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

Simone Whitehead

Simone Whitehead and her daughter, Milly, presented on Day 1 of the Opening Opportunities along with Ros Kewley. Their presentation is Our Discovery journey with Milly.

About Simone Whitehead

Portrait of Simone Whitehead

Simone works as a part-time Practice Manager for a medical specialist. She is a mother of 3 children, the youngest being Milly. Simone devotes time to working towards Milly’s vision for a good and typical life with meaningful work, freely given friendships and eventually a home of her own. Following the guidelines for customised employment, the family hopes this will lead Milly to employment in a meaningful and exciting position – a role she enjoys and where she is a valued team member.

Simone is learning more about creating a vision for a typical good life for Milly. She is exploring the theories of customised employment and social role valorisation through Imagine More’s online resources, webinars, and moderated peer groups and their in-person support. Listening to other families’ stories has inspired Simone to try new things and have high expectations. It is an exciting pathway to Milly’s future. The family is no longer as daunted or overwhelmed by the journey as they once were.

In Simone’s spare time, she is learning to sew and crochet. She enjoys solving sudokus, reading and playing beginner bridge. Simone also likes to walk Mabel, the family dog, in the reserves of Canberra, talking to the magpies she meets along the way.

Our Discovery journey with Milly

Milly Whitehead, Simone Whitehead, and Ros Kewley

Milly and Simone spoke at the conference about

  • how they learned about Customised Employment and started to apply it
  • how they have prepared Milly for life after school
  • their experience of the Discovery process and what they learned about Milly’s interests, conditions for successful employment, and potential contributions she can make to a business.
  • how they set up Milly’s work experience in Office Administration, including on-the-job support and relationship development
  • how they set up a Microenterprise named Made by Miss Milly and why it was such a good idea
  • How the family and workplace discovered and met Milly’s conditions for successful employment. Milly
    • works best in small groups where she feels comfortable and supported but from where she is also free/able to extend herself outside this immediate comfort zone
    • prefers to learn without pressure or time constraints
    • establishes structure and routine using lists and timetables
    • prefers having a mix of routines and a variety of tasks
    • likes knowing what to expect and preparing for the day ahead
  • the challenges that aros and how they were overcome.

Watch Simone’s presentation | Browse all other conference presentations. | Return to the main conference page