Profoundly deaf since birth, Leonie has over 25 years of experience working for organisations with a deaf-focus, both in the corporate sector and the Deaf Community.
She has 18 years of teaching experience at the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) and was Assistant Principal of the Thomas Pattison School, a bilingual K–10 school, for eight years.
She is a proud mother of two wonderful kids, the eldest is also profoundly deaf. Since the birth of her eldest, Leonie has been very involved in supporting parents of deaf children.
Prior to joining the Deaf Society, Leonie was the General Manager of Education and Quality at Ai-Media. Ai-Media is a social enterprise that provides real-time captioning for education, workplaces, conferences and events.
Leonie joined the Deaf Society as Chief Executive Officer in May 2015. For over 100 years, the Deaf Society has been the leading provider of specialist services for deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing people and their families in New South Wales. Leonie continues that legacy with a strong focus on supporting deaf people to break down barriers and achieve their goals.
Community of Practise: Working with families, educators and service providers to ensure that every child have every opportunity, every day regardless of postcode or ability’
Community of Practise: Working with families, educators and service providers to ensure that every child have every opportunity, every day regardless of postcode or ability.
As Leonie, I wear many hats every day. I have the following labels:
- Deaf and proud to be
- I wear cochlear implants
- Mum of two beautiful kids, one of them happens to be deaf
- Passionate advocate for deaf people
- Educator – taught over 600 deaf people from preschool to adult education
- CEO of the Deaf Society – a service provider
- Community leader
- Solution maker
- Full of good ideas
Therefore, talking about community of practise and why it is important that we create a community of practice to create an exciting journey in the world of a child with a disability and their family is a passion of mine.
I have always lived by the mantra that it takes a village to raise a child. I am a product of my village which includes many wonderful people that I am very fortunate to have in my life to date. My village consists of the extended family, family friends, teachers and many professionals and experts. As I had a wonderful upbringing, it is my goal in life to create the same for not only my sons but also their friends and many other deaf children and their families that I have crossed paths with.
My presentation will provide examples of how we together can create a community of practice for each child with a disability and authentically provide an inclusive village for them to grow up in. Creating a community of practise is not easy and can be quite challenging and difficult for families to manage but with appropriate framework based on my observations during the past 25 years working in this sector, I will share some insights and tips for professionals and families to work together to create a wonderful village to raise our children in.