With over 25 years spent in different roles at the frontline of family safety, Angela has been part of the many changes pioneered by Child Protection to stand up for children at risk
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Lena has experienced many roles in her time at Child Protection and finds the diversity and challenges involved in advocating for child safety to be exciting and rewarding
After moving to Australia from India, via the UK, Santhosh found regional Victoria to be the ideal location and environment for him to help vulnerable children and their families
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After 13 years working for Telstra in sales, operations and admin roles, James wanted to make a meaningful contribution to social change. “In corporate life I was noticing the gap between the privilege of people at the top and many of those on the frontline,” he says. “I saw a lot of vulnerable people around me.” He wanted to help the most vulnerable of all: children.
Combining his fulltime work with fulltime study, he completed a Bachelor of Social Work degree with Deakin University. The workload was intense, but he graduated after four years with honours. James even used his holiday leave while at Telstra to undertake placement in Child Protection offices in the regions.
Now, almost a year as a Child Protection Practitioner, he’s more certain than ever it was worth it. “Young children are the most vulnerable people in our society, and if we can protect those vulnerable lives, I can’t think of anything else that’s more important, for me.”
As the mother to a 21-year-old son, Angela appreciates the flexibility of a career at Child Protection. “The department are very supportive of maternity leave. I took just under a year, but other colleagues have taken longer. It isn’t nine to five; it can be worked around your family and personal needs.”
Angela has been with Child Protection for over 25 years, having moved up through levels of management to her current role as Practice Leader, Family-led Decision-making Convenor. She works closely with children and their families, as well as various professional services, to safeguard the state’s most vulnerable youngsters. And although the work is often challenging, she’s never considered doing anything else.
Career development has been another big draw for her. “There’s such a broad range of opportunity for professional development, training and education. Today I could be meeting with court, doctors, mental health services, education facilitators, myriad professionals all coming together to talk about the best interests of a child. This gives you an opportunity to see into other areas and to bring your own skills in and expand on them.”