STAFF PROFILE: Kerrie Russell – Partnership Manager (Doveton)
“When I came across Our Place, I still remember looking at the website and welling up with tears.“
What roles have you worked in before Our Place?
I worked in nine schools across the southeast of Melbourne providing therapeutic interventions for children and families.
What attracted you to work at Our Place?
I knew more had to be done to support families with complex challenges that had a direct effect on children’s attendance and learning at school. When I came across Our Place, I still remember looking at the website and welling up with tears. I loved that there was a group of people as passionate as me about wrapping supports around children and families.
What’s your role now?
I’m the partnership manager for the Doveton Site. My role is to lead the strategic direction and implementation of our approach at Doveton College. I’m co-designing ways to empower children, families, and communities to have everything they need to thrive and succeed. That means being flexible, responsive and willing to take risks.
“I’m co-designing ways to empower children, families and communities
to have everything they need to thrive and succeed.“
What specialised skills and knowledge do you use in your work?
Knowing the service systems we work with. Strong relationship-building skills. Big picture thinking about the key drivers needed for different sectors to work together for long term change. Understanding the barriers communities face and listening to community.
Tell us about the communities you work with
Doveton is southeast of Melbourne. It’s a very multicultural community with more children under the age of 9 than any other age range. This speaks volumes about the family nature of the area. Doveton has long-term unemployment rates and high levels of social and economic disadvantage.
What is your favourite memory of working at Our Place?
I love watching parent volunteers grow in confidence. Over time, their confidence and leadership skills grow immensely. I get great satisfaction from making a real difference in the lives of children and families, setting them up for success and bringing positive change to individuals, families and the community.
“I’ve found my tribe at Our Place and with our stakeholders.
The job is extremely collaborative – I really love that, it inspires me.”
What are your interests and hobbies?
I spend my free time gardening, keeping fit (Boot camp, Fit 45, walking) and going on adventures with my family.
What’s a fun fact about you that people may not know?
I did musicals in my younger days and was even paid to sing in a restaurant once!