News • 05 Jul 2018

Because of her, we can!

Because of her, we can!

“Jo is a Motivator, Inspirer, Listener, Leader, and a dedicated and passionate Indigenous woman who leads by example. Jo always has a laugh as our job can be stressful at times.” – CREST Case Worker, Scott.

Joanne (Jo), has worked with Open Minds for nearly two years as a Case Worker in the Community Re-Entry Services Team (CREST) in Townsville. She has recently taken on the role of Team Leader and is embracing the challenge and new learning opportunity. She is now responsible for supporting the team of nine Case Workers around best practice, mentoring, and leadership.

Yvette, a Case Worker on Jo’s team, said: “I felt like I had a friend from day one in Jo. She was only too happy to help me settle into my new role. I admire Jo’s honesty, caring nature and her highly professional manner in the workplace. I think CREST play a very powerful role in the Townsville Community – it is an honour to be a part of such a strong and solid team – especially being led by an outstanding Team Leader. In relation to the NAIDOC theme this year: ‘Because of her, we can!’ – I think it’s because of Jo that CREST can and will grow and continue to flourish.”

CREST works to empower people to drive their own success and to improve their readiness for change. When clients are referred to CREST, the team ensures they know it is a partnership working together collaboratively to achieve the best outcomes possible.

Jo’s personal objective is to empower her staff in their roles, strengthen their confidence and capacity to make a difference in our clients lives.

Jo said: “Working in the prison space and with clients with complex needs is difficult, however it takes a special kind of person with a special heart to be able to do the job and I feel very honored to work alongside a fantastic team that strive to plant and water the seed of hope for a better future.

Jo’s passion is to support others to heal from their experiences and become more focused on positive outcomes for their future. 

Jo said: “I am an Aboriginal woman who has been married for 28 years with 5 adult children and 3 grandchildren. My husband is from the Torres Strait Islands and this has helped me gain knowledge and understanding of both cultures.

“My mum was and still is my biggest inspiration. She passed away 21 years ago and she had such a huge impact on my life. Culturally the women are always the backbone of the family and this was very true of my mum. She was always taking kids in and providing a safe drop in space. Her love and nurturing nature extended beyond her immediate family and this has had a big influence on how I live my life now.”

Scott, a Case Worker in Jo’s team, said: “The NAIDOC theme for this year ‘Because of her, we can!’ represents Jo as one of many Indigenous women who are passionate, supportive, strong, motivated, inspirational and the list goes on. This reflects in the CREST team. I am very appreciative each and every day that I work in such a great team with a leader like Jo.”

Jo enjoys spending time with family, fishing, and listening to relaxing music.

If you are interested in finding out more about the NDIS or CREST services that Open Minds provides in Townsville, get in touch today.

Open Minds welcomes expressions of interest for roles from people who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Click here to find out what roles we currently have available.