Changemakers – Janet Michelmore
Monday, 30th April 2012 at 10:39 am
Janet Hailes Michelmore, Director at the Jean Hailes Foundation, is profiled in Changemakers – a regular column which examines inspiring people and their careers in the Not for Profit sector.
Jean Hailes is a Not for Profit organisation providing important services for women across Australia, from adolescence to midlife and beyond. Established in Victoria in 1992, it is now regarded throughout Australia as a leader in women's healthcare.
The best thing about working in the Not for Profit sector?
The best thing for me is working with a diverse range of exceptionally talented people to identify current and emerging needs in women’s health. I love the enthusiasm, the challenging conversations, as well as sorting out the many new ideas and progressing them to the next level.
I’m very bad at…
I’m also very bad at working out what the term ‘statistically significant’ actually means. And, like a lot of people, I’m not very good at listening to the health experts about taking out time to relax…
What are you watching/reading/listening to at the moment?
I have to admit to loving the reruns of Sex in the City and I’ll tell you why. In my wildest dreams I would never have watched this program with my parents, but I love watching it with my kids. I’ve found that it’s a great conversation starter. How lucky is the current generation to have a program that actually discusses all the things that worry the average woman – and with such warmth and humour.
What does a typical day for you involve?
A typical day for me is all about communicating – and building relationships. My day can be anything from talking to government, funding bodies, health organisations or teasing out new opportunities with the team at Jean Hailes. At times you’ll find me talking to women on the phone to hear what worries them, or developing collaborations with other researchers across Australia. Every day, for me, brings new opportunities to connect with a wide variety of people – across all spectrums – with the common goal of improving the health and wellbeing of Australian women.
Why do you work in the Not for Profit sector?
I’m working in this field more by accident than design. I started in the field of education and I especially loved the area of special needs – I learnt so much. When I was asked to head up this organisation set up in honour of the work of my mother, Dr Jean Hailes, I initially wondered what I could bring to this organisation. I’m not a researcher and I’m not a clinician. But my passion for education, particularly my understanding and experience which shows that not one size fits all, gave me the opportunity to really make a difference. I’m attracted to this field because of the connection to the community and working towards finding ways to bridge the gap between academia, clinical care and better outcomes for women.