Spring 2017 News

Amazing that the end of 2017 is so close.  This newsletter hopefully fills you in on some of my news and events that are coming up!

Inspirational Speaking

Wow – this year has certainly passed by quickly and led to so many challenges and opportunities for me both personally and professionally. I was fortunate enough to travel so much this year – fantastic to meet and reach so many different people! From Auckland, Newcastle, Gold Coast, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, and NSW to name a few. In these locations, I’ve been able to present keynotes, be involved in meetings, run workshops and carry out my role as ambassador for the Australian Institute of Neuro-rehabilitation.

Travelling is quite taxing and although it’s integral in spreading my message, balancing this to ensure my own wellbeing is managed is essential. Time doing what I love, with people I love is a priority. So, I have recently commenced doing more consultancy work which is still challenging but not as taxing. In particular, in 2018 I’ll be working with a great group of people on an NDIS Innovative Workforce Project generating digital training modules to up skill allied health students working in Specialised Disability Accommodation  in the ABI sector. Also, I’ll be continuing my work with Monash Health, beginning 2018 with staff orientation keynotes. 

My book is now becoming utilised in universities which has also generated more exciting work for me. It’s so rewarding to see so many other health professionals draw on my experience and to see it trigger change.

So, lots ahead of me but am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and the awesome supports around me to help me. 

Wishing everyone a fantastic Christmas & a brilliant New Year

Emma’s Blog

Being kind seems so simple. It’s common sense right? We just need to be a friendly, generous and considerate person. But why does it seem so hard? You’re probably reading this thinking, “It’s easy for me, I’m always kind. It’s others around me that aren’t kind!”  But what if we are unintentionally unkind? What if our acts of kindness negatively impact another?
I recently presented on the ‘Gathering of Kindness’ forum for Monash Health which made me look further into the many benefits of kindness. In particular, the small acts of kindness in my own recovery that truly made life in my new realm, tolerable. Also, the impact on my life when others were not so kind.
In this presentation, I focussed on six of the expressions of kindness. Expressions that challenged them to reflect on their practices. Encouraging them to slip extra acts of kindness into their  days. Becoming more mindful of how powerful these acts can be in enhancing their ability to care and the experience of those who receive that care.
I have summarized these expressions below –
1.Speak with Kindness
The impact it had on me when I was spoken to poorly. Also, when another spoke rudely of another behind their back or directly to them in my presence. As a patient, I lost so much respect for those who spoke in this unkind manner. In delving into this quality, I learnt that there is a direct relationship between staff well-being and patient well-being. It’s said that unkind and disruptive behaviours by staff not only undermine team effectiveness but also are barriers to cooperation and lead to more mistakes and poor outcomes.
If we feel intimidated or berated by another how can we feel confident to perform at our best? How can we change the manner in which we speak to each other? Are our words actually only hindering our ability to be kind? Also, consider the way you talk to another. Also how you speak about another. Does it empower them? Does it put them in a good light?
2. Think with Kindness
Often we forget to stop and listen to another. We assume our acts are meeting their needs. But are we disempowering them by our belief and subsequent action? Perhaps in our assumption we are unintentionally hindering their recovery or performance & tainting the rapport we’re building with them.
Consider if you are pre-empting anothers needs. Are you performing a task the way youve always done it or how youd like it to be carried out? Have you thought to find out what the other person wants?
3. Attend with Kindness
At times we forget that how we communicate both verbally and non-verbally impacts our ability to be kind. For example, what if another walks by and we want their attention but they’re too busy to stop and attend to our needs. Instead, they pretend you’re not seeking their attention and keep going with the task they’re doing. This action may not affect some. But perhaps when someone is vulnerable or struggling to communicate, this act is interpreted by another as unkind and disempowering.
Become mindful of how your body language, postures, eye contact could be misleading another. In avoiding eye contact or crossing your arms what message are you conveying?  Radiate Kindness in all your attending skills – from eye contact to your body language. If someone approaches you with openness, warmness – you feel that much better.
4. Act with Kindness
I write in Reinventing Emma about how some acts “…only reinforced my feelings of dependency and powerlessness…” Whether it was not closing a door or not leaving the buzzer within my reach. The numerous times when I’ve mustered up the energy to state my needs only to receive the complete opposite. For example my preference for a ‘coffee” when asked if “I’d like a cuppa or coffee’ only to be given “a cup of tea” by my carer. I feel unheard and their act has only heightened my frustration and left me coffee-deprived (Chapter 26, p.168).
Remembering to Act with kindness in all that you do – often we might not realize the impact of our own actions. When another person is adversely affected by our actions is that kind? Do we ever stop and see that the way we act actually hinders another? Perhaps we need to consider if our actions are going to empower another or only create further obstacles.
5. Enable with Kindness
In my everyday, it’s the little acts of kindness that enable me to participate in life again and perform at my best. Whether it’s my mum stoking my freezer with meals, my friend offering to drive me to yoga or a stranger giving me a smile. These acts also counteract the inevitable obstacles I encounter, making them easier to tackle.
Remembering that we can really disempower another with our acts. Small acts of kindness, with no expectation of our efforts being reciprocated, can hugely change someones day. Perhaps become mindful of how your actions could enable another to participate and perform better. How could you make this possible?
6. Acknowledge with Kindness
Feeling appreciated and valued is essential to building and sustaining good relationships. It also ensures that our self-worth remains intact. There are so many ways that we can become more mindful of our own ability to be kind. A thank you note or taking time to acknowledge someone’s efforts can make their day. Also, being mindful of the domino-nature of this act on yourself and all those around you – both those directly impacted and also those who have observed this act.
How can you act with kindness today? Write a letter, give another a gift for no reason, smile at a stranger – remembering small acts of kindness make all the difference to someones day.
Kindness seems so easy but can actually hinder anothers life if we arent mindful about how we deliver it. Its a quality which can be expressed in so many different forms. Considering how we can only be more effective in the kindness we deliver. Lets empower another with delivering more acts of kindness everyday. Remember – Kindness is FREE sprinkle that stuff everywhere!


