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Dreams to Get Young People out of Aged Care


Monday, 14th July 2014 at 11:15 am
Staff Reporter
Inspired by her son, who suffered a traumatic brain injury, Samantha Kennerley plunged herself into the Not for Profit sector, and now leads a Not for Profit that helps to get young people out of aged care. Kennerley is this week’s Changemaker.

Monday, 14th July 2014
at 11:15 am
Staff Reporter


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Dreams to Get Young People out of Aged Care
Monday, 14th July 2014 at 11:15 am

Inspired by her son, who suffered a traumatic brain injury, Samantha Kennerley plunged herself into the Not for Profit sector, and now leads a Not for Profit that helps to get young people out of aged care. Kennerley is this week’s Changemaker.

Formerly from the UK, Kennerley has more than 25 years experience in the commercial sector – specialising in marketing and communications – including high-level management roles including Directorships both in the UK and Australia.

She also founded and led UK-based Dabbs PR and Marketing consultancy – which specialised in external and internal communications on IPOs, fundraising, mergers and acquisitions, disposals and management buy-outs.

However almost a year ago, she joined the Not for Profit sector. First as Youngcare’s General Manager Marketing and Fundraising and now as its CEO.

Kennerley said she had been a long-term Youngcare supporter and was passionate about solving the injustice of young people living in aged care.

She said her son James,  who suffered a traumatic brain injury two years ago, and her family are who inspires her the most in her work.

“He is a constant inspiration to me, and my family on the issues young people with high care needs face on a daily basis,” she said.

What drew you to the Not for Profit sector?

Wanting to utilise my skills in marketing, communications and fundraising, what I'd learnt from running my business in the UK and how I could all of this to good use with a cause that really resonates with me.

How long have you been working in the Not for Profit sector?

Approaching a year.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

To see Youngcare deliver on our mission to provide choice in care and accommodation for young people with high care needs.

What (or who) inspires you?

My son James… As a young man who suffered a traumatic brain injury two years ago – he has been, and continues to be very resilient on his journey.  He is a constant inspiration to me, and my family on the issues young people with high care needs face on a daily basis. So much so he is joining me when we take on the 2015 Youngcare Simpson Desert Challenge.

I consider my greatest achievement to be …

My children.

Where do you feel your passion for good came from?

I come from a close knit family from the North of England, my parents were hard working with a number of local 'corner shops' that were a real part of the community.

Giving back to the community was always a big part of our upbringing and something I've not really known any different from.

Favourite saying …

'Onwards and upwards' – it's something the team hear me say  a lot and repeat back to me frequently!

I'm always being asked …

'Can we find funding for…?' and myself and the Board always try to say 'yes!'

Through your work, what is your ultimate dream?

To not have 7,000 young Aussies in aged care and to ensure they have choice, independence and dignity so Youngcare achieves its mission.

What are you currently working on in your organisation?

Youngcare will be 10 years old in 2015, we're working on how we celebrate where we've come from, looking forward to the future and raising much needed funds to achieve our mission.



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