target audience; building my membership base, and showcasing my unique value to future industry partners. It will also build on my success<br>from my 2015 Melbourne events and presentations, allowing me host more networking events for young aged care professionals. Meeting individuals and organisational stakeholders is essential as it will ensure I listen to their needs, and build relationships that support our emerging leaders.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
Working on initial partnerships with organisations that further my vision and mission. - Speaking at the Aged Care Leaders Symposium in July 2015 - Co-founding an amazing network of women who are building social enterprises across Australia (and around the globe) - Women in Social Enterprise.
How important is inspiration in your life?
Inspiration is incredibly important. It allows me to push through barriers, it allows me to continue knocking on doors. Nothing will stop me from achieving my mission and vision - sure it will take me a long time to make change, but there is nothing in the world I would rather do.
Who’s your hero (and why)?
My hero is my mother and every person who is surviving with depression and anxiety. Everyday life can be a battle, you can feel like you are just surviving. But when I see how she is over coming obstacles, getting better, and happier everyday it really fills my heart with joy. I know she is the strongest person in the world. She continues to fight, and she grows stronger everyday. Anyone who is fighting this battle is my hero - I just see it the most in her. She is a warrior.
How will you support your community in the future?
I plan on giving back by promoting the achievements and passions of young people in aged care. This is about closing the gap between the youth and the aged in our community and bringing them together to create a strong future for all. This will let organisations see the potential Generation Y provide, challenging the reverse ageism in the caring industry, and driving improved generational understanding within the industry. I am an advocate for promoting initiatives and grants throughout the Australian social enterprise and aged care space. I have co-founded a Facebook community (Women in Social Enterprise) that currently has 600+ members - growing rapidly since it begun in August 2014. It is a community where we share idea, provide support, and share insights. I know there are many more ways to give back to my community, and I look forward to giving back to aspiring leaders in the near future.
What’s the motto that you live by?
Be proud of being the black sheep. If everyone agrees with you, maybe you're not being bold enough - Chris Gillebeau
Classical and jazz music
Stir fry, and asian meals filled with fresh vegetables and crispy tofu
Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isabelle Carmody
Favourite TV Show?
Borgen, House of Cards, The Fall, (and the occasional episode of the Bold and the Beautiful)
If you had one message to share with other women chasing their dreams what would you say?
Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your dreams. Changing the world can be a lonely place, but when you have friends, family and loved one cheering for you it really does make it easier. Focus on building those core networks, and pursue your dream. You are making a difference and you are amazing.