Recent Events

  • AIN Adelaide Meeting 2017
  • Cohealth: West Metro Alliance launch 2017
  • Western Health – Stroke Week 2017 Seminar
  • Austin Donor Anniversary Function 2017
  • AIN Canberra Trip 2017
  • AIN Awareness Day 13th August 2017 #standifyoucan
  • Newcastle University: Public Seminar 2017 – Lived Experience: Reinventing Emma, Resilience.
  • Occupational Therapy Workshop – Person centred care, Newcastle 2017
  • Jetstar Consultancy 2017
  • NDIS Innovative Workforce Fund Project workshop 2017
  • Monash Health – Gathering of Kindness x 2 Forums, 2017

I was fortunate enough to  present at Monash Health’s ‘Gathering of Kindness’ Forums.

Upcoming Events

  • Monash Health Orientation Seminar x 2, 2018
  • Gippsland Allied Health Symposium  June, 2018
  • SESLHD Occupational Therapy Patient Centred Practice 2018 NDIS Innovative Workforce Fund Project 2018 – ongoing
  • McGuire College Wellbeing Sessions 2018 (7&8, 9 &10, 11 & 12)
  • Shepparton High School Wellbeing Sessions 2018 (7&8, 9 &10, 11 & 12)
  • Australian Catholic University Occupational Therapy Student Lecture 2018
  • Presbyterian Ladies’ College Melbourne – Year 12 Students’ Professional Development 2018
  • Monash University Masters of Occupational Therapy Students 2018
  • CQ University Occupational Therapy Student 3rd year Lecture 2018 Monash University Occupational Therapy & Physiotherapy Student Lecture – Empathy 2018
  • Latrobe University Occupational Therapy – Counselling Skills Tutorials 2018
  • Swinburne University Masters of Occupational Therapy Students 2018
  • University of Tasmania – Nursing Students – Reinventing Emma 2018 (ongoing)

See More Events here…

Emma Gee | Inspirational Speaker & Author

Watch my Inspirational Speaking video here

Emma Raises Awareness

I took part in ‘RunMelbourne’ 2017 in July, walking 5km to raise funds & awareness for the Australian Institute of Neuro-Rehabiltation (AIN). I’ve also been involved in numerous consumer events including the fundraising campaign at Austin Health.

Despite coming very last and needing a strong coffee afterwards, I raised $5000.00 for the charity & my lethargic state captured during numerous television interviews!

As Ambassador of the Australian Institute of Neuro-rehabilitation (AIN), I went to Parliament House in Canberra, Newcastle University & Adelaide to continue my role in advocating for others to ensure they are able to access neuro-technology in their recovery.

Reinventing Emma

Book Update

It’s so satisfying to learn that reinventing emma is now ‘essential reading’ at The University of Tasmania for their Nursing subject. The new strengths-based module commences this semester so it’s both daunting & exciting to see that the content will be used for further learning.

I’m hoping that other universities follow suit & it is used in other disciplines too. 

Reinventing Emma Book Reviews:
The feedback I continue to receive is so refreshing. Two emails I recently receive stand out – both readers have survived chronic conditions & hearing that my book changed their experience is so gratifying!

“…So incredibly truthful and real. So amazing. So many times that you could have given up, but you chose to keep going. You are a true inspiration. I only ever read one book per year (I am not a big reader!), and I have read yours in one week. I don’t want it to end and I have so much respect for you and appreciate your absolute honesty.

I am an OT myself, and I really need to think twice as to how I relate to my patients and really try to appreciate their individual struggles as they try to cope with what is presented to you.

You have changed my life and I hope to be a better therapist for reading your story…”

Jen Mathias

Hand Therapist, Melbourne Hand Therapy

“…I have just read your book and have to let you know what a profound effect it has had on me… I am a 75 yr old who has had depression for the last 30 years.  But reading your book has altered my thinking in such a way that I am now experiencing happy moods.  How you have done this is nothing short of miraculous.   I thank you so much. “.

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