Safeguarding the future conference - Canberra, 23-24 May 2024

Gillian Brown

Gillian Brown presented on Day 1 of the Opening Opportunities conference alongside her daughter, Daisy Brown on the theme of Creating opportunities that start with the person: Job development.

About Gillian Brown

Portrait of Gillian Brown

Gillian has a background in nursing, having studied in Brisbane and Kings College University in London. She became a Nurse Practitioner in Haematology and lived and worked in London for over ten years. She has travelled extensively and worked in Africa, India, Eastern Europe, Europe, South and Central America (Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru) and Asia.

After her daughter Daisy was born, Gillian started her own cake-decorating business. She also worked as the food editor of Sweet magazine.

Gillian’s community work includes volunteering with refugees, asylum seekers, and homeless and women’s shelters. She has always included her children in these community initiatives.

When she spoke at the Opening Opportunities conference, Gillian was focused on supporting Daisy’s schooling. She believed that navigating the education system using your child’s area of particular interest or passion plays a crucial role in facilitating their opportunities and success in transitioning through school to employment.

Daisy’s School-to-Work Journey

Daisy Brown and Gillian Brown

Gillian and Daisy explained how Daisy used her high school years to explore employment and create a seamless transition from year 12 to working life in a job that is a great fit for Daisy. They discussed

  • Daisy’s experience of distance learning
  • how school-based Work Experience operates under the distance education model
  • how paying attention to Daisy’s interests helped identify potential school-based Work Experience opportunities
  • how they approached the Veterinary practice to ask for a Work Experience opportunity
  • the supports Daisy needed to thrive in the workplace, including:
    • having clear instructions about workplace expectations and clearly listed jobs
    • assistive technology
    • social scripting and helpful phrases
    • staff awareness around the impact of her disability and needs in the workplace
  • the challenges that have arisen and how they’ve overcome them.

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