True Stories: Jenny Kemp – Innovative support for children

I’d always pictured myself working with children. I can relate well to them. I think being the eldest of six kids helped with that! I decided on becoming an Occupational Therapist (OT) as it provided the interaction with children I wanted and gave me the opportunity to work with a variety of people in a variety of ways.

Over the years I’ve worked in a range of settings including community health, private practice and running training for people in the early childhood industry. Within these areas I often worked with children with disability and I found that I enjoyed this the most. This then lead to a career in the disability sector.

I started off at an assessment centre where I helped diagnose children with disability. I then got a six-hour a week OT role at Lifestart. That slowly grew in hours and so did my involvement. I moved up into an area manager role where I oversaw a group of OTs who were part of innovative projects and then became the Innovations Manager.

The heart of my role is being responsible for how Lifestart delivers support to children and young people with disability and their families.

As such, I work strategically at an organisational level, working with team members to be as responsive, creative and innovative as possible to provide the best possible care and support to children with disability, as well as ensuring both the child and their family’s needs and wants are met, and that everything we do is person-centred.

There’s no such thing as a typical day at work for me. I’m rarely in the same office all day long and each day I’ll tackle a range of things such as policy, considering different methods for collecting and applying family feedback, evaluating programs, and managing my team and attending staff meetings. I also have to collaborate with other agencies and the community.

The best part of my role is the diversity. I get to work with a range of people and help them in creative ways. The most challenging part of my job is the sheer volume of work it entails! Yet I can’t imagine working in any other sector.

Jenny Kemp
Innovations Manager, EM12

Lifestart

NSW

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