Our Discovery journey with Milly

Milly was in the process of transitioning from school to work and exploring options for further study and employment when she gave this presentation. This presentation describes her informal discovery process, and how she learned about her interests and opportunities through work experiences and extracurricular activities.

In this presentation, high school student Milly,  her Mum Simone, and supporter Ros describe

  • 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 arose, and how they were overcome.

Portrait of Milly WhiteheadMeet Milly Whitehead

Milly is currently a student in Year 12 at Canberra College. Milly enjoys school – her study, friendships with peers, and being an active member of her school community. She joined the Senior Leadership Group, which helped new Year 11 students on their first day of College. Along with her studies, Milly is completing a long work experience. For the first two terms of 2023, she will work for half a day weekly in office administration. Milly hopes to find another work experience opportunity for the next term or two before the end of Year 12.

Outside of school, Milly is exploring her other interests, such as participating in a weekly Zookeeper program, having sewing lessons, and participating in a dance group and other social groups making friends and connections in the broader community.

Milly is transitioning from school to work this year and is exploring options for further study and employment. She is following an informal discovery process, learning about her interests and opportunities through work experiences and extracurricular activities.

Milly and her mother, Simone, started a microenterprise called ‘Made By Miss Milly’. She sells her sewing and craft creations, including colourful scrunchies and felt ball Christmas tree decorations. Milly enjoys the process, and her microenterprise aligns very well with her creative and artistic side.

Milly is a daughter, sister, grand-daughter, committed niece and cousin, keen student, business owner, artist, dog lover and walker, zookeeper, dancer, seamstress, bike rider, swimmer, puzzle expert, Pokémon gamer, wordle competitor, Ed Sheeran/Guy Sebastian/Harry Styles fan, an avid viewer of comedy and ‘who done it’ tv shows and a good and loyal friend.

Portrait of Simone WhiteheadMeet 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.

Portrait of Ros KewleyMeet Ros Kewley

Ros Kewley is passionate about promoting diversity, inclusion, and social responsibility. She has actively participated in various professional and personal activities to improve the lives of others.

Ros has multiple roles in this field. She is the proud mother of a neurodiverse young man named Austin. Ros organises social events and offers capacity-building opportunities for neurodiverse adults through a community called “The With Friends Initiative.”

Additionally, Ros works as an Educator and Solution Architect for Defence and Government at KBR, a global company. In this position, she advocates for and promotes diversity and inclusion, and is an active member and local representative of our Global Employee Resource Group.