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Intern Report: Emily Bartlett

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Intern Report and experiences with Quirky Kid

Quirky Kid welcomes professionals and interns from various walks of life including provisional psychologists, editors, graphic artists and teachers. During the course of their internships – from 3 to 6 months –  a lot of learning takes places. In this new section, we ask our interns and colleagues to share their experiences with Quirky Kid; what they’ve learnt and how this experience will help them in the future. In this post, Emily Bartlett shares her experience.

Why did I apply?

I applied to volunteer with The Quirky Kid Clinic to learn practical skills in the area of Child Psychology, build on my current knowledge acquired through my Psychology degree and gain first-hand experience working in a private practice and working publishing house. I also hoped to use this opportunity as a way to connect with like-minded individuals and learn from the teams’ experience and knowledge.

What did I learn?

The range of projects and activities available during my placement were matched with my interests, skills and development areas. I was involved in researching material for a social emotional program, writing for the website, learning to score assessments, assisting with shop orders and managing client relationships. In addition, I co-facilitated a number of anxiety and social skills workshops for primary school aged clients.

How will this help me in the future?

As an aspiring Psychologist, this placement provided me with a broad range of skills and knowledge which will be beneficial when applying for Clinical Masters programs and in my future career ventures. I was able to assess whether the private sector appealed to me and an opportunity to connect with Psychologists to discuss their career path and learn from their knowledge and guidance.

My experience with QK as a company. 

My experience with The Quirky Kid Clinic was enjoyable and professional. I really admire and respect the creative way the clinic is presented which translates into a very warm and welcoming space for their clients. The team are highly skilled and is clear why Quirky Kid is being recognised internationally for their innovative product development.

Tips for future applicants.

The placement requires a “can do” attitude, attention to detail, a flexible and creative approach to new tasks, and motivation to work independently and in a small team. Overall, it was a valuable experience and recommend this opportunity to other aspiring counsellors or psychologists.

Quirky Kid offers employment opportunities, internships and volunteering. Head to our employment page or sign up to our newsletter below:




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LEAP for Kids and BoF

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

LEAP for Kids and 'Best of Friends' Program - Emma Cooney

We are proud to announce that Emma Cooney will be implementing ‘The Best of Friends’™ program in 2017 at her private practice LEAP for Kids in Kew, Victoria. Clients from Kew and surrounding areas will be able to benefit from this engaging and effective Social and Emotional Program.

“Emma has worked with children and adolescents in educational settings within both the public and private sector for 20 years. She is passionate about delivering evidence based psychology programs and interventions that make a difference to the education, health and wellbeing of young people.” 

LEAP for Kids’ 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.

Dates for 2017 workshops are available here.

About LEAP for Kids

Leap for Kids is a practice offering psychological services to school aged children from Kindergarten to Year 12 and their families. LEAP for Kids provides a range of programs to ensure that there is a pathway for growth for every child and their family. Equally, with her commitment to providing consistent and effective services to young clients and their families, Emma Cooney has demonstrated a clear commitment to the Social and Emotional Learning of her 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.

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Quirky Kid Open Day

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Quirky Kid Open Day

Be our guest and meet the team at a Quirky Kid Open Day. Take the opportunity to check out our clinical space, explore our new products, learn about our programs and ask lots of questions. 

Oh, you’ll also be offered delicious treats from our local producers and be in with a chance to win a resource from our Quirky Kid range of books and therapeutic tools. There are various dates available, so register now!

We hope that you will have the opportunity to:

  • Explore our clinical space;
  • Ask questions to our psychologists and team.
  • Find our more about employment and volunteering opportunities.
  • Discuss and become familiar with our in-school and clinic-based  services;
  • Be introduced to our programs like The Best of Friends, Power Up and BaseCamp;

Who Should Attend

Parents and professionals are all welcome. There will be many of us here happy to answer all your questions.

Dates and Times

  • Austinmer
    Address: Unit 105, 62 Moore Street, Austinmer
    Date: Wednesday 29th March – 10am-12pm or
    Date: Tuesday 2nd May – 12-2pm
  • Sydney:
    Address: Level 1, Unit 2, 83-85 Queen Street Woollhara NW
    Date: Tuesday 4th April – 10am-12pm (Sorry this is now BOOKED OUT!)
    Date: Thursday 11th May – 12-2pm

Register


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2016: What a year!

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

As 2016 draws to a close, it’s satisfying to sit back and reflect on Quirky Kid’s accomplishments as a young Australian company, spanning diverse industries – Publishing Children’s Mental Health and Education.

This year our team brought positive change to more than 980 families in Australia and overseas through our clinical services and products. That’s no small feat considering the complex range of social, emotional and behavioural issues addressed by our psychologists in every consultation. As a team, we are very aware of the trust our client’s place in us, and for this reason, 2016 saw us complete more than 220 hours of professional development. We presented at the Australian Psychological Society (APS) conference in Melbourne and travelled to Singapore and London to learn more further afield.

At Quirky Kid we’re committed to evidence-based and child-focused practice and our clients appreciate the results. According to our 2016 ‘Customer Satisfaction Survey’ we achieved greatness 91% of the time, while 6% of customers said we did a ‘good job,’ leaving only 3% of our customers less than satisfied. Thank you for all your feedback and encouragement! As a team, we are incredibly committed to our continued improvement.

Quirky Kid’s drive to innovate in clinics and classrooms contributed to our successful application to join this year’s iAccelerate program at the University of Wollongong, an incubator for tech start-ups and business with the potential to scale. The 2016 Pitching Grand Final saw Quirky Kid pitch to a panel of investors and take out the “Runner Up” award. The panel members were very generous with their business advice and we look forward to embracing more opportunities through iAccelerate in 2017.

