I am available for speaking engagements at schools, churches and clubs on a variety of topics.
I can talk to Prep students through to staff/adults.
'Buddina State School was very blessed to have Jenny come and share her story and that of others living with difference. Each lesson was created age appropriately and the children really enjoyed discovering and celebrating their own personal uniqueness and sameness. Staff were also provided with some very practical sills to work with children with disabilities and managing difference in their classrooms. I highly recommend Jenny's inclusion story for all schools and their communities.' - Buddina State School
'Thank you very much for your interesting and informative talk today to the Pine Rivers View Club. I think we need to be reminded occasionally that some people have difficulties not of their making, yet can get on with life regardless.' - Pine Rivers View Club
'After reading the book Wonder by R J Palacio to our Year 5s we invited Jenny to speak about her and her children's experiences with their facial difference (Crouzon syndrome). Jenny held the interest of 44 children, most of whom find it difficult to sit still and listen, for a whole hour. She was thoroughly engaging and made these types of conditions real to them. She is real, funny, brave and an inspiration. She has given our students an experience that they won't forget in a long time.' - Our Lady of the Way
What can I speak about?
The following is a list of topics. I can combine topics and add writing activities.
Please contact me to discuss what you would like or for more information.
| TOPIC || DESCRIPTION|
|Author talk|| My journey to becoming an author and about my books. Writing activities can be included. |
|Diversity & Facial differences|| I call this my 'Wonder' talk. If you have
read the book Wonder by R J Palacio or watched the movie, this talk is
for you! I cover what diversity means; how we are different to each
other; what facial differences are; my life (and my children's) living with a
facial difference, including bullying and Hollywood's villains having facial differences; and strategies for talking to people who are different
to us. I can adapt this talk for lower, middle and upper primary, and Year 7s. |
| Down syndrome|| My journey with my daughter who has Down syndrome. My initial reactions to the news and then my vision and purposefully made decisions for her to have an ordinary life. |
|Inclusive education & Practices || What is inclusive education? (Having children with disabilities in mainstream schools and being fully included in all school activities). The research on why inclusion is best for
all students. Strategies for implementing good inclusion. My journey as a
parent but also with a teacher perspective. The barriers I have come up
against, and the successes I have achieved with my daughter who has
Down syndrome in mainstream school. |
|Anxiety and Depression || What is anxiety and depression? The general symptoms and treatments. I am not a doctor so cannot give professional help. My life living with anxiety and depression and recognising anxiety and depression in my children. Also I give strategies for helping your child, maintaining self-care and life balance.|
|Coping with struggles || My life has been riddled with struggles - growing up with a facial difference, constant bullying at school, a Domestic Violence marriage, being suicidal, bouts of depression, children with disabilities and high medical needs, trying to be a supermum... Over time I have learnt particular strategies and mindsets which have helped me to cope. |
|Society's labels and how to overcome|| From the moment we are born society pins labels on us - the first one is normally girl or boy. Over time more labels are added - some positive, others negative. What we believe and how we internalise these labels affects our self-esteem and our self-direction. The effects of social media and Hollywood on labels and our perceptions of beauty don't help. I look at strategies to tear up the negative labels so we can be the person we are meant to be. |
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|Society's labels versus God's labels || This is a discussion of the world's labels that we have pinned to us over time, versus the labels that God gives us. This talk includes an activity where we destroy the negative labels and let God begin to heal us. This talk is great for a Ladies Night event. |
|My Christian Testimony|| Hear about my Christian journey and my proof that God never promised us an easy life. My lesson learnt through my struggles is that no matter what happens to us God never leaves us, and is looking out for us, even if we cannot see it at the time. And over time God will use our experiences to help other people and fulfil our destiny; and ultimately to bring glory to Him. |