Autumn 2017 News

Happy New Year Everyone:) This newsletter hopefully gives you a snapshot on all that has occurred in the last few months and what’s ahead in 2017. Enjoy!


Inspirational Speaking
Summary

Beginning the year is always quite daunting for me. Although starting fresh is exciting, the prospect of generating more work opportunities and encountering the challenges is quite overwhelming. However, 2017 has begun well for me and having a balance in my life has made it all seem easier to tackle.

I was fortunate to work with Nestle Health Sciences marketing team, presenting a keynote at their annual conference. Working with a very different clientele was extremely challenging but equally rewarding. It only enabled me review the content I would deliver from a different perspective, addressing areas that were pertinent to the delegates and the conference theme ‘changing the course’. A fantastic opportunity and each delegate present was given Reinventing Emma as an ebook as a gift!

Another presentation I delivered was at the ‘Girl Guides Victorian’ Conference. Presenting to over 300 Girl Guide Leaders, aiming to inspire &  challenge them to enhance both their and others’ resilience in their lives.

I have commenced working at LaTrobe University with Occupational Therapy Masters students in their counselling skills module. This is an annual engagement for me now but one that only consolidates why I do what I do. Working with our future generation to enhance their skills is so important to me. In 2017 I have commitments with Monash University, CQ University, Australian Catholic University, Swinburne University, The University of Sydney and LaTrobe. I strongly feel that my experience as a patient can positively influence their practices.

The most exciting news for me is taking on the role of National Ambassador of the Australian Institute of Neuro-Rehabilitation (AIN)  – such a fantasying opportunity to hopefully make a difference in this area! For more information, please see the media release at http://www.ain-rehab.org.au.

In a month I go to work in New Zealand and both scared and excited about these opportunities. Beginning my new ambassador AIN events, hitting the speaking circuit overseas and travelling has meant a lot of organising but it will hopefully enable me and my speaking business to grow. I hope to be able to spread my message and Reinventing Emma to a international audience.

Emma loves working with occupational therapy students on their counselling skills, LaTrobe University.

Emma is excited to present at Otago University in March 2017 

Emma’s Blog

How do you perceive disability?

I’ve always considered myself very accepting of people with a disability. I was brought up exposed to people with disabilities and as a health professional always valued their contribution to life. But, I’m ashamed to discover that despite this, I still had the belief that in some way I was superior to them. They were ‘different’ to me and ‘not normal’. Whether this was due to how society perceived those people with a disability, highlighting their weaknesses, I don’t know, but when I acquired mine at the young age of 24, the discrimination towards those people like me who weren’t  ‘normal’ personally impacted me. Suddenly I saw firsthand things from their perspective. I didn’t feel heard, included and felt my confidence spiral downwards every time I was spoken down to, stared at or ignored. The importance of inclusion and valuing another was suddenly so apparent to me.
 
Recently I received an email from a childhood friend who was born with a disability (•see email below). The email was expressing her thoughts about my book, Reinventing Emma’, I never wrote this book with people with congenital disabilities in mind and so foolishly didn’t realise, how much common ground we shared. Thankfully, my means of articulating some of these likenesses seemed to benefit her. She writes, ‘it’s almost like you know what my heart is saying…” Her words definitely challenged my own thoughts about how I perceived disability before and after I acquired my own. 
 
They made me reflect on and question my personal beliefs and exposed my preconceived values.  I sheepishly realized that despite my very accepting upbringing and realization of the importance of treating every individual with respect, I had this preconceived notion that unintentionally meant I was discriminating against people, like me, with disabilities. If I, as someone exposed to disability and taught throughout my childhood the importance of including those with differences had this belief, what did those people who weren’t exposed to the importance of this equality, actually thinking? If I as an occupational therapist had a sub-conscious belief that without a ‘disability’ I was in a way ‘better’ than my patients, what type of therapist had I been? If I now am passionate to educate those to include people with a disability, how much harder was it going to be if my audiences had a preconceived notion about disability that they weren’t even aware of? Do your preconceived thoughts fit in today’s society?

Although I feel very clear about my own values and beliefs, this realisation has definitely challenged me. Whilst confronting, it has made me see the importance of enabling others to reflect on their own thoughts about disability. Surely without understanding how we feel, what we value and how these beliefs came about, we cannot begin to include others or operate on a common ground. 

