It is not surprising that since turning 18 years of age, my accountant has only known me to be a ‘complicated and diverse’ worker! I have never held one simple, predictable, straight forward job….When meeting someone for the very first time, the question I find hardest to answer is “So, what work do you do?”
For the past 11 years my ‘real’ job has been working for RACV where I am employed along with nine other Traffic Safety Educators. I visit primary schools as an incursion teacher delivering a traffic safety education program (pedestrian, passenger and bike safety) which I have also helped develop. Many of the resources used by RACV educators have also been developed, created and produced by me – just a little ‘add on’ to my educator role!
In addition to my role as a Traffic Safety Educator, I also run my business “Happy Hero“, where I am the creator and publisher of children’s books and resource kits. I am currently working on “Happy Hero Handbooks” and further resources to be released 2012. I visit many primary and secondary schools wearing my “Author and Illustrator” hat, where I present to students the many aspects and challenges of writing, illustrating and publishing children books – inspiring the students to hang on to their dreams, never give up and to reach for the stars.
With the focus of my two children’s books based on dealing with anxiety and mental health issues, I am often asked by schools to present to their students about the topic of resilience and emotional well-being – this is especially complimentary after the “Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts!” Theatrical Production has performed…
Did I mention my involvement in the creation of a professional theatrical production? This is an initiative produced by the creative and goal driven staff of the Frankston Arts Centre. Their aim is to help support and educate primary school children focusing on positive emotional well-being through the Arts. In joining this enthusiastic driving force staff at Frankston Arts Centre, I was able to experience a connection with a very talented dramaturg (script writer), theatrical directors, as well as the brilliant and professional actors and puppeteers creating the adaptation of my first children’s book “Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts!” It is a 45 minute, entertaining and educating show with a 10 minute question/discussion time with the actors. To this day, the production has performed for over 8000 children in Victoria and the feedback has been phenomenal. Simply amazing.
The cast of Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts! production
I am also often invited to speak at seminars, conferences, workshops and support groups sharing my knowledge, experience, frustration and humour of dealing with a child suffering anxiety – raising awareness of mental health issues in young children and providing insight into variety of tools, strategies and resources to help those who deal with a ‘little worrier’.
When I look at my working life BC (Before Children) I have had a ghastly number of employers (most jobs were held the same time!) as well as rather diverse range of roles!
- private nanny
- school holiday care program (Special Education clients)
- juvenile justice support group – sessional program art teacher (working with ‘graffiti artists’)
- children private art class teacher
- artist, commissioned artwork sales, mural painting services
- face painter
- kids club co-coordinator (Ocean Blue Resort – QLD)
- kids activities co-coordinator – Bunnings
- primary school classroom teacher (main stream and special education settings)
- professional make-up artist – weddings, photography etc.. (this is still a current position!)
Wow…it is quite surreal to see my life’s work listed like this – almost unbelievable really! But, in looking at all my employed roles (this list doesn’t include any of my voluntary positions and writing contributions!) I see a pattern in the education of young people, with a particular focus on special needs and minority groups areas, all with the delivery method via the creative fields of the arts, literacy and performance!
I have to agree with my accountant that I AM a ‘complicated and diverse’ worker and when somebody asks me “So, what work do you do?” my reply is, “I do the hardest, most challenging and rewarding job ~ I am a mum to four boys”.