My name is Kimberley Johnson, and I’ve been a part of the Cranebrook team for a little over 4 years now. My role in Barnardos has been in reception and administration for the Penrith Children’s Family Centre, and what I enjoy most is that every day brings something new.
One of the things I absolutely love about my job is the people – the clients, the community, and those familiar faces who regularly drop by to say hi. It’s a real privilege to be the first person they meet when they come here. We’ve got a simple philosophy: we provide what people need without asking a lot of questions. That way, we make accessing our services a little less intimidating, especially during tough times when money is tight for everyone.
Before Barnardos, I was in property management, which eventually led to me feeling burned out and reevaluating my career path. I’m grateful that I picked up some invaluable skills during that time – dealing with people, handling tricky situations, and solving problems. All of which I’ve brought with me to Barnardos.
This role has given me the chance to step out of my comfort zone and explore something different. It’s helped me realise that I have a deep passion for working with children and their families.
I’ve called Penrith home for all 30 years of my life. I’ve witnessed the changes in this area and the community. Penrith has grown and developed, and I’m happy to be able to contribute to my community.
At home, it’s me, my husband, and our two furry friends – a Labrador and a Red Cattle Dog. Soon, we’ll be adding another member to our family – a baby on the way! When we do find some free time, we’re out camping, kayaking, going on bushwalks, or just enjoying a good beach trip with the dogs. We never let a warm day, or a great opportunity go to waste.
My hope here at Barnardos is to make a difference, no matter how small, for the families and children who come through our doors. We might not always know their stories or what they’re going through, but offering a non-judgmental, welcoming, and comfortable space can mean the world to someone, even if it’s just for one day.
For those who visit us regularly, being a familiar face who welcomes them into our centre is a little constant that can make a big difference. It’s been an eye-opening part of my role to witness the growth and transformation of some of the families and children who work with our caseworkers and programs, whether over a few weeks or months. It’s truly heartwarming and inspiring.
So, I’m excited to see what the future holds for me, and to keep growing my knowledge and skills. I’m happy to know that I get to make a difference in the lives of the children in our community.