Passion for Social Justice; Children's Therapy Centre Role Draws on Skills Honed in Health Care and Politics

Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia), July 3, 2016 | Go to article overview

Passion for Social Justice; Children's Therapy Centre Role Draws on Skills Honed in Health Care and Politics


Byline: Angela Norval

RIGHT from when she was young, Debbie Blumel knew she wanted to get out into the world and be a part of it.

Despite options being limited for young women when she left school, Debbie didn't let this hold her back and when the Whitlam government opened doors for more women to attend university, Debbie achieved not only two bachelor degrees but also two master's degrees.

Debbie said it was during this time of personal development that she realised her passion for social justice, particularly in terms of health and disability and community and regional development.

"I can't help but operate at the strategic level and I feel in my veins the interplay of social, economic and political movements and how people are affected," she said.

"This insight is the foundation for my strong voice in advocating for socially just outcomes.

"I have courage in my heart and enormous passion and energy for the things that interest me.

"I love the challenge of working in dynamic environments and working with people and communities to help them achieve their goals.

"As CEO of the Children's Therapy Centre, I am responsible for navigating the ship through the policy and funding changes brought about by the National Disability Insurance Scheme. "It is a major change to go from a government funded entity to a company that depends on clients choosing us rather than the competition."

Surprisingly Debbie isn't finding her current role that much different from her time in politics highlighting her belief that politics is a skill set for everyday life.

"It's the art of getting things done by understanding, leading, articulating values, forming alliances, negotiating and, only sometimes, the sheer power of one.

"I was successful in bringing a lot of funding to the Sunshine Coast through my relationships with prime ministers and ministers as well as their advisors and senior public servants.

"I had a keen eye for opportunities to improve our region and often worked with business groups to bring these to fruition.

"I worked closely with a number of community organisations to get funding, for example, to build the Northshore Community Centre. …

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