Helping make life work
Jenny Gleeson may only have been in the South West for a couple of years, but during that time she has immersed herself in community support and the betterment of others.
Originally moving to Bunbury with her then partner, Jenny always eyed settling here and openly admitted she arrived here five years earlier than planned.
“I’d finished my contract working in the disability sector and was looking for a change,” she said.
Before her move to Bunbury, Jenny spent close to a decade zig-zagging around the southern half of the State, living in Perth, Mandurah and Kalgoorlie and working in some of the most remote corners of the Goldfields, as well as a stint in central America doing volunteer work.
When she arrived here, she brought with her an extensive background of community relations and support, having worked as a carer for her then sick father, teacher, tutor and chamber of commerce industry broker.
“I had a series of friends commit suicide in my late teens and that really shook me,” she said.
“I realised I didn’t know what I was doing with my life and needed some help, so I went and saw some councillors but they were more for emotional support rather than ‘what am I doing with my life’ support.”
At this point Jenny became a teacher in a bid to try and help young people the only way she thought she could, but found the education system deeply flawed and changed paths to become a career adviser, the pathway that took her around the State.
When her contract in Kalgoorlie came to an end, it was time for Jenny to spread her wings and launch her own business, Lifeworx, a business she brought with her to Bunbury.
“I’ve been running Lifeworx now for 11 years,” she said.
“Originally it was helping young people, but I had a lot of employers contacting me when the bust happened, asking to help their staff move on to the next phase, so it broadened from there.
“During that time I came across personality profiling which helps people decide what they want to do with their career.
“So now I’ve done lots and lots of different qualifications in lots of different personality profiling tools, but I’d never been able to find one for young people aside from ones that are online which I don’t agree with because it’s too easy to click and not understand.”
After identifying this shortfall, Jenny developed her own package of personality profiling tools, specifically aimed at teenagers to help them find the right career and understand the world they are moving into.
“My passion is working with youth at risk,” she said.
Aside from Lifeworx, Jenny has worked as a TAFE lecturer both at South Regional TAFE and Bunbury Regional Prison, as well as mentoring at-risk youth at Roelands Village, all while running after hours English tutoring, but it is her passion for helping young people that has pushed her into the next chapter of her life.
“I start my psychology degree in a couple of weeks and I’ve written a book to help teachers and people that work with young people understand their personality types to engage them more effectively,” she said.
“The launch will be in September, it’s so exciting.”
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