Board member - Emma Qualifications Bachelor of International Studies Master of International Development (currently studying) Disaster Ready: Core Humanitarian Certificate RMIT Creds: Enabling Technology Human Rights Led Practice Resilience and Adaptability Planning a Project Agile Ways of Working Why I joined the Firstchance Board Our journey with our son has been challenging from birth, including complex medical issues which have led to a global developmental delay for him. We’ve been told at various times that he may not walk, eat or speak independently, and with support from Firstchance he's now doing all of these things and more. I’m passionate about the role that parents of children with additional needs play and I am keen to keep them supported to be the best advocates and champions they can be. From the journey with my son, I have a keen awareness of the challenges and opportunities for children who experience delay but have no formal diagnosis of disability. This also creates unique challenges and opportunities for parents of these children to advocate for their child’s needs so that they can seek the support their children may need to overcome short-term challenges and manage long-term needs. When I was asked to join the board, I was excited to see if our experience could add value and help others in some way. The skills I bring to the board I have worked for over a decade in aid and international development, so I have a deep value for the role of not-for-profit organisations in building deep and respected relationships with communities and having lasting impact. I recognised Firstchance’s strengths-based approach and values as important for our family, and significant in how our son’s supports would be delivered. I have overseen the embedding of inclusion programming in several multi-million dollar government-funded programs, with a keen focus on disability inclusion. I am absolutely passionate about the concept of ‘nothing about us without us’ and that goes for children and their carers as well. I have also worked on large, multi-national and multi-year program designs, public-private sector partnerships, contract and tendering processes and financial and contract management. I have also worked on developing project terms, theories of change/program logics, conducted monitoring and reporting for several projects and overseen mid-term and end-of-term program evaluations.