Belinda Jenkins – Manager, Women & Children's Program

Involved with the Women & Children’s Program at Flourish Australia for the past ten years, Belinda Jenkins has worked in the community mental health sector for around thirteen years from frontline support to diverse and interesting project based work and management.
Belinda Jenkins – Manager, Women & Children's Program

Weaving inspirational life stories with women and children

Involved with the Women & Children’s Program at Flourish Australia for the past ten years, Belinda Jenkins has worked in the community mental health sector for around thirteen years from frontline support to diverse and interesting project based work and management. 

Her most rewarding experience has been in complex support with residential services which presents a unique way of supporting people in almost every aspect of their lives – a role she feels privileged to have been a part of.

Belinda is surrounded by a team of professional, passionate and dedicated women who each bring their own experience to their role; making for an uplifting and dynamic workplace.  She is heavily invested in providing recovery focused support to families in the program whose resilience, despite having faced significant adversity and trauma, is a source of great inspiration.

“I learn so much from each family I work with,” Belinda says and she takes great joy in supporting them through providing opportunities and demonstrating belief in them that they can achieve what they aspire to for themselves and for their children.  A fundamental aspect of Belinda’s work is holding that space for people until they are able to believe it for themselves.

Belinda’s enthusiasm and positivity have enabled her to attain career goals sooner than expected.  Early aspirations to advance to management, were realised in the first few years of her career placing Belinda in a position where she is now able to pass on her own vision for what is possible, to others in need. 

Belinda discovered she had a real passion for working with women and children.  It has given meaning to her own early life experiences as a young carer and the daughter of a mother with a lived experience and physical disability as well as a father who is a Vietnam Veteran.  Life taught Belinda at an early age that things don’t always go as planned and the way you respond to those circumstances is really important.  Her parents’ tenacity and strength of character were valuable life lessons that shaped the person Belinda was to become – someone who makes the best of every situation, personally and professionally.

Among highlights of her work with women and children, Belinda and the team played a vital part in supporting a mother to have her children restored to her care after they had been placed in foster care for almost two years.  With support, the woman was able to re-connect her family with their Aboriginal heritage and with a renewed sense of self-worth, she went on to study in Community Services.  Her story serves as a source of inspiration for other struggling mums and young women in the wider community and its life stories like these that fuel Belinda’s love of what she does.

Bringing women back from contemplating suicide is an aspect of Belinda’s work that has been as transformative for her as it has been for them.  With compassion and persistence, Belinda engages in conversations about how difficult these women find life and their desperate yearning to give it all up and escape the pain.  Often it is not wanting to leave a child behind in the world that keeps them alive.  One such mother went on to flourish as a result of Belinda and her team’s patient support and encouragement.  She completed a TAFE course, pursued an apprenticeship and now her own daughter is thriving at school.

Belinda also supports other staff to develop in themselves as women and workers and enjoys watching their confidence grow as the weeks go by.  Her mentoring skills have led to a secondment opportunity, working as a Senior Cluster Manager in the Nepean Blue Mountains and also within the Senior Leadership Team as General Manager Operations; and Belinda feels she is learning more, with each new appointment.

Her hope for the future as we walk toward gender equality and inclusive community is that everyone practices a little more kindness; that we actively support one another and avoid confining anyone to any particular stereotype or limited belief.  In the course of supporting others on their life journeys, she is well on her way to realising her own dream of travelling Australia and one day having a little hobby farm of her own.

Her words of wisdom for women everywhere – “Be confident in going after what it is that you want; be willing to accept that achieving it may entail digressing from your original plan and understand that the learning along the way is invaluable.”

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