Resilience Coach, Singer, Poet, Mental Health Advocate, CentacareFNQ
Hi! I’m Emma.
I was so fortunate as to be the 5th generation to be dropped off on the planet in this lush, green, paradise known as Cairns almost 40 years ago and then grow up in the beautiful savannah that is Mareeba. As a kid, I laughed and played with my 5 siblings, mostly in trees, on bicycles and down at the river. But I also loved creative pursuits - poetry, story writing, playing musical instruments, singing, calligraphy, daydreaming, making up magic. But then I had to grow up and be an “adult”, studying at university and becoming an accountant and along the way, a single mum as well. And even though I tried to do all the normal things, there wasn’t much normal about me and I found it harder and harder to fit with societal expectations and fit in all the mould’s I was supposed to. Who knew that having visions and getting caught in wild flights of imagination for days on end where one didn’t eat or sleep we’re t the done thing? It all seemed very normal to me. Things bumped along rather unevenly until the best worst day of my life, the day I was admitted to the Mental Health Unit and slapped with some rather serious sounding labels. Personally, I prefer to think of it as being a mad creative genius whose imagination falls out from time to time. The psychiatrist calls it Bipolar 1 with psychotic tendencies with generalised anxiety disorder. Personally, I think labels are best reserved for jam jars. And so I embarked on my journey of recovery. I went back to the things that gave me joy as a child, believing the key was to b found way back there. I wrote, I danced, I sang myself better. I became very active in the consumer rights movement. I joined Toastmasters. I got out my cards and crystals. I did all the fun stuff my inner child lead me to do. I got better and better and needed less and less psychiatric medicine. I was lucky enough to land a job at Centacare Mental Health & Well-being Coaching as a Resilence Coach, a cross between a life coach and a peer worker, where I am lucky enough to help others find their voice, begin to lead their own life and build a life of purpose on their own recovery journey through severe, persistent and complex mental illness often through creative pursuits, creative thinking and curious questions. It is the best dream job I never knew existed and I am so honoured and humble to be of service to other mad people.
I also work as a singer which has lead me to sing in different bands and duos, host karaoke, busking and even perform in a show at Cairns Dinner Theatre.