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An Interview with… Kim Annesley

In our recent interviews with Bert and Jane we’ve been talking to volunteers who are public faces at Kids Like Us – people who can be found in the main room, interacting face-to-face with our students. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to KLU volunteers, as we have a number of faces you might not see around the place, but whose contributions are no less valuable.

The first of these we’ve sat down with is the incredible Kim Annesley. Kim has been a great friend of Kids Like Us, and helps us immeasurably by acting as our volunteer HR Manager.

Without Kim’s time and talent we couldn’t aspire to the heights of organisation and strong connections with staff and students alike, and so as a token of our gratitude we got in touch for a quick Q&A…

 

Q: How did you first hear about Kids Like Us?

Kim: In 2015 I was looking for a way to use some of my generalist Human Resource management skills to supplement the ad-hoc HR and training project work I’d been doing. I stumbled across ethicaljobs.com.au and saw the ad for HR at Kids Like Us. I’d never heard of the organisation before, and I was interested to find out more about the unique and positive work it was doing with kids.

Q: What made you decide to become a volunteer?

Kim: As mentioned above, I wanted to use some of my skills and experiences that weren’t currently being used in my work and life. I value contribution to the society we live and work in, and active community involvement has always appealed to me.

Over the years I have organised youth events (when I was a teenager), been involved with events and sponsorship at larger charities and for several years was the President of our local community playgroup – the biggest in Victoria! The role at KLU arrived at a time when I had additional time to spare and was making no other significant contribution in the not-for-profit sector.

Q: Tell us a little about what you do at Kids Like Us

Kim: I generally support KLU in the “people” side of running the business. Whilst Anne and Catherine share this responsibility on a day to day basis, I help to ensure the staff terms and conditions of employment, employment contracts etc. are in line with current legislation and that KLU has the necessary policies and procedures in place to provide safe working practices and workplaces.

HR incorporates recruiting and hiring staff, training, managing performance, workplace health and safety, reward and recognition and, when necessary, terminating the employment relationship. In conjunction with other departments, I will be involved in all these elements at KLU, as necessary.

Q: What do you do when you’re not at Kids Like Us?

Kim: Much of my time is spent being mum to my kids, aged 9 and 7 – chauffeuring them to endless activities and playdates and cleaning up after these 2 busy, creative and cheeky kids! I work 2 days a week for a not-for-profit industry association, I help out at our primary school regularly – in the kitchen garden program and on the school council, and I am also involved with the local Lifesaving Club – from November to March you’ll see me doing water safety at Nippers, training and other public events.

Q: If you could go anywhere in the world that you haven’t already been, where would you go – and why?

Kim: I had a penpal from Japan when I was in primary school and was fascinated, firstly, with her perfectly formed and exquisitely neat handwriting! The Japanese culture, history and spectacular countryside intrigued me, and I’ve always admired the Japanese quiet formality. Since then, I have longed to visit the Land of the Rising Sun!

Fortunately for me, this dream will come to fruition next year!

Q: If you were a fictional character, which character do you think you’d be – and why?

Kim: Alice from Alice in Wonderland – I’m quite often a little confused!

Q: What was your favourite book when you were at school?

Kim: There were so many! As a younger reader I enjoyed Enid Blyton, particularly the Famous Five series, and I devoured book after book of The Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High – and any story featuring horses!

As I grew older, I read most of Judy Blume’s books, and I enjoyed ghost, paranormal and crime stories.

One of my all-time favourites would have to be The Bridge to Terabithia – and it was just as powerful when I re-read it as an adult a few years ago.