Spring 2016 News

This year has certainly flown by and I’m beginning to reflect on the many book and speaking opportunities that I’ve had. This newsletter hopefully gives you a snapshot on some of my movements. Enjoy!

Inspirational Speaking

I continue to be dumbfounded by the feedback I receive daily from both my book Reinventing Emma and the many speaking events I love to do. Being able to draw on my book as a resource when I speak is an exciting and challenging step in my business. Hearing these testimonials really fuels me to keep doing what I love and challenges me to do it better!

Over the last few months I’ve had some amazing opportunities. Speaking to Austin Health staff on person-centred care, focussing largely on the ‘invisible aspects’ of any condition like fatigue, pain or depression. The aspects that they can’t see, easily understand, diagnose and treat. This was certainly challenging for me but equally rewarding as I felt it’s important to discuss the impact of the many hidden deficits that those (particularly without a physical disability) grapple with managing daily.  

I was fortunate to focus on ‘Resilience’ with the Yr 12, 11 and 10 students at Camberwell Girls. Working with them on areas they can develop in order to better hurdle future obstacles is so rewarding. Other events included flying to Launceston to present at a breakfast, running lectures and tutorials with Monash, ACU, Swinburne and LaTrobe Universities.


Emma attends the launch of Brain Injury Awareness 2016, the theme being ‘Young Strokes’ with the National Stroke Foundation.
Emma  presenting on Resilience to Camberwell Girls Grammar School students

Emma’s Blog
Bouncing into SPRING!

It’s that time of the year when we’re ‘meant’ to BOUNCE into Spring. I don’t know about you, but right now I don’t feel like bouncing!

Any change causes ambivalence and the transition from Winter to Spring is definitely an unsettling change. Suddenly it’s the end of the year, not only are you realizing that you’ve not addressed all those New Year’s Resolutions you set at the beginning of 2016, but also time’s running out to achieve them .

For me, when I’m feeling overwhelmed with all I have to do, there are a few things I do that help. So let’s look at how we can sustain our BOUNCE by drawing on the acronym SPRING.

When we’re feeling unsettled, the hardest thing is to force ourselves to stand still or sit with all the un-comfy feelings. I personally find distracting myself by keeping up the momentum of life and ‘doing’ rather than ‘being’ a lot easier. But, is this sustainable? Will it lead to us being more effective in performing the many tasks ahead?

Where can you stop in your day? Where can you be and not ‘do’?

There are aspects in all our life-roles that are not so attractive. For me, I love what I do but the business aspect, especially all the finance and administration side, really taints my enjoyment of what I do. In fact, I was having a conversation with my a colleague after spending a day with my bookkeeper. I was relaying how much I ‘hated’ the admin. side of my business. After my rant he stopped me and highlighted that my attitude          (whilst he understood) was not helping my business’ success. Both the more and less enjoyable aspects were coexistent and reliant on each other. Telling myself that ‘I am bad at the business side’ was not helping me to perform better in the aspects of my work that I did love. What’s more, telling myself and others that ‘I hate’ or ‘I’m bad at …’ was only filling my mind with negative thoughts. I was unintentionally causing collateral damage to my business. How could it be a business that I loved when half of it was something that I hated?

Be mindful of how you both perceive your roles and how you  convey them to others. Are you unintentionally portraying these negatively? Try not to lose sight of why your doing the task and what it can lead to. How can how those tasks you perhaps dislike enable you concentrate on the aspects that you love?

Make a time in your day to stop and have time- out. Often the prospect of making time to reflect on what you’re doing and why seems a bit of a time waster and only means generating more issues and work.  If like me, you avoid this reflection – ask another (whether it’s a family member, supervisor or manager) to hold you accountable.  Having someone to go through it with you also means that they can shed light on possible ‘next steps’ and add their perspective to your own.

Who can you speak with to help you reflect and simultaneously hold you accountable?

What do you enjoy doing? Things that make you smile? Do what you enjoy more often. Give your every day meaning. Right now I am doing yoga more often, taking my dog for spontaneous walks or organizing more catch up with friends. It’s amazing how, by immersing yourself in meaningful activity and  surrounding yourself with positivity is contagious. It’s likely that now you’ll be able to tackle your ‘to do’ list!

Doing what you enjoy will counteract the negativity you draw from other tasks you perhaps don’t find very exciting. Your energy supplies be replenished to help you endure the more mundane aspects of your life..

What can you do that you love and which gives your every day meaning?

This time of the year is probably a great time to draw on others’ skills around you. However, being tired and time-poor we often tend to do it ourselves. We become fearful that the task involved in delegating will only put us in a more vulnerable position, highlighting what we couldn’t accomplish alone and zapping time we don’t have! But I have learnt this year how empowering delegating can be if we choose to perceive it in a positive light. View it as utlising another’s strength rather than seeing it as a failure of not being able to complete the task ourselves. This year, with launching Reinventing Emma, has been a lot busier and has meant that I could only sustain the fast pace and do what I enjoyed more if I delegated.

