For International Women’s Day, we would like to acknowledge all the remarkable women who have offered guidance, leadership and support to Very Special Kids.
Our Patron, Sister Margaret Noone AM established the organisation on a foundation of love, compassion and empathy. Her dedication and commitment to supporting Victorian families facing childhood illness has inspired generations of Very Special Kids employees, volunteers and donors.
Sister Margaret and our female leaders reflect on their work with Very Special Kids and what the organisation means to them. They impart advice, observations and understandings of what they have learnt as leaders in the not-for-profit space.
“Show love, compassion and be ready to persevere in the face of adversity. I have been influenced by many women around the world, for example, Dame Cicely Saunders, a doctor who first introduced the concept of hospice care by starting St Christopher’s Hospice in London. I was inspired by her persistence, insistence and determination.”
Sister Margaret Noone AM, Very Special Kids patron
“It has been an incredibly rewarding 20 years working with Very Special Kids. Over this time, I have been privileged to see first-hand perspectives of children, families, volunteers, family support practitioners, nurses, allied health staff, doctors, and management within the organisation. I have watched Very Special Kids grow and I have grown with it, both personally and professionally.”
Dr Bronwyn Sacks, Chief Medical Officer
“It is important to me, that we nurture and foster a culture of care internally as well as for our families, so that our team is empowered, supported and safe through the process of caring for children and young people, and their families.”
Kirsty Blair, Hospice Manager
“When I was a teen, my best friend was in a near fatal car accident. She acquired a serious brain injury that caused a range of complex conditions & limited her life expectancy. There were no organisations like Very Special Kids available to Sally and her family.
I’m inspired every day by Sally’s strength and resilience and I’m proud that my role at Very Special Kids allows me to play a small part in helping children and other young people like her, by improving their quality of life and creating happy, lasting memories for their families.”
Marcia Christmas, General Manager, Fundraising and Marketing
“I am blessed to be working for an organisation like Very Special Kids.
To be able to do what I love organising events and making a small difference to the children and families that Very Special Kids support is so rewarding.”
Sharon Stynes, Fundraising and Events Manager
“I am very fortunate to have had a peek into Very Special Kids in my six-month contract period, and I am impressed and touched by meeting our women who are smart, ambitious, expert, diligent, courageous, warm and sincere.
I like to nurture a glass half full mindset and encourage others to take a minute to reflect on what’s their essence of being an Australian woman in 2022.”
Jo Stanton, General Manager, People and Culture
“Since commencing at Very Special Kids in early 2021 my role has been varied…Identification of areas of innovation and improvement, in line with the National Standards, is a constant focus to ensure that services we provide are responsive to the individual child and family’s needs.”
Angie Dredge, General Manager Service Delivery and Improvement
“At Very Special Kids, we view the family themselves as experts in their own lives and it’s our job to help them mobilise existing resources as a mechanism for advocacy, change and growth…
I have been given the opportunity to continuously learn, grow and evolve, both professionally and personally.”
Jessica Birnbaum, Family Support Manager
“For me Very Special Kids is all about the people. The children and young people that use our services, and their families, take my breath away with their resilience, courage and determination. I love the fact that all the people that work here, paid or unpaid, are here for the same reason. It’s such a privilege to play my part.”
Jane Baker, People Operations and Office Manager
International Women’s Day offers us the chance to reflect and acknowledge the incredible strides and achievements women have made throughout history. We thank all the incredible people who have supported Very Special Kids, from inception to present. Your contribution has helped generations of Victorian families to receive much-needed care during the most difficult times.