15 years ago, I arrived in Australia, with my husband and four children. It was a brave decision as my children were young adults of 23, 21, 17 and 15 years of age. Luckily, we all felt it was the best decision ever!
I looked around wondering what work I could find, my passion being ‘early intervention’ with young children who were having difficulties with their development, and parents who needed support and strategies.
I searched for organisations, Public Health and Private that shared my dream. I couldn’t find any. One established clinic told me they couldn’t use me, saying, if I had something to offer, that they didn’t, maybe I should open an office on my own! I don’t like being told an idea won’t work, so challenge accepted!
I rented one room in Erina and quickly outgrew it. We moved to Wamberal, to a house on beautiful grounds, with animals, some of which were invited to live with us, rabbits, chickens, goats and lambs. Over the years however, I had to learn how to catch and relocate snakes, a skill I had never needed in London.
Since I started Laura’s Place 15 years ago, my dream was to create the first place on the Central Coast to have a multi–disciplinary team, all therapists under one roof. I felt this would help parents, knowing the team would work together to help their child reach their full potential. I wanted to de–stigmatise the need for asking for help, for parents, children, and adolescent clients.
The beautiful grounds helped make visits a relaxing experience, for children and parents. When a child asks me, ‘where do I sleep?’, I know that they feel at home – a completely different atmosphere to other clinics.
Our message has always been “Everyone needs a little help sometimes.”
I have loved watching my dream come true and now, due to NDIS funding, many more clinics have arrived on the Coast, increasing the number of places children can receive help. This comforts me in that our clients will be able to access the help they need, elsewhere.
Therefore, at the age of 65 and after 15 years of working as the Director and Therapist of Laura’s Place, I made the exceedingly difficult decision to retire, at the end of 2022.
I would like more time to support my own four adult children and the beautiful grandchildren that I now have. Eight grandchildren, ages ranging from 5 years down to 10 weeks and I am loving being a Granny!
Before we close, all our clients’ notes will be prepared, ready to transfer to the next therapist. No personal information will be released without signed consent.
If you are a NDIS client and your plan is near renewal, please contact us and we will help you.
If you would like help in writing your plan, ensuring the best package for your child, email me, firstname.lastname@example.org or if you have other questions or queries and I will arrange help for you.
We ran our summer fun groups, encouraging children to practice skills taught in one to one therapy, trying to use them in a group setting, helping them towards a good start to the new school year.
They have been fully booked and have included:
- drumming and emotional regulation
- art classes
- music groups, including making your own ukulele
Finally, a big thank you, from the bottom of my heart to all you wonderful families for trusting myself and my many wonderful staff members, over the last 15 years.
Best wishes to you all, Laura.
P.S. After a break, I will continue to offer parental help, either in classes or in your own home! Email me if you would like to book in. I am fully booked in March and April, but spaces are available in May, July, and thereafter.