Search
Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Glass Jar more than half full for multi-skilled Kickett

Among her many talents, Glenda Kickett is drawing on her sports experience to boost school attendance rates for indigenous girls.

The list of organisations with which Glenda Kickett has worked in a storied career as social worker, administrator and educator is extensive. The list of children and young people whose lives she has greatly improved along the way is likely incalculable. 

Ms Kickett, a Whadjuk and Ballardong Noongar woman, serves as manager for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement at the Australian Childhood Foundation (ACF), chair of NAIDOC Perth, and chair of netball-focused Aboriginal youth development initiative Glass Jar Australia.

Despite establishing the social work background that underpins her many professional achievements through a somewhat unplanned series of events, Ms Kickett is eager to see many more young Aboriginal people follow in her footsteps.

“There’s been a big drive [for Aboriginal people to undertake studies] in law and medicine and that’s fine, but social workers do so much in the community and they can change people’s lives,” Ms Kickett told Business
News
.

A primary target of her current work – and that of recent indigenous-focused social work in general – has been responding to issues of childhood and intergenerational trauma arising from forced removals and other disruption of communities and families.

“It has taken us a long time to start talking about it,” Ms Kickett said. 

“I’ve been with the [Australian Childhood] Foundation for almost four years and we’re only now starting to hit some of the things that we want to.”

Among these steps forward are significant progress by the ACF on developing networks and relationships with the Aboriginal organisations, and establishing policy footprints in government departments that can begin to address the problem.

Ms Kickett is also actively involved in efforts to build the confidence and capabilities of young indigenous people, with particular attention to girls and young women.

This includes her founding of the Miss NAIDOC Empowerment and Leadership Program.

It also includes working with Glass Jar’s Shooting Stars program, which urges participation in netball as a means of increasing attendance in remote and regional Western Australian schools.

Ms Kickett said these initiatives addressed a gap in meeting the needs of girls and young women compared with programs catering to Aboriginal boys and young men. A prominent example of the latter is the Clontarf Foundation’s football-related school retention and personal development
initiatives.

Ms Kickett’s passion for working with the next generation is also informed by a desire to extend coping mechanisms she personally acquired during her own childhood challenges.

“I was a child in care, I spent nine years in care in a non-Aboriginal foster home, so I lost a lot of my language and my cultural connections, family connections,” she said.

“But one of the things that kept me going was I was good at netball and I was accepted because I was a good at netball by the other kids at school.” 

This love of helping to reverse past societal mistakes was similarly found in the 13 years Ms Kickett spent managing the Djooraminda Out of Home Care program, where she oversaw a staff of predominantly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers who possessed greater knowledge and understanding of the children they were
working with.

It extends to the PhD she is close to completing through the University of Western Australia. This will likely make her the first Aboriginal woman to receive a doctorate from UWA’s School of Social Sciences, where she has long been either a student or teacher. 

Ms Kickett’s doctoral thesis uses her own personal journey to tell a wider story of bridging the divides between indigenous traditions and the orthodoxies of the social work discipline.

“It’s based around storytelling and what our culture tells us, what our language tells us, and they all have lessons for living and learning and relationships and respect – all those things that make us what we are,”
she said.

Add your comment

WA Revenue

73rd↓Breast Cancer Care WA$2.1m
74th-Earbus Foundation of WA$2.0m
75th-Glass Jar Australia$1.8m
76th↓Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation$1.7m
77th↑Solaris Cancer Care$1.6m
123 charitable organisations ranked by WA revenue most recent financial year

Number of Employees

BNiQ Disclaimer

Special Report

Great for the State – Edition 4: Indigenous Development

Great for the State – Edition 4: Indigenous Development

02 July 2019

In the fourth edition of Great for the State, we analyse the impact of Reconciliation Action Plans, report on four charities targeting Aboriginal youth development, and profile six prominent Aboriginal leaders:
- Business entrepreneur Barry McGuire

RAPs elevate words into tangible deeds

RAPs elevate words into tangible deeds 

SPECIAL REPORT: Reconciliation Action Plans are used by hundreds of organisations across Australia to deliver better outcomes. Click through to our Indigenous Development feature.

Milroy maintains fight  for Australia’s children

Milroy maintains fight for Australia’s children 

SPECIAL REPORT: Helen Milroy believes courage, effort, and collaboration are needed to help heal intergenerational trauma suffered by indigenous Australians.

McGuire  business in  the bloodline

McGuire business in the bloodline 

SPECIAL REPORT: Barry McGuire says Redspear Safety’s recent emergence has been built on tailoring its offering to what customers need.

Wyatt’s old wounds still scarred

Wyatt’s old wounds still scarred 

SPECIAL REPORT: Ken Wyatt has overcome numerous challenges on the path to becoming the most powerful advocate for Aboriginal Australians.

Setting new benchmarks  for Aboriginal inclusion

Setting new benchmarks for Aboriginal inclusion 

SPECIAL REPORT: Carol Innes is heartened by the positive steps already taken towards reconciliation, despite the enormous amount of ground still to be covered.

Collard custodian of Noongar heritage

Collard custodian of Noongar heritage 

SPECIAL REPORT: Len Collard has embraced his destiny to educate a broad audience about Noongar culture and history.

Glass Jar more than half full for multi-skilled Kickett

Glass Jar more than half full for multi-skilled Kickett 

SPECIAL REPORT: Among her many talents, Glenda Kickett is drawing on her sports experience to boost school attendance rates for indigenous girls.

Charities helping  Aboriginal boys and girls

Charities helping Aboriginal boys and girls 

SPECIAL REPORT: Clontarf Foundation, The Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation, The Girls Academy, and Glass Jar Australia.

Indigenous Businesses set to flourish in Western Australia

Indigenous Businesses set to flourish in Western Australia 

Recent years have seen a growing awareness that the keys to Indigenous advancement and development are broader than social programmes and government policy.  While these remain key enablers, increasing prosperity and the engagement of Indigenous people in the economy has become a stronger focus.<

Waart Koorling (On the move)

Waart Koorling (On the move) 

According to Reconciliation Australia there has been an increase in organisations taking real action to support reconciliation. These are encouraging trends for all Australians.

What is positive about Indigenous development

What is positive about Indigenous development 

One of the most sustained and important areas for Indigenous development through the University of Western Australia has been in education. The ongoing success of tertiary education has yielded many Indigenous scholars across a variety of professional courses.

Macmahon supports youth development

Macmahon supports youth development 

Macmahon has a long history designing traineeships and development programs for Indigenous people through our Doorn-Djil Yoordaning business.