If you’re anything like me, you will have experienced the usual winter day-dream about waltzing out of the office, jumping in your car with a triumphant “WOO-HOO” and zooming, full throttle, into the sunset. Destination: sun and warmth. Well, amazingly, that’s exactly what I was doing about this time last year. My name’s Lisa and, if you haven’t already met me behind the desk at our Austi or Sydney clinic, I am Quirky Kid’s own in-house (well, sometimes out-house) Graphic Designer.
The thing is, when I started my university degree in Creative Arts/Graphic Design, I didn’t really consider the fact that I had resigned myself to a lifetime of office work, eyes blurry from such long sessions of screen time. Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this profession (and wouldn’t swap it for anything!) but after three years of working from the office, I did begin to feel that itch. The itch to just get out there and experience the world. I know everyone feels this way eventually, it’s just how people deal with it that’s interesting! For instance, many people sate this desire by working non-stop, pooling together every dollar, then heading overseas on a six month travel binge… Only be then trudge back to the office, starting the saving process all over again! This approach to work/life balance works for lots of people, but never really appealed to me. I started brainstorming other ways to create this fabled balance…
Luckily at this stage of my life I wasn’t interested in foreign shores or icy slopes. In hindsight, I was probably just homesick. I wanted to be back in the tropics. Born and raised in Darwin, these southern winters leave me withered in mind, body and spirit. But there was an answer: buy a van and get on the road towards home. “You’re dreaming!” I hear you say. “How will you afford it?” I hear my mother say. Well, I approached the big boss with this idea who, being a seasoned traveller himself (and luckily very modern in his thinking) very kindly agreed to keep me on while I made this happen. So there you have it. I was about to start working on the road: logging in where I can, attending meetings via skype, regular phone catch-ups, uploading files to our cloud. The technology is there, so why not use it?
I began the trip having no idea how much this new found freedom and space would spark my creativity! I’ve read countless ‘feel-good’ articles about how nature and being out of your comfort zone can have positive effects on your mind’s ability to think in different ways, but never truly believed it. The last few chapters of our latest production (BaseCamp) for example, are two of my favourite chapters of the book – But because I like the work? Or because the work is tied to memories of being out on the balcony looking over the rainforest of far north Queensland? Who knows! Time to do it again, I think!
We are proud to announce that Kids Inspired has just confirmed they will be implementing ‘The Best of Friends’ ™ program during 2017 at their wellbeing centre in Kirrawee. Clients from Kirrawee and surrounding areas will now be able to benefit from this engaging and effective Social and Emotional Program.
“At Kids Inspired we are passionate about providing children with opportunities to develop skills that will enable them to face difficult situations throughout life, managing their emotions in healthy and helpful ways, and drawing on interpersonal effectiveness skills to engage positively with those around them. The concept of Kids Inspired is built on providing skills development through fun and engaging group work programs. Imparting knowledge and tools, whilst in a supported peer/social setting.” ‘The Best of Friends’™ program ticks all the boxes.
Their enrollment continues to set a landmark moment for us at Quirky Kid as we continue to work incredibly hard to produce innovative and effective programs and resources that are tried, tested and loved in classrooms, clinics and lounge rooms around the globe.
Principal Psychologist, Deni Fowle, has over 15 years experience working with children, adolescents and young people.
After working for many years in Child, Adolescent and Youth Mental Health, through NSW Health and Dept. Juvenile Justice, Deni first set up the private practice in January 2011.
Deni is excited to be expanding the practice in 2017, to work collaboratively with clinicians from the fields of allied health, holistic and natural therapies, to offer a unique variety of programs to children, young people and their families.
Social and Emotional Learning
Equally with their commitment to providing consistent and effective services to young clients and their families, Kids Inspired has demonstrated clear commitment to the Social and Emotional Learning of their clients.
About The Best of Friends and the School
The implementation of The Best of Friends™ will take place progressively and will be closely supported by the program author and our Educational Developmental Psychologist Dr. Kimberley O’Brien and our team. Participants will receive a copy of the exclusive workbook developed by Quirky Kid. Facilitators will have access to a series of manuals and regular supervision as and when required.
Interested in offering ‘The Best of Friends™’ program at your school?
Currently, the program is available to a limited number of schools and organisations. The BoF program has a comprehensive implementation, evaluation and monitoring plan and we are keen to identify partners committed to SEL implementation and evaluation.
Schools can choose from a target (small group) or universal (classroom) format. We will provide all the implementation assistance required, including training, supervision and support for key staff members.
This year Quirky Kid is a proud sponsor of the College of Educational & Developmental Psychologists 2017 Conference being held in Brisbane next month.This year theme is ‘live well, learn well… throughout life’. The conference brings together researchers and practitioners in the field of Educational and Developmental Psychology to reflect on the contribution of theory and research to practice.
The conference will feature presentations from renowned Australian and international experts on five conference streams:
Early childhood and early intervention
Mental health across the lifespan
The 2017 program includes an exciting combination of keynote addresses and presentations, networking opportunities and workshops.
The conference is open to all psychologists whether practitioners, educators, researchers or clinicians from all states and territories of Australia as well as interested international participants. Members are also keen to invite others interested in educational and developmental psychology to expand the depth and breadth of interaction around these extremely important professional skills and knowledge.
