STAFF PROFILES: Keita Matsumoto – Partnership Manager (Morwell)

“I see the value of early intervention and the Our Place model as a way to support both children and their parents at a really important stage in their lives.

What roles have you worked in before Our Place?
I started in social sector consulting, supporting social enterprises and non-profit organisations across the Asia-Pacific. I then moved into education through Teach for Australia because I wanted to have a more direct impact on the lives of children. At Traralgon College, I led the implementation of the Berry Street Education Model, which helps teachers better reach and teach students affected by trauma.

What attracted you to work at Our Place?
The ability to make a direct contribution to children’s lives, particularly early in their childhood, and also to work directly with their parents. The second reason was the opportunity to help shape government policy and the way the government works with philanthropy.

What’s your role now?
As Partnership Manager for Our Place Morwell, I coordinate our governance group. I help ensure strategic alignment with partners’ priorities and sustain the relationships that drive our services. I developed and am accountable for delivering our site strategy, and I manage and support the onsite Community Facilitator team.

What’s your favourtie part about working with Our Place?
I love to watch every afternoon as parents pick up their kids from Goodstart Early Learning. Seeing children run to hug their parents, how they are so happy to see each other, and how deeply the educators care for each child’s growth – I’m reminded about the importance of our work..  

“The CHILDREN remind me that every human being should have every opportunity
to live a life of their choosing. It’s the best connection to our missions.”

Tell us about the communities you work with
Morwell is roughly two hours east of Melbourne in the Latrobe Valley. As a coal mining region that has produced most of Victoria’s electricity for decades, Morwell is at the centre of the impact of economic transitions away from coal, which has contributed to deep social challenges across our region.

What specialised skills and knowledge do you use in your work?
Stakeholder engagement is the most important skill for my role. The cross-organisational partnership that enables Our Place Morwell relies on strong relationships between leaders and staff at partner organisations. It’s about understanding our partners’ priorities and operations and connecting those to what’s happening at Our Place.

What are your interests and hobbies?
I love meditation and triathlons. I host a few meditation groups each week. It’s incredibly rewarding to see fellow meditators benefit from their practice.

Meditation is the most valuable gift I’ve received, so sharing it with others is deeply meaningful to me.”