I strongly feel that we all need to reflect and contemplate how we perceive disability. In contemplating this, each of us will only have more clarity and be more effective in our roles
 
 

Emma Raises Awareness

Continually giving constructive feedback to other companies as to how they could improve their services or resources to ensure people with a disability can participate is very important to Emma. Writing letters, making phone calls or speaking directly to organisations is an ongoing feat!

Learning about new strategies & resources to include those people with disabilities is so important to Emma.


Emma joins The National Stroke Foundation & Brendon Haslam ( physiotherapist and current PhD candidate with the University of Melbourne) to talk about ‘Pain After Stroke’ & record a podcast for enableme at JOY FM.

PODCAST COMING SOON!


Emma has been appointed the National Ambassador with AIN
 

To find out more about this awesome institution click here

Emma  presents at the ‘Girl Guides’ Victorian Conference 2017, Moonee Valley Race Course.

A review of Emma’s workshop in Mildura during OT Week in 2016 was featured in the recent CONNECTIONS 2017 Magazine.

Recent Events

  • St Vincents Community Rehabilitation Centre, St Georges Hospital SAC Staff Workshop: The Rehabilitation process-Patient’s perspective, 2016
  • Nestle Health Science Conference 2017

  • Girl Guides Victoria Conference: Resilience & Overcoming Adversity, 2017.
  • LaTrobe University 3rd Year Occupational Therapy Tutorials – Intentional Communication Skills 2017

Emma  presents at the ‘Nestle Health Science’ Conference, Melbourne 2017,

Upcoming Events

  • Otago University, New Zealand Keynote: Occupational Therapy ‘Person-Centred Care’ (28/3/2017)
  • Southern Cross Health Society Switch2Well Resilience Seminars x 6, Auckland & Hamilton (29-31/3/2017)
  • Tasmanian Association of Vocational Rehabilitation Providers Inc. (TAVRP) Symposium, The Dark Side of Rehab. Hobart 2017.
  • Hume Region Health Conference: Person-centred Care – Innovation, Collaboration & Leadership, Yarrawonga NSW, 2017
  • LaTrobe University 3rd Year Occupational Therapy Tutorials – Intentional Communication Skills 2017
  • Swinburne University – Masters Occupational Therapy Students 2017
  • University of Tasmania – Nursing Students Strengths-Based Subject 2017
  • CQ University-  3rd Year Occupational Therapy Students
  • Strathcona BGGS – Yr 12 students, Resilience 2017
  • Presbyterian Ladies’ College Ladies College – Yr 12 students, Resilience 2017
  • Monash University – Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy Lecture 2017
  • Australian Catholic University Occupational Therapy Lecture, Person-centred Care 2017

See More Events here…

Reinventing Emma continues to get awesome endorsements like this one! Thanks Courtney:)

Reinventing Emma

Book Update

Reinventing Emma is being recommended to so many networks, amazing! In fact, it has just been confirmed that it’s becoming ‘essential reading’ for a new Strengths-Based Subject for Nursing Students at the University of Tasmania;)

The feedback I’ve received from readers has been extremely positive. However, this recent email written by a childhood friend who was born with a disability really opened my eyes and made me feel that my message was reaching and impacting those in a way I never imagined –

Emma

Reading through the book it sounded more like a thriller than a real life experience, it must have been very difficult for you to deal with, I can’t imagine how you must have felt.

For someone like me who was born with a mild intellectual learning disability to someone who had acquired a severe disability through a stroke, it kind of makes me feel awkward and anxious about being taken for granted, as you were in the book.    I don’t know how you did it, how do you keep yourself going?

You know something, on the inside I feel scared, lonely and not taken seriously, I feel used and taken for granted, all I feel like doing is shouting at people and tell them to stop, I want my voice to be heard, but apart from all that I don’t think that they will listen to me anyway, i’m sorry i’m just babbling and right off the subject here, I had to get this out of my system anyway but, if I hadn’t read your book I probably wouldn’t have done this.

Emma, I see you so much more differently now, you make me feel like a weakling compared to what you went through, I actually feel like crying right now, it’s almost like you know what my heart is saying and what it’s longing for, you feel like a soul sister to me, I don’t know how else to describe it.

Thank You so much for letting me read your book, it really has touched me in so many ways.
Anonymous.

Read more reviews here 

I hope that my book will continue to empower many people & all those in their lives. If you feel it would benefit someone you know, please recommend Reinventing Emma!


Reinventing Emma Book Promo 2a

Watch a promotional video here

Download & share Emma’s brochure;)

Copyright © 2016 Emma Gee