This year also saw two of Quirky Kid’s Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programs recognised at one of the world’s largest publishing events – The London Book Fair. The Best of Friends program was shortlisted for the ‘Educational Initiative Award’, while Power Up was shortlisted for the ‘Educational Learning Resources Award’. The SMH interviewed Quirky Kid at the book fair and described us as “a quiet Australian success story” – We like to think so! (more articles here)

Meanwhile back in Australia, Quirky Kid was awarded the Business Innovation Award for The Best of Friends program at the 2016 ABIA Awards (the Australian Book Industries equivalent to the Oscars). The same program was shortlisted for Book of The Year by Speech Pathology Australia. Thank you to the organisers for bringing industry recognition to our incredibly talented team of creatives!

On the ground, our programs are proving popular in schools with their steady implementation around Australia and a new distributor in New Zealand, Happy Futures (more to come soon). Locally, we welcomed more implementing schools like St Catherine’s, Holy Spirit, and Cranbrook School (QLD), as well as Jewish House and many others agencies. What a pleasure to roll out Quirky Kid Social and Emotional Learning programs into the hands of highly skilled and enthusiastic group facilitators, while maintaining the program’s integrity!

In fact, 90% of parents who signed their child up for a Quirky Kid program rated the overall outcome as “9” or “10 out of 10”. Their comments indicated participants “learnt some valuable techniques to help make and keep friends”, and it was “well organised, well run” with “great attention to detail, effort, and very professional, practical advice”. Quirky Kid wishes to thank our dedicated parent community for their feedback.

In terms of research, 2016 marked the beginning of Quirky Kid’s first clinical study. We look forward to working alongside A/Prof Claire Wakefield (UNSW), Dr John Lawson, Ms Elizabeth Barnes to ensure our research meets the ethical standards of The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network Human Research Ethics Committee (SCHN HREC). The committee is responsible for ensuring ethical and scientific acceptability of human research for paediatric specific research. Quirky Kid’s longstanding goal of generating high-quality research is finally being realised and we very much appreciate the support of SCHN HREC.

On a personal note, our incredible team also achieved some big goals in 2016. Leonardo completed his first 10km ocean swim between Bondi Beach and Watson Bay; while Michal graduated from Monash with her Masters in Educational and Developmental Psychology, becoming a fully-fledged Registered Psychologist. Meanwhile, Kathryn took a break from seeing clients to climb to Mount Everest’s Base Camp; as Emily diligently worked her way through Monash’s competitive Honours program; and Kimberley submitted her 80,000 word thesis to be awarded her PhD in Education. All the while, we marvelled at Lisa’s ability to work remotely while travelling up and down the East coast of Australia; as Dawn organised another legendary ladies ski trip and spent more quality time with her family in Melbourne and Byron Bay…while plotting a trip to Kathmandu. Oh, what a year!

Wishing all our wonderful colleagues and clients a restful holiday period.

We look forward to another year of new QK programs (another achievement still under wraps) and technology and online initiatives to benefit more children and their families around Australia and overseas – Watch this space and welcome 2017!

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The Positive Schools Conference in Singapore

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

The Positive School Conference in Singapore

It was really exciting to represent Quirky Kid at the Positive Schools 2016 Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference in Singapore last month. The Conference aims to provide solution focused ideas and strategies for nurturing wellbeing, positive mental health and a love of learning and life in young people.

My role at the conference was to launch our Social and Emotional Learning Program, The Best of Friend Program  as well as to display and sell the Quirky Kid resources – and they’ve sold out.  I have also spoken with educators from around the world about what we have to offer and came home with many ideas and practical strategies to share with my team.

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There were several presentations over the two days and some hands-on workshops like an inspiring presentation by  Dr David Bennett who spoke about nurturing resilience and wellbeing in children. He explored some links between brain science, development and behaviour, and the implications for wellbeing. Next, a particularly impactful presentation was by Thea O’Conner, who spoke about reshaping body image. Thea explained that adults’ own negative feelings about their own body image (and the widespread population ideals about body image) can heavily influence children’s way of thinking. This drew attention to the importance of changing societies views of this topic to ensure better outcomes for our children.

The end of Day One brought an insightful presentation by Professor Donna Cross about bullying prevention. Donna shared some of her own research on successful ways to reduce bullying behaviour experienced by children. She explained her thoughts on the fact that we often focus on individual intervention for children involved in bullying situations, and suggested that we should instead be focusing on changing the culture in schools to make bullying an unacceptable action by everyone’s standards. It seems that this strategy could have the most positive outcome overall. The positive energy, and view for new ways of tackling different problems, was evident at the end of the first day, and the anticipation for Day Two was felt.

Day Two started off with a fun and uplifting presentation by Justin Robinson from Geelong Grammar School, who spoke about the importance of building positive relationships with school-aged children. Justin suggested that the simple act of a teacher going to the effort of remembering each child’s name and something specific about them, and having real a conversation with them, can make a massive difference to that child’s experience at school. This was followed by Janet Etty-Leal who explained why mindfulness can be a really great addition to school routines. Giving children the opportunity to practice mindfulness in schools has been shown to not only have a positive effect on the children’s wellbeing but has also tackled some issues such as disruptive behaviour and teachers having to discipline children for “bad behaviour”.

The conference was a great event for Quirky Kid to be involved in and was very much in line with our vision for positive futures. It was exciting to bring The Best of Friends program to more and more schools, and we can’t wait for the next conference opportunity!

You can find information on the conference and all of the speakers here.

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