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Meet Kelly Challinor, Access and Navigation Manager

Kelly Challinor, a smiling young woman standing outsideWhat first inspired you to work at the Leukaemia Foundation?

It has always been very important to me that in my work I feel I am contributing to a cause and making a difference. Cancer in particular is something that is very close to home for me, as I know it is for a lot of people. So when the opportunity to work for the Leukaemia Foundation arose nearly seven years ago now, I jumped at the chance. The idea of working for a not-for-profit was very exciting for me; it would be a new challenge having never worked in such an environment before, so I was looking forward to seeing what went on behind the scenes at an organisation such as the Leukaemia Foundation.

I felt very lucky to have been given the chance to be a part of an organisation that’s goal and purpose is to improve the quality of life for those who are suffering or experiencing hardship.

What is your background?

I am originally from the UK, but I moved to Perth with my partner in 2015. In the UK I worked as the Clerical Officer for the oncology department at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, working closely with haematologists and nurses in the Chemotherapy Day Centre and on the haematology ward, which is where my particular interest in working within oncology and haematology began. Prior to this I had worked in a number of other roles within the public hospitals such as maternity and CNST, but having the opportunity to work in oncology/haematology really opened my eyes to the impact that cancer, in its many forms, has on people’s lives. I know that is why I am so passionate about the Leukaemia Foundation and what this organisation stands for.

Which of our values resonates with you most, and why?

Be bold, for sure. Change is difficult and scary, but if you are not bold enough to try something new, you never know the difference you could really be making. In both my work and my personal life I have always preferred to say I jumped out of my comfort zone and gave it a go, even if it doesn’t work out exactly how you planned.

If you had a time machine, what year would you travel to – and why?

I’ve been singing along to Elvis songs since I was a little girl and my Dad was his biggest fan, so I would definitely go back to 1950 – 1960 and go and see Elvis perform. I love that whole era of music – Johnny Cash being another favourite of mine – so this time period would be a double win for me.

Where do you most want to travel to, but have never been?

Japan was always number one on my bucket list, but I was extremely lucky to be able to tick Japan off in late 2019 and would go back in a heartbeat. Next on my list would be Iceland to see the Northern Lights, I’d also love to do a wintertime holiday to Sweden – I think I must just miss the UK cold and snow!

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