Lead Counsellor, Methodist Welfare Services
(In her 50's)
Her story (as shared by her nominator)
She is both a career transitioner and social contributor. She left a lucrative banking career to follow her passion for social service. She embarked upon a 2nd degree as well as 2 masters' to help her on this path, while working with the marginalised in various organisations. While the work that she does is physically and emotionally challenging, she feels that she has much to learn. From the stories of her clients, she draws courage from their experiences to continue doing what she does everyday. The most important lesson she has learnt from her clients is 'to never give up'.
Anny has a no-nonsense approach towards many things, but is also gentle, kind and incredibly understanding.
In her own words:
Being able to continuously remain open to learning. It's not just about being able to learn from text books or workshops or conferences and applying them to different contexts. It's also about being open to new concepts, ideas, perspectives. Listening to stories to gain more detailed picture of what's happening in a person's life. Then working together to collaboratively construct a different future that is more preferred, representative of the values they uphold. I feel so blessed that many have allowed me into their lives as their counsellor to be part of this journey.
Biggest challenge thus far
Coming from a fast pace competitive banking industry, I’ve had to turn what I would normally do previously into something that the social service sector could benefit from. Competitiveness became the drive to catch up on the knowledge needed in the counselling world (where my new peers my age had a 10-15 years runway ahead of me in the field); marketing skills into engaging professionals into sharing their knowledge and experiences; sales skills into getting clients to share about their dreams and hopes and perhaps I could have a part in working out the glitches in their lives; strategic planning into using my knowledge in the theories and approaches in supporting individuals (from children to the elderly) to formulate something different for themselves in ways they would more prefer, even more representative of the values they uphold.
Knowing your customer to get that deal, became knowing the family members, each person with their own hopes and dreams. Each "$" became seeing a person being able to accomplishment staying patient and calm longer instead of responding in anger or violence; seeing a couple being able to say to each other "I'm sorry, could we start this conversation again"; seeing a child feeling safe enough to openly share their thoughts and feelings with their parents. The list is goes on.
what judges say
Her openness to continual learning inspired me.
I admire her ability to turn her strengths at work into skillsets that aid others.