I’m from Melbourne, Australia. I am the eldest of 5 sisters ranging from our 30s down to 12 years in age. My family also fostered children from when I was 18 and so I’ve had about 20 temporary siblings (all preschool age). I started my career as a nurse, working in Paediatrics, Oncology, Orthopaedics and a little Gen Med (I have also tried my hand at teaching nursing students). In my 20s I volunteered on and off in various African countries, mostly with abandoned and orphaned children but also in medical teams in remote or slum communities. I volunteered as a youth mentor in a large youth group for about 13 years, I had many roles but mostly I oversaw the girls programs. I was also the special events coordinator and was tasked with planning camps, fundraisers, conferences and many other events. My volunteer roles led me to a different career path (well just a fork in the road) where I studied Social Work. I have been working in the field for 10 years mostly with families and children. Early in my career I specialised in working with refugee families. I also have a Graduate Certificate in Developmental Trauma.
Some extra little facts about me (just because they might be things that influence how I post)-
>I’m passionate about social justice issues.
> I don’t eat gluten or dairy due to intolerance and I try to eat as refined sugar free as possible (although I’m not as strict on the sugar all the time).
>I am Christian and have a deep faith in God. I try to live by the ‘Love God, Love People’ philosophy rather than ‘religious rules’.
>I am a feminist- not in an ‘I hate men’ way, I love men. I actually I don’t like the word ‘feminism’ and would prefer we said something like ‘equalism’. That’s the heart of feminism, equality.
>I try to limit the use of chemicals in my life where possible.
>I am very family orientated- and by family I also mean the family we choose for ourselves. I’m known by many as ‘Auntie Jo’.
>I enjoy making cakes for family and friends- but they are a lot of work so only occasionally.
>I love baking.
>I am passionate about making a difference in the world, particularly for children.
>I am obsessed with Christmas.
>I have been to South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Thailand, Canada, the USA, the Bahamas, Denmark, Holland and Germany.