Who could you delegate a task to, to ensure that its not only done better but you can put more energy into what you love!

At this time of the year it’s easy to become resentful and bogged down and swamped by how much you need to accomplish with a very depleted fuel tank. But choose to fill your mind with things you are thankful for.

What has happened today in your life that youre grateful for?

So, when we’re feeling ambivalent about the next chapter in our lives, let’s choose to ground ourselves by being mindful of what I’ve spoken about.

Emma  presenting on Person-centred care with Occupational Therapy & Physiotherapy students from Swinburne, ACU, Monash & Latrobe Universities.

Recent Events

  • RunMelbourne 5km Challenge (The National Stroke Foundation Fundraising Event)
  • Brain Injury Awareness Week Panel Discussion: Young Stroke 2016
  • Australian Catholic University 2016 Occupational Therapy Student Lecture.
  • ENERGISE Project: Stroke Recovery & Yoga Intervention.
  • Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Centre AGM 2016
  • Monash University 2016 Occupational Therapy & Physiotherapy Students Lecture – Empathy
  • Australian Institute of Neuro-rehabilitation: Neuro-Rehab Awareness Day 2016 Challenge
  • Swinburne University 2016 Occupational Therapy Masters Students Tutorial on occupational adaptation
  • Austin Health: Person-Centred Care Allied Health Grand Round 2016

Emma  explores the ‘Invisible Aspects’ with Austin Health Staff to improve person-centred care.

Upcoming Events

  • St Vincents Community Rehabilitation Centre, St Georges Hospital SAC Staff Workshop: The Rehabilitation process-Patient’s perspective, 2016
  • Latrobe University 4th Year Annual 2016 Conference, Keynote Speaker.
  • Southern NSW Local Health District Allied Health Staff Workshop: Person-Centred Care, Bega NSW 2016
  • Sunraysia Community Health Services AGM 2016 (Mildura) Empowerment in Person-Centred Service Delivery
  • Sunraysia Community Health Services Allied Health Person-Centred Care Workshop 2016 (Mildura) 
  • ADMA National Conference. Invited Keynote – Person Centred Healthcare: Achievements & Challenges, 2016
  • Girl Guides Victoria Conference: Resilience & Overcoming Adversity, 2017.
  • Southern Cross Health Society Switch2Well Resilience Seminars x 4, Auckland & Hamilton 2017

See More Events here…

Emma Raises Awareness

Partaking in the’ RunMelbourne’ 5km walk for #fightstroke, swimming 2km for Neuro-Rehab Awareness Day 2016 and being involved in the ENERGISE Project, looking at the correlation of yoga & stroke recovery were some of the  amazing events!



Watch footage of Em (and her walking partner Caleb) cross the finish line at RunMelbourne here
Emma receives the NSF Creativity Award for 2016 by Sharon McGowan, NSF CEO.

Reinventing Emma

Book Update

Winning the National Stroke Foundation’s ‘Creativity Award’ for Reinventing Emma was such a humbling experience for me. Although the writing and publishing process was so gruelling and therapeutic. But knowing that it’s empowering many others makes it all worthwhile. It’s now even been utilised by many future health professionals in their studies and knowing it’s been reviewed by several book clubs is both daunting and exciting!

It’s still available via my website, in bookshops, airports and purchased via my ebook internationally, I’m excited that my story & all the messages are reaching a wider audience.


Reinventing Emma Book Promo 2a

Watch a promotional video here

The daily feedback I’ve received from readers has been extremely positive. A recent email –

Hi Emma,


I have just finished reading your book this afternoon and I wanted to thank you for sharing your story. I am a fellow stroke survivor and reading your book over the last few months has given me the opportunity to examine life from a new perspective.

One thing that really spoke to me was the idea of reinventing yourself, and your story has made me realise that I have been fighting to be the “old me” for the past three and a half years and that this has taken a lot of my time and energy. I have recently made the decision to leave the security of my full-time job as a high school teacher and try something different. So many times there has been huge frustration in my job, both with my colleagues and students who can’t see my invisible disability and from myself when I can’t keep up with the pace of teaching in 21st Century. Reading your book I had many “aha!” moments, realising that there are things that I am doing that are negatively impacting my recovery and in fact I have taken several giant leaps backwards. I’ve had to start doing things differently, accepting help from my family and friends and not getting angry because I can’t do it all myself.

Your book is so well written, you have been able to express what it feels like in a way that allows others to understand too. I have my family and friends lined up to read it; they, like many others, want to understand but some of us simply don’t have the words to express it. Once again, thank you so much for sharing your story.

I am hoping my new found freedom will allow me time in the coming months to help advocate for young survivors, and find my niche in life.

Thank you again,

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!

Buy ‘Reinventing Emma’ Now