When her manager got in touch to nominate her for our local leaders’ campaign, we knew Kat O’Keeffe would be the perfect person to kick start our series.
Kat was nominated by her manager Sonia who works with her at Hope Community Services in South Hedland. Kat has been working at Hope for a little over a year now but has only been in her role as Day Program Mentor since earlier this year.
As a Day Program Mentor, Kat wears a number of hats, working one-on-one with young people navigating the justice system who are in need of support and safety whilst residing at the bail facility. In conjunction with HOPE staff, Youth Justice Services, and the young person, Kat develops a personalised, strengths-based daily activity plan for each young person based on their goals in the hope to decrease future offending. She supports young people with life skills, encouragement, and ensuring they have access to quality education and training, physical and mental healthcare options, and anything else they may need to support them to become strong active community members.
With her background in education, Kat has a natural rapport with young people. And it’s not just the young people engaged in Hope Community Services that she supports either. Kat’s manager Sonia said she is always acting as a connector in her community. “The reason I nominated her is because she goes above and beyond when it comes to helping kids", Sonia said. “When she finds out someone is needing assistance or support, whether that’s at school or getting a job, Kat always takes the extra time to help where she can and links them to other groups or services in that area.”
Outside of work, Kat loves being outdoors and going camping or fishing with her family. Even with three young kids of her own, Kat will always make sure that other kids in the neighbourhood have the opportunity to go outdoors and join in the fun. Kat is always teeing activities up with other families to make sure nobody misses out.
“She’s the kind of person that you can never just have a quick coffee or trip to the shop with” Sonia laughed. “She always stopped to have a chat and says hello to everyone. She’s just a real asset to our community.”
At the Hedland Collective, our mission is to support Hedland to be a safe, welcoming and vibrant community, and we couldn’t think of a better person who embodies these values and to start our local leaders series. Congratulations and thanks Kat for all that you do.
If you know someone who is worth celebrating, maybe it’s a young person who displays excellent leadership, a colleague, friend, grandparent or sports coach, nominate them today. All it takes is a few moments to help us celebrate the amazing people shaping our community.