Changemakers – Bronwyn Sheehan
Monday, 14th May 2012 at 10:15 am
Bronwyn Sheehan, Founder of the Pyjama Foundation and 2009 Queensland Australian of the Year, is profiled in Changemakers – a regular column which examines inspiring people and their careers in the Not for Profit sector.
The Pyjama Foundation is an Australian children’s charity, providing modern-day angels for Australia’s families and vulnerable children. The Pyjama Foundation recruits, screens, trains and supports Pyjama Angels – volunteer members of the community who work with the children and support Australia’s foster families.
From an initial base in Brisbane, The Pyjama Foundation has expanded to Bundaberg, Cairns, Gold Coast, Hervey Bay, Ipswich, Maryborough, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba and most recently, New South Wales.
What are you currently working on in your organisation?
Funding for our operations in NSW.
What drew you to the Not for Profit sector?
I love people, I find them endlessly fascinating. My previous role was nursing for 20 years, so I am always going to attracted to helping people.
How long have you been working in the Not for Profit sector?
Nearly 8 years.
What was your first job in the Not for Profit sector?
Founding The Pyjama Foundation
What is the best thing about working in the Not for Profit sector?
You get to work in a compassionate and exciting area where all people benefit.
What do you like best about working in your current organisation?
I get to work with amazing people you are also passionate about what we do. I have the best staff and volunteers.
I consider my greatest achievement to be…
Apart from my three gorgeous children, founding The Pyjama Foundation and supporting vulnerable children in Australia is by far my greatest achievement and I think it always will be.
Its takes a village to raise a child.
I’m always being asked…
How did you start The Pyjama Foundation?
What are you reading/watching/listening to at the moment?
I am reading Jodi Picoult’s latest book, ‘Sing you Home’. Watching Grays Anatomy (I am addicted)
If you could have dinner with 2 people from history, who would they be?
Mother Theresa for her life of dedication to others and A.A Milne for inspiring the imagination of children for generations.
My greatest challenge is…
Expanding The Pyjama Foundation around Australia.
School taught me…
The importance of networks and everlasting friendships.
What does a typical day for you involve?
Gym at 6, kids to school, checking emails, writing grants, organising speaking opportunities, networking lunch, interviews, media, budgets, managing staff, solving problems, paying bills, creating new contacts, kids from school, food shopping, dinner, washing clothes (often in the middle of the night ), fall into bed.
What (or who) inspires you?
The foster children who have been separated from their families and who are so resilient.