Conference attendees will get the opportunity to hear from high profile presenters and internationally recognised keynote speakers including:
Professor David Kavanagh
Dr Doug Shelton
Dr Anne Chalfant
Dr Caroline Bowen
Dr Leander Mitchell
Professor Bob Knight
Dr Suzanne Vassallo
Dr Annabel Battersby
Where you’ll find us:
Quirky Kid will have it’s very own display stand featuring all of our most popular programs and products such as The Best of Friends ®, Power Up! and many more! We will be around to talk to other conference attendees so come by and say hello!
Where and when:
Conference: Friday 7th of July, 2017 Venue: Rydges, Southbank 9 Glenelg St, South Brisbane QLD 4101
We love learning at Quirky Kid. Every day our team review articles, attend workshops and complete hours of clinical supervision. We are really excited to invite you to our HQ’s so we can all learn together. Welcome to our ‘Lunch & Learn ‘ sessions – a fun, practical, informative and yummy learning space at our Sydney and Wollongong clinics regularly.
The ‘Lunch & Learn’ will provide practical and informative 60 – 90-minute sessions to expand our knowledge in emerging topics andcurrent child development and family issues. Topics that we will be addressing are:
Acceptance Commitment Therapy
Writing Reports for Family Court
Self Care for Psychologists
Each session will be different to the last with highly regarded professionals in the field presenting on a range of different topics.
Who Should Attend
‘Lunch & Learn’ sessions will be beneficial for any psychologists, school counsellors, teachers and health or educational professionals working with young people.
Workshops will be run on a not-for-profit basis and subsided by Quirky Kid. ‘Lunch & Learn’ sessions will cost between $35 and $50 (+GST) only. BYO lunch (so long as they aren’t too messy, and no nuts to be safe). Drinks provided.
What to Bring
A pen, paper, a smile and you laptop for notes. If you want to get the most of ‘Lunch & Learn’ we recommend that you come prepared with questions for the speaker. The sessions are intimate in size so there will be a great opportunity to interact with the speakers, other professionals and to ask questions.
Upcoming Sessions are:
Friday, 23rd June 12:00 – 1:30pm (Sydney) Writing Therapy Reports for Family and Children’s Court – The Do’s and Don’ts by Dianne Starkey. REGISTRATIONS CLOSED
Monday, 3rd July, 12:00 – 1:30pm (Sydney) eSafety. Looking out for Children and Adolescents Online by The Office of Children’s eSafety Commissioner REGISTRATIONS CLOSED
Friday, 14th July, 12:00pm – 1:30pm (Austinmer) Narrative Therapy. What and Why by Rebecca Sng REGISTRATIONS CLOSED
Friday, 21st July, 12:00pm – 1:30pm (Austinmer) Non-drug Approach to treating ADHD by Stuart Johnson REGISTRATIONS CLOSED
Friday, July 28, 12:00 pm – 1:30pm (Sydney) Flexible Parenting. How can Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) Help? by Louise Shepherd REGISTRATIONS CLOSED
Friday, 1st September, 12:00pm – 1:30pm (Austinmer) Can Food Affect a Child’s Behaviour? by Stephanie Meades REGISTRATIONS CLOSED
Friday, 22nd September, 12:00pm – 1:30pm (Sydney) Time-Out in the Age of Attachment and Trauma Informed Treatments REGISTRATIONS CLOSED
Lunch & Learn Session will take place in
Sydney – Level 1, Unit 2, 83-85 Queen Street, Woollahra
Wollongong – Unit 105, 62 Moore Street, Austinmer
Register Your Interest
(Register your interest in order to get updates on times and dates for our upcoming speakers).
The holidays are nearly upon us and that’s great fun!
We offer group workshops designed to help children make and manage friendships, communicate better, overcome anxiety and perform at their best.
Our workshops have been creatively developed by Dr. Kimberley O’Brien and the Quirky Kid team over 16 years in the Child and Family field. We strive for innovation (winning local and international awards in Innovation) to make sure our programs are inspiring, practical and effective for small groups in the clinic setting or demonstrative for large audiences in an auditorium. Quirky Kid workshops draw on our micro-skills in working with children combined with current research and practices in Australia, the USA and UK.
The Best of Friends
The Best of Friends® program gives children the knowledge, skills and confidence to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, show empathy for others, develop and maintain friendships and make good decisions.
The Why Worry workshop helps anxious children aged 5 to 13 years to manage their own symptoms of stress and worry at home & school. Participants learn to identify personal triggers for anxiety and practice coping strategies to reduce any impact on the individual or family. By exploring solutions through play-based activities, participants learn to understand and appreciate anxiety in a fun, non-threatening setting.
Register for Why Worry? workshop this school holidays!
This program is designed for children and young people aged 10 to 15 years who are (or want to be) involved in sports, music, performance or academics in a competitive way. Power Up! gives children the power to build self-confidence; cope with the pressures of competition; overcome self-doubt and negative self-talk; set goals and make plans to achieve them; maximise performance in any chosen field.
Find a Power Up! workshop near you this school holidays!
How to Register
Sessions for all of these workshops are available in our Sydney and Wollongong clinics. Places are limited so get in quick!
Stay in the loop! Join our mailing list to be notified of the dates of the upcoming workshops.