Meg has been with Helping Hand for two years. She is our Inclusive Communities Project Coordinator, working as part of the Forgotten Australians project team.
The description ‘Forgotten Australians’ refers to people who as children were harmed in State or institutional care. This includes former wards of the State who were placed in children’s homes, foster homes, and orphanages across Australia. Forgotten Australians, along with the Stolen Generations and child migrants are now getting older. For many of them, the prospect of going into aged care, represents another experience of institutionalised care and can be especially traumatic for those still suffering the life-long consequences of abuse and neglect. In January 2019, the project team launched a new resource called Real Care the Second Time Around.
‘As someone who identifies as a Forgotten Australian / Care Leaver, I applied for the role of Project Officer with the Real Care the Second Time Around project early last year’ says Meg. ‘I believe that I have a lot to bring to this project as it aims to respond to the significant needs of older people who identify in this cohort. My specific role within the project is community engagement and the development of a range of resources that support the aged care sector to understand Forgotten Australians / Care Leavers and to respond to their needs.’
Meg’s background has been in project management and community engagement, working predominantly with culturally and linguistically diverse groups. Her field of study has been anthropology; she has also completed a Post Graduate Degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy and is currently completing a Diploma in Dementia Care.
Meg is passionate about advocating on behalf of all Forgotten Australians/ Care Leavers to ensure that they are identified by all service providers, listened to and their needs are included in care planning. She also has a passion for animals and has been involved in a fauna rescue and release specialising in all birds, for 17 years: ‘My husband and I have large aviaries on our property, and it’s a joy to see a once injured animal released back into the wild.’
Meg enjoys working for Helping Hand as she thinks it is a very supporting and caring organisation: ‘Staff I have spoken to have really embraced this project and have gone out of their way to help me. It is very jovial, happy and a family orientated environment to work in, and I think that staff really care about one another.’
To find out more about our Forgotten Australians project, ‘Real Care the Second Time Around’ visit our Forgotten Australians page.
If this topic causes you any distress, we encourage you to seek professional support.
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