A few years ago I sold my shares in an RTO and I remember waking up the first morning after the official end date, thinking to myself “what is my purpose now?” I knew that I loved facilitating workshops, specifically in leadership, and that I was good at it so I decided to pursue that.
I landed a job with a company as a facilitator and coach for local Queensland councils and I spent the next year travelling throughout Queensland getting a buzz out of seeing people have a lightbulb moment. For me, I see the biggest learnings come after a workshop when people have had time to practice their new skills, which is why I am a big believer in coaching sessions afterwards. People sometimes need time to practice and then debrief and tweak their practices and coaching gives them the space to do this.
It was during this time that I was noticing a lot of diversity and inclusion training going on within all industries and it got me thinking that we have a very limited view on diversity and inclusion. Lots of organisations were rolling out these programmes almost as though they needed to tick a box and they were not really getting it. It reminded me of when I was working within the RTO environment and we were training early childhood educators in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and trying to get them to embed it in their programmes. Too often it was just about displaying a flag and a few words and it just came across as tokenistic.
This was also the time that my daughter, who has ADHD, was now finished her degree and had entered the workplace. She would share with me her experiences with her managers and supervisors and how they responded to her disclosure of her ADHD.
All these things collided and really got me thinking and I truly understood Simon Sinek’s quote “people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it”. So a few weeks ago I had an epiphany and I finally put into words why I do what I do:
I do not want another person to fall through the cracks due to a learning difference – whether that be in school or the workplace. Equity is when we give each person what they need in order to succeed – it is not about being ‘fair’. If we identify how we can meet the individual needs of each person, we can still be focused on the outcomes. We just need to understand that each person’s path may look different.
For me this is the best of both my worlds as I can facilitate leadership workshops while drawing attention to how we manage learning differences, I can continue to offer neurofeedback therapy to anyone who needs it and help them optimise their brain and I can help educate teachers, leaders, families and the community about the importance of seeing each individual as an individual and providing for them in a way that meets their needs.