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About Me

Hi! I'm Mel. I am a non-binary Social Worker who is passionate about inclusion, equality and wellbeing. I was 33 when I learned that I'm also an Autistic ADHDer. I was born and bred on Wurundjeri Country in the eastern suburbs of Naarm (Melbourne), currently living and working in Lilydale at the entrance to the beautiful Yarra Valley.

After completing a Bachelor of Social Work & Human Services in 2010, I undertook postgraduate training in Counselling in order to refine my skills in creating trusting and non-judgemental spaces for therapeutic growth. I went on to use these skills in a range of contexts, providing support to children from refugee backgrounds, young people experiencing homelessness and families of children with complex support  needs.

 

In 2012 I began a 10 year stint in Local Government Youth Services, designing and implementing programs and providing individual support for young people. My experience in multiple roles within Local Government has refined my ability to understand problems from a systems perspective, complimenting the therapeutic work I do with individuals. I hold a strong belief that the challenges faced by individuals are always influenced by the systems they exist in, and strive not only to provide support at an individual level, but acknowledge and play a part in dismantling oppressive systems that cause the problems in the first place.

In 2021 I was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD. Looking back at so many of my life experiences through this lens has given me a wealth of insight as to how functioning as a neurodivergent human in a world built for neurotypicals has been the source of so many of my challenges. This has only strengthened my belief in the importance of advocating for and taking steps toward creating truly inclusive and affirming workplaces, schools and communities. As someone who has learned to navigate the world as a gender diverse, neurodivergent person, I am passionate about using this experience to inform my understanding of others. I share my story and draw from my own experience in all the work that I do, combining it with my professional knowledge and experience to build trust and understanding and work toward a better life for all.

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Education & Achievements

  • Bachelor of Social Work & Human Services

  • Graduate Diploma in Counselling

  • Diploma of Business and Management

  • Professional Certificate in Positive Education

  • 2015 LGPro Young Achiever of the Year

  • 2015 Recognising Excellence Award in the Delivery of Youth Services

  • 2016 Sally Isaac Memorial Scholarship Fund Award

  • Named as one of 2017's Victorian top 50 Public Sector Women

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