I’m Samantha. An unshakable optimist, lover of tribes, entrepreneur and aged care influencer. On a mission to help our emerging leaders and passionate change makers build the workplaces they thrive within.
I’m a West Coast girl, born in Perth (Australia) with a dream to ensure my Mother can get the care services she wants and needs when she grows old (I said when - she’s still a spring chicken!).
I run a successful mentoring program for aged care leaders, currently work for Leading Age Services Australia as their Principal Advisor Next Gen, host a great podcast (Grey Revolution) and speak all over the world on issues like intergenerational workforce engagement + mentoring best practice. I’m a writer for multiple publications, and am a recognised aged care leader (Federal Advisory Board Member for the NHMRC'S National Institute for Dementia Research, a recipient of the Layne Beachley Aim For the Stars Scholarship, and so much more.
All I want is for every generation to work together to build a future we can all grow old in.
A tribe of connected people on a journey supporting their staff - who in turn support the people needing and receiving care.
How did I get here?
I’ve been an ice-cream waitress, a naval sailor, and an occupational therapist.
This all changed, when in 2012, I became an advocate.
I got a call from the local hospital Emergency Department. My Mum was sick and being admitted into a mental health facility (read more about that here). My family and I were thrust into a system that was scary, and I saw staff who weren’t practicing person-centred care. Instead people were being overworked, overwhelmed, and they wanted change but didn’t have the energy to do it by themselves.
Flash forward 12+ months, my Mum was on her way to recovery (and now 100% recovered), mental health workplaces are still too raw for me to enter, but I know my Mum is going to need care support in the future (and it will be a privilege to support her when she needs it!).
That’s when I realised I needed to be a catalyst for change - as in the future she is going to (likely) need support as she grows older/more ageful. I wanted to ensure people like me - younger generations and passionate people - were connected with each other, so we could support aged care to be a place of positivity, innovation, and focused on building a future my mother - and all of us - want to grow old in.
I cultivated a tribe of Mentors, advisors + sponsors who supported my vision and started my business Acorn Network - all while working multiple jobs, consulting, stumbling through (a lot of) mistakes, and doing multiple courses/degrees (I’m think on my third). That’s how it all started to come together.
My journey has been amazing and I want to ensure I’m throwing down the net to bring others along this journey. Not only do I share my learnings through the Acorn Mentoring Program, I advise Government, regularly present at conferences across Australia, and I’m now using all the skills I've learnt to support a great organisation to build a leading national initiative that puts young age services professionals front and centre.
But what about you?
We all have the potential to influence the people around us to feel positive and empowered, but too often I see care leaders come up against barriers and don’t know who to turn. We can feel isolated, overstretched, and seek a tribe that will support us to grow into the managers and leaders of the future. Today you’re looking to grow, but instead find leaders and peers who are too busy. They have competing priorities, or they’re hidden from view and not accessible at all.
Acorn Network is all about you
Building an inspiring, and connected tribe together.
My passion is aged care, but all the tools, tips and strategies apply to Every. Single. Workplace.
I know ‘cos I’ve experienced a lot of them (from financial services institutions to the Royal Australian Navy). All of these experiences would have been made easier if someone had given me to tools to build my tribe - Mentors, peers, and the strategies to reach out when I needed it.
While I’m one of many leaders who loves and promotes their passion for what we do. I’m proud to share my stumbles, talk about building (and the ongoing re-building) of my confidence in this journey. It’s hard. It’s fun. It’s rewarding.
I’ve been a key note speaker, presented on over 1,000+ people. I’ve created a fantastic mentoring program. Facilitated multiple workshops across Australia. All before the age of 35.
My commitment is to never give up. To keep creating content and initiatives that enable you to be a better leader, advocate, and change-maker. No matter your role, you’ll get thought-provoking ideas, ongoing tenacity and an unwavering devotion to help you build your tribe of supporters now and into the future.
If this is something that makes you want to step up and shine, make sure you subscribe to my email list.
Where you’ll get insider insights into my journey, updates on my podcast, and more if there’s something important that you just need to know.
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. I’m thrilled we’re connected and I’m excited for the journey ahead.
To your success,