Nairn Walker has now worked across Australia, New Zealand, the US and the UK with over fifty thousand professionals to raise awareness of Dr Ruby Payne’s insights into the issues presented by economic disadvantage in every level of our communities, schools and businesses. She is committed to raising awareness, understanding and outcomes through sharing strategies that make a difference.
Her audiences have included educators, employment agencies, community and government practitioners, police and justice workers, doctors and dentists, nurses, allied health, housing, welfare, social service, youth and family support professionals, churches, local, state and federal politicians, employers, businesses and corporations.
Nairn has been engaged with Dr Payne’s Framework for Understanding Poverty material for fifteen years since first being introduced to the material in her role as a Program and Campus Manager for disadvantaged and challenging youth and their families in Northern Tasmania.
Nairn’s vocational background is in education and administration, with a strong interest and over twenty years’ experience in community development and a passionate commitment to social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. To this end, Nairn co-founded and chaired the Mt Arthur Centre in Tasmania for five years, dedicated to individual and community wellbeing. She trains professionals, employers, parents and community members in the MESH (Mental, Emotional, Social and Spiritual Health) Support Group Facilitation Program, a powerful experiential model having a most positive and profound effect on participants of all ages through-out Australia in business, schools and community agencies.
Nairn taught Equity and Social Justice at the University of Tasmania (School of Education) for several years. She is the mother of three children, Marley, Daisy and Hamish.
Narelle was a member of Victoria Police for 27 years, 15 of those as a Detective with Homicide, Rape, Sex Crimes, Missing Persons & Child Exploitation Squads, specialising in sex offences & child abuse. She has been involved in many high profile criminal investigations.
In 2012 Narelle was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) & was never able to return to Policing, however she overcame many adversities to become an ‘accidental’ mental health advocate & keynote speaker on stress in the workplace & the challenges of first responders who face trauma & grief on a daily basis.
Narelle shares the signs of stress she ignored, hoping they would magically disappear. Instead of disappearing, they increased to the point she couldn’t continue in the career she loved. The stigma of mental illness is alive & well in our community & Narelle’s hope is to help in normalising rather than stigmatising, mental illness.
Narelle has lectured in Investigative Techniques & Human Rights @ NMIT, Criminology & Specialist Interviewer Program @ Monash, is a policing & mental health commentator on television, radio, in print, on social media & is a regular guest on Australian True Crime podcast series with Meshel Laurie & Emily Webb. Narelle’s sell-out one (wo)man shows in Melbourne & Sydney have inspired her to consider a regional tour & other interstate shows in 2020. There is even a tv series in the making!!
In 2012 at the age of 23 Beau Vernon’s life changed forever.
A passionate sportsman, Beau was left a quadriplegic following a freak accident whilst playing Australian Rules football. Beau was left with no function of his fingers or with any movement from the chest down.
During his 8 months of living in hospital and rehabilitation Beau faced many physical and emotional battles. He worked fearlessly to make the most of his limited upper body movement. Beau's resilience and positive attitude was truly tested to get him through those times.
Not one to sit still, Beau has moved forward with his life, using his accident as a tool to strengthen his resilience and to help others. He has since completed a Bachelor of Business, worked at the AFL, got married, had a kid, won a Hand Cycling National Championship, and has returned to the sport he loves, Aussie Rules, as the Senior Head Coach of the Leongatha FC. Beau has led the Leongatha senior side from the bottom end of the ladder to consecutive Grand Finals in his first two years as Coach.
People continuously say, “your story and approach to life is inspiring, you should write a blog and get out there and tell your story”. He listened and started doing motivational speaking and dedicating his life and story to inspire others.
Every single person will face obstacles in their lives and Beau does not see himself as being worse off than anyone else. Beau has increased his knowledge of strategies that can assist in helping people to overcome life’s obstacles. He has learnt a lot about our thoughts and our emotions, about gratitude, about the importance of support, and he has learnt ways to stay optimistic despite what life has dealt him.
Beau has learnt that we are so much more capable than we give ourselves credit for. To think that he can do what he does with essentially only his biceps, shoulder and neck muscles is mind blowing.