IMPACT Community Services’ new Team Leader for Positive Start parenting Lesley Allen knows she has found her dream job.
Lesley has worked at IMPACT for five years, several of those as a case manager with the Positive Start program, she can't imagine working anywhere else.
Lesley started at IMPACT as an employment advisor for Disability Employment Services, but she came from a nursing background, working 16 years with Australian Red Cross Blood Services.
She moved from the frontline to the Queensland Nurses Union for 6 months but found it wasn't for her.
“After about 35 years of nursing I was looking for something different, but that wasn't it,” Lesley said.
She moved to IMPACT and after a short stint with Disability Employment Services, Lesley then switched to the Personal Helpers and Mentors (PhaMs) program running at the time, working as a case worker for 14 months.
“I enjoyed the roll because I was assisting people who needed support with their mental health to access community services and reconnect with marking friendships” she said.
Lesley was then asked to fill in as an acting program manager at Intensive Family Support (IFS).
“I had completed a Diploma in Practice Management, intending to use it in a medical practice at some stage, but never got there” Lesley stated.
“So I had all the theory, but that role gave me a taste of what leadership is about, and an opportunity to support the team.”
After six months Lesley became a case manager in IFS, then found her true role with Positive Start; a parenting support program.
“When I was working at IFS, I would hear the babies and mothers laughing and playing next door, it’s then I figured that's where I'm meant to be,” she said.
“Even when I was working at the Red Cross, I was always the one who looked after the babies when mum was giving blood.”
IMPACT's Positive Start parenting support service is for mums and dads with children aged up to 18 to develop life and parenting skills, receive help and advice on available community services.
Lesley is grateful for IMPACT's support and freedom to try the different roles until she found where she was meant to be.
“Working at IMPACT has made me step out of my comfort zone,” she said.
Now she's team leader with Positive Start which involves managing caseloads and supporting Support Services manager Sandra Higgins.
“I'm very happy in this role,” she said.
“I would be very happy to see out my working life here.”