Kim Cattell - Peer Worker

Introduced to Flourish Australia by a friend who worked at the Peer Operated Service back in 2011; during a very difficult time in her life, Kim Cattell is today a dedicated and widely respected Women’s Group Facilitator and Intentional Peer Support Facilitator.
Kim Cattell - Peer Worker

Coming alongside women as they take life changing steps

Introduced to Flourish Australia by a friend who worked at the Peer Operated Service back in 2011; during a very difficult time in her life, Kim Cattell is today a dedicated and widely respected Women’s Group Facilitator and Intentional Peer Support Facilitator. On a daily basis, she shares her experience purposefully and beneficially as she connects with peers; offering them encouragement and providing hope in their walk toward self-empowerment.  Kim respectfully challenges her peers to apply the three vital behaviours and peer support values, is an ally for people who identify as LGBTIQ and a strong voice for Flourish Australia at community events, forums and meetings.

Kim is a mother of six who has taken action and worked with great determination to reclaim a life that was largely impacted by the unjust action of others. Flourish Australia’s Healthy Relationships group played an important part in Kim finding the courage and conviction to break away from a bad relationship, by opening her eyes to the possibilities for a better life, surrounded by supportive networks.  

Kim spent much of her young life devoted to raising children and child-focused commitments such as being secretary of the school P&C.  She held odd jobs for short periods of time; from cleaning to a casual role at the famous Hervey Bay Shark Show.  Lacking self-confidence and living with diminished hope at that time in her life, she was trying hard to make her relationship work at any cost so that her children would not experience a broken family.

As her outlook began to change, Kim started volunteering at the Peer Operated Service until a position became available for an On-Call Casual.  With the encouragement of Flourish Australia staff, this ultimately turned into a full-time role which Kim excels at.

Now a confident and outspoken woman who always considers the world view of others, Kim challenges herself daily, drawing on her own lived experiences in her own recovery journey.  Being boldly transparent and maintaining an attitude of ‘keeping her head high’ is Kim’s way of pushing through personal and professional challenges.

Each day, she finds the strength to come alongside others battling confronting life challenges, while still working through her own trauma.  Having been surrounded by a supportive extended family network of her own, Kim recognises the importance of trusted peer encouragement and strives daily to offer this to those around her.   She does a wonderful job of demonstrating healthy pathways to an authentic life, through her own actions and recovery walk. Kim considers her work’s greatest reward to be watching people grow beyond their own limitations to become independent and accomplish hopes and dreams that they once believed to be beyond them.

Kim’s willingness to tackle the less glamorous everyday tasks and run with unexpected opportunities, have earned her great respect and a reputation of integrity and dependability.  Kim has developed a very effective way of respectfully calling colleagues and others in the service sector on certain perspectives, in a manner that encourages further exploration and promotes reconnection.

Kim strives to allow everyone to be themselves and not feel ashamed or that they have to pretend to be something they are not.  Her life experiences have allowed her to become very open minded.

“For someone who is struggling to just feel able to walk through our door is enough in my view,” Kim says.  “I haven’t forgotten how hard that can be but now I also know that it’s a single step that can lead to so much more.”   This is what the #PressforProgress means for Kim – the motivation to keep going and commit to still inspiring others to keep moving forward, even when things get tough.

In the walk toward gender equality and inclusive community, Kim’s advice to women is to maintain healthy boundaries that allow space for what she calls “Me Time”.  Taking responsibility for finding a balance in your life between work, family and relationships and establishing a healthy routine is important so that you will have the resources to be there for others when they most need it.

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